Random Thoughts (Political Edition)

SpitfireMK461

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The internet speed gap has bothered me for some time. It is really annoying to see how slow our speeds compared to other countries. It is further aggravated when the companies drag their feet and tell us we should be happy with the way it is compared to other companies...


Why don't more communities build their own systems and tell the companies they have failed and to fuck off?
Funny you mention that. The development I live in is provided internet and cable by a company by OpenBand, which has an exclusive contract. We get 100mbps internet from them, which is far more than you get most anywhere other than university campuses and silicon valley, yet it's considered a scandal here because people are calling it a monopoly. Even if it is, any competitor in the area has comparatively crap service.

That, I think, is part of the problem. People aren't collectively willing to force better service. They just want competition and good prices.
 

rickhamilton620

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Re: Random Thoughts (Political Edition)

The internet speed gap has bothered me for some time. It is really annoying to see how slow our speeds compared to other countries. It is further aggravated when the companies drag their feet and tell us we should be happy with the way it is compared to other companies...


Why don't more communities build their own systems and tell the companies they have failed and to fuck off?
communities have tried to go their own (look up municipal Wi-Fi) but the deadly combo of limited budgets and the comcast's of the world doing very sneaky things to get state and county govt to ban community owned TV and internet keeps things held back.

http://m.smartplanet.com/blog/thinking-tech/seattle-ends-free-wi-fi/11546

As far as PA goes, there'll pretty much never be muni wi-fi thanks to Comcast complaining as they're headquartered here and we have to just bend over and take it... I mean "support our local businesses"

There's smaller ISP's here like pa.net , but they're dial-up or dsl: http://www.pa.net/services/?service=DSL
 
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nomix

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You've got DIAL UP?!

Okay, it's time for emergency aid..

-

Cabinet reshuffle in Norway. Biggest points are as follows:

Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr St?re is moved on to Ministry of Health. St?re is a big hitter in cabinet, and considered one of the labour party's main ideological thinkers, with a strong background in international affairs. I judge St?re is being moved to health to prepare him for the party leadership. Prime Minister Stoltenberg will probably lose power in the next general election, and he'll probably want to resign as party leader, having led the Labour party since 2002. This will lead to a leadership vote, which will, in my opinion, be between St?re and Business minister Trond Giske.

St?re is probably Stoltenbergs choice, being his right hand man and a factional ally. But Giske is by far the more experienced in-fighter and politician, with a long background in the Labour party, with experience as a cabinet minister in three departments, he will be viewed as a cabinet heavyweight and he's got a very crucial power base in Tr?ndelag.

Other changes include defence minister Espen Barth Eide taking over the reins as foreign minister, health minister Anne Grete Str?m Eriksen going to defence, culture minister Anniken Huitfeldt going to Labour, and Hadia Tajik taking over Culture, becoming the first Norwegian minister with Pakistani origins. Tajik has a background as a political advisor within several departments, being elected to parliament in 2009, but also being part of controversies, such as a hastily bungled decision to allow muslim women to wear hijabs as part of the police uniform.

Tajik is also a very young appointee, being born in 1983.
 
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GRtak

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Emergency aid? :lmao:


communities have tried to go their own (look up municipal Wi-Fi) but the deadly combo of limited budgets and the comcast's of the world doing very sneaky things to get state and county govt to ban community owned TV and internet keeps things held back.

http://m.smartplanet.com/blog/thinking-tech/seattle-ends-free-wi-fi/11546

As far as PA goes, there'll pretty much never be muni wi-fi thanks to Comcast complaining as they're headquartered here and we have to just bend over and take it... I mean "support our local businesses"

There's smaller ISP's here like pa.net , but they're dial-up or dsl: http://www.pa.net/services/?service=DSL
Rick I know there have been efforts put forth and there are a few communities that do have their own systems. People are sheeple and it is really starting to make me sick. Half of these companies give shit service and promise the world will be better someday... and the people pay as long as they get dances with a rich asshole that doesn't get their career is over and they need to get another job of some sort.
 

nomix

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Having dial-up in 2012 is a bloody emergency!
 

nomix

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In other news, some people on the internet are having big problems accepting Norway's gotten its first muslim minister. In charge of culture, no less.

Alas, I was not suprised. I've been spending the morning in the comment sections of newspapers. I'm the Jeremy Paxman of the comment fields. Really, I'm making myself a t-shirt.
 

SpitfireMK461

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Libyans storm militia building after giant protest in wake of attack on US consulate

BENGHAZI, Libya ? Hundreds of protesters stormed the compound of one of Libya?s strongest armed Islamic extremist groups Friday, evicting militiamen and setting fire to their building as the attack that killed the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans sparked a public backlash against armed groups that run rampant in the country and defy the country?s new, post-Moammar Gadhafi leadership.

Armed men at the administrative center for the Ansar al-Shariah militia, suspected to have led the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. Benghazi consulate, first fired in the air to disperse the crowd, but eventually withdrew from the site with their weapons and vehicles after it was surrounded by waves of protesters shouting ?No to militias.?

?I don?t want to see armed men wearing Afghani-style clothes stopping me in the street to give me orders, I only want to see people in uniform,? said Omar Mohammed, a university student who took part in the takeover, which protesters said was done in support of the army and police.

No deaths were reported in the incident, which came after tens of thousands marched in Benghazi in a rally against armed militias. A vehicle was also burned at the compound, which was taken over by Libyan security forces after its occupants fled.

For many Libyans, last week?s attack on the U.S. Consulate in the eastern city of Benghazi was the last straw with one of the biggest problems Libya has faced since Gadhafi?s ouster and death around a year ago ? the multiple mini-armies that with their arsenals of machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades are stronger than the regular armed forces and police.

The militias, a legacy of the rag-tag popular forces that fought Gadhafi?s regime, tout themselves as protectors of Libya?s revolution, providing security where police cannot. But many say they act like gangs, detaining and intimidating rivals and carrying out killings. Militias made up of Islamic radicals are notorious for attacks on Muslims who don?t abide by their hardline ideology. Officials and witnesses say fighters from Ansar al-Shariah led the attack on the U.S. consulate.

Some 30,000 people filled a broad boulevard as they marched along a lake in central Benghazi on Friday to the gates of the headquarters of Ansar al-Shariah.

?No, no, to militias,? the crowd chanted, filling a broad boulevard. They carried banners and signs demanding that militias disband and that the government build up police to take their place in keeping security. ?Benghazi is in a trap,? signs read. ?Where is the army, where is the police??

Other signs mourned the killing of U.S. Amb. Chris Stevens, reading, ?The ambassador was Libya?s friend? and ?Libya lost a friend.? Military helicopters and fighter jets flew overhead, and police mingled in the crowd, buoyed by the support of the protesters.

Several thousand Ansar al-Shariah supporters lined up in front of their headquarters in the face of the crowd, waving black and white banners. There were some small scuffles, but mostly the two sides mingled and held discussions in the square.

Continued at link
http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/libyans-hold-giant-march-demanding-militias-disband-in-wake-of-attack-on-us-consulate/2012/09/21/9203e21c-0406-11e2-9132-f2750cd65f97_story.html?hpid=z2

It's great seeing protests like this. Don't know why it isn't headline news.
 

nomix

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Doesn't fit the narrative. Been bashing people with this shit for the last weeks.
 

AiR

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nomix

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Ever been to a volatile arab place? Beirut is great. In the last 2000 days, Beirut was probably paradise for 1970 days. But those 30 days of fuckup.. they can get bad.

Couple of years ago, Hezbollah took control of Beirut, every strategic point in the city. And held them for a couple of hours. Then they left their positions and disappeared.

What's my point? That even a good day in a volatile arab country can go sour in a New York minute. Those are quick, right?

If there was a protest in a good part of Beirut with ten people shouting "WE LOVE NOMIX", I wouldn't go close to it. Because there is no way of knowing what it could turn into.

Four people dead is sad, but it's not unexpected. Things just go wrong quickly.
 

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Nor would I go anywhere near a demo. Some opposition group would turn up saying "Death to the Danish cartoon drawer, Nomix", then all hell would break loose.

Since independence from the colonial powers post WW2, many countries in Africa, Middle-east and Asia have been struggling with developing a stable and reasonable political system.
Lebanon had a long civil war between the Christian Falange groups and various muslim groups. Beirut was once dubbed "the Paris of the east", was trashed during the wars. Supposed to be a nice place when there's no shooting going on.

It took England from c.400 post Roman, about 1 a millenium to start to get a good system, even then it wasn't immediate. So people in the western democracies, shouldn't expect quick solutions. History always repeats itself, wherethe development of political systems are concerned. Civil wars followed by negotiations, over several iterations.

:smile:

(Yes I will be starting a History of Politics Thread soon.)
 

nomix

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The Lebanese civil war was one of the most confusing bits of history in the 20th century. Even a couple of years ago, when I was in Lebanon, you'd be easily able to detect the fractionalisation of Lebanese society, Russian mate of mine got into a checkpoint with.. well. a "non Lebanese government entity", and was held for half a night. That was in 2009. Or maybe 2008.

Look at Syria now. Back then, Damaskus was as dosile as a dosile quiet-thingy. Heck, even the traffic was terrific. In Beirut, you could see scenes like someone stopping their car in the middle of a four lane road in the city center, getting out with their family, go have lunch and leave the car there - in the middle of the road! Traffic signs were, I would say, indications of what might have been.

There's a lot to say for military dictatorships. You don't run a red light when there's a militiaman with an AK-47 standing at the side of the road.

Syria isn't dosile anymore. Not even close to being it. Shows you how volatile these nations are just under the surface.

But big, oxen size kudos cohones to Libya for attempting to being something other than that. It's great, and very suprising.
 

Interrobang

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http://blogs.reuters.com/faithworld/2012/09/25/german-catholic-activists-rap-decree-excluding-church-tax-opt-outs/
German Catholic activists rap decree excluding church tax opt-outs
Liberal and conservative Roman Catholic activists in Germany criticised a decree that came into effect on Monday to deny sacraments and religious burials to people who opt out of a ?church tax?.
The German bishops issued the decree last week warning Catholics who stop paying the tax they would be excluded from all religious activities, also including working in a church job, becoming a godparent or taking part in parish activities.[...]
I find it hilarious how the catholic church thinks that a) people leave their church (that?s a bit misleading in the blog-post - you don?t "opt out of a tax", you opt out of church - then don?t pay the tax anymore automatically) because of the tax, not because it?s lead by a bunch of idiots and child-molesters.
And b) by issuing said warning anyone will be convinced otherwise. :rolleyes:

[...]The annual total of Catholic church leavers, usually around 120,000 [per year], rose to 181,193 two years ago as revelations about decades of sexual abuse of children by priests shamed the hierarchy
 
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AiR

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How do you fund burials in Germany? Is it a burial tax (fee) like here?
 
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