Star Control Discussion Board

All About Star Control => Off Topic => Topic started by: Lukipela on November 26, 2007, 10:11:02 pm

Title: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: Lukipela on November 26, 2007, 10:11:02 pm
As Sed said (I love saying that), the only thing that riles a forum up as much as religion is politics. So in a pre-emptive strike, I set this up for future use. Feel free to post about anything from Australian elections (Boo Howard) to if the 2nd amendment should cover tasers. Also Palestine and Georgians praying for rain.
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: Eth on November 27, 2007, 01:50:46 am
  The American presidential race is always a guilty pleasure for me.  I love the horse race!  I was really hoping that Al Gore would throw his hat into the ring, but it appears that he's far too sane to involve himself in another election.   :'(

  (Former Senator) John Edwards is looking pretty good to me (I'm a registered Democrat, so I get to vote in the Democratic primary) because of his stance on poverty.  He appears to be the only major candidate who's interested in the lower classes.  Senator Barack Obama has the advantage, in my eyes, of having a consistent stance against the Iraq War.  Senator Hillary Clinton (the current front-runner in the polls) strikes me as a bought-at-paid-for political hack, an old-guard corporatist Democrat.  I would dearly love to see her lose the nomination, but will (grudgingly) support her if she is triumphant. 

  Of the Republicans, (former New York mayor) Guiliani would be a hoot.  That many has more scandals in his background than I can even count, and I love a political scandal almost as much as I love an election.  Mike Huckabee doesn't stand a chance, but he's a fascinating picture, a religiously conservative populist in the William Jennings Bryan mold.  He could represent the new face of the Republican party, once its done reinventing itself after its recent reversals (and retirements en masse). 

  Sorry to bore the foreigners with all of this provincial stuff, but I'm a compelte election junky, and, well, you asked for it. 
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: Lukipela on November 27, 2007, 08:02:40 am
Guiliani scares me. He sounds absolutely crazy at times, and seems to be riding hard on the "Dem der terrorists" wave. And Clinton just seems a bit fake. I like Obama personally, but I don't know that much about him.
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: Zeracles on November 27, 2007, 09:15:24 am
Sorry to bore the foreigners with all of this provincial stuff, but I'm a compelte election junky, and, well, you asked for it. 
I'm amazed at how much of a role religion seems to play in politics over there, does it seem odd to anyone over there too? Or is this view not accurate? In the Australian election we just had over the weekend, religion was of no consequence.

Go democrats. I think I like them. Someone who wasn't going to bother voting, vote democrat for me :)
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: Lukipela on November 27, 2007, 12:21:00 pm
Sorry to bore the foreigners with all of this provincial stuff, but I'm a compelte election junky, and, well, you asked for it. 
I'm amazed at how much of a role religion seems to play in politics over there, does it seem odd to anyone over there too? Or is this view not accurate? In the Australian election we just had over the weekend, religion was of no consequence.

I concur. In Finland there is very little religion in the political arena. Sometimes someone will suggest that all those darkies need to go back home with their heathen religions and their inherent violence, but then some proper Finn stabs someone or other, and people get distracted. It amazes me how public many Americans like to go with their God.
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: FreakyM on November 27, 2007, 01:46:40 pm
Well, we had our first proper school shooting a while back.. that should silence the "racist!" accusations for a while.
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: Eth on November 27, 2007, 05:31:25 pm
How does a school shotting silence accusations of racism?

Guiliani scares me. He sounds absolutely crazy at times, and seems to be riding hard on the "Dem der terrorists" wave.

He's scare me if I thought he had a snowball's chance in hell of being elected.  I find him hilariously disgusting, myself. 

Quote
And Clinton just seems a bit fake.

She's a triangulator, just like her husband.  She mistakes "doing the least offensive thing" with "leadership."

Quote
I like Obama personally, but I don't know that much about him.

I cautiously approve of him.  He has little in the way of governing experience, and hasn't been showing as much leadership in the Senate as I think he should.  The man has a tremendous soapbox in the form of his presidential campaign; he should be using that power to accomplish things in the Senate.  He also has the advantage of a huge small-donor fundraising base, which means that he will (in theory) be more beholden to the people  than to corporate interests.  Clinton is just the opposite. 

The religious thing, I believe rises out of the 1950's-1980's anti-communist crusades.  Now, obviously the capitalist/democratic vs. communist clash was chiefly over political and economic ideology, but one of the pillars of communism was the abolishment of religion.  Politicians in the US, to prove their anti-communist credentials, had to make clear that they were religious.  The current climate is pretty much just a holdover of those times, I think. 
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: Sedodes on November 28, 2007, 07:38:44 am
As Eth pointed out, the communist/democracy thing really impacted religion in politics.  The last thing you want to do is suggest the abolishment of religion in the face of a country founded by Protestants.  After all, they left Europe to pursue their own punishing religious fanaticism.

Aside from that, it really resurfaced hardcore recently.  When Bill Clinton was elected religion wasn't really that big of a deal.  Then the Republican party realized they could grab a bunch of votes by pandering to the Born Again Christians and have been focusing on religiousizing politics ever since.

The rub is that now it's old-hat.  Christians are jumping the Republican party ship for various reasons, not the least of which is that they see they've been duped.  After all, it's hard to believe the importance of your great Christian leader when he's doing numerous things antithetical to your religious beliefs.

The funny thing is that the importance of religion in American politics is cyclical.  Every now and then, for about a decade or so, it's a central aspect and people are voted into office based solely on their religious beliefs.  Then, when people realize how goddamn stupid and unconstitutional that was and a mess has to be cleaned up, religion is unimportant for a couple decades until everything is forgotten.

We Americans have short memories.  This isn't Europe where there are castle ruins laying about that are over a thousand years old which get a lot of viewing.  We only have a few hundred years of history, most of which is only vaguely remembered and the actual physical parts thereof inaccessible to the majority of Americans.  We're amazed about restoring buildings to how they looked 80 years ago.
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: Eth on November 28, 2007, 03:30:29 pm
Hah!  Giuliani's finished.  From The Politico (http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1107/7073.html):
Quote
As New York mayor, Rudy Giuliani billed obscure city agencies for tens of thousands of dollars in security expenses amassed during the time when he was beginning an extramarital relationship with future wife Judith Nathan in the Hamptons, according to previously undisclosed government records.

If there's anything more interesting to Americans than religion, it's sex.  Giuliani basically made the taxpayers finance his extramarital affairs.  His campaign is, as of today, dead in the water, in my opinion. 

Luki can breathe a sigh of relief.   :)
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: Lukipela on November 29, 2007, 07:42:57 am
How does a school shotting silence accusations of racism?

Because he was a white, normal finnish kid. A bit of a nerd, slightly intorverted, but otherwise normal. So according to our amazing logic, those people are the threat now, and will remain so until someone gets stabbed by a somali. Don't think it'l llast long though, the newspapers here have a very short attention span.
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: Bleeding Star on December 19, 2007, 07:15:20 am
Quote
A bit of a nerd, slightly intorverted.... those people are the threat now...

Steer clear of Lukipela! He's about to expoooooooooooooode!

Quote
How does a school shotting silence accusations of racism?

You just shoot all the people accusing you of racism. Obviously.
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: FreakyM on December 20, 2007, 03:31:36 pm
Just noticed, a thread about politics and I haven´t even invoked Godwin´s law yet.

Hitler.

There.
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: Eth on December 20, 2007, 08:25:28 pm
  Well, it wasn't even a page long.  If you'd given it time, Godwin's Law would likely have been invoked naturally. 
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: Scott_Irving on December 20, 2007, 10:43:14 pm
politics make me sick, If I had my way I would overthrow our corrupt government and put me in place a true galactic dominator, um I mean prime minister.

To be truthful if I had my way I would move to some remote place. Be self sufficient and not have to worry about any government at all. Escape the endless taxes on every blessed thing, escape the fees for this and for that, and what might be, and so on and so on etc etc etc. To bad I don't think there is anywhere left on the planet a person could do that.
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: Zeracles on December 21, 2007, 01:48:35 am
We should put scientists in charge (c.f. Asimov's Foundation (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Foundation_Series)). Clearly we astronomers should be at the top of the new technocracy, government needs a good view of the big picture :)
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: Lukipela on December 27, 2007, 12:10:28 pm
We should put scientists in charge (c.f. Asimov's Foundation (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Foundation_Series)). Clearly we astronomers should be at the top of the new technocracy, government needs a good view of the big picture :)

And then have the evolved mind readers be in charge of the scientists? Sounds like a good setup, if you can read minds.

I'm pretty satisfied with our system actually. Sure, we pay a lot of taxes, but we are given a lot as well. our politicians can be blundering dunderheads, but no system is perfect.
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: Valaggar Redux on December 27, 2007, 01:06:23 pm
A healthy society can only be one that heeds the Word of the Gods. Verily I speak unto ye, this rotten world of yours shall soon be unmade and made anew for its disbelief and evil. And it shall come to pass that the Twin Gods rule the new Earth, and I, Their faithful Inquisitor, shall be at Their right, ever ready to fulfill Their commandments.

In that time will the deeds of the dead and the living be judged, and only those righteous who trod upon the Path of Star Control shall be found worthy of eternal life, and the evildoers shall be cast unto the lake of fire and burning SCNot3 CDs, where there are but bugs and wailing and gnashing of teeth. Amen.
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: Eth on January 05, 2008, 11:17:58 am
  Well, the Iowa caucuses were a couple of days ago.  Due to arcane reasons I can barely understand, let alone explain, these are very important for determining the presidential nominee for each party.  American democracy is very old, and very silly. 

  Barack Obama was the clear winner for the Democrats, with Edwards and Clinton fighting over second and third places, respectively.  Clinton's in third!  Clinton's in third!  Yay! 

  Giuliani is indeed finished, with single percentage point results, just as I predicted earlier in this thread.  Huckabee won.  The Republican Party establishment HATES Huckabee, as his brand of religious conservatism is the kiss of death in the general election.  It's fun as hell to watch the Republican Party's coalition start self-destructing. 

  In a few days we have the New Hampshire primary, another Very Important Event.  Stay tuned!
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: Lukipela on January 06, 2008, 07:52:03 am
This whole pre-election election thing you guys have is really weird to me. It's like there are two elections, one with loads of candidates and one with just two. Just out of interest, do any third part candidates run fro president, and what is required of them to get their name on the ballot?
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: Eth on January 06, 2008, 10:26:40 am
  Third party candidates do run, but they rarely get a signifigant percentage of the vote, and even more rarely win, at least in the national elections.  Third party winners are more common in state and local elections.  There are two third-party US senators right now, but the last third party president that I can recall was Theodore Roosevelt, about a century ago. 

  The ballot requirement vary from state to state, I believe, but they generally require a certain number of signatures from registered voters to get a candidate on the ballot.  Generally here in Oregon I've seen candidates from the Constitution, Green, and Libertarian parties on the presidential ballot. 

  I have to say that the more I find out about Obama, the better I like him.  I'm actually having second thoughts about Edwards now.  Edwards is a fighter, and I am spoiling for a fight myself, but Obama may be more appealing to voters with his message of hope and an end to partisan infighting. 
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: Lukipela on January 06, 2008, 11:57:11 am
DO third party candidates need to get these signatures or whatever from every state for the presidential election? I mean, coudl someone get enough signatures in all states but Alaska, run and win?
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: Zeracles on January 07, 2008, 12:58:08 pm
Look out, Luki's thinking of running!
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: Eth on January 07, 2008, 02:46:37 pm
I mean, coudl someone get enough signatures in all states but Alaska, run and win?

  I don't see why not.  Alaska doesn't provide very many electoral votes. 
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: Lukipela on January 08, 2008, 09:56:38 am
Look out, Luki's thinking of running!

I doubt I could screw up worse than the current guy ;)

  I don't see why not.  Alaska doesn't provide very many electoral votes. 

I t just sems unfair somehow, having a president that part of the country couldn't even vote for. I mean, they'd have to vote against him or not vote at all, and what if they liked him?

So if I'm reading you right, a third party candidate should really focus on getting to the ballot only in the big states, and ignore smaller ones?
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: Eth on January 08, 2008, 11:29:49 am
  I don't see why not.  Alaska doesn't provide very many electoral votes. 

I t just sems unfair somehow, having a president that part of the country couldn't even vote for. I mean, they'd have to vote against him or not vote at all, and what if they liked him?

So if I'm reading you right, a third party candidate should really focus on getting to the ballot only in the big states, and ignore smaller ones?

Just because it is possible in theory, doesn`t mean it would ever really happen in practice.  Any candidate with a prayer of winning at the national level would have no trouble getting enough signatures in each state.  The trick isn`t getting on the ballot, it`s getting votes!
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: Lukipela on January 13, 2008, 08:19:01 am
Just because it is possible in theory, doesn`t mean it would ever really happen in practice.  Any candidate with a prayer of winning at the national level would have no trouble getting enough signatures in each state.  The trick isn`t getting on the ballot, it`s getting votes!

Oh no, of course not. I just find a system designed that way slightly unnerving. Still, if you want to run, it'd be wise to spend your campaign money in the big states, because those are the important votes.

Oh, and Clinton won in New Hampshire. Too bad.
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: Eth on January 13, 2008, 08:21:28 am
  Yeah, that was disappointing.  McCain won there, too.  I think that he could actually give Clinton a run for her money in the General Election, so NH was the worst possible result, "electibility-wise."
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: Lukipela on February 26, 2008, 10:29:17 am
So, the democrats election looks exciting. I wonder who will go up against McCain? Maybe Nader? :)
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: Eth on February 27, 2008, 02:04:32 am
  Yes, it certainly has been exciting.  I think that if Clinton can win Texas or Ohio, she might be able to stay in the race.  If she loses both of them, she's toast.  Personally, I think she's toast anyway.  Obama's steamrolling her (nicely, of course!).

  I don't think that Nader will be an important factor.  Despite what some of the blow-hards on TV say, I don't think that America is begging to be swept off her feet by a third-party in 2008.  Especially not by an asshole like Nader.  I used to love the guy, but he's acted in a completely irresponsible manner lately. 
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: Lukipela on March 03, 2008, 11:34:46 am
  Yes, it certainly has been exciting.  I think that if Clinton can win Texas or Ohio, she might be able to stay in the race.  If she loses both of them, she's toast.  Personally, I think she's toast anyway.  Obama's steamrolling her (nicely, of course!).

Over here they are saying that it looks like Clinton had no plan after Super Tuesday. Would you say that is right?
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: Eth on March 03, 2008, 08:38:29 pm
  Her plan is and has always been the same Clinton Plan that her old man used: 1. Focus on the swing states.  2.  Triangulate.  3.  Build personal power base. 

  Obama's plan is the same as Howard Dean's plan.  1. Focus on all 50 states.  2.  Build party infrastructure.
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: Lukipela on March 06, 2008, 09:16:50 am
And Clinton pulls forward.
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: Eth on March 06, 2008, 11:12:38 am
  She still doesn't have as many delegates as Obama.  But yes, a very impressive performance the other day.  She's still in the running!
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: Dabir on March 09, 2008, 01:45:37 pm
Here's some reassuring news from Britain, for all those breaking down into despair at America's democracy: A local council has taken a decision recently. It doesn't matter what, except that it wasn't necessarily either good or bad. One week later, they held a consultation meeting with local residents into what they thought a decision that had already been made should be.

Also, Liverpool is the European Capital of Culture '08. So far it's been a farce. Go figure.
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: Eth on March 09, 2008, 02:12:46 pm
Here's some reassuring news from Britain, for all those breaking down into despair at America's democracy: A local council has taken a decision recently. It doesn't matter what, except that it wasn't necessarily either good or bad. One week later, they held a consultation meeting with local residents into what they thought a decision that had already been made should be.

Um...  yeah.  We recently suspended habeus corpus here in America.  I really wish we had your problems. 

Quote
Also, Liverpool is the European Capital of Culture '08. So far it's been a farce. Go figure.

Never been there, but that sounds about right.  Still, farces are cultural, aren't they?
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: Lukipela on March 11, 2008, 08:17:06 am
Um...  yeah.  We recently suspended habeus corpus here in America.  I really wish we had your problems. 

Also, you've built an unsustainable economy on cheap energy

Quote
Also, Liverpool is the European Capital of Culture '08. So far it's been a farce. Go figure.

Never been there, but that sounds about right.  Still, farces are cultural, aren't they?
[/quote]

Åbo is going to be Capital of Culture 2011 I think. Which is nice, because now they are renovating all the charming soviet style houses in the city centre.
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: Eth on March 11, 2008, 11:52:19 am
  I've never heard Soviet-style architecture described as "charming" before.   :D What makes it charming?
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: Lukipela on March 13, 2008, 08:19:16 am
  I've never heard Soviet-style architecture described as "charming" before.   :D What makes it charming?

Heaps of sarcasm.

Oh, and the knowledge that some of those houses weren't ugly to start with, but had their façades torn down and refitted in the seventies to look more "modern" and "progressive" by local red politicians.
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: Eth on March 14, 2008, 01:10:08 am
  I've never heard Soviet-style architecture described as "charming" before.   :D What makes it charming?

Heaps of sarcasm.

Ah, good.  I thought maybe there was some shining beacon of Soviet aesthetics that had (thus far) escaped my notice.  Mind you, the futurist art was pretty interesting, but the architecture?  Blech!
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: Bleeding Star on March 14, 2008, 01:59:48 am
I love the fact that there is a "neo-brutalist" architectural style.
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: Lukipela on March 14, 2008, 10:33:07 am
I always wondered about he Soviet architecture style. Does anyone know any good books about the subject, or the general idea behind it? I mean, even if your goal is to build an equal paradise, why do your buildings have to be so damned ugly?

Also in politics, Finnish minister Ilkka Kanerva has (once again) been burnt for sending hundreds of text message to some young blonde erotic dancer. Who is also apparently in a porno (although not doing hardcore things). The tabloids are having a field day. Between Kanerva and our Prime Minister Vanhanen suing his ex-girlfriend for publishing some of their text messages in her biography, Finnish politics are becoming increasingly annoying.
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: Lukipela on March 26, 2008, 10:45:44 am
The AU seems to be showing it's front feet (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/mar/26/1?gusrc=rss&feed=networkfront) for once. They seem to have had a lot of help from France though. And the Comoros really is an easy place to clear up compared to the other places they are supposed to be helping.
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: Rider on March 27, 2008, 12:02:51 am
Quote
So far we have no dead or wounded to lament.

Their words and the images seem to contradict one-an-other. It's also very funny that the guy got out dressed as a woman. It's very Hollywood ;D
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: Lukipela on March 27, 2008, 09:34:33 am
Yeah, almost every image from there seems to be of beaten bleeding men in the streets. As for the whole woman thing, that might just as well be propaganda to make him look weak.

And South Africa continues the "Let our brethren kill each other" policy, how nice.
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: Eth on March 27, 2008, 11:25:31 am
I rather doubt they see themselves as "brethren."
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: Lukipela on March 27, 2008, 11:34:06 am
I don't know, the main reason for South Africa opposing any action on Mugabe doesn't seem to be anything other than "Well he used to be a fighting brother against the oppressors". Maybe he did a ot fo good opposing previous regimes, but by now he really is insane.

Of course South Africa isn't doing well anyway, protecting themselves against HIv with soapy water, herbs and all manners of gobblegook.

But point taken, perhaps brethren was a bad word. Neighbours? Continental fellows?
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: Lukipela on April 19, 2008, 09:20:59 am
Bumping this with some Finnish new for all you internationally minded people.

Finnish Foreign minister Ilkka Kanerva, who got into trouble messaging an erotic dancer has ben replaced. This is historical in Finnish history, as it's the first time a minister has to leave his post because of a personal scandal rather than a political one Kanerva himself feels that he has done no wrong, that the media has houdned him and that his party leader Katainen has stabbed him in the back. Replacing him is a young (40) minister, Stubb who is more EU and NATO friendly, and not as hot on our very special relationship with Russia.

In between Kanervas text messaging and our prime minister suing his ex girlfriend for writing a book called "The Prime Ministers Bride" and publishing his text messages to her, I'm starting to wish Nokia hadn't made text messaging a reality. At least then, I'd have some real news to read.

In other news, the examination of the Jokela massacre is now completed. Unsurprisingly, it turns out the gunman was severly bullied, and slightly psychotic. Interestingly he apparently spared some younger students.
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: Eth on April 19, 2008, 12:33:05 pm
In between Kanervas text messaging and our prime minister suing his ex girlfriend for writing a book called "The Prime Ministers Bride" and publishing his text messages to her, I'm starting to wish Nokia hadn't made text messaging a reality. At least then, I'd have some real news to read.
I see that the Finnish press is taking its cues from the American press.  You wouldn't believe that incredibly trivial nonsense that passes for political reporting on the TV here.  It's completely absurd. 
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: Lukipela on April 20, 2008, 09:52:24 am
The tabloids have been for this for quite a while, but during the latest scandal even the big serious papers picked it up and ran with it. I'm not sorry Kanerva is gone, as he's pulled this kind of stuff before, but I do wish our national paper could focus a bit more on more relevant issues.
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: Lukipela on April 29, 2008, 12:14:30 am
Man you americans have crazy elections. How are people even going to be awake for the proper election if the primaries take up this much energy?
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: Eth on April 29, 2008, 08:23:58 am
  They're not usually this crazy.  This one seems to have started early, and Obama hasn't successfully sealed the deal yet, so it keep going.  Clinton only has a very small chance of winning the presidency now, but I guess that's more than most people get. 
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: Lukipela on May 05, 2008, 10:29:50 am
It just seems like reasonable adults could come to some better agreement in this situation than "Lets do the mudslinging for McCain".
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: Zeracles on May 05, 2008, 10:45:11 am
It can't be healthy for a country's government to be paralysed one year in every four. If that's the effect these elections have. Or is it just this one? Maybe it is, for various reasons, but all the same these elections seem a horrible waste of dollars and nervous energy.
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: Eth on May 05, 2008, 10:52:04 am
These elections are the only thing keeping the political class accountable.  I'm pretty sure that have some sort of oligarchy would be a lot less healthy. 

It just seems like reasonable adults could come to some better agreement in this situation than "Lets do the mudslinging for McCain".
It has gotten pretty ugly, for a primary.  Clinton's desperate, so she's pulling out all the stops.  That seems to be having the effect of causing her to lose support, however. 
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: Lukipela on May 05, 2008, 10:59:00 am
It can't be healthy for a country's government to be paralysed one year in every four. If that's the effect these elections have. Or is it just this one? Maybe it is, for various reasons, but all the same these elections seem a horrible waste of dollars and nervous energy.

I agree. We elect a president every six years, and the parliament every four years, but even though the political campaigns and such begin a year or so in advance, they aren't as all encompassing.

To give us something  else to ponder, Finnish PM Matti Vanhanen answered a question regarding whether he is worried about the class divide in our society with something along the lines of "We don't really have poor people, only jealous ones".

Oh and Eth, isn't Obama answering at least partly? He also seemed to place his foot firmly in his mouth with that whole "religious white gun nuts" schtick.
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: Eth on May 05, 2008, 01:39:07 pm
  Your PM sounds like a moron to me, but I don't really know what the state of income disparity is in Finland, so I guess I'm not one to judge. 

  Obama's not going nearly as negative as Clinton is.  I guess he made some comments about poor midwesterners being "bitter" about their jobs being shipped to China and India.  The media went nuts about it.  I try not to pay attention to such substanceless "issues," myself. 
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: Lukipela on May 10, 2008, 09:46:27 am
  Your PM sounds like a moron to me, but I don't really know what the state of income disparity is in Finland, so I guess I'm not one to judge.

For some reason our current PM seems to embody the finnish stereotype of someone who just wants to get the job done and deosn't want to spend time blabbering about things. this is fine when you weld metal arcs or something, but not quite as great when you're leading the country and telling the newspaper that you don't see why they can't just leave the goverment to do it's job and stop making such a fuss about things.

In regards to income disparity, we had a recession i nthe 90s that hit people pretty bad. It was handled extremely badly and left a lot of people in debt. Other than that, it's mostly arguing about unemployment. As you know we soft hearted sissies don't just leave the sick and unemployed to die in the streets, but rather try to support them until they get back on their feet. The welfare checks haven't grown as quickyl as the economy though (do they ever), which means peopel who are already in a bad situation are ending up worse and worse. But hey, we need to buy expensive helicopters to frighten the russians and pay our farmers insane amounts of money, so what can you do?

Quote
  Obama's not going nearly as negative as Clinton is.  I guess he made some comments about poor midwesterners being "bitter" about their jobs being shipped to China and India.  The media went nuts about it.  I try not to pay attention to such substanceless "issues," myself. 

His campaign is looking up again, and it really doesn't look like he can lose. I'm not sure why Clinton is still hanging on anymore. Although that preacher gave me a bit of a scare, what a PR nightmare.
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: Dabir on May 10, 2008, 11:24:27 am
You mean Huckabee? From what I've seen, his only remaining purpose is the following joke:
"Hey, did you hear the one about Mike Huckabee becoming the President of America?"
"Ahahahahaha."
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: Lukipela on May 10, 2008, 11:31:21 am
No I meant Obamas preacher, the guy who thinks AIDS is a US invention and so on and so forth. Not a nice thing to have pop up in the middle of your campaign.
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: Eth on May 10, 2008, 02:33:58 pm
  Yeah.  He's a jerk.  I thought that Obama handled that situation as well as he could have, though.  I doubt that it will have much impact in the general election.  You can bet that the Republicans will throw every crazy allegation they can think of at him, though.   :P

  The situation with Hillary is complicated.  Her campaign is in debt. I suspect that she's trying to get Obama to pay off her campaign's debt so that she will drop out of the race.  This, of course, means that Obama would have less money going into the general election against McCain.  The alternative is for Obama to keep campaigning against Clinton, which will also cost him money, and mean that he can't focus against McCain.  I suspect that Obama will call Clinton's bluff, but just start ignoring her after the next primary (in my home state of Oregon). 
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: Lukipela on May 12, 2008, 10:25:03 am
Seeing as I'm getting slightly bored with the Us election, howsabout that Ahern Bleeding Star? Do you think he took bribes?
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: Eth on May 20, 2008, 09:36:32 am
  Well, I just voted today in Oregon's primary election.  I spent a good hour, last night, talking Rachel into voting for Obama.  Whew!  That was a close one!

  Oh, and that stuff about Hillary's campaign debt?  I was wrong about that.  It would be illegal for Obama's campaign to donate more than ~$2000 to her campaign. 
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: Bleeding Star on May 20, 2008, 11:53:40 am
Quote
Lukipela says:
Seeing as I'm getting slightly bored with the Us election, howsabout that Ahern Bleeding Star? Do you think he took bribes?

Ah, shit, I don't follow Irish politics. Consensus seems to be that he's guilty, but I think people are losing interest now that he's stepped down.
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: Dabir on May 30, 2008, 05:13:17 am
Greetings from Britain, home to the mot multicultural city in the world, London! In Stoke, however, it's a different story. The regional Labour party there is doing so badly that the (97% white and mostly working-class, so unlikely to vote Conservative or Lib Dem) population is now on the brink of electing - gasp! - the BNP. That's the British Nationalist Party. Not to be confused with the SNP, the Scottish National Party, which wants independance from England (England's closest equivalent is the Europe-hating UK Independence party), the BNP is now shorthand for racists. Propaganda example:
"Stoke in 1930s: [Picture of Stoke in 1930s, all church and happy women chatting over fences]
Stoke in 2012 if Labour stays in power: [picture of four Muslim women in niqabs giving two fingers to the camera, in front of a background of mosques etc.]
*insert messages about housing for immigrants being prioritised over housing for natives (lie)*"
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: Eth on May 30, 2008, 10:05:35 am
  How dreadful.  Sounds like America.   :P
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: Lukipela on June 01, 2008, 08:58:21 am
the BNP is really a plight upon your land. I find it fascinating that a lot of you folks are anti Europe enough to vote for those madmen.
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: Eth on June 01, 2008, 12:05:00 pm
Blight, Luki, a blight upon their land. 
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: Dabir on June 02, 2008, 12:46:27 pm
Not necessarily anti-Europe, that's Ukip. But let's face it, Labour hasn't exactly been doing a good job of it. Recently the incumbent Labour Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, was voted out and replaced with this (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boris_Johnson) man, the remarkable bicycle-loving Boris Johnson. It's just another step in the steady slide into chaos that, coupled with a shocking rate of data loss through mislaying of disks, led then-acting-leader of the Liberal Ineffectual Democrat party Vince Cable to describe Gordon Brown as having made a "remarkable transformation in the last few weeks from Stalin to Mr Bean." I'm sure you've all heard of both these notable figures. Vince Cable seemed to rather enjoy being acting leader.

The Lib Dems themselves have been particularly unlucky recently. Up until two years ago the leader was Charles Kennedy, and they were doing rather well, except Charlie, as everyone knew, was a drunk. He didn't admit it though, and we all loved him anyway. However, when he declared that he was a "recovering alchoholic", he was given the boot, the sack and the push (officially he resigned), and was replaced with the aging Sir Menzies (MING-iss) Campbell. Campbell lasted a year, and the next leadership contest was between Chris Huhne and Nick Clegg. These two men had almost identical policies, beliefs and backgrounds. At the time I predicted Nick Clegg, on the basis that his name was easier to remember. Lo and behold, Clegg became the new leader. The Conservative party has had more rapid successive changes of leadership, but not yet one that read like some sort of send-up of their internal politics as much as Clegg vs Huhne.
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: Eth on June 06, 2008, 12:53:10 pm
  Well, the American primaries are essentially over now, and let me just say that they were the best I have ever experienced!  The Republicans fielded a carful of clowns, absolute clowns!  They self-destructed, one after another, until finally, John McCain was left, swaying slightly, with a dazed expression on his wrinkled gob. 

  Meanwhile, the Democrats had a field of absolute brilliance: Edwards, Obama, Clinton, Richardson... and our own clown, Kucinich.  They battled it out 'till the very end, energizing each state in the union as the lines of battle were drawn again and again.  The party's infrastructure is looking fine, mighty fine. 

  All in all, very exciting, very entertaining, and it's looking very good for the Democratic Party.  I feel reasonably confident that we can take the White House, and extremely confident that we will increase our leads in the House and Senate. 
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: Lukipela on April 15, 2009, 08:47:10 pm
So now that Obama has been in charge for a while, what does our american brethren think? Change, or just the same old? On the international level he's done quite well, opening up for contacts with Iran and gently chiding us lazy europeans for our "We will not place any of our NATO combat troops in any dangerous area ever" stance. He even managed to diplomatically tell the Turks that they committed genocide on the Armenians without anyone getting too upset.

But I know very little about internal american politics? Is there change? Free health care? More taxes? How do you guys feel about your new president?
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: fossaman on April 15, 2009, 08:55:08 pm
The area where I live is getting about 4000 new jobs because of this stimulus nonsense. So that'll be good.

Other than that, though, I have yet to see changes that directly affect my life.
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: Eth on April 16, 2009, 12:53:35 am
  I'm a heckuva lot less miserable and paranoid all the time, I can tell you that.  There have been positive moves on the budgetary front, but I doubt I'll see any direct impact for another year.  We're waiting on a bill making it easier for employees to unionize, and some sort of better health care policy.  Health care costs are completely out of control.  I've been stuck in the same dead-end job for nine years because I daren't leave the employer-provided health insurance.  I would love to be able to be self-employed at get decent insurance, but that's almost impossible now.  Hopefully we'll see some movement on that front soon. 

  Also, it's been very amusing watching the Republican party go completely insane over the last few months.  They have completely lost the faith of the voters, and have no idea how to get it back, and most of the moderates have fled the party, so all that's left is a bunch of right-wing nutjobs, for the most part.  They claim that Obama is some sort of cross between Stalin, Hitler, and King George III.  All because he wants to raise taxes on the top 10% of income-earners by like 3% or something.  It's awesome.
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: Dragon on April 16, 2009, 02:45:19 am
Well seeing as South Africa has it's elections next Wednesday and this is the political megadump thread it's like a match made in heaven.  Not that I particularly like politics or politicians, but this is shaping up to be one of the more "exciting" elections.  The outcome is a given - the ANC will win and Jacob Zuma will be president - however it's how the other parties place that will be interesting.  

The foremost question is will the ANC retain a 2/3s majority and constitution changing power.  And if so will Zuma change the constitution so he (the president) can't be prosecuted.  And that is a worrying question because the ANC solemnly promised that they will not touch the constitution (and have not) because that would be the first step on the road to becoming a banana republic.

Unfortunately with the recent division in the ANC and the subsequent splitting from party of COPE, a lot of the intelligent ANC party members have left - which is not surprising when you consider that firing the countries president, Thabo Mbeki, months before he had to step down for a personal vendetta is a childish and stupid thing to do.  COPE was formed too close to election time and don't look like they've managed to amass a significant amount of support although nobody can really say until after the election.  Sadly it looks like the more savvy (sane?) ANC party members have really just removed themselves from the running.

Then there's the DA who're the opposition party, only that's all they do - they oppose.  Regardless of whether or not a bill is a good idea they'll oppose it.  But they are slowly gaining support as people become disenchanted with the ANCs lack of delivery of basic services, housing and jobs.

Previously voting was more of a census than a decision based on political manifestos.  Generally (painting everyone with a bit of a broad brush) blacks vote for the ANC (African National Congress) unless they're Zulu in which case they vote for the IFP (Inkatha Freedom Party).  Whites vote for the DA (Democratic Alliance) and small towns will vote for fringe parties like the VF (Freedom Front), the ID (Independent Democrats) and the ACDP (African Christian Democratic Party).

This time round COPE puts a spanner in the works because they should also be an appealing black party but the ANCs been running a dirty and borderline illegal campaign against them so it's really difficult to tell how they'll do.

All of that said if you want to find out who you would be voting for (by manifesto) you can check out vote 2009 (http://www.vote2009.co.za/vote.htm=&Q=1).  It's kind of funny in a sad way how completely ignored the party manifestos are.  Apparently I should be voting for both the IFP and the VF despite the fact they're wildly different parties.  Hopefully this means they're stopping the name calling and have grown up enough to deal with real political problems.

It's gonna be a wild ride  :-\
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: Lukipela on April 16, 2009, 05:52:17 am
Hey, thanks for taking the time to write all that out! I know next to nothing about South African politics, so that was really interesting. Wasn't the ousted president Mbeki one of those HIV deniers as well? I've only heard of him in connection with Zimbabwe, where he seems to have been doing some sort of mediating.

Also, there's something wrong with that poll. Or maybe your parties really don't differ at all?

(http://i39.tinypic.com/eklszn.png)

Anyhow, I consistently picked option number 2 and it tells me that ANC is 50% on board with my policy, COPE is 42% on board with it and DA is 42% on board with it.
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: Bleeding Star on April 16, 2009, 07:15:32 am
Interesting comments indeed. I did the poll (worked in Firefox but not in IE)

Apparently I'm an ID supporter (is that good? Or am I some kind of crazy racist?), but I must say that that is a really badly designed questionaire.

For Q12:
Despite all the campaigns, HIV is still spreading like wildfire. What can prevent further HIV infections?
   It can only be prevented through sexual abstinence and fidelity
   Ask the church to help
   Implement a "comprehensive HIV and AIDS Strategy"
   Implement an "aggressive prevention campaign"
   Give every government department an AIDS Directorate
   Implement a "Comprehensive National Plan of Action"

I'm not in agreement with options a) or b), but the rest are political gibberish. So...?

I was also interested to know if the vote2009 website is politically neutral. As a non-south african I don't have the context to make a lot of these judgements. Were the scorpions really the good guys (as Q2 strongly implies)?
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: Dragon on April 16, 2009, 09:27:14 am
Wasn't the ousted president Mbeki one of those HIV deniers as well? I've only heard of him in connection with Zimbabwe, where he seems to have been doing some sort of mediating.
Yeah, he was although he never advocated taking a shower to cure it.  Also he was - in theory - mediating between the Zimbabwean parties but... a mediated solution seemed unlikely.  Too many of the ZANU PF generals would lose everything (up to and including their lives quite likely) if any real democratic power sharing solution was arrived at.  Complicating the issue further is that Thabo Mbeki's father was big chums with Bob so he's probably not seen as more than 'that kid' which doesn't gain a lot of respect.  And he hasn't got a very forceful personality - although he was a very good administrator - so Bob probably just ignored him.

Bob - incidentally - seems to be completely insane and can't give a coherent and non-contradictory speech so mediation was pretty much going to fall flat from the outset.  Add to that that Bob's second wife (dis)Grace is probably one of the most evil, greedy and power hungry people on the planet and the shit's hit the fan.  Unfortunately his first wife - Sally Hayfron - died in 1992 which was before the trouble started.  She seemed to have the people's best interests at heart and could stabalise Bob.

Also, there's something wrong with that poll. Or maybe your parties really don't differ at all?
Heh, must be some sort of statement :P. 
The internet + South African web designers is often a terrible, terrible combination.

Apparently I'm an ID supporter (is that good? Or am I some kind of crazy racist?), but I must say that that is a really badly designed questionaire.
The Independent Democrats (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Independent_Democrats) are generally fairly sensible.

You don't need to pick an option to proceed (I abstained quite a lot) but there are quite a lot of WTF options in there.
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: Dragon on April 16, 2009, 10:23:16 am
Seeing as I'm having a bit of a political rant at the moment I thought I'd bore you with some more in a double post.  Oh dear.

I was also interested to know if the vote 2009 (http://vote 2009) website is politically neutral. As a non-south african I don't have the context to make a lot of these judgements. Were the scorpions really the good guys (as Q2 strongly implies)?
It seemed pretty neutral to me although I'm sure someone could be found who'd declare it biased in favour of any one of the parties.

The scorpions were very effective at crime fighting.  Actually they were a bit to effective and uncovered a lot of corruption in the ANC who then disbanded them.  *Every* other party wants them back.

ps:  Who thought it was a good idea to make a psychologist president?  (that would be Hendrik Verwoerd the man who masterminded apartheid).  Although that's not to say that others didn't take his ideas and run with them.  Which is how the country ended up where it is today.
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: Lukipela on April 17, 2009, 06:59:54 am
Interesting comments indeed. I did the poll (worked in Firefox but not in IE)

Works in neither for me. I suspect this is yet another blatant case of South Africans discriminating Finns. Also I pegged you more as an evilutionist than an intelligent design advocate.

Quote
For Q12:
Despite all the campaigns, HIV is still spreading like wildfire. What can prevent further HIV infections?
   It can only be prevented through sexual abstinence and fidelity
   Ask the church to help
   Implement a "comprehensive HIV and AIDS Strategy"
   Implement an "aggressive prevention campaign"
   Give every government department an AIDS Directorate
   Implement a "Comprehensive National Plan of Action"

Ahahahahaha. That's brilliant. My vote would go to implementing a national aggressively comprehensive plan of prevention directorate in every government strategy. Not to disparage your AIDS problem, it's insane that so many people are still getting infected in this day and age.

Also Dragon, I love how you call Mugabe "Bob" Makes him sound like an annoying, yet harmless neighbour. Which I suppose he kind of is to you. To the rest of us he is just a horrible terrible dictator who seems hell bent on wiping out what was once a rich country. More directly, he annoys me by giving Finnish white supremacists ample ammunition for their beloved "Well the darkies can't be trusted to handle anything" schtick. Have you ever visited Zimbabwe yourself? Wasn't it a popular vacation spot back in the day? Or am I just confused?

I suppose the best outcome here would be for COPE to whither away some of the ANC support? If nothing else, just to balance out your political scene.
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: Eth on April 17, 2009, 09:28:31 am
Not to disparage your AIDS problem,
Why the hell not?  It's horrendous!
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: Lukipela on April 17, 2009, 01:19:14 pm
I was going for this definition:

- disparagement - The act of disparaging, of belittling
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: Dragon on April 18, 2009, 12:29:58 am
I assume that Eth meant that it's a huge problem rather than mocking it.  Please tell me I'm right.

Q12 was one of the WTF ones.  Although I sort of understand that there is *no* solution to the AIDS problem but it is politically contentious so the parties have to say something.  To expound: there is no social fix.  Too many people believe that it can't be passed on if you really love someone or that it can be cured by taking a shower, eating mint or having sex with an infant.  Then there's the crowd who on, discovering they're HIV positive, will try and pass it on to as many people as possible.  Muddying the issue further are the experts who suggested (to Thabo and friends) that there may not be a link between HIV and AIDS which confused the governments response even further.  A medical cure - even if one is found for the African varieties - isn't going to help much because the country cannot afford medication for 6 million+ people.

I suspect this is yet another blatant case of South Africans discriminating Finns.
You're onto us ;D

Have you ever visited Zimbabwe yourself? Wasn't it a popular vacation spot back in the day? Or am I just confused?
I haven't been to Zimbabwe though a lot of my friends are Zimbabwean and it sounds like a beautiful country (Bob not included).  It used to be a very popular tourist destination, I'd still like to see the Great Zimbabwe (for which the country is named) but then I like ancient ruins.  As an aside it's still possible to see the Victoria Falls from the Zambia side.
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: Eth on April 18, 2009, 10:21:08 am
I assume that Eth meant that it's a huge problem rather than mocking it.  Please tell me I'm right.
I think I must have misread "problem" for "program."  South Africa's AIDS program is horrendous!

Quote
To expound: there is no social fix.  Too many people believe that it can't be passed on if you really love someone or that it can be cured by taking a shower, eating mint or having sex with an infant.  Then there's the crowd who on, discovering they're HIV positive, will try and pass it on to as many people as possible.  Muddying the issue further are the experts who suggested (to Thabo and friends) that there may not be a link between HIV and AIDS which confused the governments response even further. 
There were all kinds of similar misconceptions about AIDS in America 20+ years ago.  It certainly took a lot of effort on the part of the government and other groups to increase awareness and educate people about it.  Certainly it was very difficult for people to change their sexual habits, but many did, and HIV is relatively under control here. 
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: Lukipela on April 19, 2009, 06:35:23 am
There were all kinds of similar misconceptions about AIDS in America 20+ years ago.  It certainly took a lot of effort on the part of the government and other groups to increase awareness and educate people about it.  Certainly it was very difficult for people to change their sexual habits, but many did, and HIV is relatively under control here. 

Compared with the current infection rate and educational level in the populace, America was immensely better off. While there were a lot of early misconceptions in the US, most of them had to do with how the disease spread not with what kind of witch magic was needed to cure it. I think the poor South African areas are in a pretty impossible situation. Basic education is so abysmal that they can't quite grasp that magic rituals can't kill a virus, and the governments incapability to formulate any sort of response has only added to that. Add to that the huge number of infected citizens and the fact that you can't see the disease before its too late and you've got an impossible situation.

As an aside, there has been a few cases of people spreading the disease on purpose here n Finland as well. That is a really horrid thing to do.

Health care costs are completely out of control.  I've been stuck in the same dead-end job for nine years because I daren't leave the employer-provided health insurance.  I would love to be able to be self-employed at get decent insurance, but that's almost impossible now.  Hopefully we'll see some movement on that front soon. 

This is pretty absurd. People who would be ready to start businesses and generate wealth are instead forced to stay in "safe" jobs simply because health care is so expensive. In my opinion that is the biggest argument against your system, that it actually restricts entrepreneurship severely. An odd thing in the US where everyone is supposed to be able to start their own business.
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: Dragon on April 19, 2009, 11:36:10 pm
I think I must have misread "problem" for "program."  South Africa's AIDS program is horrendous!
Ah, yes that makes more sense (and also it is).

There were all kinds of similar misconceptions about AIDS in America 20+ years ago.  It certainly took a lot of effort on the part of the government and other groups to increase awareness and educate people about it.  Certainly it was very difficult for people to change their sexual habits, but many did, and HIV is relatively under control here. 
Yup, what Lukipela said.  The problem is that every sangoma has their own agenda, the politicians are advised by crackpots and the population hasn't been educated for a couple of generations.  Trying to sort out the confusion around AIDS is damn near impossible let alone trying to explain what a virus is.

Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: Bleeding Star on April 20, 2009, 06:31:24 am
Quote
The problem is that every sangoma has their own agenda, the politicians are advised by crackpots and the population hasn't been educated for a couple of generations.  Trying to sort out the confusion around AIDS is damn near impossible let alone trying to explain what a virus is.

Well, fuck. Is the "wear a rubber" message getting through at all? Or are condoms not widely available/too expensive?

I guess you can be glad you don't live in Zimbabwe, at least.
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: Eth on April 20, 2009, 06:28:37 pm
Health care costs are completely out of control.  I've been stuck in the same dead-end job for nine years because I daren't leave the employer-provided health insurance.  I would love to be able to be self-employed at get decent insurance, but that's almost impossible now.  Hopefully we'll see some movement on that front soon. 

This is pretty absurd. People who would be ready to start businesses and generate wealth are instead forced to stay in "safe" jobs simply because health care is so expensive. In my opinion that is the biggest argument against your system, that it actually restricts entrepreneurship severely. An odd thing in the US where everyone is supposed to be able to start their own business.
Of course.  The system wasn't designed that way, it just sort of evolved as a result of pressure from capitalists on legislatures, and a for-profit health system. 
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: Lukipela on April 21, 2009, 09:20:22 am
Well, fuck. Is the "wear a rubber" message getting through at all? Or are condoms not widely available/too expensive?

According to the Pope they don't work. And he seems like a stand up guy, I'm sure he knows what he is talking about.

There was a huge article in TIME this week about your election Dragon, pretty much bringing up the same points (albeit in a slightly harsher fashion) as you did. Lets hope ANC loses their majority and you get a more balanced democracy. No more Big Men!
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: Dragon on April 21, 2009, 12:12:34 pm
Well, fuck. Is the "wear a rubber" message getting through at all? Or are condoms not widely available/too expensive?
They're freely available in a variety of places - clinics, peoples centers, some public bathrooms etc...  It's the message - I think - that has fallen flat.  It's either not seen as manly to use a condom or not understood at all.  I sure as hell don't have a solution to this so I'm glad I don't have to try and find one.

According to the Pope they don't work. And he seems like a stand up guy, I'm sure he knows what he is talking about.
Yeah, the Pope was awesome with his all Africa tour which included maybe four countries.  Undermining the work AIDS organisations are doing by preaching against condom use was a real winner too.  *Not impressed*

There was a huge article in TIME this week about your election Dragon, pretty much bringing up the same points (albeit in a slightly harsher fashion) as you did. Lets hope ANC loses their majority and you get a more balanced democracy. No more Big Men!
Well, it'd take a small miracle for the ANC to lose their majority but as long as they lose their 2/3rds it's good enough.  Zuma is an interesting character.  It's difficult to tell if he sees himself as some sort of tribal chief who views the whole country as his chiefdom of if it's just a political face.  He is a populist leader so he'll quite happily tell everyone what they want to hear... nevertheless some of the things he's said do have a lot of merit.  As far as the corruption charges he's pulling every trick in the book to not be tried so I'm guessing that means he's guilty - no smoke without fire and all of that.  The problem is that large tracts of the population don't understand the difference between an acquittal and being found innocent and view the acquittal as some sort of vindication of his innocence.
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: Lukipela on April 25, 2009, 07:09:47 am
They're freely available in a variety of places - clinics, peoples centers, some public bathrooms etc...  It's the message - I think - that has fallen flat.  It's either not seen as manly to use a condom or not understood at all.  I sure as hell don't have a solution to this so I'm glad I don't have to try and find one.

Yeah, just handing people condoms isn't probably going to work well unless they understand the benefits. It's not like they often function as pleasure enhancers.

Quote
Yeah, the Pope was awesome with his all Africa tour which included maybe four countries.  Undermining the work AIDS organisations are doing by preaching against condom use was a real winner too.  *Not impressed*

I don't think that the Pope knows that there are more than four countries in Africa. Why would he care how those primitive sinners are organized as long as they do as they are told? I'm not a man to criticise religious people often, but the Pope and his organization is really damaging.

Finnish bulletin for those who might care. the leader of the populist party "True Finns" has announced his candidacy for the European Union Parliament elections. This is pretty interesting, as his party is very much against the Union. He is also currently a member of the Finnish Parliament (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parliament_of_Finland), so I guess he'll have to skip out on that to go see "What the fuss in Brussels is about". Of course, he has also announced that he will be a candidate in the next Finnish Parliament elections, meaning he won't be gone for more than two years. So apparently he is busy and important enough to be needed everywhere at once.
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: Eth on April 25, 2009, 09:44:29 am
Whew!  That South African election is a real nail-biter! 
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: Dragon on April 25, 2009, 11:09:28 am
Whew!  That South African election is a real nail-biter! 
Heh, yeah that was down to the wire but the African National Congress missed a two thirds majority by 0.7%.  I was both vastly relieved and very surprised to here it.  Surprised because the ANC spent hundreds of millions on it's campaign whereas the other parties were running on far, far smaller budgets.  Relieved - obviously - because I don't think any party should have absolute power.

Nevertheless it's still going to be interesting times - we have a new set of policy makers, effectively a new party is in power - and no one knows what said policy will be.  It could be as drastic a change as moving from capitalism to communism but - and this is just me speculating - I think it's going to settle a little closer to socialism.  As an aside the ANC has a lot of communist ties in it's history and at the grass roots and trade union levels there is a strong communist leaning.

Interestingly I've seen the international journalists having a field day predicting doom and gloom for the country (the BBC - for instance - is a bastion of objective journalism) but it may be quite unwarranted.  Thabo Mbeki's cabinet was largely incapable and a changing of the guard could be for the better.   SA feels like it's been directionless for a long time now and any strong leadership may be for the better. 

Time will tell.

Finnish bulletin for those who might care. the leader of the populist party "True Finns" has announced his candidacy for the European Union Parliament elections.
Putting my cynicism hat on, I'm guessing the EU pay a better salary than Finland does.  And speaking of Finland I never knew you used to be a part of Russia - although on reflection I suppose it makes sense what with the Ruskis being right there - but ... live and learn.  Also looking at the election results for 2007 it's weird not to see any party get even 25%.

Another aside: I tend to mistrust anyone who feels the need to put descriptors like, True, Elegant or Democratic in their name because usually they aren't.  Right Mercedes?
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: Lukipela on April 25, 2009, 11:40:46 am
Congratulations on the results! Good to see that your country is entering a new and exciting period. Lets hope it works out for the best.

Putting my cynicism hat on, I'm guessing the EU pay a better salary than Finland does.

This is quite true. Another thing that probably aided his decision is that his party has no other candidates with strong name recognition. Anyone else they put up wouldn't have a chance. But Soini is the protector of the people, so he'll probably nail it. After all, Finns love the little guy who tells it like it like they like to hear it.

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And speaking of Finland I never knew you used to be a part of Russia - although on reflection I suppose it makes sense what with the Ruskis being right there - but ... live and learn.  Also looking at the election results for 2007 it's weird not to see any party get even 25%.]And speaking of Finland I never knew you used to be a part of Russia - although on reflection I suppose it makes sense what with the Ruskis being right there - but ... live and learn.  Also looking at the election results for 2007 it's weird not to see any party get even 25%.

We were part of Russia for only around a hundred years, thank god. Before that we were under Swedish rule for 800 years or so. Technically I suppose we were Swedes, as there was no state of Finland before they arrived here and set one up. Which turned out to be lucky for us in the long run, since that heritage made it a lot easier to form a democracy. Even though they might be a bit annoying nowadays, it's thanks to them that we're not Belarus 2 or something like that right now.

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Another aside: I tend to mistrust anyone who feels the need to put descriptors like, True, Elegant or Democratic in their name because usually they aren't.  Right Mercedes?

Yeah, that's usually a pretty good indicator. But it's nice that they take the time to spell it out so we don't have to wonder who to be wary about.
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: Dabir on April 26, 2009, 05:15:58 am
I seem to recall that the old Russian capital of St. Petersburg was set up where it was specifically to annoy the Finnish royalty, and that the Finnish language has been found to relate only to Hungarian.
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: Lukipela on April 26, 2009, 06:39:09 am
Not quite. There is no such thing as Finnish Royalty, as Finland in itself has never been a monarchy. St. Petersburg was founded to give the Russians a dependable port by the Baltic Sea, from where they'd be able to project power much better. It did annoy the Swedes, so that might be what you're thinking about.

Here's What Wikipedia has to say

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On 1 May, 1703, during the Great Northern War, Peter the Great captured the Swedish fortress of Nyenskans on the Neva river in Ingria. A few weeks later, on 27 May, 1703 (May 16, Old Style), lower on the river, on Zayachy (Hare) Island, three miles (5 km) inland from the gulf, he laid down the Peter and Paul Fortress, which became the first brick and stone building of the new city. He named the city after his patron saint, Saint Peter, the apostle. The original name was meant to sound like Dutch due to Peter's obsession with the Dutch culture.[4] The city was built by conscripted serfs from all over Russia and also by Swedish prisoners of war[5] under the supervision of Alexander Menshikov and later became the centre of Saint Petersburg Governorate. Peter moved the capital from Moscow to Saint Petersburg in 1712, before the Treaty of Nystad of 1721 ended the war.
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: Bleeding Star on April 27, 2009, 03:21:49 am
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Dragon says:
Relieved - obviously - because I don't think any party should have absolute power.

Indeed. Do you think the ANC would have gone nuts if they had kept the super-majority? Do you think there will be any political shenanigans designed to put them over the limit?

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Another aside: I tend to mistrust anyone who feels the need to put descriptors like, True, Elegant or Democratic in their name because usually they aren't.  Right Mercedes?

So very true... Over here, the Real IRA springs to mind as a similar case. And I'm astonished how many not-terribly-democratic parties/regimes have Democratic in their name. Who do they think they're fooling?

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the Finnish language has been found to relate only to Hungarian.

And Quenya!

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Lukipela says:
Which turned out to be lucky for us in the long run, since that heritage made it a lot easier to form a democracy. Even though they might be a bit annoying nowadays, it's thanks to them that we're not Belarus 2 or something like that right now.

Yeah, we all know why you like the Swedes, Mr fennoswede. Why don't you go back to Sweden if you like it so much? Huh? Huh?
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: Lukipela on April 27, 2009, 06:31:24 am
Indeed. Do you think the ANC would have gone nuts if they had kept the super-majority? Do you think there will be any political shenanigans designed to put them over the limit?

To be fair they've never done anything like that before, so it seems a bit unfair to assume they'd start now. Unless there was some special reason for assuming it this time?

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the Finnish language has been found to relate only to Hungarian.
And Quenya!

I hate to ruin it for you, but Finnish is part of the Uralic language Family (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uralic_languages), containing plenty of other languages such as Estonian and Hungarian. I'ts not some mystic moon language (unlike say Basque).

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Yeah, we all know why you like the Swedes, Mr fennoswede. Why don't you go back to Sweden if you like it so much? Huh? Huh?

That would be a lot funnier if people hadn't been yelling things like that after me since I was old enough to talk. Uh, I mean oh lol!

Anyway, back to politics. Who do you think will run against Obama next time? Not Palin I assume?
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: Bleeding Star on April 27, 2009, 06:49:50 am
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Lukipela says:
To be fair they've never done anything like that before, so it seems a bit unfair to assume they'd start now. Unless there was some special reason for assuming it this time?

No special reason, just it's Zuma and his mates in instead of Mbeki and his. Different crowd, different rules, perhaps. Any opinions, Dragon?

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That would be a lot funnier if people hadn't been yelling things like that after me since I was old enough to talk. Uh, I mean oh lol!

Huh. Apologies if I hit a raw nerve. Seem to recall that one of the germanofinns here had the same problem. Incidentally, do you have dual citizenship?

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Dragon says:
Interestingly I've seen the international journalists having a field day predicting doom and gloom for the country (the BBC - for instance - is a bastion of objective journalism) but it may be quite unwarranted.

Are you being seroious or sarcastic about the BBC? I always thought they were pretty good, as these things go.
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: Dragon on April 27, 2009, 10:02:19 am
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Lukipela says:
To be fair they've never done anything like that before, so it seems a bit unfair to assume they'd start now. Unless there was some special reason for assuming it this time?
No special reason, just it's Zuma and his mates in instead of Mbeki and his. Different crowd, different rules, perhaps. Any opinions, Dragon?
Yup, what Bleeding Star said.  However as international investors would probably take it amiss if people started fiddling with our constitution I suspect that that - if nothing else would - curtail it.  SA may have it's fair share of stupid and greedy politicians but none are batshit insane like Bob*.  I think they all realise that destabalising the county is a bad idea.

That said I am waiting to see if there will be a law passed to stop the president from being prosecuted.  As an aside the ANC seems to have taken it's (2/3rds) loss with good grace and nobody's screaming that the elections were unfair or rigged so I'm taking it as a good sign.

Are you being serious or sarcastic about the BBC? I always thought they were pretty good, as these things go.
Ah, fraid that was sarcastic.  I sort of get the feeling, when reading one of their articles, that the journalist is a bit surprised that the country hasn't turned into a banana republic yet; but will be there to say 'I told you so' when it does.  As said journalist are probably a South African expat it's not really that surprising. 

The BBC is the best of the bunch but when the competition includes things like CNN international, it's not that difficult.  Actually I do quite like them, it's where I get most of my international news from.

* Not quite true, we've got good old Julius (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L8Aq042KPSg)
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: Eth on April 27, 2009, 10:24:15 am
Anyway, back to politics. Who do you think will run against Obama next time? Not Palin I assume?
I'm almost sure that Palin will run, but I highly doubt that she'll get the nomination.  She's quite unpopular with the public at large.  It's really hard to predict what's going to happen.  The Republican Party is bereft of ideas, and bereft of leadership right now.  Hopefully they'll get their act together in the near future, but they may have to wander in the wilderness for a while.  Of the current crop of Republicans, I think that the most interesting is Mike Huckabee.  He's a social conservative (religious nut) and an economic populist.  He's the only one that scares me, as a Democratic Party partisan. 
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: Dragon on April 27, 2009, 10:48:06 am
He's a social conservative (religious nut) and an economic populist.
Not a bad tactic in times of uncertainty but not good if you want a structured and functioning government.

Out of interest was Ms Palin really as stupid as the press made out?  It sounded like she was an utter lunatic who couldn't add one and one to get two. 

And I was going to write that surely no democratic country could put forward a candidate who's completely incompetent but then cynicism and memory kicked me in the head.

:(
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: Lukipela on April 27, 2009, 08:11:32 pm
Huh. Apologies if I hit a raw nerve. Seem to recall that one of the germanofinns here had the same problem. Incidentally, do you have dual citizenship?

Heh, sort of. I forgot you aren't from around here and don't realise what you're saying. Fennoswedes, or Swedish-speaking Finns (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swedish-speaking_Finns) are Finns who speak Swedish as their first tongue. Telling me to go back to Sweden is analogous to telling a French Canadian to go back to France despite the fact that his family has lived in the country for several hundered years. Well it would be if that French Canadian lived in a bilingual area where a small but noticeable part of the majority group feels that it is their duty to lecture anyone talking the wrong language on how they should get out and go "home" to France. Well I say lecture but I mostly mean "yell". Doesn't happen as often now that I'm grown up, must be easier to yell at kids than adults. Oh, and the Swedish state didn't give out citizenship back in 1809 to farmers and fishermen in the conquered areas, so no on that. The germanofinn has a foreign dad (I assume) and lives in a small insular part of the country that was ravaged by the germans in WWII. We're racist at the best of times and he is so in the wrong palce with the wrong language.

I could write a much longer diatribe on this, but the link I provided recites most of the facts and I won't bore you with the rest. Suffice to say that when one encounters racist sentiments based on ones language on a daily basis, one tends to become a little touchy about these things. Even when it isn't necessary.
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: Eth on April 28, 2009, 10:05:43 am
Out of interest was Ms Palin really as stupid as the press made out?  It sounded like she was an utter lunatic who couldn't add one and one to get two. 
Beat me.  I never met the woman.  All I have to go on are the same press reports you've seen.  She certainly appears to be an idiot.
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: fossaman on April 28, 2009, 01:58:10 pm
That, and any time you can find internet pictures of a possible future president in a bikini, it's time to reconsider your vote. Doesn't matter if they're photoshopped or not, really.
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: Rider on April 29, 2009, 12:14:51 am
That, and any time you can find internet pictures of a possible future president in a bikini, it's time to reconsider your vote. Doesn't matter if they're photoshopped or not, really.

Because presidents shouldn't wear swim-attire?
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: Zeracles on April 29, 2009, 01:34:01 am
It should be illegal for a lot of them, but there are exceptions (http://images.google.com.au/images?hl=en&client=firefox-a&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&hs=Vml&q=Cristina+FERNANDEZ&um=1&ie=UTF-8&ei=6R_4ScndPIPY7AOQ3uX8AQ&sa=X&oi=image_result_group&resnum=4&ct=title).
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: Lukipela on April 29, 2009, 01:55:09 am
Because presidents shouldn't wear swim-attire?

Exactly. Presidents and possible future presidents should swim naked. If I'm voting someone in, I think I'm entitled to knowing what their naughty bits look like.

Interesting point about Huckabee Eth, but if the current economy straightens itself out won't his platform be a lot less secure? Also, why are you a democrat partisan when your presdient has declared that "The time for partisanship is over"?
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: Dragon on April 29, 2009, 02:45:32 am
I think this needs to be considered on a case by case basis.  I - for one - do not want to see John McCain either naked or in a bikini.
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: fossaman on April 29, 2009, 02:14:15 pm
According to the History Channel's series 'The Presidents' skinny dipping in the white house pool is apparently a long and time honored tradition.

Just thought I'd throw that out there.
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: Shiver on April 29, 2009, 06:15:43 pm
Interesting point about Huckabee Eth, but if the current economy straightens itself out won't his platform be a lot less secure? Also, why are you a democrat partisan when your presdient has declared that "The time for partisanship is over"?

I think he wants to be bipartisan, but in reality this is impossible. American politics is full of platitudes, I'm afraid.
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: Eth on May 02, 2009, 12:35:54 am
Also, why are you a democrat partisan when your presdient has declared that "The time for partisanship is over"?

A.  I don't agree with him. 
B.  The President needs to represent all of America, not just his party.
C.  I am under no such obligation.  I represent no-one other than myself and (occasionally) my family.  I am a partisan democrat because the party tends to work in directions that I agree with, as opposed to the Republicans.  If we had a multi-party system, I would have more choices, but we have a two-party system here, and I understand that now.  My obligation is to help to make sure that we elect better democrats in the primaries, and more Democrats in the general elections.
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: Lukipela on May 07, 2009, 03:25:44 am
Thanks for the explanations. The American political system feels quite odd to us Europeans, so it's always nice to get a view from the inside. Speaking of multi-party systems, do any of you think that the Republican party will fraction into several smaller parties, thus creating such a system? Or is it just probable that they'll lose some of their support  groups but still remain one of only two political giants?

As an aside, in Sweden the Pirate Party (http://www.piratpartiet.se/international/english) seems to have gained enough support to get someone into the European Parliament. After the recent Pirate Bay trials they've seen a upswing in support, though it remains to be seen if that support will materialise on election day.

In Finland we've had a minor debate spring up when the most well-known orthodox priest in Finland, Father Mitro (http://www.hs.fi/english/article/Orthodox+Church+Father+Mitro+should+stand+as+candidate+in+European+Parliament+election+without+his+cassock/1135245349787) announced his candidacy for the European Parliament elections. The Orthodox Chruch was not pleased with him posing in candidate pictures with his robes, since it is forbidden for orthodox priests to partake in politics as clergymen. It looked like quite a bit of drama unfolding, until Mitro quickly folded. He's still a candidate of course, but now as a private person instead of a priest. Personally, I'm pretty pleased with that. I'd prefer religion and state to be as separate as they can be.

Oh, and Silvio Berlusconis wife is getting a divorce. Good for her. Berlusconi has pretty much made Italy the joke of European politics.

EDIT and bump: Stumbled upon an article (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/italy/5124606/Silvio-Berlusconis-top-10-gaffes-and-pranks.html) on why Berlusconi makes most Europeans laugh. figured this might interest our non-european posters. Top ten berlusconi moments we remember.

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1 April 2009

Two days after Italy's biggest earthquake for thirty years made 17,000 people homeless, Mr Berlusconi toured some of the tent sites around the L'Aquila, where the earthquake struck and said those made homeless should see it as a camping trip.  He told German N-TV: "Of course their current lodgings are a bit temporary but they should see it like a weekend of camping." Tent cities were put up in the Abruzzo region of central Italy, where people endured freezing temperatures. In contrast to his breezy assurances, a woman staying in one of the tent cities screamed: "Shame on you!" She said many people did not even have a tent to stay in.

2 April 2009

Mr Berlusconi missed a symbolic Nato photo and a ceremony for fallen soldiers because he was too busy talking on his mobile phone. He later told journalists he was tempted to tell the Italian press to "go to hell" after they ridiculed him. He promised to stop holding press conferences and the next day he held a press briefing but did not take any questions. Days earlier, he was accused of embarrassing his country by yelling a greeting at US President Barack Obama and earning a rebuke from the Queen during an official G20 photo shoot in London. He bellowed: "Mr Obama!", to which he received a quiet response of "Mr Berlusconi" from the US President. The Queen bristled at his booming voice and said: "What is it? Why does he have to shout so loud?"

YouTube footage of the event was a hit in Italy, with one clip posted on the website titled “Bothersome Berlusconi, reproached by the Queen.”

3 March 2009

The 72-year-old self-made billionaire said his response to the global economic crisis was different to that of President Obama because “I’m paler”. “I’m paler because it’s been so long since I went sunbathing. He’s more handsome, younger and taller,” said the media mogul. Also accused of being racist, or at least gauche, in November 2008 when he hailed then President-elect Obama as “handsome, young and also suntanned”. Mr Berlusconi accused his critics of lacking a sense of humour, and a few days later repeated the observation about Mr Obama’s mixed-race skin tone.

4 January 2009

Mr Berlusconi caused outrage by saying that although he was considering deploying 30,000 troops to Italy’s cities, there would never be enough soldiers to protect Italy’s many “beautiful girls” from rape. After the opposition party said his comments were profoundly offensive, Mr Berlosconi said his comments were meant as a compliment to Italian women. He said rape was a serious crime, nevertheless people should not forget their good sense of humour where his comments are concerned. In 2003, he advised investors in New York to relocate to Italy because the secretaries were better looking than their American counterparts. “Another reason to invest in Italy is that we have beautiful secretaries... superb girls.” He also told the New York stock exchange: “Italy is now a great country to invest in... today we have fewer communists and those who are still there deny having been one.”

5 January 2007

Mr Berlusconi said to a former showgirl and men’s magazine model, Mara Carfagna: “I’d go anywhere with you, even to a desert island. If I weren’t already married, I would marry you straight away.” His wife, Veronica Lario, reacted by writing a letter published on the front page of La Repubblica newspaper calling for a public apology. She duly received one. Mr Berlusconi later made Miss Carfagna his equal opportunities minister.

6 August 2008

Mr Berlsconi managed to offend "one of the great artists of liberty" when he painted over an exposed breast in a copy of a 254-year-old masterpiece for fear of causing offence to the public. Giambattisto Tiepolo's Time Unveiling Truth was chosen for display in Mr Berlsconi's press room, but months after it was put up, he arranged for one of his aids to paint a white veil over the offending exposed nipple. A leading Italian art critic said: "What have they done? This is madness, absolute madness." The governor of the Veneto region, Giancarlo Galan, said: "The Prime Minister's office has managed to offend one of the great artist of liberty."

7 July 2003

Caused a political row at the start of Italy’s EU presidency by referring to a German MEP, Martin Schulz, who criticised him for his alleged links to the mafia, as a “concentration camp guard”. He told the German: “I know that in Italy there is a man producing a film on Nazi concentration camps - I shall put you forward for the role of Kapo (a guard chosen from among the prisoners) - you would be perfect.” He later claimed he had been joking and had been thinking of a character from the popular TV series Hogan’s Heroes, set in a Second World War POW camp.

8 March 2006

Offended China by declaring: “Read the black book of Communism and you will discover that in the China of Mao, they did not eat children, but had them boiled to fertilise the fields.” Later conceded: “It was questionable irony ... because this joke is questionable.”

9 June 2005

Boasted that he had had to “dust off my playboy charms” to convince Finland’s female prime minister to set up the EU Food Safety Authority in Parma, Italy, rather than in Finland. Added the observation that: “Parma is synonymous with good cuisine. The Finns don’t even know what prosciutto is.”

10 March 2008

During a group photo of EU leaders in 2002 he made the Italian horned “cuckold” gesture with his hand behind the head of the Spanish foreign minister, suggesting he was being cuckolded. Mr Berlusconi said he was “just joking” and was trying to amuse a group of boy scouts who were nearby, but the gesture was felt to be out of place at an international summit.
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: Zeracles on May 07, 2009, 05:21:39 am
Oh, and Silvio Berlusconis wife is getting a divorce. Good for her. Berlusconi has pretty much made Italy the joke of European politics.

. . .

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. . .

Boasted that he had had to “dust off my playboy charms” to convince Finland’s female prime minister to set up the EU Food Safety Authority in Parma, Italy, rather than in Finland.

I'm predicting that his next exploit will be marriage to your prime minster, Luki :-*
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: Eth on May 07, 2009, 10:54:48 am
Thanks for the explanations. The American political system feels quite odd to us Europeans, so it's always nice to get a view from the inside. Speaking of multi-party systems, do any of you think that the Republican party will fraction into several smaller parties, thus creating such a system? Or is it just probable that they'll lose some of their support  groups but still remain one of only two political giants?
My opinion on how things are going now for the Republicans is that they will become a regional party (in the southeastern portion of the United States) for a time.  We will essentially have one-party rule through out a good 3/4 of the US.  Not a good thing, as that sort of stuff causes massive corruption.  On the other hand, the Republicans managed to bounce back from the whole Nixon fiasco much faster than I would have believed possible, so who knows?  They need to change their philosophy, though, because they are simply being left behind by the public at large. 

Yeah, we hear about Berlusconi's shenanigans over here in the US, too.  He's a real piece of work. 
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: Cedric6014 on May 08, 2009, 02:14:22 pm
Although, you might be interested to know that the states with the highest % votes republican in the 2008 election were the cowboy states:

Oklahoma       65.65
Wyoming       64.78
Utah               62.58
Idaho       61.53
Alabama       60.32
Alaska       59.42
Arkansas       58.72
Louisiana       58.56
Kentucky       57.40
Tennessee       56.90
Kansas       56.61
Nebraska       56.53
Mississippi       56.18
West Virginia  55.71
Texas       55.45
South Car.      53.87
Arizona       53.64
North Dakota  53.25
South Dakota 53.16
Georgia       52.20
Montana       49.52
Missouri       49.43
North Car.     49.36
Indiana       48.91
Florida       48.22
Ohio               46.91
Virginia       46.33
U.S. Total       45.66
Colorado       44.71
New Hamp.    44.52
Iowa               44.39
Pennsylvania  44.29
Minnesota       43.82
Nevada       42.65
Wisconsin       42.31
New Mexico   41.78
New Jersey   41.70
Michigan       40.96
Washington   40.48
Oregon      40.40
Maine       40.38
Maine       40.36
Connecticut   38.22
California       36.95
Delaware       36.95
Illinois       36.78
Maryland       36.47
New York       36.03
Massachus.   35.99
Rhode Island  35.21
Vermont       30.44
Hawaii       26.58
DC                 6.53

Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: Eth on May 09, 2009, 09:28:42 am
  Those states are not very populous and are trending Democratic.
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: Lukipela on May 21, 2009, 08:16:48 am
So Dabir, what do you think of the current British scandal? Are your MP's really that incompetent, or is the media blowing things up?
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: Draxas on May 21, 2009, 10:47:44 am
Cedric, I love that chart primarily for one reason: Waaaaaaaaay down ther on the bottom of that list, you can see Washington DC with the lowest % by far. If the folks in our nation's capital can't stand them, and they would have to live with them, what does that say about the rest of us? :)

In all seriousness, I understand that DC is heavily urbanized and quite poor in many areas, and the people would have good reason to vote Democratic, but I still find it rather funny.
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: Cedric6014 on May 21, 2009, 01:02:13 pm
In all seriousness, I understand that DC is heavily urbanized and quite poor in many areas, and the people would have good reason to vote Democratic.

Indeed

It's also got a lot to do with a lot of government jobs being in DC, and people who work on policy tend to vote left - whether they're rich or poor

And to take Eth to task - I'm fairly certain those cowboy states are trending republican more than the southern states - but I havent got aroudn to dredging up the facts to back that up
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: Shiver on May 21, 2009, 03:18:19 pm
And to take Eth to task - I'm fairly certain those cowboy states are trending republican more than the southern states - but I havent got aroudn to dredging up the facts to back that up

Good job taking him to task there.
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: Eth on May 21, 2009, 06:57:29 pm
Yeah, wow Cedric.  I have truly been humbled.   ::)
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: Dabir on May 25, 2009, 03:37:51 pm
So Dabir, what do you think of the current British scandal? Are your MP's really that incompetent, or is the media blowing things up?
There has been an astounding amount of total stupidity around, a number of people are getting the sack because of it. Basically what we're seeing is a total lack of respect for the spirit of the law rather than the letter, a prime minister with a reverse-midas touch and a 'good guy' party that doesn't stand a hope in hell. If anything, the media could be UNDER-exaggerating it; if someone on the news just said "You lot are a bunch of idiots" they wouldn't be far off the mark. Mind you, there's a glimmer of hope: One expense-fiddler who got found out not only admitted to it, but recommended himself to the head of whatever quango deals with it this week.

Gordon Brown himself seems to have come down with a slight case of the mad dictator disease and refuses to budge from the top of the huge, steaming pile, which doesn't really work in an actual if flawed democracy. Chances are he'll be dragged down, cast aside and replaced with the health secretary on the basis that the health secretary is the only person the Conservatives actually fear, but because of this sudden and bloody coup Labour will lose the next general election anyway, and unless we run into a sudden common sense epidemic that'll let the Conservatives in. From here we will witness the final destruction of the Alliance, and the end of your insignificant rebellion... sorry, a massive break with Europe, a complete loss of social mobility and all our current affairs programs will look like Old Etonian reunions again.

Oh, and a couple of Lords have managed to get themselves kicked out for taking bribes for the first time in more than a hundred years, and the Speaker of the House has got himself kicked out for the first time in a similar period, which serves him right for being a stooge. Bet they're going to be pleased to see their names in the history books. ;D
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: Lukipela on May 26, 2009, 08:31:12 am
Thanks for the outline Dabir. It feels weird to talk to a Brit who isn't rabidly anti-EU and doesn't want the British Isles to sail away from "the continent". Over here I had only heard of the Lords thing, but apparently there's a lot more to it? Bummer either way I suppose. Let's hope the good guys manage to prevail somehow, lest I be forced to listen to more anti-EU propaganda

In Finnish news, the priest I mentioned a few posts up finds himself in a bit of a bind. The Orthodox church has now ruled that he is free to participate in the elections as a private citizen, but that as long as he is involved politically he is barred from priesthood. Meaning he can't perform any priestly duties or wear any priest clothes for the duration of his campaign and possible tenure in the EU. Once/If he returns and ceases participating in politics, he'll be able to resume as a priest. I'm pretty happy about that, since it effectively means that we keep religion out of politics, at least in an obvious way.
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: Lukipela on June 07, 2009, 01:46:12 am
Gordon Brown himself seems to have come down with a slight case of the mad dictator disease and refuses to budge from the top of the huge, steaming pile, which doesn't really work in an actual if flawed democracy.

And there he still is, despite having five ministers resign on him... He's got spunk, I'll give him that. I'm guessing this is kind of overshadowing the EU elections for you guys eh?
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: Eth on June 14, 2009, 01:13:02 pm
Man, things are getting hot in Tehran!  What are peoples' opinions on the Iranian election: stolen or not stolen?  I'm thinking...  stolen.  The numbers make no sense at all.
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: Draxas on June 15, 2009, 06:52:31 am
Sounds stolen to me. Both candidates claimed 60% of the vote before the results came in, which already seems fishy. And then the incumbent supposedly actually does get 60% of the votes? Even fishier. The whole thing strikes me as a farce, especially considering that most of the Middle East is not exactly known for being a shining example of the democratic process in action.
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: Shiver on June 15, 2009, 12:44:08 pm
It's pandemonium over in Iran right now. The mainstream media isn't covering it very well. Skim through Andrew Sullivan's blog (http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/) if you're really interested.
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: Lukipela on June 15, 2009, 07:59:03 pm
I agree that the results seem very fishy, even though the incumbent has bought a lot of support from the poor. The religious leadership must be getting slightly worried, this is the first time they've had a situation liek this since the Islamic State was founded. And protesting the ayatollah approved president isn't that far off from criticizing the religious leadership itself.

Thanks for that blog link Shiver. Our media is covering thsi somewhat, but everything that comes out of there is pretty confused at the moment. I doubt there is another revolution in the making, but interesting t ofollow still.
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: Eth on June 16, 2009, 12:16:57 am
I doubt there is another revolution in the making,
We'll see.  I think that there is a lot of potential there.
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: Draxas on June 16, 2009, 06:42:11 am
My lord. Just reading over that blog for the last 2 days shows just how inadequate the news coverage is here in the US. I had only just heard about the screwy election results yesterday morning, and first heard about the violence last night, and it's been going on for days. While I may not be a news hound like some others, I still like to keep up with current events; why isn't this getting constant coverage? Why is there so much worthless fluff and crap on the news when they could be running this coverage?
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: Lukipela on June 16, 2009, 09:59:42 am
We'll see.  I think that there is a lot of potential there.

I dunno. Usually these things don't succeed unless the military is at least partly sympathetic to the cause and I haven't seen any indication of that so far. There's a lot of frustrated young secular people in that country, but there are a lot of people who like Khamenei (or at least Khomeini) even if they aren't too fond of the current president. Of course, if they manage to keep up peaceful protests and get slaughtered a few times, things might change. It's really fascinating how they are coordinating themselves through Twitter and the likes now that the government is running electronic interference.

My lord. Just reading over that blog for the last 2 days shows just how inadequate the news coverage is here in the US. I had only just heard about the screwy election results yesterday morning, and first heard about the violence last night, and it's been going on for days. While I may not be a news hound like some others, I still like to keep up with current events; why isn't this getting constant coverage? Why is there so much worthless fluff and crap on the news when they could be running this coverage?

We've had pretty good coverage over here. In particular one of our nationals had a great in-depth feature where they interviewed all sorts of people, from the young secular middle class kid who spent several months in prison for playing rock music at an illegal concert and the guy who gives snowboarding lessons to mullahs to the retired soldiers on pilgrimage and the poor grocery salesman in the country.

In particular I loved the last interview. It was this vry conservative guy in Tehran, who adheres strictly to religion and vote as the mullah say. His wife wears the burkha and votes as he tells her, all very old fashioned. The biggest problem in the family is the 17 year old daughter who wont wear it and wants fashionable shawls instead. And unlike all the stereotypical descriptions we see of Muslims, the guy just shrugs his shoulder and says She is young and we are parents, we will have to adapt. That really shows the humanity.
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: Eth on June 16, 2009, 10:51:10 am
My lord. Just reading over that blog for the last 2 days shows just how inadequate the news coverage is here in the US. I had only just heard about the screwy election results yesterday morning, and first heard about the violence last night, and it's been going on for days. While I may not be a news hound like some others, I still like to keep up with current events; why isn't this getting constant coverage? Why is there so much worthless fluff and crap on the news when they could be running this coverage?
Yeah, I don't watch TV news anymore.  I get most of my news from the blogs and other online sources these days. 
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: Draxas on June 16, 2009, 01:14:28 pm
I usually ignore the news blogs as partisan crap, and that's usually what the ones I've seen are. But this is different. We had the news on at lunch here at work today, and they talked about everything except this situation: plane crashes that happened months ago, what Obama said on any other subject, you name it. It's unreal; I don't know how they can ignore something like this and still claim to be reporting current events.
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: Dragon on June 17, 2009, 03:53:59 am
I usually ignore the news blogs as partisan crap, and that's usually what the ones I've seen are. But this is different. We had the news on at lunch here at work today, and they talked about everything except this situation: plane crashes that happened months ago, what Obama said on any other subject, you name it. It's unreal; I don't know how they can ignore something like this and still claim to be reporting current events.
Yeah, strangely enough we were discussing this in the office this morning.  Or at least how mainstream news is no longer our source of news and has been displaced by the internets.  Problem there is that one needs some finely tuned bullshit filters to work out whats fact or not.*

I don't know if it's just me getting cynical in my old age but the news seems to be getting more trite as the years pass on.  Or maybe what I consider newsworthy now isn't what is deemed newsworthy for the masses.  Mostly I guess it's cheaper to report on stuff closer to home... or maybe it's the Illuminati's cunning plan to mind control the masses.  Yup, I don't know.

*So nothings changed then.
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: Rider on June 17, 2009, 08:18:51 am
Quote
or maybe it's the Illuminati's cunning plan to mind control the masses.

Nah, we don't do mind controlling. That's so 1960s!
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: Eth on June 17, 2009, 09:51:22 am
Yeah, strangely enough we were discussing this in the office this morning.  Or at least how mainstream news is no longer our source of news and has been displaced by the internets.  Problem there is that one needs some finely tuned bullshit filters to work out whats fact or not.*
It's always important to keep your critical faculties operating when you're consuming news.  The blogs are indeed partisan, but it's not like newspapers' editorial policies were unbiased anyway.  I like getting my news from the blogs because I get the news 1-4 weeks earlier than it do from traditional media. 

Quote
I don't know if it's just me getting cynical in my old age but the news seems to be getting more trite as the years pass on. 
It's not just you.  I've been reading books on media criticism for years now, and the news is indeed more trite than it used to be.
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: Lukipela on June 17, 2009, 11:45:09 am
It's not just you.  I've been reading books on media criticism for years now, and the news is indeed more trite than it used to be.

News is more commercial, and the trite stuff sells newspapers.
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: Draxas on June 17, 2009, 01:22:52 pm
Depressing but true. Why else would celebrity news be anywhere in the regular news, nevermind top story?
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: Lukipela on June 18, 2009, 09:20:51 am
Because people care too much about being famous and by extension about what famous people do. It's a weird form of voyeurism.

On the subject of media, maybe you guys should look into weekly journals. Sort of like TIME or something? Those will never have breaking news, and you'll find plenty of partisan stuff, but also well written and thought out articles and usually no celebrities. Then hunt for recent stuff on the net. this Iran thing is driving me nuts, Twitter is kind of hard to follow and there's like a thousand forums out there, all with different opinions on what is happening.
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: Draxas on June 18, 2009, 10:02:49 am
The weeklies are even worse than the dailies. I used to read Newsweek for years, but they've been getting less and less relevant as time goes on, and with the recent format change, they seem to have slipped into the realm of a weekly op-ed magazine. Not that Time was any better when I used to read that.
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: Lukipela on June 18, 2009, 10:29:58 am
Really? The European version of Time features some interesting, if partisan articles. On the other hand, most of the stuff that covers the US seems a lot more partisan. Joe Klein in particular really loves his Obama.
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: Lukipela on June 21, 2009, 01:50:16 am
Embassies are taking in wounded. that's an interesting direction to take. Especially with the ayatollah going all "Shut up and go home rabble!".
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: Eth on June 21, 2009, 01:55:52 pm
This is getting really serious, now.  It looks like revolution to me.  Whether it succeeds or not remains to be seen. 
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: Dragon on June 22, 2009, 02:19:18 am
Coming a bit late to the party but there's an interesting article on the Washington Post (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/06/20/AR2009062000004.html?1) which proves (assuming article truth) that there was a very high chance the Iranian election was rigged.

It also just goes to show that if you're going to make up the numbers, get a computer to do it for you.
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: fossaman on June 22, 2009, 03:47:10 pm
Wow. That is cool. Statistically speaking, anyway. Not so good politically, and junk.
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: Shiver on June 22, 2009, 05:12:01 pm
A high school student given the authority to do so could have rigged that election better. Those results were very likely made up at the last minute; the Supreme Leader didn't think his pet could possibly lose an election.
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: Lukipela on June 23, 2009, 10:25:48 pm
Yeah, the fact that all the votes were counted super-duper fast and the currnet president won by amazing margins both in Tehran and the home cities of other candidates says something as well. It's a pretty ballsy move though, now he's essentially telling his subjects  that all that talk of his about an Islamic Republic is pure bull. What's the point of upholding that farce after this?
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: Eth on June 27, 2009, 05:53:38 pm
Looks like the streets of Tehran are all but deserted today.  People are scared, and they're pissed.
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: Eth on June 28, 2009, 01:35:59 pm
Aaaaand it appears that the president of Honduras has been replaced in a military coup.  The congress is playing along (or so the gov't-controlled media has stated). 
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: Rider on June 28, 2009, 04:05:57 pm
So the newly-elect is no longer in office? That's interesting!
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: Lukipela on June 28, 2009, 08:54:58 pm
So the newly-elect is no longer in office? That's interesting!

The president of Honduras is not a newly-elect, he is a guy trying to change the consitution to allow himself another 4 year period. Pretty stupid of the army to go in now, seeing as he was about to be thrown out legally soon anyway. Getting declared incompetent would've hurt his reputation a lot more then getting exiled by a military coup.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed for the Iranians. While the demonstrations have diminished in strength, they apparently still have staying power. Revolutions don't happen in a night, so hopefully this will keep on simmering.
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: Eth on June 30, 2009, 05:25:02 pm
Even new (cleaner) elections would be good enough in Iran, I think.  Stupid Supreme Leader.   >:(
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: Lukipela on June 30, 2009, 09:00:17 pm
Well, he can't really back down once he says that everything is all right. Holding new elections now would be admitting that he was wrong, which might have some unfortunate consequences for him.
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: Draxas on July 01, 2009, 07:18:38 am
Of course, a revolution might have consequences too, but I suppose they consider that a less likely scenario. I've heard it's mostly quiet over there now, though the situation is still simmering right under the surface.
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: Eth on July 01, 2009, 05:33:34 pm
  See, that's one of the lessons we've learned here in the United States.  When the populace is on the verge of revolt, make a minor concession to cool them off.  It's kept the Powers That Be in power here for over two centuries! 
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: Draxas on July 01, 2009, 05:44:50 pm
Well, that and the fact that we know we only have to deal with the idiot in charge for 8 years tops, and probably only 4 if he really pisses people off. There is something to be said for having the knowledge that a peaceful transfer of power is going to occur.
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: Lukipela on July 12, 2009, 06:14:14 am
So the Chinese seem to have learned from the Iranian debacle, they cut contact to their rebellious province pretty darn quickly.
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: Eth on July 12, 2009, 07:19:27 am
Mmm?  Media contact?  Internet contact? 
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: Lukipela on July 12, 2009, 07:40:11 am
Mmm?  Media contact?  Internet contact? 

Everything as far as I understand. Only reporting service is the Chinese state Media, Twitter and the likes shut off.
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: Eth on December 30, 2009, 01:09:32 pm
  Man, the situation in Iran has not abated.   (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703278604574624191585240728.html)It appears that the opposition to the president has even grown in the last few months! 
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: Lukipela on December 30, 2009, 01:39:28 pm
  Man, the situation in Iran has not abated.   (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703278604574624191585240728.html)It appears that the opposition to the president has even grown in the last few months! 

Yeah, they're basically staging protests on all the big days. I've got to hand it to them, they're a courageous bunch. There's a lot of people dying and/or disappearing over there right now. I wonder if we're heading towards a new revolution and a freer Iran or a tough crackdown and an even stricter one.
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: Dabir on December 30, 2009, 01:41:26 pm
Or the entire thing just ending up as a hole in the ground.
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: Alen on January 03, 2010, 05:43:19 am
I wouldnt be surprised if a revolt happened, and I'd be even less surprised if everyone involved in the revolution disappeared.
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: Sage on January 03, 2010, 06:21:54 am
Well, if those revolting already know life and freedom (or whatever semblance thereof) is at stake and still aren't deterred, and if their numbers are sufficiently greater than those in power, it's only a matter of time before they zerg rush the current government and replace it with something else.

Now, I know this is a stupid video game joke about a real life situation, where life and freedom really are at stake, but it's not entirely unfounded. Being a citizen of the USA (not "America", that may be a nitpick for the Pissed Off thread), I've been indoctrinated to believe that it is the right of the citizenry to replace its government when the government is functioning completely against the benefit of its citizens. Seems pretty clear to me in this case the government has gone too far and needs to be put in its place.

Of course, now that I've opened that can of worms, its only a matter of time before someone tries to call us Yanks out on what "too far" is and why that point hasn't been reached yet. Practice what you preach, and all that. Yeah, I got nothing there.

For my part, while I'm not one to go out and join the military to fight and most likely die for my country in a war given its current shitty foreign policy, if invaders came shooting and threatening something/one I actually do directly care about, I'll goddamn get a gun and shoot back! Same thing with my federal government. They may be shitting up the rest of the world in more ways than one, and have some people convinced its for the greater good, but for the most part they seem to be at least following something like ethical practices within our borders. If for some reason that changed significantly enough, well, I can be a subversive bastard in the right circumstances. >:D

Not that I think the system we have here in the States is perfect, or even particularly good. Far from it. Perhaps one day I'll just conquer it all and fix the whole thing.

(http://anidea.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/04/dr-horrible-432x250.jpg)
Because the world is a mess, and I just need to rule it. :)

For the record, my place on the political spectrum falls somewhere along the line of "stop complicating all this shit; stop spending money on raises for yourselves; start fixing problems with the system now before you go fixing problems that don't even exist; stop making so many stupidly pointless laws; stop wasting the lives of our best and brightest in other parts of the world when this part still needs so much help; stop wasting money bailing out companies that should just go under; stop wasting time repairing roads and instead build better ones to begin with, or better yet, find a better way to go about personal transit entirely; etc etc etc". If there's a name for that, I have no idea what it is, and I'll probably reject the label on principle.
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: Alen on January 03, 2010, 06:41:36 am
Several things Sage. One, I agree that if a government is working against what the people want then revolt is nessisary, to some extent of course. Two, nice Dr. Horrable refrance there +1 Karma if it even matters anymore. and three. Im pretty sure sage, that you lie on the rational part of the spectrum.  ;)
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: Lukipela on January 03, 2010, 07:32:56 am
Or the entire thing just ending up as a hole in the ground.

Oh I hope not. I love these guys. I've thought for a long time that the whole "Free yourself from opression" just isn't possible nowadays, what with all the new high tech weaponry and control technology we have nowadays. These guys are basically telling me "You're a pompous lazy capitalist swine Luki! What do you know?". And I enjoy that. There's going to be blood over there in the future, much more than right now. But I do hope the people comes out on top.

Quote from: Sage
Of course, now that I've opened that can of worms, its only a matter of time before someone tries to call us Yanks out on what "too far" is and why that point hasn't been reached yet. Practice what you preach, and all that. Yeah, I got nothing there.

We haven't had any Yank haters here in a while I think. Your country, while still perceived as troublesome, is no longer perceived as outright conniving. Well, among the crowd I know at least. Wonders of PR I suppose.
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: Bleeding Star on January 31, 2010, 12:34:34 pm
Quote
Yeah, they're basically staging protests on all the big days. I've got to hand it to them, they're a courageous bunch. There's a lot of people dying and/or disappearing over there right now. I wonder if we're heading towards a new revolution and a freer Iran or a tough crackdown and an even stricter one.

My entire knowledge of Iranian politics comes from watching "Persepolis". I was surprised to see how (relatively) liberal things were before the Islamic revolution - seems like this whole hardcore Muslim thing isn't actually central to Iranian identity. Good luck to the revolutionaries, but I think that it's going to get worse before (and if) it gets better.
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: Lukipela on February 05, 2010, 11:43:47 am
My entire knowledge of Iranian politics comes from watching "Persepolis". I was surprised to see how (relatively) liberal things were before the Islamic revolution - seems like this whole hardcore Muslim thing isn't actually central to Iranian identity. Good luck to the revolutionaries, but I think that it's going to get worse before (and if) it gets better.

Iran used to be pretty liberal, and the liberals worked together with the theocrats to overthrow the Shah. then the Theocrats butchered them. Lovely folks that. Iraq used to be pretty swell as well before Hussein wormed his way to power. It'd be a pretty amazing world if those two things hadn't happened. Can you imagine a stable peaceful Middle East? Well, sort of anyhow. Moreso than now at any rate.
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: Draxas on February 08, 2010, 08:35:18 am
It'd be a pretty amazing world if those two things hadn't happened. Can you imagine a stable peaceful Middle East? Well, sort of anyhow. Moreso than now at any rate.

No such thing. It's a region steeped in war and bloodshed since the dawn of human history. Even if Iran and Iraq were fairly stable, moderate countries, they would still likely be a lot like Turkey: repressive toward their people when compared with the average western nation, and incredibly xenophobic all around. Besides, we would still have the same maniacs in charge in all the other unstable countries; Syria, Lebanon, etc.
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: Lukipela on February 08, 2010, 11:49:19 am
No such thing. It's a region steeped in war and bloodshed since the dawn of human history. Even if Iran and Iraq were fairly stable, moderate countries, they would still likely be a lot like Turkey: repressive toward their people when compared with the average western nation, and incredibly xenophobic all around. Besides, we would still have the same maniacs in charge in all the other unstable countries; Syria, Lebanon, etc.

Well, alternate history is always quite tricky, but I dunno. A more liberal and moderate Iran would mean that Syria had no immediate backup which might have left Lebanon a lot more intact. A balanced Iraq might have meant that the Saudis didn't get away with all they did, and both of them not fighting eachother to death might have meant that they'd project force into Afghanistan instead to keep their own borders calm. Besides, it might mean that they'd have been more susceptible to pressure. Turkey has changed a lot in the last 10 15 years. Who's to say others wouldn't have?
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: Eth on February 09, 2010, 12:40:19 pm
  Plus, if Iraq hadn't been run by that creep Saddam Hussein, they probably wouldn't have gone to war with Iran and Kuwait, the US would't have based troops in Saudi Arabia, so the various Saudis wouldn't have become radicalize by Western troops on the holiest of soils, 9-11 attacks wouldn't have occurred, so...  etc. etc.
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: Draxas on February 11, 2010, 02:26:05 pm
Plus, if Iraq hadn't been run by that creep Saddam Hussein, they probably wouldn't have gone to war with Iran and Kuwait, the US would't have based troops in Saudi Arabia, so the various Saudis wouldn't have become radicalize by Western troops on the holiest of soils, 9-11 attacks wouldn't have occurred, so...  etc. etc.

You're giving him way too much credit. The Saudis were very radical well before Saddam took power, they're just buddy-buddy with people in high places in the US. Granted, we may not have had the first Gulf War, and the second may have been confined only to Afghanistan, but it wouldn't have stopped the emergence of terrorism.
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: Eth on February 12, 2010, 10:41:54 am
  My point wasn't that Saddam directly caused the rise of Saudi radicalism, but that US troops being stationed in Saudi Arabia (to protect Arabia in case Saddam tried to invade it) caused a tremendous amount of resentment among the Saudis, in particular one Osama bin Laden. 
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: Draxas on February 12, 2010, 12:09:00 pm
US support of Israel was a stronger motivaor, US troops in Saudi Arabia was just a convenient excuse to shift hatred from Jews to Americans, really. It's too difficult to pull off a major strike in Israel, because they don't screw around; if you're successful, they'll retaliate by killing you, your family, and everyone you've ever associated with, probably without anyone getting wise to it.
Title: Re: Political Opinion Megathread Dump
Post by: Eth on February 12, 2010, 01:00:05 pm
  Well, I disagree.  For one thing, it's not like people don't regularly perform terrorist attack against Israel (though not of the scale of the 9-11 attacks).  For another thing, the US has supported Israel for decades, yet suddenly Osama gets mad right when we send infidel troops into Islam's holiest lands?  This is not a coincidence.