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News: Atlas Hardware Upgrade complete October 13, 2013.

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1  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: German Elections & Politics on: January 22, 2015, 06:14:28 am
It seems, that the "Pegida" movement ("Patriotic Europeans against the isliamisation of the occident" - yes, this is not made up by the Titanic or Postillon satire outfits), that has been dominating (poisoning) the news and political discourse in Germany for the last weeks is about to lose steam.

Since December several thousand people have been marching each Monday in Dresden under this banner, driven by fears of "islamisation", "foreign criminals",asylum seekers, "those damn politicians don't listen to us" etc. We all know the racist and antidemocratic standard phrases and the claim to represent the huge majority that is constituent of European right wing populism. Parts of CDU/CSU have been actually courting them ("One has to take the Ängste of the people serious"). They even have been given a forum in the rooms of the "state central for political education".
Civic society and engagement is weak in Eastern Saxony where the CDU (which is the most right wing of whole Germany) is dominating all branches of government and society, so protests against Pegida only attracted a few thousand people.

The export of the movement has not been very successful, where they mostly comprised of well known organized Nazis and Hooligans, while the Dresden head figures had been unknown to the public, before the movement started. Of course this also influenced their resprective agenda. While in Dresden the official statements have been more diffuse, demonstrations like Kögida (Colognians against...) or Legida "Leipzigers against..." have been much more vocal about their righteous Nazi agenda. And the protests against the Pegida offspring outnumbered them by far.
On the other hand the Dresden organizers try to distance from them to some extent and their also seem to be some pending lawsuits between Dresden and some other gidas.
So their seems to be a real East Saxonian moment in this protests, that underlines the often made points that the lack of a plural and vibrant civic society is fostering right wing populism.

This week now has seen several new developments - that also once more show the pure competence of the Dresden police department. One asylum seeker from Eritrea has been killed last Monday under obscure circumstances - and the first statement the police gave was, that they could absolutely rule out unlawful killing. After 30 hours they suddenly discovered knife stiches all over his body (that had been found bleeding before) and only after that the securing of traces began.

Also on monday they banned ALL demonstrations in Dresden, because of obscure alleged islamist terror threats against the Pegida Führer ... ähm... organisator Lutz Bachmann, as if there wasn't a civil right to demonstrate (or measures of personal security). This pumped up yesterday's Legida demonstration in Leipzig as a substitution for the hard core, that attracted around 6.000-8.000 (which is a tenth of what the organisers had claimed before), but also drew a vital and heavy anti-protest. (Leipzig obviously isn't Dresden, in many respects).
While Pegida leader Bachmann had been trying to distance himself from the more right-wing and violent Leipzig movement he had been supporting them now. And then the pictures and facebook comments went in that see him who claims not to be very right wing posing as the real Führer (with moustache and all) and calling refugees vermin and other very nice things, so he had to resign yesterday (but there others from the organisation circle, that have also come more to the public so Bachmann will probably not be missed (although his persona as an ex-criminal unemployed webdesigner that once fled to South Africa to evade prison has always been very funny concerning his stance against "mooching foreign criminals"). The other funny thing is, that the AfD announced Bachmann's resignation two hours before himself, which on the one hand highlights the connections between both and on the other hand don't know how to gostwrite a PM with the right letterhead is probably  the competence moment of the day.

2  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Germany: SPD Minister-President wants to turn his Land into a theocracy on: January 16, 2015, 09:26:42 am
The typical reference in German constitutions is à la "In (acknowledging) the (our) responsibilty in front of God and the humans/people (Menschen) the people (Volk/Bevölkerung) of xy has given itself this constitution". It is also part of the Grundgesetz and the formulas  of Thuringia and Saxony-Anhalt are following this model. It isn't that surprising, either, because they had black-yellow coalitions after 1990. The more surprising thing is, that the constitution of Saxony does not have a reference of this kind.

Saxony of course has other silly references like the margraviate of Meißen, the "lower Silesian area/territory" (that is actually a traditional part of Upper Lusatia annexed by Prussia in 1815 and then merged with Silesia). And of course it is based on the "traditions of Saxonian constitutional history" and is done "minding its own guilt for its past".
3  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: German Elections & Politics on: January 15, 2015, 01:16:42 am
Probably the media attention in the last week (traditional "Dreikönigstreffen" FDP party meeting at the 6th January and the "ARD is filming Katja Suding's (the Hamburg FDP top candidate) legs).
4  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Italy 2014-2015: Brace Yourselves, the Presidential Election is Coming on: January 14, 2015, 06:57:05 am
As I am too lazy to check the Italian constitution: What will happen now? (A presidential election, I guess, but what are the rules of nomination and election?)
5  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: CSU: Immigrants should speak German at home, CDU says LOLwhat ? on: December 16, 2014, 09:12:30 am
Tender, the main thing is, that "jemanden zu etwas anhalten" which was the wording of the original proposal etwas anderes ist als "jemanden zu etwas ermutigen".
6  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: German Elections & Politics on: December 05, 2014, 01:34:51 am
The election of the Thuringian Ministerpräsident (Prime minister) will be today. Red-red-green has a majority of just one seat, so it will be interesting, if there are any defections. Expect some constitutional and procedural shenanigans, if defections occur:

There would be three rounds of voting. In the first two rounds an absolute majority of all representatives would be needed. In the third round, the Thuringian state constitution (article 70) states, that the candidate with the most votes is elected. The CDU (and especially the new Landtag president Carius (CDU)) have been presenting creative interpretations of the constituion, the last days: They state, there had to be the possibility of explicitly voting "no", if there is only one contender in the third round because the Landtag rules of procedure say so and Ramelow could not be elected, if there were more "no" than "yes" votes.

Well, the constitution tells otherwise and there is some precedent from Schleswig-Holstein in the fifties, where an election of a minority PM occured under similar rules as the Thuringian constitution has. This also has an equivalent in the Grundgesetz (constitution) of Germany, as the Bundespräsident is allowed (but not has to) to appoint a chancellor that has got the most votes in the third round of voting, but not an outright majority.
 But of course, the Landtag's rules of procedure and the CDU's whish to block the election of the Left Party politician Ramelow are more important than the constitution. ;-)

The session is supposed to begin 10 o'clock am CET. MDR will broadcast the election.
7  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: English Proficiency Index: Danes are the best non-native English-speakers on: December 01, 2014, 04:52:43 am
The most outstanding are of course those sweet guttural sounds South Germans and Austrians do, if they use diminuitives. Noone here can pronounce "-erl" properly. ;-)
An Eichhörnchen isn't a cat, obviously. And only a comet has a Schweif.

"Kann es sein, dass Weibsvolk anwesend ist?" is the only way I could imagine a proper use of womenfolk. I think, Tender will get the reference. ;-)

I like it how the topic of this thread evolved into Austrian-German language differences.
8  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: English Proficiency Index: Danes are the best non-native English-speakers on: November 27, 2014, 01:53:54 am
(because it's the same word in German)
Well, the accurate German word is "Fahrstuhl", not to be mixed up with "driver's seat" - "Fahrersitz" ;-)
9  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Votes and elections in Switzerland on: November 25, 2014, 03:14:30 am
It is a brief analysis of the referendum results concerning "opening"/international integration of and immigration to Switzerland) classified by location ("Stadt" (urban) - orange/ "Agglomeration"  (suburban, metro area)/ - red "land" (rural) - grey). The results of each voting group are compared to the overall results (in percentage points)

The main point is that suburban voters have become more isolationist over time compared to the mean.
10  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: POLAND locals 2014 on: November 18, 2014, 08:08:24 am
I love that in Polish the word for mayor is actually Schultheiß. ;-) I did not know that.
11  Forum Community / Survivor / Re: SURVIVOR: Countries of Africa on: November 04, 2014, 04:31:16 am
3 Egypt
2 Sierra Leone
1 Malawi
12  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Opinion of the German President on: November 03, 2014, 07:41:11 am
Reactionary tool, warmonger, defintion of opportunism until 1989. When the civil rights movement had already succeeded he came out of the closet. And his concept of "freedom" is the most empty I ever encountered.

And he is taking all of Germany and Europe ransom for his trauma of his father dying in Soviet captivity.
13  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Austrian Elections & Politics on: October 23, 2014, 03:53:41 am
Oh, how I love this "Would you let them sleep in your own bed" strawman.
14  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Where would you rather want to live ? (Tender Branson edition) on: October 16, 2014, 05:44:11 am
The total darkness of Tromsø in the winter would drive me directly to suicide.
15  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Opinion of Christopher Columbus on: October 16, 2014, 01:19:45 am
Christopher Columbus is one of the most despicable human beings that has ever existed.
Probably not. Beware the Ides of Hyperbole!

How is that hyperbole?
To be fair, at first I read "the most despicable human being" and that would clearly qualify. But even your notion would heave Columbus on a podest of cruelty that he would share with several hundred thousand human beings, at least.

2. It's of course pretty comfortable to personalize the cruelty of colonialsm and state that it was that way, because Columbus was so vile.
16  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Euro 2016 Qualifying on: October 16, 2014, 12:50:28 am
Jokemany! Hahaha
A one-goal win against the total football superpower of Malta is not too impressive either. ;-)
17  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Opinion of Christopher Columbus on: October 14, 2014, 07:04:57 am
Christopher Columbus is one of the most despicable human beings that has ever existed.
Probably not. Beware the Ides of Hyperbole!
18  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Is the European Union project a threat to stability, democracy and peace? on: October 14, 2014, 03:01:15 am
Just no.

I'm very surprised every time, when  US-Americans, that have a federation with a strong role of the states (I'm oversimplifying, here), don't get it that European integration is a long-term process with difficult negotiations and sometimes backlashes, but has been an appealing goal for many Europeans for many decades.

There is a lack of democratic control in EU institutions, but the provisions of the Lisbon treaty have actually reduced this, as they strengthen the role of the EU parliament. (The revision of the treaty after the Irish "no" - that had not much to do with its actual provisions, anyway - helped the interests of the Irish government - like upholding the "every state must have its own commissioner" crap). But the main problem with democratic lack of control is not so much the commission's burocracy, but the national government's outsourcing all the unpopular stuff, that they want to do but not be held accountable for to the EU via the European Council and the Council of the European Union (where they gather themselves) and than blaming Brussels for it.

The European Integration project has actually helped stability, peace and prosperity in (Western and later Southern and Eastern) Europe, e.g. through free trade, giving a forum for negotiations and providing funds to help poorer regions. At the moment, it seems we are at a watershed: A joint currency actually needs joint fiscal, economic and social (European meaning)  policies to work in the long run. So several paths seem to be possible. The best probably would be to provide these joint policies, but most of the contemporary political class isn't very visionary, fearing the loss of influence in their petty national states and the rise of euroscepticist populism (that they are actually firing up by bad policy decisions, communication and using the comfortable option of blaming Brussels for everything. The other point is, weither such joint policies (e.g. transfering competences to the European level) would need more common European political culture and discourse (that is slowly developing via the instrument of the European Citizens' initiative and the strengthened role of the parliament, but it will take time, until people notice that.

The second possibility would be some rollback of the integration, but their is no easy level to return to as integration has been in flow permanently and the process in different spheres has been intertwined for the last 25 years. And their really is no precedent how to accomplish a smooth disintegration. The most I can think of is actually some split in the EURO currency if the costs of keeping it would get out of control totally. Some egoisms could be appeased by giving some other competences back to the states, but where to go? It won't be something interfering with the EG/EU "common standard in a common market" approach. It won't be the agaric sector, because that would be highly unpopular with a core constituency of the centre-right parties in the long run. There is not much room for feasible returns of security policies in the environment of "international terrorism" and "international crime" (Actually much could be done to improve the cooperation between the normal police on different sides of intra-Schengen borders).

The third possibility would be having some kind of both as is often adressed with the slogan of a "Europe of different speed levels": Having a core Euro-zone that is integrating further politically and economically while having a bunch of others where only the common market things apply. (Actually, the provisions of EURO currency introduction and the Schengen treaty, that is not part of the EU treaties already follow this part.)
19  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Opinion of Genghis Khan? on: October 09, 2014, 12:36:26 am
All I have to contribute: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B_ZKxA25nk8
20  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: maoist, trotskyst, moderate...but where are stalinist parties ? on: October 08, 2014, 04:31:49 am
The main question is, in which category you would put "unreformed orthodox" "parties" with an "antirevisionist" tendency, like the KPD, that was founded in the GDR in 1990 and still exists.

21  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Official 2014-15 Club Soccer/Football Discussion Thread on: October 08, 2014, 12:52:59 am
They should have fired the whole management responsible for hiring the players and so on instead of the coach.
22  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Polish parliamentary election, 2015 on: October 02, 2014, 04:00:31 am
Ah, I probably mixed KPN up with KNP and then thought the words "catholic" and "national" would be in both. So I totally screwed that up.

Once upon a time I even new some random right wing libertarian Korwin-Mikke supporter.
23  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Polish parliamentary election, 2015 on: October 02, 2014, 12:44:47 am
Is KNP a renamed LPR or "only" a similar outfit?
24  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: German Elections & Politics on: September 30, 2014, 12:44:42 am
And is Left-SPD-AfD coalition viable?
Just no!
25  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Sweden election results thread (Sept 14, 2014) on: September 26, 2014, 03:20:52 am
This has probably been asked before, though in other wording, but why is there this political divide between the parts, that had been danish in medieval and early modern times (Skane and the western coast) and the rest?
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