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Weekend Open Thread

by Fran Sat Feb 23rd, 2013 at 08:11:16 AM EST

An early one!


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Cold again and snow. Perfect for a cozy weekend enjoying a cup of tea or coffee.
by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Feb 23rd, 2013 at 08:12:20 AM EST
A nice hot cup of masala chai this afternoon.

Now off for a night walk in the hills in the freezing wind and snow. Organized, with a halt for vin chaud, and a good meal for all afterwards.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Feb 23rd, 2013 at 11:29:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Mmm... sounds good - have fun!
by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Feb 23rd, 2013 at 11:34:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Excellent. Bracing. The vin chaud was very good and very welcome.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Feb 24th, 2013 at 04:02:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
César 2013. Le palmarès complet - culture-match - ParisMatch.com
Le palmarès

Meilleur film:"Amour" de Michael Haneke
César de la meilleure actrice: Emmanuelle Riva pour "Amour"
César du meilleur réalisateur: Michael Haneke pour "Amour"
César du court métrage: "Le Cri du homard"
César des meilleurs costumes: "Les Adieux à la reine"
César du meilleur montage: "De rouille et d'os"
César du meilleur décor: "Les Adieux à la reine"
César du meilleur documentaire: "Les Invisibles" de Sébastien Lifshitz
César du meilleur second rôle féminin: Valérie Benguigui pour "Le Prénom"
César du meilleur scénario original: "Amour" de Michael Haneke
César de la meilleure musique: Alexandre Desplat pour "De rouille et d'os"
César du meilleur film étranger: "Argo" de Ben Affleck
César du meilleur son: Antoine Deflandre, Germain Boulay, Eric Tisserand pour "Cloclo"
César de la meilleure photographie: Romain Winding pour "Les Adieux à la reine"
César du meilleur espoir masculin: Matthias Schoenaerts pour "De rouille et d'os"
César du meilleur scénario adapté: Jacques Audiard et Thomas Bidegain pour "De rouille et d'os"
César du meilleur film d'animation: "Ernest et célestine" de Benjamin Renner
César du meilleur second rôle: Guillaume de Tonquédec pour "Le Prénom"
César du meilleur premier film: "Louise Wimmer" de Cyril Mennegun.
César du meilleur espoir féminin: Izia Higelin pour "Mauvaise fille".

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Feb 23rd, 2013 at 08:13:30 AM EST
by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Feb 23rd, 2013 at 08:14:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Missing: Best actor: Jean-Louis Trintignant for "Amour".

(Not that I care about the Césars, but I like Trintignant).

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Feb 23rd, 2013 at 09:34:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC News - Why speaking English can make you poor when you retire

Could the language we speak skew our financial decision-making, and does the fact that you're reading this in English make you less likely than a Mandarin speaker to save for your old age?

It is a controversial theory which has been given some weight by new findings from a Yale University behavioural economist, Keith Chen.

Prof Chen says his research proves that the grammar of the language we speak affects both our finances and our health.

Bluntly, he says, if you speak English you are likely to save less for your old age, smoke more and get less exercise than if you speak a language like Mandarin, Yoruba or Malay.

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Feb 23rd, 2013 at 08:15:48 AM EST
Maybe Tomatis was right:

Foreign languages - vzw Atlantis - hearing therapy - St-Truiden/Belgium

As a result of ongoing globalisation, command of foreign languages is very important. The gift for languages is first and foremost the ability to adjust one's ear to the frequencies of a foreign language.
The ear is normally receptive to a wide range of frequencies and can detect a variety of rhythms. During development, however, the ear adjusts to a way of hearing that is conditioned by its mother tongue. Different languages prefer different frequency ranges. When speaking, the English use frequencies from 2,000 to 12,000 Hertz in particular, the French frequencies from 100 to 300 Hz and 1,000 to 2,000 Hz, the majority of Slavonic speakers from 100 to 12,000 Hz, and German speakers from 100 to 3,000 Hz. As a result, there is an "English", a "French", a "Slavonic", or a "German" ear, as people can only speak frequencies that they hear (Tomatis rule).
  It is therefore easy to understand why the French for example find it difficult to learn other languages. For them, and for the Italians, the preferred frequency ranges of the language have a rather narrow bandwidth.  People from countries in which Slavonic languages are spoken are, on the other hand, at an advantage. The frequency ranges of the approximately 20 Slavonic languages cover a greater bandwidth. This explains why the Eastern Europeans have a gift for languages.

Could it be that the frequencies of the language we speak influences how we think?

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Feb 23rd, 2013 at 08:20:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I once taught English as a foreign language at a Berlitz Total Immersion centre in London. The patients came from all over the world. The frequency range typical of each native language is a real limiting factor that we had to take (unscientifically) into account. There's no doubt that native Slavonic speakers have no difficulty perceiving as grammatically significant all the sounds that are grammatically significant in English (spoken by native EN speakers also from all over the world, with different accents). Those who had the greatest difficulty were Spanish-speakers from Latin America. The French were so-so, needed roughing up a bit. The Germans varied hugely, on a, well, North/South divide (re former W Germany).

It's not just a question of ear, though. To speak adequately, you have to be able to reproduce the sounds. Slavonic-speakers were again at an advantage, as were Swedes and Norwegians. Those who had the greatest difficulty were the Japanese. I didn't have any Chinese students.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Feb 23rd, 2013 at 09:23:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Your parents have an influence on how you think. They also have an influence on what language you speak. Is there any reason this is not sufficient to explain it?
by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Sat Feb 23rd, 2013 at 09:31:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Sure, but I have been wondering if what frequencies we can percieve or not, can influence the mood and thinking. From my personal experience I do not that with the loss of frequencies perception changes.
by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Feb 23rd, 2013 at 11:15:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't think it is simply a question of frequencies. It is more one of combinations of sounds produced in various ways. It is not the frequency at which a phoneme is produced that makes it difficult for native Japanese speakers to pronounce the English 'L'. The frequency does affect meaning in tonal languages, which has been associated with a higher incidence of 'perfect pitch' amongst musicians that grew up speaking a tonal language than those who did not. But the pattern of sounds has to be 'heard' in order for it to be spoken. It is known that babies go through a phase where they switch from watching eyes to watching mouths when they start trying to learn to speak.

It is known that it is easier to acquire a different language before a certain age. Likely this is because our brains come to a point when it seems all required phonemes have been acquired. But many people retain a significant ability to learn new languages later, which is fortunate, as our brilliant educational systems usually only afford that opportunity well after the optimal age has been passed.

I think ATinNM's explanation fits well with the above considerations. It is certain combinations of sounds that come to be associated with speech and are preferentially routed to speech centers, but those combinations can be expanded, if sometimes with difficulty. It is rather like our brains treat as spam sounds we didn't learn to associate with speech at an early age and have to be retrained, with difficulty, in the case of new language acquisition.  

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Feb 23rd, 2013 at 07:43:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ARGeezer:
It is rather like our brains treat as spam sounds we didn't learn to associate with speech at an early age

It is exactly that. We learn to filter.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Feb 24th, 2013 at 04:09:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, we filter out - learning the mother tongue probaly is the spam filter and to learn a different language well needs to deactivate that filter.
by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Feb 25th, 2013 at 01:46:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I agree - it is not simple, however I think that frequencies play also a role. Tomatis also found one can only reproduce sounds that you can hear. He worked at the time with some opera singers which came to him with problems of the vocal cords. Tomatis however found that some of them had no problems with the vocal cords but had suffered hearing loss and thus could not reproduce the sounds that needed frequencies in the range that were lost.
by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Feb 25th, 2013 at 01:45:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
With sound systems we are concerned with intelligibility and a major concern for our hearing is 'articulation loss of consonants'. This occurs with loss of high frequency sensitivity of the ear. It is the frequencies above 2,000 Hz that determine the ability to distinguish between a 'p' and a 't', in one case or between the words 'fog' and 'frog'. The production of vocal consonants requires Sibilants such as 's' and 'z', frictives such as 'f', plosives, etc. If the high frequencies are filtered out the various consonants become harder to resolve.

In order to get our retention monies paid for the King Khalid International Airport sound system we had to demonstrate the ability to pass an 'articulation loss of consonants' jury trial, where a list of words was read over the sound system and a group of listeners then wrote what they heard. The average score had to be 85% or higher. It turned out to be more challenging than anticipated. It did not help that the ceilings were 10m or higher and the floor and wall surfaces had lots of glass and marble.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Mon Feb 25th, 2013 at 02:09:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Could it be that the frequencies of the language we speak influences how we think?

Interesting question!

Skipping some steps for the moment, the first thing the brain does is distinguish between speech from non-speech sounds.  After acoustical "analysis" in the Primary Auditory Cortex the results are sent in two directions:

  1.  Planum temporale (PT) and posterior superior temporal gyrus

  2.  Planum polare and anterior superior temporal gyrus

it has been suggested (IOW, nobody is sure what it does but we're not totally in the dark) the PT is the information gateway to higher-order cortical regions, thus processing function, and nobody knows what the planum polare does.  

Tra-la

However it is generally accepted sounds are eventually shipped to the inferior parietal lobule, Wernicke's Area, and Broca's Area where, putting it simply, the sounds are translated and associated into neural signals having cognitive value and thence to the regions responsible for higher cognitive functioning.  At these latter stages the spoken frequency of the word has pretty much been filtered out.

Going back a step, it is impossible to functionally remove the thalamus and the rest of the Limbic system from cognition ("thinking.")  Sounds come into the thalamus, go round and round, and eventually wind-up in the medial geniculate nucleus which passes it on to the PAC.  As "sound" goes round in round in the thalamus it also goes round and round in the rest of the Limbic system activating ... well ... a whole bunch of regions, one of which can be the amygdala which is why unexpected sounds, in certain frequencies, send us into [Fear(Fight,Flight)] mode.  

Compounding this - YIPPIE! - is a sex-linked characteristic of human brains: women take a longer time to return to overall neurological base-state than men after significant neural arousal - however stimulated.  Thus women tend to continue to "think," i.e., process neural signals in the higher order cognitive regions, longer than men.

On the Nurture Side: epigenetics, gender roles, the environmental noise level, etc. etc., we are taught/trained to respond to certain sounds automatically,  taught/trained to pay attention to certain sounds with varying degrees of attention, and taught/trained to ignore certain sounds with the frequency of the sound potentially and actually - both to and in some degree - playing a role in all of them.  

So.

The short answer to your question is: Yes but there's a lot of other things happening as well.

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot

by ATinNM on Sat Feb 23rd, 2013 at 02:45:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I agree with you. However I think there is more to the effect of frequencies on the brain or thinking. My interest in this topic stems from yoga specifically Mantra - which can make for interesting experiences. What you said at the end goes here too - there are other things happening to, during the use of Mantra. However, I am just curious to understand better what is going on. Though in the end this understanding is not important, what counts is the experience.
by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Feb 25th, 2013 at 01:33:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The affects and effects (and why) of meditation is an active research area.

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot
by ATinNM on Mon Feb 25th, 2013 at 12:23:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Life expectancy in China is about 6 years lower than the U.K. Does this mean that all this extra exercise is bad for you?
by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Sat Feb 23rd, 2013 at 08:25:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think it means that correlation runs in another direction then described.

World Values Survey - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

With the rise of the knowledge society, cultural change moves in a new direction. The transition from industrial society to knowledge society is linked to a shift from Survival values to Self-expression values. In knowledge societies, an increasing share of the population has grown up taking survival for granted.

Survival values place emphasis on economic and physical security. It is linked with a relatively ethnocentric outlook and low levels of trust and tolerance.

Self-expression values give high priority to environmental protection, growing tolerance of foreigners, gays and lesbians and gender equality, and rising demands for participation in decision-making in economic and political life.

Poorer societies has both lower life-expectancies and places higher emphasis on survival values.

I think the overall picture this and many studies fits into is a narrative where rich socities are loosing their position due to the described shift in values. Though largely nonsense it serves to blame the population at large for loss of position, laying the ground for cutting the general populations share of pie. Since the shift is also generational it serves to blame young people of today which serves to rally older votes behind cutting the general populations share of pie.

A vote for PES is a vote for EPP! A vote for EPP is a vote for PES! Support the coalition, vote EPP-PES in 2009!

by A swedish kind of death on Mon Feb 25th, 2013 at 06:03:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
How on Earth could you possibly control for cultural factors in this research?  How many non-Chinese are out there whose native language is Mandarin?  The research is suspect from the start, as he claims that English is supposed to make you more likely to smoke, yet smoking rates in East Asia are through the roof.  
by Zwackus on Sun Feb 24th, 2013 at 10:58:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yeah, seems like a massive case of post hoc fallacy to me...
by asdf on Mon Feb 25th, 2013 at 02:42:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Hello, have I missed much ?

If somebody needs to lose a lot of weight quickly, I can recommend the series of health problems I've had in the last 6 weeks. I actually don't know how much I weighed before, but it would be at least somewhere between 100 and 110 kg and maybe higher.

So, stepping on the scales to see myself at 82kg was a surprise, I didn't think I'd be that light again ever.

I'm sick of thinking there's light at the end of the tunnel, only to find myself mown down by the train coming in the other direction. But I'm quietly hopeful that I'm gonna be over this in a week or so.

And then all I have to do is recover my fitnes.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sat Feb 23rd, 2013 at 12:58:41 PM EST
Goodness, I'm sympathetic. But also a bit jealous. Heh.

I hope you feel much better really soon.

'tis strange I should be old and neither wise nor valiant. From "The Maid's Tragedy" by Beaumont & Fletcher

by Wife of Bath (kareninaustin at g mail dot com) on Sat Feb 23rd, 2013 at 01:37:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So sorry to hear this.  I hope you are feeling better.
by stevesim on Sat Feb 23rd, 2013 at 01:37:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Two other related methods, which I have personally tried.

1.) Go to Africa on holiday, catch amoebic dysentery. Lose 25 pounds in a week.

2.) Go to the hospital and get your appendix out, get secondary infection. Lose another 25 pounds in a week.

The problem of course is that after you get healthy again, the weight comes back up to your current metabolic setpoint.

by asdf on Mon Feb 25th, 2013 at 02:45:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Wonkette: ANGRY TEABAGGERS TO MARCH AROUND WITH GUNS ALL DAY TODAY, WHAT COULD GO WRONG?


I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Feb 23rd, 2013 at 01:03:11 PM EST
I just find it hard to understand why it is that ordinary USians don't see these people as a clear nd immediate danger to their community and have them forcibly stripped of their weapons.

These people are clearly obsessed and deranged and should be locked in rubber rooms for their own safety

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sat Feb 23rd, 2013 at 01:18:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
US citizens have been subjected to decades - since 1940! - of propaganda to inculcate fear and insecurity.  The hysterical gun nut culture is one consequence.

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot
by ATinNM on Sat Feb 23rd, 2013 at 02:52:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This actually started in the run-up to the US entry into WW I with the Committee on Public Information, aka the Creel Committee.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Feb 23rd, 2013 at 04:52:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The blond in the photo may be homely but she's carrying a great set of guns.

The good news ... it's only a life sentence. You eventually leave this planet of idiots.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Sat Feb 23rd, 2013 at 09:54:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There ought to be a test.  If you're of the opinion that the Second Amendment is sacred and enjoy spitefully showing off your ownership, you are disqualified, as you clearly display a complete lack of the maturity necessary to own a gun.

I have friends who own guns.  All of them keep their mouths shut about it, keep the guns locked up, and only ever get them out for occasional practice.  All support restrictions on who can own and what they can own.  I don't like guns, but I'm not fearful of them owning guns.

People who parade that shit around in public are sociopaths.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sun Feb 24th, 2013 at 12:27:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
...adding: And, of course, it's Montgomery County, PA.  a suburb of Philly.

It's always the suburbanites who are fucked up about guns.  Suburbs are a creation of, and breeding ground for, paranoia.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sun Feb 24th, 2013 at 12:32:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Despite high profile pro-gun demonstrations like this, the reality is that open carry (where others can see your gun) and concealed carry (under your coat) are not actually practiced much in the U.S.

I live in a very gun-friendly state (Colorado) and a very gun-friendly city (Colorado Springs), and yet it is actually pretty unusual to see a gun in public. Yes, the policemen carry them. Otherwise, not so much.

For open carry, while it is completely legal and allowed practically everywhere, the reality is that if you see somebody with a gun in public in an "inappropriate" situation, then a call to the cops will get you surrounded by police cars in about five minutes. Maybe they will just give the guy a warning, or maybe they will arrest him and let him go later, but in any case, it's recognized in general society--even here--that you don't go walking around with a Glock in a holster. Legal, but not acceptable.

Try carrying a gun near a school and you will get lynched by angry soccer moms before the cops even show up.

For concealed carry, again, it is very easy to get a permit. Colorado is a "must issue" state, which means that the local sheriff's department is required to issue permits to anybody who applies, as long as there is no clear reason for denial. (Which is a problem because the database of reasons for denial is completely screwed up.) BUT: Guns are heavy, awkward, dangerous, and uncomfortable. In the movies, James Bond conveniently pulls a Beretta or whatever out of his shoulder holster, but in reality, carrying a gun around all the time is a major PITA. So typically what happens is that you get your CC permit, walk around like a hotshot for a few days, then drop it at a restaurant and get all scared, and then leave it at home until the Tea Party rally.

Also, many stores have "no weapons permitted" signs in their windows. So as you're walking around town with your family you constantly get confronted with a decision "do I challenge this and take on the significant hassle that is going to be the result?"

So there is a significant practical disconnect between the rhetoric and the reality. Unfortunately, the rhetoric is all about the (very dubious) theory that if everybody carried, we would all be safer, while the reality is that guns are available to every frigging crackpot, drug addict, gang banger, frustrated high school kid, and old geezer mental case in the country. Bottom line: we are crazy over here.

by asdf on Mon Feb 25th, 2013 at 04:12:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]


I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Feb 23rd, 2013 at 04:42:43 PM EST
Unrealistic. He would never say: "Thank you!"
by IM on Sun Feb 24th, 2013 at 05:42:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
RT: China admits pollution brought about 'cancer villages' (February 23, 2013)
For years environmental campaigners in China have said that cancer rates in villages near factories and polluted rivers are far higher than they should be.

Now China's Environment Ministry has admitted their existence and has called for greater transparency on environmental issues.

"In recent years, toxic and hazardous chemical pollution has caused many environmental disasters, cutting off drinking water supplies, and even leading to severe health and social problems such as `cancer villages'," the document says, which was published in the 12th five-year plan for tackling pollution.



I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Feb 23rd, 2013 at 05:05:03 PM EST
An interesting diary documenting the fractured factional politics within the Vatican at the moment.

Satan - Betty Clermont - Vatican Gay Sex Lobby "Hardly News" but the Amount of Bad Publicity is Unprecedented

I thought this was an interesting note which has wider applicability. I am minded to consider the current UK Labour party

"when you dumb down the Church" by expelling people for their ideas, corruption ensues.


keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Feb 24th, 2013 at 09:50:18 AM EST
Wolfgang Münchau: Austerity obstructs real economic reform (February 24, 2013)
This distortion has become even worse recently, as reform has been conflated with austerity. Whenever you hear a European official applauding Mr Monti's "reforms", what they are really praising is his fiscal consolidation. In other words, they applaud the many of his policies that reduced economic growth, and not the few that might have a chance to increase it one day.

Austerity and reform are the opposite of each other. If you are serious about structural reform, it will cost you upfront money. If you want to open your labour market to a hire-and-fire rule, you will need policies to deal with those who are laid off. These costs may outweigh the financial benefits of reforms in the short term but the reforms may still pay off in the long run. Structural reforms, properly done, are not suited to the task of delivering austerity.

By contrast, austerity - higher taxes and cuts in public sector investments - weaken the economy's capacity in the short run, and possibly also in the long run. If you have youth unemployment of more than 50 per cent for a sustained period, as is now the case in Greece, Italy and Spain, many of those people will never find good jobs in their lives. Economists speak of a so-called "hysteresis" effect - permanent economic damage that will not be repaired even if there is a full recovery. Austerity could well leave an economic and social scar across the eurozone.




I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Feb 24th, 2013 at 12:16:53 PM EST
German Pirate Party Sinks amid Chaos and Bickering - SPIEGEL ONLINE

Ponader and Schlömer were elected to lead the party together, and at first glance they seemed to be a perfect team. Schlömer stood for serious politics, while Ponader wanted to reach out to the digital nomads who populate Berlin's cafés with their laptops, hopping from one freelance project to the next. Ponader likes to celebrate his difference from the mainstream middle class, and it's thanks to him that the country now knows what a polyamorous lifestyle entails.

But instead of complementing one another, Ponader and Schlömer clashed from the start. Schlömer wants to make the party more professional and put together a team to take responsibility for the upcoming parliamentary election campaign. Ponader, on the other hand, sees in this the dreaded "top-down principle" and the grotesque countenance of hierarchy. While Schlömer advocates improving the party's public image, Ponader fuels debates over transparency or re-electing leaders. If Schlömer urges haste, Ponader asks for more discussion. Theoretically, this could be seen as a struggle to find the best way to do things. But the problem is that the Pirate Party knows nothing but fighting, not how to reconcile or compromise.

This article was linked in one of the newsthreads, but I lost where. Nevermind.

My impression is that the fault lines are very similar to those within the Swedish pirate party which fueled a lot of behaviour that was not optimal to win the election in 2010 (to say the least). From a swedish perspective the infigthing now appears a done deal, the most hot-headed has moved on, party leader has been changed, a form for gradual expansion of the party platform is in place, the partys charter has been rewritten and many internal rules tested a time or two. So while I think this years election will be a bust for Piraten, in the long run it might be necessary. I think the hands-on experience on local and regional level will transform the party in the coming years and result in a party more ready for Bundestag in 2017.

A vote for PES is a vote for EPP! A vote for EPP is a vote for PES! Support the coalition, vote EPP-PES in 2009!

by A swedish kind of death on Sun Feb 24th, 2013 at 01:57:01 PM EST
Let's see if any of you can identify this European capital:

by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Mon Feb 25th, 2013 at 09:19:49 AM EST
Looks boring enough.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Mon Feb 25th, 2013 at 02:56:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh, my... Bern victim?

'tis strange I should be old and neither wise nor valiant. From "The Maid's Tragedy" by Beaumont & Fletcher
by Wife of Bath (kareninaustin at g mail dot com) on Mon Feb 25th, 2013 at 03:06:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No. Maybe this helps:

Maybe Migeru will recognize the place. After all, he blogs from here. Here's the Landestag, at the southern end of that street:

The Prince lives here:

The point from where all distances are measured, now outside the tourist office (where you can get your passport stamped if you want, for a fee)

Goethe was here (doing economics research for Faust II?)

by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Mon Feb 25th, 2013 at 04:06:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well I thought of Liechtenstein, but gee, "European capital" is just sort of overstating the case a bit.

No, Bern is fine, as long as you know somebody there.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Tue Feb 26th, 2013 at 03:52:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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