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Hartmut
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I wonder how many Jews voted for Hitler in the early 1930s because they were fed up with ineffective German leadership and the bad economy? John Thullen may think that this is a joke but many Jews did vote for Hitler for those very reasons. Many of them also believed that Hitler's anti-semitism was just a shtick to get the votes of the teabaggers of their day. The Nazis also collected many votes form the Polish minority in the Eastern parts of Germany where whole election campaigns were done in Polish. The GOP for some years has debates about how to do the same with the Spanish speaking US citizens in the South without enraging the xenophobic base in other parts of the country.
Toggle Commented Jan 22, 2010 on Pass It or Go Home at Obsidian Wings
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Iirc the senate bill still allows the insurance companies to charge some people (i.e. those that before were handled as 'preexisting conditions') THREE TIMES the amount of premiums of the 'normal' customers. And I know of no provisions that stop the current premium hikes. From that I would conclude that the 'undesirables' will be simply 'priced out' instead of thrown out. I am also extremly sceptic that even the Ed Rendell idea would work because GOPsters seem to be able to vote with impunity however inhumane their choices are.
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I believe that Iran wants to reach a point where it can produce a nuke quickly, if the need arises, but has for the time being no intention to actually build (let alone test) one. In that case I think Iran could be there in a year, if the decision is made to go full speed ahead and they do not run into unexpected obstacles. But the same case could be made for many other industrial nations. The first nukes in that case would be rather crude though and not fit on a missile. They'd be formidable for greeting invaders in your capital city though, espcially if one could use it to (black) rain on the victory parade. Btw, did Israel never test its own designs (except maybe the Vela incident)?
Toggle Commented Jan 20, 2010 on Always a Day Away... at Obsidian Wings
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As for me, I just thought it an excellent opportunity to toast my son and catch a buzz at brunch. Don't tell me you took up the modest proposal ;-)
Toggle Commented Jan 18, 2010 on Open Thread: Baek-Il Edition at Obsidian Wings
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I might add that Germany could take, at least, a million of them to repopulate North Eastern Germany. Hardy settlers used to farm poor land would be very welcome. They could also deal with the rampant Neonazism. If the Palestinians are willing to share locations with he Turks there would be plenty of room here for them too (with a subdistrict of Berlin as their capital city). An additional feature would be that it would mightily annoy the Poles to suddenly have tons of Jews and Muslims in the neighbourhood.
Toggle Commented Jan 16, 2010 on Morrie's Wigs Don't Come Off! at Obsidian Wings
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I proposed (long ago) to remove everyone from Palestine and then to destroy all of it by use of the dirtiest nukes available, so that the area will be uninhabitable for longer than anyone living there now will be alive (+ at least 5 extra generations). Especially the holy sites should be wiped 110% from the face of the Earth and replaced by mile deep craters.
Toggle Commented Jan 16, 2010 on Morrie's Wigs Don't Come Off! at Obsidian Wings
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I've missed a connection or two in my time and I'd prefer to step outside and blow myself up than spend 8 hours in O'Hare ever again. Looking at the sorry current state of the German railway system after the previous Bahn leadership tried the American model (no maintenance because that diminishes the bottom line and the taxpayer will bail you out when the system breaks down) I would not be surprised if there was an amok run or a terror attack by disgruntled passengers in the very near future. (More) seriously, I am surprised that trains are not targeted more often. It is impossible to do security controls for the railway like on airports. Inner city public transport would break down instantly. If every check would take just ten seconds, it would take more than 24 hours to deal with just the morning rush hour. Metal detectors would be useless since everyone would carry metal (keys) and sniffers would probably cry alarm nonstop due to women having nail polish in their handbags (to name just one source).
Toggle Commented Jan 16, 2010 on If It's War You Want... at Obsidian Wings
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Maybe there would at last be a chance of civil marriage in that new Israel [/snark]
Toggle Commented Jan 15, 2010 on Morrie's Wigs Don't Come Off! at Obsidian Wings
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I think/fear 'war' has come down to the level of a Bugs Bunny cartoon where 'this means war' signifies nothing more than a well-defined escalation in the exchange of violence and the exclusion of going back to the status quo ante. In my estimate the US is a good deal more fragile than many other countries. (Foreign)Acts of terrorism would probably be unable to destroy the US as an entity but I could see ways of those attacks, if placed carefully, to transform the country permanently in a way that would essentially destroy 'America' as it ws understood until then. 9/11 allowed the likes of Chain-Eye to bring the US to the brink of that. If Al Qaeda had had a second strike capability, hitting trains the next day (or week) and ships the day/week after that etc., I fear the US would have transformed into a, for lack of a better word, fascist system, use of nukes on some targets of choice possibly included. And some of the 'defenders of our sacred liberty' would have cheered because liberals would have been among the first targets. Domestic terrorists could imo actually break the country, if they had the stamina to keep a campaign rolling for some time and were able to provoke an equal non-state reaction. If for example a group would systematically murder liberal icons, especially those from certain lists promoted by the right and then 'liberal' hotspurs would answer with attempts to assassinate Coulter, Limbaugh, O'Reilly etc. then it could escalate into a (cold) civil war leading in the end to an actual breakup (or a longterm Northern Ireland situation on a much larger geographical scale). In each of these cases the attacks would not do the main work but just trigger it, leaving the rest to the tensions already existing in the US. As for casualties, the US population is extremly thin-skinned there. To consider 5000 dead soldiers (and less than that in US civilians) in 8 years close to unbearable would have drawn contempt (or laughter) from most of the world just a few decades ago (for comparision: WW2 reached about 25K per day, soldiers and civilians combined). Compare that to what those at the receiving end of American might have to suffer (and what is ignored or actively denied by a majority in the US).
Toggle Commented Jan 15, 2010 on If It's War You Want... at Obsidian Wings
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They don't call themselves the Tea Bag Party but in the early days they used teabag as a verb on a regular base. It took them some time before they realized that 'teabagging' already had a meaning and that that was the reason that the liberals always laughed, when they heard it. --- Totally agree that the US would currently be unable to give itself a new constitution that would both work and be desirable (not just from a liberal point of view). The result would either be a de facto dictatorship* or anarchy (followed after some time by the former). *to be precise: a narrow oligarchy with an enforcer at the top
Toggle Commented Jan 11, 2010 on Let the Cool Goddess Rust Away at Obsidian Wings
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Could someone please look where my pretty long and elaborate post went (filter, eaten by typepad?) General content: Europe has its severe weaknesses too but it is still a work-in-progress.
Toggle Commented Jan 9, 2010 on Let the Cool Goddess Rust Away at Obsidian Wings
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Broder is not even up-to-date on the current GOP talking points. There were no terror attacks under Bush (9/11 was Clinton's fault. What anthrax and what Beltway sniper?) and not Obama's vaction was the main problem but his wasting of time with health (insurance) reform. Also Obama never uses the word terror or terrorist and ignores that 'we are at war' because of his black/Muslim background. I think even Orwell would be surprised about this degree of blatancy in this rewriting of very recent history.
Toggle Commented Jan 9, 2010 on Putting the "Jerk" In Knee-Jerk at Obsidian Wings
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Just finished Queen Victoria - Demon Hunter. Old (or in this case rather young) Vicky had obviously some problems the history books don't tell us about ;-) Waiting for the 'sequel' Henry VIII - Wolfman
Toggle Commented Jan 9, 2010 on Open Thread: Weekend Reading at Obsidian Wings
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Do you have an audio link for that? Unfortunately this PC lacks sound and I will not be at the office (where the net connected PC has) before Monday. The number of language errors is surprisingly small though ;-) Putting new texts on famous Nazis is nothing new, so I would not see veggie connections as special. Try this (The fatal consequences of Hitler having only one ball) or this (Hitler's bad leasing experiences)
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We have not yet discussed the potential of imitated meat. What if, in the not too far future, it will be possible to produce non-animal derived products (pleef, plork and plicken) that cannot easily be distinguished from the animal derived ones? Would that change the equation? It would imo at least drive a wedge between the 'ethical' vegans and the tastebudianic ones (assuming there are no health issues with the make-belief meat). The opposite case of veggie imitations made from animal products can probably be neglected.
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I think an 'audit' would be more complicated. To my knowledge there is only guesswork about the actual amount of fissile material available in NK, and if a country has more than just a handful of warheads it should be easy enough to 'shave off' enough Pu for one or two rogue ones. And the strategy of survival of NK's regime has been for some time the credible* threat of taking a few million South Koreans with it in case of an attack**. I think the main danger of a nuclear Iran would be the incentive for all the neighbours to go nuclear too. The risk of a nuke falling into the wrong hands (or a country using it) can imo only go up with the number of states possessing them. *even without nukes **and only a few [enter very pejorative term] would ignore that. Admittedly there were such in the Chain-Eye/Bush administration that openly stated the willingness to sacrifice all of SK, if only they could get rid of NK.
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Well, the US motto is Oderint Dum Metuant and there is In the Rod We Trust on every dollar bill, isn't there? (not to forget the amendment to ban burning of the flog)
Toggle Commented Jan 6, 2010 on How to Squander Dropped Dimes at Obsidian Wings
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We need a map of areas that are vegetarian-friendly/neutral/hostile and overlay it with political leanings (and maybe population density for non-urban areas). I have a strong suspicion that there is a connection. My guess is that vegetarians tend to lean more left. Btw, I just walked by the local steak house on my way to the doc and a board outside boasted about their huge salad bar ;-) --- I think we can at least find common ground that eating animals alive (a new fad in some parts of East Asia) is not something we should support.. --- Vegan Zombie: Graaaaaaaains!
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Looks like I am a tiny minority here. There are few full-vegs (I know of) in my personal acquaintances, most are simply very low on meat. The few 100%-ers tend to be 100-105% on other things too. I know people that cannot understand how one can live (healthily) without animal protein but that's not the same as being intolerant. And around here you will not find many restaurants/canteens without the veg option* (don't know about steak houses though). Btw, does anybody here know why most canteens have a fish option on Wednesday (in addition to the traditional Friday fish for Catholics)? As far as I am concerned people can eat what they want unless it is leek (and some varieties of radish) in my presence, the smell of which I find retch-inducing. *The canteen at my job unfortunately seems to employ the services of Mrs. Scorbic as far as vegetables are concerned (and also follows the 'ketchup is a vegetable' school of cooking):-(
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We seem to have different experiences there. I know only a few (long time*) vegetarians that simply made the choice and are otherwise 'normal'. I know, in theory, that there are intolerant anti-vegetarians but have yet to meet one (I haven't been in the US South yet ;-)). But I know quite a number of unpleasant persons that have vegetarianism as an added feature (they would be insufferable in any case). They tend to be fundies of one kind or the other (main subgroups: religiuos ascetic nuts, esoteric nuts and a certain kind of 'ecos'**). I am not talking of practicing Buddhists here. I think it's like the difference between people that simply avoid alcohol (if possible) and radical teetotallers that work for the reintroduction of prohibition. The latter are far more visible and annoying. *I get the impression that most children these days have a vegetarian period in the early teen age but few stay with it long term. **the kind that takes environmentalism not as simply a rational and necessary pathway but turns it into a radical ideology with little regard for real-world consequences.
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I think one main problem is that additional security measures tend to be literally additional, i.e. costing extra time and inconvenience. What will imo be necessary is a general reworking of the procedures. Second generation full body scanners (that remove the nude image) might be a step in that direction because then the partial undressing could be dropped (that's the part I find most inconvenient). I think there is much room for improvement within even the current system as my experiences at different airports have led me to believe. In some cases it is rather quick and imo efficient, in others it is neither, i.e. slow, inconvenient and still easy to fool (although formally it's the same procedures). Against some possible means of attack there probably never will be a defense. But, hey, air traffic for commoners will be a thing of the past in the not too far future anyway.
Toggle Commented Jan 3, 2010 on Bulletproof...I Wish I Was at Obsidian Wings
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With eggs included it would of course not meet strict standards. Hasn't stopped those that condemn vegetarianism because of Hitler. The only thing that annoys me is the holier-than-thou attitude I find in (too) many adherents. In most cases the attitude is imo the cause of the lifestyle though, not the other way around.
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I got a job in 2009 at the German Federal Environmental Agency, although only temporary (until June 2011). But permanent positions have become a rarity in any case. Many of my coworkers hop from (sub)department to (sub)department every 2-3 years before, maybe, getting a permanent position only after a decade or three. Apart from the long way to work (123km, by train) I think I have to consider myself happy.
Toggle Commented Jan 3, 2010 on 2010 Inaugural Open Thread at Obsidian Wings
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I wonder when the first attempt will be made to use an airborne poison. I am not aware that the cockpit typically has its own air circuit, so a few ml of nerve gas (e.g. in a nose spray bottle) could work*. The Japanese Sarin attacks failed iirc mainly because the stuff was not used as a spray but as volumes of liquid expected to evaporate more quickly than actually happened (and the vaporizer contraptions they also prepared failed mechanically). The main 'problem' with nerve gas is to produce it without killing yourself. Once it is sealed in containers, it could be, I think, used easily by suicidal terrorists. Iirc the effects take a while to manifest, so even with a test spray** at the security check the plane could be in the air before someone drops and gives the game away. *also works through skin, so even pilots with oxygen masks would be affected. **I did not have to do that with my own spray but I hear it's done at some airports.
Toggle Commented Jan 2, 2010 on Bulletproof...I Wish I Was at Obsidian Wings
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Yes, you're the Opera Ghost. Written any good musicals recently? Not recently. My most productive period in that regard was 2000. Also I do fugues not opera/musical. And I retext songs in honour of the Great Old Ones (look out for Swato's Choral Squids). Further on multiple exclamation marks;-) Btw, the issue came first up in Eric ;-);-);-).
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