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Everything posted by BansheeOne

  1. I'd say it depends upon the coalition talks and inner-party dynamics. It has been pointed out the new SPD Bundestag group has become much more leftist, particularly with Young Socialists; but then the latter only recently included the amazingly pro-military party secretary general Lars Klingbeil I posted about a couple pages ago, and it probably wasn't by accident Olaf Scholz included soldiers among the professions he mentioned when he talked about the diversity of walks of life in the new group. Also mind that hard positions are often maintained to sharpen your public profile on the way to power, but once there people become pragmatic. The last Red-Green government sent the Bundeswehr into its first official combat missions and presided over the Hartz welfare reforms after all. Only Nixon could go to China, and all that. The fact that the issue wasn't mentioned in the paper of results from the probing talks likely means it's controversial among the would-be partners, but also that it's up for discussion. Then again, the Sozis could just follow recent precedent and go full retard. We'll have to see.
  2. In the same vein: https://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/narco-state-netherlands-the-slippery-dutch-slope-from-drug-tolerance-to-drug-terror-a-4c064859-9faf-495f-b1f7-c74900910568
  3. The new Bundestag will constitute next Tuesday. Current SPD group vice leader Bärbel Bas has been nominated to succeed Wolfgang Schäuble as speaker. Group leader Wolfgang Mützenich was talked about earlier, but there was a push to have A Woman in at least one of the top three positions of the republic. Which I guess means the argument is spent when it comes to the presidential election next spring, and Frank-Walter Steinmeier will stay on for a second term unless the post is traded away in some political deal. Historically, female candidates for the presidency have only been fielded by any party when they had no chance, with the feel-good slogan that it's "finally time for a woman". I would actually preferred to have Mützenich as speaker; the supra-partisan nature of the office would have removed him somewhat from day-to-day debate, particularly with a view to his anti-military positions.
  4. I think that if the southern colonies were to rise up over the slavery issue, it would have to be between 1833 and 1848 already, when the abolition in the French colonies removes the role model and possible external support next door. Unless the British and French colonies rise up jointly to declare their secession, fought jointly by the British and French. Now that would be a twist (but not too outlandish - Napoleon reintroduced slavery in the American colonies because they threatened to go over to the British), with unclear outcome: does it go the way of the ARW or ACW? I suspect the latter; Canada had unsuccessful insurrections in 1837, too. Otherwise the likely push of British settlers into Louisiana will remain a cause of friction throughout the 19th century, probably until around the time of the Fashoda Crisis when Britain and France came to settle down on what each had taken. Unless friction in America actually prevents such a settlement, in which case the Entente Cordial doesn't emerge and we have a profound impact on events in the 20th century.
  5. https://m.dw.com/en/north-korea-test-fires-ballistic-missile-off-east-coast/a-59544879
  6. Complete shitshow. https://news.usni.org/2021/10/19/long-chain-of-failures-left-sailors-unprepared-to-fight-uss-bonhomme-richard-investigation-finds
  7. That's my thinking. The French possessions are indeed the crucial barrier to expansion; Florida was actually traded to Britain for restoring Spanish control of Havana in 1763 already and only lost again in 1783 as a result of British defeat in the ARW, which doesn't happen here. But Napoleonic France would obviously be unwilling to sell Louisiana to an Empire they had at best a shaky peace in between wars at the time. In fact the borderlands probably become another front in the Napoleonic Wars; hence my suggestion of another French and Indian War. The question is whether Britain would want to make territorial gains out of the eventual French defeat - as noted, nobody really saw the potential of all that land at the time. Otherwise the question does indeed become one of private initiative, and it seems to me British culture was more permissive/supportive of such. Regarding numbers of immigrants to make it happen, it's not just about permitting them, but also supply. We're already coming to the point of American ideas influencing the rest of the world here: the US quickly gained an image of individual freedom and opportunity over the 19th century that attracted those seeking to escape from economic hardship and socio-political oppression. Post-Napoleonic restauration of feudal systems and the failed revolutions around 1848 brought a lot of Europeans there, particularly Germans; though I guess the better climate for agriculture explains a large part of the greater attraction vs. neighboring Canada, and both that and distance vs. Australia. So I guess the Great Famine would still have resulted in Irish mass immigration, for example.
  8. I think the depiction of Hobbits in their original blackness is a reactionary return to Tolkien's racist imagination of them as simple-minded yet loyal pygmies robbed of their true African noble savage culture to act as watercarriers for white aristocratic elites, and should be cancelled. 😁
  9. I read that as "being disinvited by ASEAN really smarted, so here's an olive branch".
  10. https://m.dw.com/en/belarus-expels-french-ambassador-over-diplomatic-row/a-59533141
  11. https://m.dw.com/en/czech-president-zeman-unable-to-perform-duties-official/a-59541495
  12. https://m.dw.com/en/germany-free-democrats-vote-to-join-formal-coalition-talks/a-59535205
  13. https://m.dw.com/en/myanmar-to-free-over-5000-political-prisoners/a-59534058
  14. https://m.dw.com/en/russia-suspends-its-mission-to-nato/a-59523989
  15. https://m.dw.com/en/alleged-killers-of-dutch-journalist-de-vries-go-on-trial/a-59535765
  16. Damn. Somehow I didn't think he was that old. But then he has been pretty much out of the public eye for some time, and we tend to conserve the last image we saw of someone.
  17. All the recent talk about the influence of American liberalism on Europe/the West/the world made me wonder if we ever had a What If on failure of the American Revolution, and consequently the US never emerging. If we did, I can't find it, so I'm starting this one anyway. I suppose even if the colonials failed to get enough public support to get their cause off the ground or were militarily defeated, American independence might just get kicked down the road unless the original grievances were sufficiently addressed; keeping the locals down by repression would just become such a drag on the Empire, particularly if independent-minded Americans keep moving West one step ahead of British efforts, leading to an ever-increasing territory with destabilizing hinterlands. So the first question would be how to accommodate the demands of the colonies. The second would be where territorial expansion goes. I suspect it would end up to cover pretty much the same territory as the actual US, though there may be differences on the way. Florida likely never returns to Spain. The French would probably not be as readily inclined to sell Louisiana to the British as to the Americans, possibly leading to another French and Indian War. Buying Alaska from Russia actually makes rather more sense for the Empire than the US, consolidating rule over North America. What happens to Texas and California though? Will there even be as many immigrants under British rule to populate and develop all this land? What about the issue of slavery after full abolition in the Empire 1833-43? Finally back to the root of my question, the impact on development elsewhere. Revolutions in Europe will happen anyway inspired by the French one, which didn't really need American prompting. Probably same for those in South America. But what about the opening of Japan? The Spanish-American War? With the US not emerging as a competing power to the Empire, is the latter's global military stance more laid back, more tense because it has more territory to defend, or driven to excess, trying to conquer even moarrr of others' colonies? American capacities can certainly be brought to bear in Europe without delay in both World Wars which developed there regardless of US policy - but that also means there's no inhibition for unrestricted U-boat warfare in WW I, and whether WW II happens in the Pacific at all hinges on a lot of assumptions. Afterwards we're really in pretty much uncharted territory. Without the US rising to supplant Britain as the leading Western, maybe global power, what happens to decolonization? To liberal change in Western societies? Both were heavily driven by the US, including for the British Empire. What is in turn the impact on the communist bloc and Cold War as and if it emerges? How would the world look today?
  18. In fairness, if it's just a case of getting essential stuff from the car while the perp finds an unexpected hole, that may speak for misjudging the situation from the start or cause to review the policy of what is routinely carried; but you can't carry everything all the time, and I understand the hesistancy to abandon the Officer Friendly image for Robocop. Even during the 2016 Munich shooting, the plaincloth patrol which first made contact lost sight of the shooter on a parking deck despite being fully equipped and firing a shot from an SMG. Luckily he didn't kill anyone else afterwards except himself when next encountered two-and-a-half hours later. Mind, after the various rampage events and terror attacks over the last two decades or so, everyone in Europe seems to have gotten around to the first two or four officers on the scene going in without waiting for the special squirrels as it used to be done. Obviously that becomes more difficult if those first officers have to equip themselves with the bare essentials first.
  19. I usually agree that all those debates over ideology vs. insanity only serve the partisan audience to blame an attack on the part that accommodates their respective own beliefs best, but if all the indication of this guy's conversion we seem to have is I tend to come down pretty much at the "crazy" end. Particularly as he doesn't even appear to have given himself a flashy new Muslim name, had multiple contacts with the same health service he has been handed over to now and, you know, the fact he went on a rampage with bow and arrow. So in this case, the potential harmful diversion from the question of how to protect society from his kind is to keep beating the Islamist horse after initial investigation, when it's actually a mental health issue.
  20. https://m.dw.com/en/lebanon-army-probes-soldier-over-firing-at-protesters/a-59529838
  21. Also: https://m.dw.com/en/russian-movie-crew-returns-after-shooting-aboard-space-station/a-59530394 With limited shooting time in orbit, we can hope they don't overwring this one like they needlessly did with "Salyut 7".
  22. https://www.dw.com/en/india-why-violence-keeps-flaring-up-at-the-assam-mizoram-border/a-59508832
  23. https://www.dw.com/en/is-the-eu-doing-enough-to-protect-journalists/a-59504133
  24. https://www.dw.com/en/why-saudi-iran-relations-are-thawing-for-now/a-59508071
  25. https://www.dw.com/en/sudan-thousands-call-for-dissolution-of-transitional-government/a-59528821
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