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Carpathian Mountains are being rapidly stripped of forest cover...
Over the past two years, the forest cover in the Carpathian Mountains of western Ukraine has been thinned drastically by human cutting of the trees. Environmentalists warn of impending disaster, but officials assure that the situation is under control.
by das monde on
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In story: 23 - 29 May 2016

Re: From the "Well, duh!" Dept.
( / )
An entire class of Americans misunderstood and rejected: Dismissing white workers is profoundly reactionary - Salon.com
Facing bleak economic prospects and opioid overdose, wage-labor rage is alternatively credited and blamed for propelling the Sanders and Trump insurgencies. But a growing number of dissident analyses contend that this new conventional wisdom rests on lazy assumptions: Trump supporters are well to do, Sanders' advantage is based on age rather than income [...]

As for affluent white liberals, they are obliged to profess their affection for poor black people even as they organize their entire lives around avoiding sending their children to school with them. Hating poorer whites, of course, isn't just about class but about race as well: classy, well-educated white people need to create a white racial identity purged of the trash.

by das monde on
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In story: Böhmermann

Re: Seed comment
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I didn't plan anything, but here are some comments on related news in the past few months:

  • Swiss Federal Railways SBB had the sense to activate the new train control system ETCS L2 on the approaches before the base tunnel opens. Turns out there were still teething problems to sort out, primarily compatibility issues. Which is rather sad, considering that ETCS L2 has been in operation for years elsewhere in Switzerland.

  • The new base tunnel won't realise its full potential for years: in long-distance passenger traffic, the new trains are still in the making; and for freight traffic, it won't be until 2020 that tunnels and overbridges along the approaches will be modified for 4 m corner height.

  • At least a solution to the other capacity problem of scheduling fast passenger and slow freight traffic, both more frequent than originally envisaged, has progressed with tests of 1,500 m long freight trains. (In practice, this means that two freight trains that arrived separately can be coupled for passing the Gotthard in a single time slot.)

  • Over the past three decades, Swiss citizens consistently supported rail projects and didn't support major road projects in referenda. But now a plan to double the Gotthard Road Tunnel has been approved. This will surly mean a safety improvement, but also a capacity increase and thus more trucks in trans-Alpine transit traffic... (I have been in the Gotthard area and the current level of traffic is bad enough for the valleys.)


by DoDo on
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In story: Böhmermann

Re: Seed comment
( / )
I find hip-hop artist Fler even claimed that Ich hab Polizei was Böhmermann's reaction to his verbal threats of violence, which in turn were inspired by Böhmermann's unwillingness to invite him into his show to react to earlier spoofs of his art. Overall, it's a weird impression when a rapper whines like a pussy and then issues macho threats :-) Another rapper saw it similarly.

by DoDo on
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In story: 23 - 29 May 2016

Re: Living On the Planet
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I live with this kind of stuff every day.  As a white dude, I mostly get the "good" side of it, but I see the crap my colleagues of greater melanin content have to take from racist parents in particular.  Co-workers and management aren't nearly as bad, many of them being a lot more internationally-minded in general.  But it's totally real.
by Zwackus on
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In story: 23 - 29 May 2016

Re: People & Klatsch - Dealing with Trump
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Well, that could well be for Maher. Perhaps he just wanted to rub his audience's nose in the repugnance of Trump or perhaps he intended it as a wake up call for his audience to the dangers of Trump. I don't watch the overtime programs, though I thought about it that time. Wondered if Bernie had anything to say about or to Root. Root is well named. He exemplifies the root of the problem with Trump.

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on
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In story: 23 - 29 May 2016

Re: People & Klatsch - Dealing with Trump
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Last I looked - admittedly a while ago - the was a strong feeling among the people who study such things that TV debates were more about riling-up the base than attracting/convincing Don't Know voters.  

by ATinNM on
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In story: Böhmermann

Re: Seed comment
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His demeanor is a bit too juvenile and eager for me. It's not at a Harald Schmidt level of slickness yet (but that guy is a total cynic who gives zero fucks). It's a difficult balance to strike in that part of the business. Do you still care when you make fun of everybody and everything?

His meta trolling is appreciated, though a little exhausting when it goes circular.

The police track ("Isch hab Polizei") caused a stir in the German hip hop world because the bourgeois son of a police officer was seen as making fun of the 'heartfealt' hip hop about the experience of the social margins. Quite the analogy to the US. Hip hop is still mostly a black business there. And a sizeable part of it is Turkish/Arab here.

by epochepoque on
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In story: Böhmermann

Re: Seed comment
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Another great one that probably doesn't translate well is this parody on a Til Schweiger film:



by DoDo on
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In story: 23 - 29 May 2016

From the "Well, duh!" Dept.
( / )
Donald Trump exposes the GOP's dirty secret: They build everything by nurturing white rage - Salon.com

Paul Ryan is angry with Donald Trump, not so much for failing to espouse conservative values, as for exposing America's dirty little secret -- white rage: that deep-seated determination to block black progress in this country. For years, conservative politicians have relied upon the cover of high-minded principles and slogans - "protecting the integrity of the ballot box," or waging a "war on drugs" -- in order to cloak their determination to restrict African Americans' citizenship rights. The racism fueling Trump's campaign and his followers, however, is so overt, that it is undoing decades of hard covert work by the GOP.

When Trump didn't immediately disavow an endorsement from Klansman David Duke; when the GOP front-runner condoned the beatings African Americans endured at his campaign rallies; and when 20 percent of his followers insisted that the Emancipation Proclamation, which ended slavery, was bad policy, Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan's carefully stitched plan of "racism with plausible deniability" began to unravel.

Shortly before he died, Reagan's strategist Lee Atwater explained the game plan of the Southern Strategy in a matter-of-fact clinical policy. "By 1968 you can't say `n***r' -- that hurts you, backfires," Atwater emphasized. "So you say stuff like, uh, forced busing, states' rights, and all that stuff. And you're getting so abstract now, you're talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you're talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is, blacks get hurt worse than whites." But Donald Trump doesn't do abstract and that is what has sent the GOP into a tizzy

by Bernard on
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In story: Böhmermann

Re: Seed comment
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Switzerland to rework relations with EU at Gotthard tunnel opening - FT.com

Switzerland will lobby top European leaders attending this week's opening of the world's longest rail tunnel for faster progress on reworking the country's relations with the EU.

Renegotiation has been held up by Britain's referendum on membership in the bloc. The Gotthard Base Tunnel ceremony on Wednesday would be a "good opportunity" to discuss the challenges facing Swiss-EU relations, Didier Burkhalter, the Swiss foreign minister, told the Financial Times.

Those expected to attend include German chancellor Angela Merkel, French president François Hollande and Italian prime minister Matteo Renzi.

The 57km Gotthard Base rail tunnel, which cost SFr12bn ($12bn) to build, will cut travelling times across the Swiss Alps and is part of one of Europe's most heavily used transport corridors, connecting the ports of Rotterdam in northern Europe and Genoa in the south.

by Bernard on
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The Guardian view on the centenary of Verdun: lessons for us all | Editorial | Opinion | The Guardian

If the Somme is always the focus of British memory in this centenary, for France - and to some extent also for Germany - that role is occupied by Verdun. Verdun is to the first world war as Stalingrad was to the second. Even in a war that set new standards for slaughter, it was a battle beyond compare. Shelled night and day, mined from below and continually rocked by artillery attack, Verdun's attritional intensity and importance were unequalled. On both sides, killing as many enemy as possible was central. When it was over, there were so many unidentifiable human remains that the bones of 130,000 unknown dead of both armies were entombed together in the vast ossuary at Douaumont that commemorates Verdun. The military and psychological significance for France of Verdun cannot be overstated, and had much to do with its victor Marshal Pétain's reemergence in 1940.

Verdun's importance dictated that it was there, in 1984, that France's president and Germany's chancellor held hands in a symbolic gesture that embodied the two nation's reconciliation. On Sunday, in the same cemeteries at Verdun, François Hollande and Angela Merkel stood where François Mitterrand and Helmut Kohl stood more than 30 years previously, and with the same message. As Mr Hollande put it, Verdun was where Europe lost itself 100 years ago and where it has now enabled Europe to come together for peace and friendship.

by Bernard on
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In story: Böhmermann

Re: Seed comment
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Anything in the pipeline about the new Gotthard?

by epochepoque on
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In story: Böhmermann

Re: Seed comment
( / )
sheep->goats corrected...

by DoDo on
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In story: Böhmermann

Re: Seed comment
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Great diary and media analysis. I've recommended and front paged it because we need more of this sort of stuff and because we need to have a new front page story every day, if possible, to develop a wider readership and participation base.

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on
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In story: Open Thread 23 - 29 May

Re: Borssele Offshore Wind
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(and say Hi to Jerome)

Tell him to get his phat ass back here! We can't protect the world from Trump without him.  😇

by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on
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In story: Open Thread 23 - 29 May

Re: Borssele Offshore Wind
( / )
Thanks for the (good) news. Don't be a stranger: We missed you (and say Hi to Jerome).
by Bernard on
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In story: Böhmermann

Re: Seed comment
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Thinking it was goats, my joke was to be incensed that Böhmermann had insulted such a noble species.

by Crazy Horse on
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In story: Böhmermann

Re: Seed comment
( / )
Curiously, Böhmermann is from Bremen, so I know people who went to school with him, or at least were aware of his earlier history. I find him preposterously entertaining, and insightful... though I only watch selected videos, and none recently.

I thought (because mein Deutsch in not perfect?) that Böhmermanns team actually did create the fake finger, in the original song.

A sad commentary that Merkel chose to side with the Turkish Dictator-n-Waiting.

Böhmermann sure knows how to press German buttons. In the Varoufakis song, where he pokes a finger in the eye of German culture, he claims a predilection for incest, though only in Saarland. When i first saw the original, I split my sides. It was so well done.

Ich Hab Polizei is equally brilliant.

I thought it was goats (Ziegen) in the Erdo poem.

by Crazy Horse on
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In story: Open Thread 23 - 29 May

Borssele Offshore Wind
( / )
Some may know this already, and perhaps in the past i even posted something about it, but perhaps not.

I am currently working during the week in Zwolle, The Netherlands, on a contract with the Ministry of Economic Affairs. The Ministry has put into law the ability to send 3,500 MW of offshore wind projects out to bid. The first phase of 700 MW has now closed.

The Borssele bid process is being administered the Netherlands Enterprise Agency, and there I will provide the technical and financial due diligence for the evaluation of the bids.

As this project has been longing for some time, and perviously i was also involved in the evaluation of a German offshore project up for sale, one can now surmise why I have been a silent lurker for so long.

Interestingly, the firm established by this website's founder and previous fearless leader has been an advisor to at least one of the bids. For obvious reasons none of us can disclose more. (Jérôme knows of my involvement of course.)

the work entails significant responsibility, as the project is roughly 2B EUR in CAPEX. But Zwolle is a fine small city, which i will enjoy learning. The team is great.

✌🏽

by Crazy Horse on
[ Read Story | Read Comment | ]
Science
In what European science chief Carlos Moedas calls a "life-changing" move, European Union member states today agreed on an ambitious new open access (OA) target. All scientific papers should be freely available by 2020, the Competitiveness Council--a gathering of ministers of science, innovation, trade, and industry--concluded after a 2-day meeting in Brussels. But some observers are warning that the goal will be difficult to achieve.

The OA goal is part of a broader set of recommendations in support of Open Science, a concept which also includes improved storage of and access to research data. The Dutch government, which currently holds the rotating E.U. presidency, had lobbied hard for Europe-wide support for Open Science, as had Carlos Moedas, the European Commissioner for Research and Innovation.

by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on
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In story: 23 - 29 May 2016

Re: - Dealing with Trump
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"They don't understand it," Trump said. "There is no drought, they turn the water out into the ocean."

This is called 'a river', Donald.

by Bernard on
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In story: 23 - 29 May 2016

Re: - Dealing with Trump
( / )
Donald Trump Tells Drought-Plagued Californians: 'There Is No Drought'

Donald Trump told voters in drought-plagued California on Friday that he had a solution to the water crisis: Open up the water for farmers, because "there is no drought."

"We're going to solve your water problem. You have a water problem that is so insane," the presumptive Republican presidential nominee told a crowd filled with farmers in Fresno. "It is so ridiculous where they're taking the water and shoving it out to sea."

California is now in its fifth year of drought, which has taken a heavy toll on agriculture in particular. Despite an El Niño event that saw an increase last year in snowpacks that supply about one-third of California's water, 86 percent of the state is still considered to be in drought.

Trump insinuated that state officials are mismanaging water policy, at the cost of farmers and their crops. Farmers have sharply criticized the state's irrigation policies, after cuts to water allotments forced them to leave more than a million acres of farmland uncultivated last year.

by Bernard on
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Chelsea won't be a politician, unless it's on the republican side. She's just another privileged rich-kid and I can't see the Democratic party remaining the plaything of the rich after Hillary leaves the WH.

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on
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In story: Can Trump really win the White House?

Re: Speaking as someone who perceives
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Because actual "alphas," if we're going to examine it through this prism, aren't impressed by attempts to demonstrate alpha-male traits through bloviating and kicking weaker people around.  They look at it and see that person as a bullying shitweasel in need of an ass-kicking.

Which is exactly what Trump is.  And if somebody tried to give him the ass-kicking he so richly deserves, I've no doubt he'd morph into a "beta" quite quickly.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on
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In story: Can Trump really win the White House?

Re: Speaking as someone who perceives
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The more ignorant in-your-face types are all Trump people.  That's his whole schtick.  It's all about demonstrations of dominance.  "I'm tougher than everybody else, and all those minorities who've wronged you?  I'll wreck their shit.  These other candidates are a bunch of pussies who won't."

It's a powerful thing -- humans have a certain attraction to that -- but I don't think it carries much beyond groups of people the GOP already carries.  That's been the GOP pitch forever.  "Mommy Party vs Daddy Party."  "GOP daddies who fuck everything up and then tell reporters What Needs to HappenTM," to borrow Atrios's bit.

That's been the hilarious thing:  Beneath the -- admittedly pretty impressive -- marketing, Trump's no different from a generic GOPer asshole.  He's Chris Christie with lapband surgery.  He's just a better class of asshole.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on
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In story: Can Trump really win the White House?

Re: Can Trump really win the White House?
( / )
Right, lotta Dunning-Kruger cases out in Silicon Valley.

The "alpha"/"beta" thing seems to be quite prevalent among them as well.  I'd never heard of it until that lunatic shot up the community college in Santa Barbara.  The terms have spread here to the East Coast, but fortunately they're generally used ironically to make fun of the dudebro gym rat crowd.

Only thing I can come up with is that it's a combination of some function of real and imagined slights perpetrated against them by jocks in high school and a chunk of those jock-types winding up as venture capitalists and programmers (the whole "brogrammer" phenomenon people have picked up on in recent years).

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on
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In story: A Tale of Two States

Re: I thought this was something
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The best gallows humor.  Just tremendous -- that I can tell you.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on
[ Read Story | Read Comment | Parent ]
In story: Böhmermann

Seed comment
( / )
I saw Verafake ten minutes after it was uploaded and wanted to write this diary ever since, but only found the time now. I have two more non-rail diaries in store, hopefully to be posted soon...

by DoDo on
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In story: 23 - 29 May 2016

Re: - Dealing with Trump
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As there will be no one better than Emp. Trump...
by das monde on
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News and Views

 23 - 29 May 2016

by Bjinse - May 25, 60 comments

Your take on today's news media

 9 -15 May 2016

by Bjinse - May 4, 67 comments

Your take on today's news media

 Open Thread 23 - 29 May

by Bjinse - May 25, 12 comments

The stuff threads are made of

 Open thread 18 - 25th May

by Helen - May 18, 37 comments

New thread, NewSpeak

Occasional Series
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Top Diaries

Böhmermann

by DoDo - May 29
11 comments

A Tale of Two States

by Frank Schnittger - May 26
20 comments

Edmund Burke for Socialists

by ARGeezer - May 25
19 comments

Open thread 18 - 25th May

by Helen - May 18
37 comments