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1  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Crimean status referendum: March 16, 2014 on: March 16, 2014, 03:22:00 pm
Look here for info and results (First exit polls at 20pm local time, results at 22.30pm):

http://en.c-inform.info

BTW: Fabrizio Bertot, a member of the European Parliament from the EPP (Conservatives), who observes the elections in Crimea, told media that the election looks like elections in Italy and that he has seen no irregularities.

(some Western media outfits have reported on the glass boxes where voters throw their ballots into as being "not fair").

I don't see much of a problem with this, because people can vote in voting booths, then fold their ballots once or twice and nobody sees who they voted.

Then, again, because the ballot boxes are glass everybody can see who folded their ballots once or twice.
This is common in many European countries, so it's not some sign of unfair elections. Also I doubt that many opponents of Crimea joining Russia would bother voting when the other option apparently still allows for Crimea to join Russia.
2  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: NRA opposition likely dooms Obama's nominee for Surgeon General on: March 16, 2014, 03:16:42 pm
Of course one wouldn't want someone with first hand experience of the effects of gun violence in this position...
3  General Discussion / Religion & Philosophy / Re: What areas have the weakest ethno-religious identity attachments? on: January 07, 2014, 01:54:32 pm
Albania
4  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: University campus in Cairo torched by protesters on: December 30, 2013, 03:47:01 pm
One would think that the BBC would have at least the good sense to insert "claims to" before "Rejects use of violence and supports democratic principles".
5  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: At least 16 dead in Volgograd suicide bombing on: December 30, 2013, 03:41:11 pm
It has been suggested that these attacks are Saudi Arabia's answer to Russia's support for Assad. Considering where the Chechen terrorists get their funds from, it wouldn't be surprising.

As for the Chechens, if there are being murdered, at this point this is likely the actions of other Chechens. Putin has been quite adept at divide and rule here and the current rulers of Chechnya seem to have benefited as well, if this is any indication. If the Russian government had been as brutal in retaliating against terrorist attacks as some here seem to think, there would be a lot fewer Chechens now.
6  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Should Bashar al-Assad Remain in Power in Syria? on: December 30, 2013, 03:25:55 pm
No, but the idea of a Sunni theocracy in Syria is even less appealing. Perhaps dividing the country in several parts based on ethnicity might be a good idea, in which case Assad ruling an Alawite state would be more tolerable.
7  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Opinion of Conservapedia on: December 25, 2013, 06:40:44 pm
They've go so far that it's difficult to decide at this point whether they're serious or a parody. So either FF or HP, depending on perspective.
8  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Muslim Brotherhood named "terrorist" group by Egyptian authorities on: December 25, 2013, 06:26:11 pm
I'm surprised that they took so long to do this.
Good.

Why is this good? Do you have any further opinion on this matter, or was it just that important for you to make sure that everyone knew how you personally felt about this?
Do you think that it's bad? Because otherwise this comment is pretty pointless as well.
9  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: PPP: White Americans agree Santa is verifiably white & they like Megyn Kelly on: December 24, 2013, 07:49:50 am
Of course the guy itself does not exist.

But the claims by Megyn Kelly that Santa Claus is verifiably white are just as stupid as the claims that Jesus was verifiably white. Both were Middle Eastern man.

Wouldn't most "Middle Easterners" count as "white" according to the US Census bureau's definitions?

Yes, along with Iranians and Afghanstanis. Then again, that's the same Census Bureau which considers Chinese and Indians to be the same race.
Also, it doesn't seem that most Americans would consider Middle Easterners white. Unless of course they're integrated (as most Christian Arabs) in which case no one distinguishes them from whites. So Megyn Kelly is perhaps as not as preposterously wrong as some claim here...
10  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Pro-EU demonstrations in Ukraine on: December 09, 2013, 05:36:16 pm
It's good to see the Ukrainian people standing up to Russian intimidation. Russia has always since 1991 tried to uphold the premise that all the former Soviet SSR's are inherently Russia's sphere of influence (sans the Baltic states, of course)
Or maybe Russia is upholding the premise that a country can't join a free trade area with one trade block and expect to receive preferential treatment from a rival trade block. In fact, that pretty much what Barroso said earlier this year, though he meant it the other way around. And while an association with the far richer EU would be beneficial to the Ukraine, would it offset damages from worsened trade relations with Russia. Add the kind of conditions that Ukraine would probably have to accept from the IMF for a loan and the choice doesn't seem nearly as clearcut.

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and it's good to see Georgia and now the Ukrainians standing up to them.
In a country as polarized as Ukraine, statements such as these are about as meaningful as "America stood behind Bush in 2004", ie not at all. As for Georgia, "standing up" against Russia resulted in hundreds of casualties and tens of thousands of people permanently expelled, so perhaps such actions, however brave they may seem viewed from 10 thousand km away, shouldn't be emulated so rashly.

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The thing is in Eastern Ukraine there is a Russian preponderance with road signs in Russian, ect. so it's not going to be as clear cut.
Yes, if by preponderance you mean that over 80% of the population prefer to use Russian in daily life. But I don't think they are road signs in Russian, at least until recently. Until Yanukovich came to power, the Ukrainian had pursued a persistent Ukrainization policy and had made Ukrainian the only state language - including in the most strongly Russophone provinces of Ukraine (granted, the Crimea was practically an exception). This was changed by a law passed in 2012 which permitted provinces to use an additional language (not only Russian, incidentally) if it was widely spoken on their territory.

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I have always held that in the medium-term Russia is America's number one geo-political foe ( know, I know, I hate to sound like John Bolton) and think we should try to expand NATO membership to Georgia and work harder to undermine the regime in Belarus. I was quite disappointed when Democrats attacked Romney in 2012 for saying as much to be honest.
And when Georgia demands that NATO fulfills their treaty obligations and remove the Russian occupying troops (in Georgia's view) from Abkhazia and South Ossetia, what will happen then?
Also, Lukashenko being removed doesn't mean that Belarus will suddenly become a pro-Western country. Belarus is overwhelmingly Russian speaking, has little cultural differences with Russia and their national consciousness is fairly weak. So it's quite possible that Belarus might become even closer to Russia if Lukashenko is removed.
And Romney was right in the sense that if you want a country to be your foe, it will eventually become so. Why the US would want this to happen with Russia is another matter.
11  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Opinion of Bulgaria on: December 06, 2013, 01:45:23 pm
Not a nice result, but not surprising after the first comment. I don't think it's entirely fair to judge a country by a single criminal case, especially one that I suspect morgieb didn't really know that much about.
And thanks for the comments, dead0man and Snowstalker! Smiley
12  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Libya votes to adopt Sharia law on: December 06, 2013, 01:34:22 pm

I'd like to quote a part of the article here:

"Unlike codified Western law, Sharia is more loosely based on moral and legal guidelines of the Koran, the sayings of the Prophet Mohammed and Muslim traditions."
There's nothing loose about the way Sharia is carried out in Saudi Arabia and Iran. So at best you could say that Sharia can be loosely based on Islamic tradition. This doesn't mean, of course that Libya would be ruled in the same way, but it doesn't mean that Sharia should be whitewashed either. It's also interesting to see how effective the government would be in implementing this law with Libya being a near anarchy at the moment.
13  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: FIFA World Cup 2014 Qualifying on: December 06, 2013, 12:58:16 pm
Lots of deja vus this world cup. Six match-ups that happened last time (including Argentina - Nigeria for the fourth time) plus group H looking eerily like group H in 2002 (Russia, Belgium, an East Asian and a North African country).
14  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: FIFA World Cup 2014 Qualifying on: December 06, 2013, 12:25:00 pm
Looking at Manaus' climate in June (and in all other months for that matter), at least the English have a ready made excuse Wink
15  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: FIFA World Cup 2014 Qualifying on: December 06, 2013, 12:18:50 pm
Three groups of death! That's got to be a record.
Also, I did guess 2 out of 4 Smiley
16  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: FIFA World Cup 2014 Qualifying on: December 06, 2013, 11:53:31 am
Nice of the Brazilians to invite Alcides Ghiggia of all people. This is almost like the English inviting Maradona.
17  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Nelson Mandela has died on: December 06, 2013, 11:48:39 am
RIP For all his faults, he succeeded in carrying out a peaceful transition to black rule without using the opportunity to take revenge upon the whites (especially considering his long stay in prison)
.
Also nice to see that the rumors of anti-white pogroms in the case of Mandela's death were just that.
18  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: FIFA World Cup 2014 Qualifying on: December 06, 2013, 11:23:05 am
Personally, I'm rooting for a England Argentina Italy US group Wink
19  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: What do you prefer for Südtirol (South Tyrol) ? on: October 28, 2013, 02:58:47 am
Merged with Austria which in turn should merge with Germany.

And the Sudetenland?

No, considering there are virtually no Germans in the Sudetenland these days.
And there are virtually no Austrians who consider themselves German. Decades of creating an artificial Austrian national identity have been entirely successful.
20  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Peter King tells Obama to stop apologizing for NSA phone-tapping on: October 27, 2013, 03:31:38 pm
What happened with Republican anger about Obama not treating traditional allies with respect?
21  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: What do you prefer for Südtirol (South Tyrol) ? on: October 27, 2013, 02:12:15 pm
I really don't see any reason for South Tyrol not to rejoin Austria.
For one, I don't think that Austria will be prepared to give them the same generous benefits as Italy does. Also, South Tyrol has a substantial Italian and Ladin, which would be strongly against South Tyrol joining Austria, which could cause substantial problems. Note that the Italians are actually a majority in Bozen, the capital of South Tyrol and which is quite close to the southern border of the province. The South Tyrolians might find themselves without their capital if they attempt this...

Possible compromise: Cut off South Tyrol just north of Bozen, give Bozen and suburbs to Trentino and merge the rest of South Tyrol with North and East Tyrol as one new state of Austria with Innsbruck as the capital.

But ... would Austria even want South Tyrol back these days ?

Maybe a sizeable amount in the general population but I'll doubt you'll find more than a handful of politicians within the SPÖ or ÖVP that support it ...
That's probably because it is currently completely unrealistic. But if it becomes plausible, lots of supporters will suddenly appear.
22  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: What do you prefer for Südtirol (South Tyrol) ? on: October 27, 2013, 02:10:00 pm
Welschtirol should join Austria as well. Next up, Triest.
Then Slovenia Carniola and Venice. Then invite Karl von Habsburg to become the head of state...
23  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Dynamic US foreign relations on: October 27, 2013, 02:05:43 pm
It's surprising that relations with Egypt have worsened so much, considering the rather mild reaction of the US towards the coup. I suppose they wanted to be treated the same way Mubarak was. Incidentally, the US not condemning the coup too strongly is one of the reasons for the worsening relations with Turkey.
Incidentally, it's questionable whether the US relations with France worsened, considering how they humiliated themselves trying to catch Snowden...
24  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: What do you prefer for Südtirol (South Tyrol) ? on: October 27, 2013, 01:44:40 pm
I really don't see any reason for South Tyrol not to rejoin Austria.
For one, I don't think that Austria will be prepared to give them the same generous benefits as Italy does. Also, South Tyrol has a substantial Italian and Ladin, which would be strongly against South Tyrol joining Austria, which could cause substantial problems. Note that the Italians are actually a majority in Bozen, the capital of South Tyrol and which is quite close to the southern border of the province. The South Tyrolians might find themselves without their capital if they attempt this...
25  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Should the international media apologise for anti-Roma racism? on: October 27, 2013, 01:40:00 pm
Unless it's from a bottle, it's generally uncommon across humanity as a whole.

(Says the natural dark blond English man).
Yes, but I'm talking about Europe. In this context, blonde hair is rare in the Balkans, especially when compared with northern Europe.

Be careful not to give waltermitty more fodder for his signatures.  He's on some sort of hideous family photo kick just now.

I disagree with the assertion that the police acted correctly.  They weren't even profiling correctly.  They hassled, jailed, and embarrassed innocent people.  The newspapers, at least here, were just doing their jobs.  Moreover, the reporting ultimately led to a reminder to the general public that sometimes cops harass innocent people.  It is never a bad thing to remind the public of this fact. 
Do you mean the Greek police or Irish one? You are correct about the later, but the Greek police was certainly justified, as the people claiming to be the child's parents have obviously committed a crime. Buying children is only slightly less heinous than kidnapping them.
 

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Incidentally, that child's coloring is pretty much the same as mine, and her father's is pretty much the same as my father's.  (My paternal grandfather was born in Bulgaria and every Bulgarian I meet looks at me incredulously when they see my last name.  Sometimes they even say, "Well your name is Bulgarian but you don't look Bulgarian.  You look like you should have a German name.")  I didn't think about this growing up, but I imagine that folks probably looked at my father in a weird way when he and I were out and about.  As far as I know, we were never hassled by any authorities, and we did cross many international borders together when I was a child.
If you had been with your father when meeting Bulgarians, they would probably look even more incredulous, since this kind of skin color is even rarer among Bulgarians than the girl's skin color. I wouldn't be surprised if many assumed a sinister explanation for such a discrepancy. Then again, the family of the girl were apparently well known in their town and never investigated, so maybe it doesn't matter that much.
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