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Political discussions and other rants about useless things like culture

Discussion in 'Dark Tranquillity' started by Matse, Aug 9, 2009.

  1. Defiance

    Defiance I vårens ljusa kvällar

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    Oh well, just as I expected the P.L.N. won. Let's see how it goes, with four more years of the same rubbish. (Oh wait, it's been the same nonsense for the past twenty years.)
     
  2. Defiance

    Defiance I vårens ljusa kvällar

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    I wonder how Siren feels on Greece's current situation. It's good that the government finally admitted that the previous administrations were lying about the country's inflation, but it wasn't nice of the previous administrations to lie. Most interesting is to see how U.S. companies help them cover it up, hence creating a bigger crisis.

    Obviously Greece is not going to be removed from the Eurozone, nor stop using those nice Euros. Yet this affects the Euro's value, which is not good (for Europe, at least).
     
  3. Siren

    Siren Active Member

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    Well, this is a big issue to analyze in just a few lines. In short (hah), it wasn't just the previous government that lied, the current prime minister has been a minister in past governments who also lied and abused their position to gain personal wealth, and generally every government since 1981 has had a mind to put money in their pockets and didn't care/couldn't efficiently run a country, thus driving it further and further into debt. This all started with the biggest thief in the late greek political history, the father of the current PM.

    Let it be noted that the current PM knew everything about the situation before the elections, and even hinted at the pre-election debate that the previous PM (who was eager to get out of the difficult situation and go home to stuff his mouth with food and play with his Playstation) was lying about the economy, yet he was swearing that the money was there and that he would give it to the people. Of course, at this point noone can complain about the strict measures that will be suffered by the economically weaker people, also because the media brainwashes us every day about strict measures and the danger etc etc, so in the end we will end up begging them to take our money and save us. Of course -once again- the masterminds who run the country are taking the wrong measures by taking money away from the poor and middle class people, thus decreasing their ability to buy and dooming the market into inactivity. Also let it be noted that Greece has the lowest salaries and is one of the most expensive countries to live in in the EU.

    Another point i'd like to raise along with a middle finger, is the following: even though our borders should be considered as EU borders, we are forced to buy a lot of military equipment in order to defend ourselves, thanks to our neighbouring with Turkey and other uncuddly nations in the north. Our debt would be much less if we didn't have to arm ourselves like lobsters, and we'd be able to spend this money in better things, like health, education or (surprise, surprise) covering our debt. One should question where we buy such equipment from, and to pay attention at the timing of such deals and the sudden shift in being offered political support in the crisis (*cough*forexamplegermany*cough).

    Politics are much dirtier than we sometimes think.
     
  4. Siren

    Siren Active Member

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    I'm having an itch to praise the modern greek democracy. I will scratch it.
    PM 1955-63, 1974-80: Konstantinos Karamanlis (he was actually good)
    PM 1944-45, 1963-65: Georgios Papandreou (respected as well)

    PM 1981-1989: Andreas Papandreou (son of Georgios, grand thief)
    PM 1990-1993: Konstantinos Mitsotakis (Dracula)
    PM 1993-1996: Andreas Papandreou
    PM 2004-2009: Kostas Karamanlis (nephew of Konstantinos K., lazy playstation guy)
    PM 2009-now: George Papandreou (son of Andreas, grandson of Georgios, can't speak proper greek)

    Back in November there were elections held in the conservative party to replace Kostas in the position of the leader (and to later become PM), and the two primary candidates were:
    -Antonis Samaras (won, he went to college in the US with George and they were best buddies and dorm-roommates)
    -Dora Bakoyanni (lost, daughter of Dracula).


    Democracy in its glory.
     
  5. Maxim1110

    Maxim1110 Member

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    Ouch. Recently read an interesting article about someone stating that intellectuals generally reject democracy. An example would be Plato, who found the democracy ridiculous. Also, the fact that that guy Geert Wilders whom I mentioned before is expected to get high voting percentages is used as an example. Many intellectuals would say that this is a perfect example of why democracy is wrong: the majority of people are dumb, and thus won't choose the right one, and intellectuals claim to hold the truth.

    In addition to that, we got a crisis going on here now, and the current government is not expected to last until the weekend. That means new elections, which may mean Geert Wilders. Oh boy...
     
  6. Defiance

    Defiance I vårens ljusa kvällar

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    I thank thee, Siren, for such instructive posts :) , Defiance learnt a lot.

    And what Defiance noticed the most, is the amazing similarities between Greece and Costa Rica. For example, you mentioned that the corrupt (or better said, more corrupt) governments started around 1981 with Andreas Papandreou, son of Georgios Papandreou. Something similar happened here: The government, in a way, told the World Bank to go screw itself and that C.R. will not pay the debts it owed to the bank. A month later (more or less), the value of the Costa Rican Colón went from ¢7 = $1, to ¢20 = $1. This was horrible, since the Colón had been stable (below 10) for about thirty years or more). And so, at the moment of writing this, it is CRC 1000 = GBP 1.17 = EUR1.34 = USD1.82 = CAD1.89 (I love my dashboard widget of currencies :p).

    Not only that, but after that time, it could be said that the country went from great to OK, and from bad to 'wurst' (;)). So today we're a very unsafe country, a bridge for Colombian and Mexican drug dealers. The problem is when those guys stay here and use normal houses as headquarters, and start shooting rampages on a public street and kill a poor Uni psychology student who was just going to the bank, but got caught in the firing.


    What's even funnier with this Greece-C.R. coincidences is that we had horrible governments, and a lot of them were with the same family :lol:. e.g. we have this guy called 'Pepe' Figueres (Figueres Ferrer) who was with the winning faction when civil war broke out in 1949, and was in power not one nor two times, but three. He was one of the most corrupt people/governments I've ever seen, as usual, but hey he made himself incredibly wealthy. Turns out, his son, Figueres Olsen, was president too, from 1994 to 1998. Kudos to them for finding more ways to stay in power.

    What's worse is that, even though their governments have been full of corruption, they're basically idols, especially to old people like my grandma. For example, Figueres Olsen shut down the trains of the entire country because he said it was 'too expensive' to keep them. And so presently, we have a bunch of trucks that have damaged the streets thousands of times, and have caused thousands of accidents, which have killed thousands of people. Oh, and guess who's part of one of the companies that places the asphalt on the streets? Yup, Figueres.

    Oh and that fucker (I'm sorry, couldn't help it) now lives in Switzerland, eating excellent cheese, and not coming back to the country because if he does so he'll face charges for corruption.

    We also have the Arias family, who basically owned an entire province of the country (a bit of an exaggeration, but a large part of it). Reelection wasn't legal in C.R., but guess who's the president today? Yup, 'Osquitar' (Oscar in diminutive, pejorative), who got reelected by stupid people who DO NOT KNOW WHAT THE FUCK THEY ARE DOING. It was basically illegal for him to even be presidential candidate, but he still won by 0.7% or 20K votes. Yes, a tight victory but he still won.

    Finally, with the previous elections, Laura Chinchilla won, so we'll basically have another Arias administration, just with a different name. Same shit, different smell.


    Oh and I teach English to economy students, and they said that Greece will probably kicked out of the Eurozone. Very unlikely to happen, IMO. But whichever way you look at it, Greece is in a very tight spot.

    Yes, that's why democracy doesn't work, because most people are either stupid, brainwashed or uneducated to have a critical view of things (i.e. their country and its current state) to make a good decision.

    Please don't tell me that Geert Wilders is running for presidency in T.N.? :zombie:

    What is the crisis in T.N. that you mentioned?
     
  7. Maxim1110

    Maxim1110 Member

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    Prime minister it is, but yes he is:OMG: And the crisis is about the Dutch mission in Uruzgan, Afghanistan. I don't exactly know what the problem is but it's like the current prime minister and his party don't match the appointments they made.
     
  8. Defiance

    Defiance I vårens ljusa kvällar

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    So apparently The Netherlands is without a government now?
     
  9. Maxim1110

    Maxim1110 Member

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    Well yeah and there's gonna be new elections in about two months I think. I'm really curious about what's gonna happen now. I also know a little better what the exact problem was now. In The Netherlands, the leading party supplies the PM and forms a coalition with other parties with whom they can agree. When the last government was formed back in 2007 one of the appointments they made was the retreat out of Afghanistan as of august 1st 2010. Now 2 of the parties wanted to continue the mission, while the other party wanted to keep to the appointment they made. And since they couldn't reach an agreement over this and they don't trust each other anymore so that's what happened.

    Expectations are that it will be a bit more extreme. As the current government was mainly formed of central parties, the expectations are now that it will be either really right wing or really left wing. Right wing would suck since we'd get that guy Geert Wilders about whom I talked before. I'd love to have a more left wing government though, really curious about what's gonna happen.
     
  10. Defiance

    Defiance I vårens ljusa kvällar

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    Ah OK, that's interesting, I also wonder what'll happen. Extremes are never good, but I guess it's better to have a left-wing one than a right-wing one :p.
     
  11. Maxim1110

    Maxim1110 Member

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    Yeah, elections are now set for June 9th, let's see what happens...
     
  12. Defiance

    Defiance I vårens ljusa kvällar

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    ^ Good luck to you :) .

    The health care reform in the U.S. passed, I guess that's good :p .
     
  13. stizzleomnibus

    stizzleomnibus Decisively Human

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    New US healthcare system: we still have private insurance companies, but everyone has to buy a policy. No one can be denied, and the government will subsidize people who can't afford it.

    Frankly, I think that this new system sucks, but it will suck less than the current one. The problem with the mandates is that some truly destitute people, as well as people who simply aren't good with paperwork and anyone who falls through the many cracks that are bound to crop up will remain uninsured. Would you believe that the United States, with the "greatest health care in the world" according to some morons, has one of the highest infant mortality rates in the world? Dead babies are just about the worst thing I can imagine, but it's about the only that America still produces.

    Not to mention the effect on actual producers. In America, we love to frame debates by drawing a line between well-off, educated workers and the poor, lazy, ignorant masses (see: the collected works of Ayn Rand or Bioshock). So, here's where it hurts our valuable citizens: want to start a small business? Maybe do some free-lance work? Be a consultant? Be an artist? Well, wandering too far from your corporate overlords is going to make it awfully hard to get coverage for your family. Innovation starts with individuals and small business, not massive, unwieldy corporations. Our current health care system actually discourages innovation. Combined with our patent system, it's no surprise that China is gaining ground on us.

    There's also been a ton of controversy over coverage for abortions. Apart from not funding them, this bill will almost certainly make it more difficult to get coverage. This means no extension of abortion coverage to the most destitute (as there is a long-standing ban on federal funding for them), but actually causes the most harm in the least controversial cases. Out-patient, common abortions will still be performed much as the always have been, but now women in late-term pregnancies who require hospitalization for life-threatening emergency procedures are fucked to the tune of thousands of dollars. But they're women so I don't see why anyone should care. Can't break precedent now can we?

    I'm really unhappy with this bill, but it's a step in the right direction. It's been funny over the last year to hear the opposition and it's bullshit. They've been screaming about "socialism" and ignoring wildly popular programs like Medicare (socialized care for seniors), Social Security (retirement and disability) and Medicaid (somewhat controversial, health care for truly destitute "leaches"). These morons have made it a point of throwing out the examples in Canada and most European cultures of the failure of socialized medicine, from the "enormous waiting lists" to the "low quality of care." The one thing that America excels in specialists: we do have some of the best doctors in the world. It's too bad that we're so shitty at getting basic care to the neediest citizens.

    Health Care Part II: I Can Has Single-payer?
     
  14. Naglfar

    Naglfar As Naglfar devours us all

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    Thank Nancy Pelosi for the bill that passed. If it weren't for her, we wouldn't even have what we got today in the House.

    You're right; it is imperfect. But just like with Medicaid, once you give it to people, it becomes popular and you can't take it away. Republicans are talking about repealing the reform bill as soon as possible, but the truth is that over time it will probably get more efficient and expansive.

    The most important aspect of this bill was purely political, though. The reform doesn't kick in until 2014, so basically Obama liberated all his political capital up until the next elections. Republicans could have deadlocked reform and used it as an issue to crow and rally around. Now they don't have that. It'll be interesting to see what he targets next. Probably something less toxic with much more support among Republicans, like banking reform.

    This was a pretty serious setback for the GOP. It's only 2010, but this was an ideological battle for them that could have given them their mojo back. They'll get other chances, but it's one hell of a stomach punch. It definitely ends the Scott Brown for President talk, as he won't get a chance to be the guy who kills the health reform bill.

    I have to stress how awesome Pelosi was in all this. Rahm Emmanuel wanted to scrap the bill, and Pelosi basically told Obama that if he didn't risk it all and pass the bill, he'd probably never get it done and lose the next elections. And he agreed and stood his ground finally. Of course, if they had failed the consequences would have been immense because of the tactics they used... but she muscled out the votes with Obama's help.
     
  15. Defiance

    Defiance I vårens ljusa kvällar

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    Intresting, I was watching the Republicans say some long rants on abortion, but really didn't get it. My father in law recently got his gringo citizenship, he can't obviously afford Medicare (he makes pizzas the biggest Costa Rican colony in the U.S.: New Jersey :p . Tico joke: Jersey is so CRn that the security guards are Nicas! :p ), so I guess he's happy.

    Yeah I'd say most U.S. doctors are quite good, maybe the best (ironically enough, the Cuban ones are also excellent), yet it's for naught since they can only treat people that can afford them. Which are not many.

    Haha yeah most people in the U.S. think their health-care system is the best, but I saw a list that said that U.S. was 37 in the world, right above Costa Rica. The difference is, U.S. is 1st worlds C.R.… is not.
     
  16. Maxim1110

    Maxim1110 Member

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    Yes, I read it in the papers this morning. Although I don't live in the USA, I guess I'm pretty happy it happened in the end. As far as I heard, republicans have mostly just been complaining the past few months. Claiming that Obama failed to match his promises and that sorts of stuff, while they were actually the ones who kept holding it all back.

    When I read that there had been republicans outside the capitol with banners saying things such as "Mao Obama" I really laughed my ass off. Seriously, somebody hasn't been doing his homework. If I'd compare Obama to some of the political parties we have in The Netherlands, he would be one of the central parties, whereas a Maoist party, or even the current Socialist Party(SP), is extremely left-wing. The result is a step closer towards a normal healthcare system, in my eyes. For one could claim to have the best doctors in the world, but as you just said: if only the rich can afford them it's absolutely no use.

    And yeah, the infant death rates are shocking. As King Theodon said in LOTR II: "a parent should never have to bury his son." I can't imagine what it feels like to lose your own child, it must be even worse than losing a parent. It is also shocking to hear stories of people with "heavy" diseases, such as cancer. If you're not too rich, or perhaps just poor, and you have cancer, you're either bankrupt or dead in the U.S.

    I think it would be good to show those republicans the list of countries by Human Development Index. The most important parameters for this index are health care and education. It's funny to see that the USA comes in 13th there, mainly behind countries with a "socialist" health care system. The first 13 are as follows:
    1. Norway
    2. Australia
    3. Iceland
    4. Canada
    5. Ireland
    6. The Netherlands
    7. Sweden
    8. France
    9. Switzerland
    10. Japan
    11. Luxembourg
    12. Finland
    13. USA
    As for Canada, Japan and Australia I don't know but I'm pretty sure that just about every (western) European country has this kind of health care system. Speaking of The Netherlands, you are forced to have a health insurance, but it is subsided for those who can't afford it. When you get ill, it will always get paid. At least, I haven't seen any situations where you had to pay for it yourself. Also things such as dentists and psychologists are subsided. I just looked it up, and in the U.S. infant death rates are 7/1000 and the average life expectancy is 76, whereas in, for example, Iceland this is 4/1000 and 80.

    Something that also makes me laugh is the fact is the everlasting hate of Americans towards communism. So let's take the example of the USSR. Agreed, Stalin wasn't as friendly as your average neighbour, but the ideals of marxism-leninism certainly did have some good ideas. Approaching this from a philosophical view, there is a simple reason why communism wouldn't work. In communism, every citizen is equal, gets paid the same amount of money and are able to buy the same goods in the same stores etc. Though, if you get paid a certain amount of money anyway, would you still work for it? Most people won't, and that's why it didn't work. So basically it could be stated that communism relies on the perfect human, being the one who would still work even if there is no motivation. Another reason was the fact that jobs were divided by the government, and the government didn't question if a certain job suited someone. Also, the products that were in the stores were never equally divided, which means that, for example, in the month February a certain store would only have bread and milk, whereas apples and juice are the only things stored in March. But those are things that COULD be solved, though. All that said, the fact that it just didn't work out doesn't take away the fact that I think the basic ideas of marxism-leninism were good. Also, it would be interesting to hear what DT thinks about such matters, i.e. if they're left-wing, right-wing, central etc.

    Furthermore, there is a bit of hope here in The Netherlands for the elections of June 9th. The PvdA (Labour Party) has a new leader, as well as the SP (Socialist Party) and especially that of the PvdA made their number of votes skyrocket in the polls. Even so that now the PVV (that of Geert Wilders whom I talked about before) isn't the biggest party in the polls anymore. Still, the difference is narrow, so it'll still be interesting what happens.

    In the recent municipal elections the PVV participated in two cities, being The Hague and Almere, and they became the biggest party in Almere and the second in The Hague. But they have recently said not to be participating in a coalition in either one of those cities, because the other parties with whom they would have to form a coalition would not agree to their point of view. What a surprise.
     
  17. Villain

    Villain Doctor BenQuillity

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    The band-members have repeatedly expressed that they are not interested in politics, or at least that they want to keep their political views to themselves. The only exception I know is that Mikael has recently become somewhat vocal about his loathing of organized religion, as can be read in some of the lyrics. However, the band as a whole will most likely never make any political statements.

    -Villain
     
  18. Maxim1110

    Maxim1110 Member

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    Ah right I see, it is of course their very right to do so, but I was just curious.
     
  19. Defiance

    Defiance I vårens ljusa kvällar

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    Yeah I agree, for some reason a lot of U.S. Americans think that the U.S.S.R. still exists :lol: .

    Costa Rica's infant death rate is 9.5, I guess it's not that bad, and it's the best one in Latin America. That's pretty good :) .

    The problem with the health system here is that it's basically collapsed. You have to wait 5 years to get an operation, so you'll probably be death by that time. The problem is that most people cannot afford to go to a private clinic to get the operation, so they're usually done for if they don't have enough colones. Yet concerning medicines, the system is pretty decent, I get my insulin and asthma medications for free :) .

    Well, best of luck destroying the homophobic guy :p , hopefully the Dutch are smart enough to not vote for him.

    And I guess most D.T. members are left wing, but I'm just guessing :p .
     
  20. stizzleomnibus

    stizzleomnibus Decisively Human

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    Yeah, Mrs. Pelosi and I aren't really speaking right now. I guess she did what was necessary to get this thing passed, but abandoning 50% of your constituents to support the Stupak-Pitts Amendment was incredibly lame.

    It will be interesting, in the course of my lifetime, to watch Republicans change their minds on this issue. They fought every major social reform (that socialism that everyone's screaming about), from public education to all of our health care reforms. They strangely fall silent once the people realize how indispensable these services are. Republicans have less to do with conservative philosophy and small government than they do with more big business.

    That party is so corrupt that I empathize with true conservatives; they do deserve an opportunity to vote with their views. It's unfortunate that they are practically being led to vote against themselves. The Republican party as it exists today is cobbled together out of so many groups that you can see why they have no clear ideology. They pay lip-service to evangelicals, despite the fact that Christians should be for the separation of church and state (because it's not your religion once the government owns and enforces it), and because Jesus was the biggest fucking liberal to have ever lived. They've got big business in there, which is a recipe for corruption. They have nearly every racist in the country (because of "terrorism" and a black president). The party believes in nothing, and it sends the poor out to vote against their own interests (and right into corporate pockets) because they believe that one day they'll be wealthy enough to enjoy all the privileges they earned for their masters.

    Oh, and let's not forget the development of the glorious Military Industrial Complex. A huge chunk of our economy, funded by corrupt politicians, thrives when we send our young men out to die.

    Yeah, that's inaccurate, but not too bad. Today they started busting out "my pals" and "faggot". In case you use different slurs locally, those are two of our last dirty words (for blacks and homosexuals, respectively). I'm usually not much for decorum, but it seems that people elevated to the legislature should at least get political slurs (i.e. allegations of corruption, incompetence). It's kind of trashy to mix your elected leaders up with your own anachronistic hatred.

    Yeah, the fear of communism is actually to the point of self-parody at this point. Like much of 50s-era scare-mongering, it's more of a joke to mention it than anything else. Now, we scream about socialism. Which is funny, since no one seems to know what it means. The fact is, you Europeans have had a wonderful opportunity, sandwiched between American capitalism and Russian communism, to get this shit right (for the most part). Free markets like ours do a phenomenal job of efficiently rewarding producers and distributing wealth. That's where communism fails; it does everything badly. The upshot to communism is that some things don't distribute well, and that's where government intervention gets that shit done. Hence, Socialism: you get a thriving free market, tax it, and start spending the revenue on things that the market doesn't produce.

    That's why we educate everyone, offer financial assistance for universities, insure the elderly and destitute, vaccinate everyone who will take it, and cover retirement and disability for people who are really fucked. No one ever really complained about paying for or receiving these, but NOW we're up in arms about socialism.

    People will always be poor. I see no reason to form a goverment luxury car distribution program, since they don't need it. But I can't see the value in distributing health care like a luxury good. Without a social system, there's always a bottom left pounding at the gate.

    I heard a story about Mr. Wilders on NPR the other day, and I am so confused. Conservative Europeans tend to lean liberal by American standards, but this asshole is out saying things, publicly, that would get you kicked out of the American political system. You guys have got to stop him, because he scares me.

    Also, you have two political parties named "People's Party for Freedom and Democracy" and "Party for Freedom". Is that as confusing in the original language as in English? I'm mystified because I was reading about Neelie Kroes the other day, who is one of my favorite residents of your country, and I for a moment thought she was in Adolf Wilders' party.

    This is a very good thing. It's a shame when you find out that you disagree with someone on something which isn't normally a part of your relationship (in this case, has nothing to do with music), and then you have to hate them. Or at least wonder just a little bit about why those riffs sound so...anti free trade. Joking, of course. This does save a lot of trouble. I hear that Phil from Philswitch Engage is over on the right wing (militantly), and that makes me uncomfortable. Not to mention my joy at not being able to understand a word sung by DWP.
     

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