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Topic: What's Going on in Europe (Read 211409 times)

What's Going on in Europe
Portugal is weeping, Geert Wilders Says Netherlands Would Be Better Off if It Left 28-Nation Bloc, France can't compete with Germany, Merkel is pissed at Obama, Belgium is ousting Afgans. Is anybody happy?

  • OakdaleFTL
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Re: What's Going on in Europe
Reply #1275
But in the EU, some facts never get acknowledged for the sake of keeping up appearances.
How exactly should EU evade the human condition? :)
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"Humor is emotional chaos remembered in tranquility." - James Thurber
"Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts!" - Richard Feynman
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  • rjhowie
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Re: What's Going on in Europe
Reply #1276
Break up!
"Quit you like men:be strong"

  • OakdaleFTL
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Re: What's Going on in Europe
Reply #1277
You meam the EU should "devolve"?! Clever idea; can you teach my pig to fly? :)
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"Humor is emotional chaos remembered in tranquility." - James Thurber
"Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts!" - Richard Feynman
 (iBook G4 - Panther | Mac mini i5 - El Capitan)

  • rjhowie
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Re: What's Going on in Europe
Reply #1278
I wouldn't want to send your only friend away poor man.  :o  

Personally I have not time for the EU and never liked us being a member. It is not that unified (a bit like your country O) Just a pity your Civil War was not successful for the Confederates as the US would I surmise not be that worldly arrogant on the planet. (heehee).  Is there still a shortfall from EU places not paying their full NATO bills? There are also countries with groups of people getting Bolshie about Europe and it is a joke of a place. That there are countries in that farce with growing nationalists says something.   :up:
"Quit you like men:be strong"

  • Colonel Rebel
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Re: What's Going on in Europe
Reply #1279
Break up!
Settle down old fella; soon enough you'll have the rump UK (Wales and England) when Blundering Boris Johnson good and well buggers up the post-Brexit phase. It's a self-inflicted wound and Northern Ireland and Scotland will flee back to the EU. Enjoy rUK lad.

  • rjhowie
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Re: What's Going on in Europe
Reply #1280
Guff from a man from nutjobland. Imagine someone from a country like he is from acting superior when so many over there suffer.
"Quit you like men:be strong"

  • Colonel Rebel
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Re: What's Going on in Europe
Reply #1281
Guff from a man from nutjobland. Imagine someone from a country like he is from acting superior when so many over there suffer.

Gibberish from a Putin slave. Thank you for your recognition that we are large and in charge. *tips fedora*

  • rjhowie
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Re: What's Going on in Europe
Reply #1282
Did think you were once bright but you live in a violently dangerous place with a hint of democracy.
"Quit you like men:be strong"

  • Colonel Rebel
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Re: What's Going on in Europe
Reply #1283
you live in a place with a democracy.
Yes, quite so. Can you say the same in 5 years time when Ireland is reunited and Scotland back in the EU?

  • rjhowie
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Re: What's Going on in Europe
Reply #1284
You do not live in a proper democracy of reasonable society so you have been traditionally well brained by daft propaganda. I* am glad not in the EU and that should stay that way including for Scotland. We could not afford not being in the UK. Coming from a nation like yours and the mess it is in and the regular mass killings and riots what a farce trying to look democratic and well versed.
"Quit you like men:be strong"

  • OakdaleFTL
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Re: What's Going on in Europe
Reply #1285
Interesting forecast, Colonel. Is that commonly expected within the UK? Ireland and Scotland rejoining the EU I can see; Scotland has "devolved" quite a bit.. Northern Ireland has enough political baggage to likely get away with it... But will England lump it?
Democracy ain't the easiest form of government, if stability is a primary goal. (Leastways, it hasn't been in the past: ersi keeps harping that I should read the Athenian Constitution!? How long -exactly- did Athenian democracy last?:)
There are some European exemplars but the United States of America is the record holder, hands down. (And the howling Howie's misegenational misinformation not withstanding!:)
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"Humor is emotional chaos remembered in tranquility." - James Thurber
"Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts!" - Richard Feynman
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  • Frenzie
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  • Administrator
Re: What's Going on in Europe
Reply #1286
How long -exactly- did Athenian democracy last? :)
There are some European exemplars but the United States of America is the record holder, hands down.
If you start the count of the United States at New Netherland, perhaps.[1] Otherwise Athenian democracy lasted for some 300 years last I checked, so it would seem America still has half a century to go.
But then, the Netherlands only had a short little interruption due to some guy named Napoleon, so do you start counting at 0 in the 1850s or do you regard it as a little blip on the much longer record?

  • OakdaleFTL
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Re: What's Going on in Europe
Reply #1287
I'll accept both qualms...:) Seriously, Athens and the U.S. are hardly comparable. As for the Netherland democracy, more than a few learned greatly from it -- first hand! (Thanks, BTW...for both.:)
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"Humor is emotional chaos remembered in tranquility." - James Thurber
"Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts!" - Richard Feynman
 (iBook G4 - Panther | Mac mini i5 - El Capitan)

  • ersi
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Re: What's Going on in Europe
Reply #1288
(Leastways, it hasn't been in the past: ersi keeps harping that I should read the Athenian Constitution!? How long -exactly- did Athenian democracy last?:)
There are some European exemplars but the United States of America is the record holder, hands down.
Now, had you read it, you'd have an idea how long Athenian democracy lasted, and you'd appropriately be less confident about USA.

By the way, have you converted meanwhile into thinking that USA is a democracy? You used to deny it. The constitution still says "Republican form of government", except that the Republican party has embarrassed itself beyond repair.

I recommended the book for sociological and economic insights rather, not for the best or stablest form of government. In my view, economics is woefully incomplete unless it is socioeconomics or politico-economics or at least economic history or history of economic trends and thought. And the Athenian Constitution is very much that. It reports about classes in the population, about the roles of classes, about their economic status, about their changes in status over time, e.g. the rich getting richer and the agricultural class getting extorted, etc. Sometimes the tolerable balance slides out of hand due to degeneration of the democracy, sometimes due to the abuses of a tyrant. However, periodically, the situation gets reset and pacified by land reform, erasure of debts, or redistribution of resources, and these last points are the greatest useful insights - written down conscientiously millennia before Marx or whoever your favourite scapegoat is.

  • Frenzie
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  • Administrator
Re: What's Going on in Europe
Reply #1289
I'll accept both qualms...:) Seriously, Athens and the U.S. are hardly comparable. As for the Netherland democracy, more than a few learned greatly from it -- first hand! (Thanks, BTW...for both.:)
On that note, here's a good paper on the subject: http://rdc1.net/forthcoming/DUTCH6_final_.pdf

  • ersi
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Re: What's Going on in Europe
Reply #1290
On that note, here's a good paper on the subject: http://rdc1.net/forthcoming/DUTCH6_final_.pdf
Wow, at first I thought I should start blaming the Dutch for what America has turned out to be, but the differences are more interesting than the similarities.

1. Wikipedia says, "The framers of the U.S. Constitution were influenced by the Constitution of the Republic of the United Provinces, as Federalist No. 20, by James Madison, shows.[12] Such influence appears, however, to have been of a negative nature, as Madison describes the Dutch confederacy as exhibiting "Imbecility in the government; discord among the provinces; foreign influence and indignities; a precarious existence in peace, and peculiar calamities from war.""

2. In the Dutch Republic, the provinces remained feudal and the essence of the Union appears to have been a military and political contractual allegiance, similar to the beginnings of Switzerland.[1] In contrast, the US Constitution establishes a host of federal institutions and makes a point of specifying that the states must be republics.

3. The Act of Abjuration (p. 7[2] of the article) explicitly declares away slavery. Instead, slave trade was purely a colonial phenomenon.[3] In contrast, the US founding fathers evidently did not worry much about having institutionalised slavery among themselves.

4. A notable similarity: The principle cuius regio eius religio dissipated apparently without posing much legal quibble. This occurred without ever raising its head again in the Netherlands (or in Europe overall). In USA, however, the anti-establishment protests, movements, conspiracies, etc. involve an increasingly strong religious element enmeshed with the doctrine of US messianic exceptionalism.
Thus the Dutch apparently did not worry very much about the particular form of government. Hanseatic cities were essentially republics, but apparently this form of government was not seen as somehow inherently preferable.
Edit: Page numbers are at the bottom here (as usual), not on top.
Slavery was never much of a thing in Europe after the collapse of Roman Empire. It was replaced by the more overwhelming serfdom, while outright slave trade on the continental Europe occurred exclusively in contact/conflict with Muslim states, having more the nature of human trafficking. Only Byzantium was properly a European slave country.
  • Last Edit: 2021-04-22, 20:58:40 by ersi

  • OakdaleFTL
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Re: What's Going on in Europe
Reply #1291
Thanks, Frenzie! (@ersi: later I'll have time to comment...:)
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"Humor is emotional chaos remembered in tranquility." - James Thurber
"Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts!" - Richard Feynman
 (iBook G4 - Panther | Mac mini i5 - El Capitan)

  • jax
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  • Global Moderator
Re: What's Going on in Europe
Reply #1292
Today in GoogleTube recommendations,

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bv-aX-R3XcU

It got maps with lines on them. What's not to like?

  • jax
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  • Global Moderator
Re: What's Going on in Europe
Reply #1293
EU weighs making transport, building sectors pay for CO2 emissions

Quote
Diplomats from European Union countries will this week discuss making the transport and buildings sectors pay for their CO2 emissions, according to an internal document seen by Reuters.
The EU agreed last week to cut its net greenhouse gas emissions at least 55% by 2030 against 1990 levels - a new target that will require emissions to fall faster in all sectors, from farming to heavy industry. read more

Now Brussels must design the policies to make the target a reality. For cars and buildings, that looks set to include an emissions trading system (ETS), which forces polluters to buy permits to cover their CO2 emissions. read more

"This would have to happen gradually, in a manner that does not lead to disruption of these sectors, and does not interfere with the carbon price in the current ETS," the Commission said of the potential policy, in a document shared with EU diplomats who will discuss it this week.


The EU already uses an ETS to curb emissions from power plants and industry.



  • ersi
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Re: What's Going on in Europe
Reply #1294
Today in GoogleTube recommendations,

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bv-aX-R3XcU

It got maps with lines on them. What's not to like?
Nothing good can come of Rail Baltica. Estonian government has taken it way too seriously, killing Estonia's existing rail line to Pärnu, basically destroying the summer tourism that Estonia used to have. At the same time, Latvians were granted an offshoot to their airport and Lithuanians an offshoot from Kaunas to Vilnius. Both of these offshoots have been completed from Rail Baltica funds, i.e. Latvia and Lithuania have already profited from the project as much as they wanted, but none of the main lines has been built, because they don't care, and meanwhile Estonia's summer tourism remains dead.

Earlier there used to be another loudly promoted EU-supported project, the highways called Via Baltica that were supposed to provide broad lanes in both directions between Tallinn and Berlin. Also never completed. Some highways were broadened in some sections, while bottlenecks remained at other points, nullifying the overall purpose of the broadenings. The same will happen to Rail Baltica at best.

  • jax
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  • Global Moderator
Re: What's Going on in Europe
Reply #1295
Nothing good can come of Rail Baltica. Estonian government has taken it way too seriously, killing Estonia's existing rail line to Pärnu, basically destroying the summer tourism that Estonia used to have. At the same time, Latvians were granted an offshoot to their airport and Lithuanians an offshoot from Kaunas to Vilnius. Both of these offshoots have been completed from Rail Baltica funds, i.e. Latvia and Lithuania have already profited from the project as much as they wanted, but none of the main lines has been built, because they don't care, and meanwhile Estonia's summer tourism remains dead.

Earlier there used to be another loudly promoted EU-supported project, the highways called Via Baltica that were supposed to provide broad lanes in both directions between Tallinn and Berlin. Also never completed. Some highways were broadened in some sections, while bottlenecks remained at other points, nullifying the overall purpose of the broadenings. The same will happen to Rail Baltica at best.

That decision does not appear directly dependent on Rail Baltica, but more a convenient excuse to shut that line down. 

The point about the European routes, including E67 "Via Baltica", isn't that they necessarily are high-speed motorways, most aren't, but that they are European routes. Before them the member countries tended not to care much about the road network between their countries, so you had brilliant roads to and from whatever capital, and then the roads became steadily worse as you got to the border, equally horrible on the other side of the border, improving as you got closer to the next capital. 

  • ersi
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Re: What's Going on in Europe
Reply #1296
The point about the European routes, including E67 "Via Baltica", isn't that they necessarily are high-speed motorways, most aren't, but that they are European routes.
It was promised that they would be expressways. If Rail Baltica is permitted to also fail on all its promises and never become a highspeed rail, then why do it?

And yes, I expect that the public was duped yet again. It happens often here. It happens at a terrible cost though - our railway to our summer capital was cancelled in the end of 2018 with no alternative. Why does the EU organise things so that everybody must gradually die?

  • jax
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  • Global Moderator
Re: What's Going on in Europe
Reply #1297
You ask your local government about that. The European routes themselves predate the EU, but the EU part-funds infrastructure projects through cohesion funds, and TEN-T road/rail/sea routes, including the North Sea-Baltic Corridor, are priority routes. But it is the member countries that actually build them (ot procure tenders).

Rail Baltica is different, in that it is managed by RB Rail AS, equally shared by the three Baltic rails. That isn't all that unusual for transnational projects, e.g. the Øresund Bridge is 50% owned each by Swedish and Danish state companies.  It is unusual in the degree of EU funding. Normally the EU funds maybe 20%, but with Rail Baltica the percentage is far higher. Indeed according to the this article Rail Baltica just got 90% of EU total extra funding. Not bad for three countries comprising 1.3% of the EU population. (5.6% of total CEF transport budget, plus whatever was the regular Rail Baltica funding, still pretty good).

1.56 billion of CEF funding to railways, Rail Baltica included



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=auoFY5sULM8

If the Estonian government doesn't want to fund a fairly small and cheap upgrade to the Pärnu branch, that indicates that they don't value it highly, not that they have been bamboozled by the EU.

  • ersi
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Re: What's Going on in Europe
Reply #1298
You ask your local government about that. The European routes themselves predate the EU, but the EU part-funds infrastructure projects through cohesion funds, and TEN-T road/rail/sea routes, including the North Sea-Baltic Corridor, are priority routes. But it is the member countries that actually build them (ot procure tenders).
Our local government says: "EU demands it." Period. I'm not saying that it's true that the EU demands whatever our local government says. But the following is true: Our local government does whatever they think is necessary to secure the funding, screw everything and everybody else in the process, then lo and behold the EU gives the funding. So they are both responsible. The EU is fully complicit in this cycle of madness.

If the Estonian government doesn't want to fund a fairly small and cheap upgrade to the Pärnu branch, that indicates that they don't value it highly, not that they have been bamboozled by the EU.
No, it is not a fairly small and cheap upgrade. The technical parameters say:
 - speed 249 km/h for passenger trains
 - gauge 1435 mm

We don't have a high-speed rail here and our local gauge is different (same as in Russia), so the change is quite notable. Nothing in the current tracks permits high speed or is heading in the wanted direction, so new land needs to be appropriated to straighten the railways to fit the planned route. The current railway network in the Baltic countries reflects the fact that it is derived from Czarist era, looking like tentacles from Russia.

In Estonia there was a long debate whether the line should pass through Tartu (second largest city where also about half of parliament and government politicians are from) or Pärnu (the summer capital, i.e. the rail would properly serve tourism and it is also the straightest line, giving hope for high speed). Eventually Pärnu "won" but then the existing rail line was killed off under the pretence of building Rail Baltica.

As I said previously, the problem with the Rail Baltica project is that the three governments treat it in rather different ways. Estonia appears to take it seriously, promising a straight high-speed train to Berlin, nothing of which has been built, yet the existing Pärnu railway has already been abandoned in favour of something that probably will not get done.

Lithuania takes it completely unseriously, using the funds to upgrade the rails between Kaunas and Vilnius, which is geographically perpendicular to the Rail Baltica. Kaunas-Vilnius passage has already been upgraded with the Rail Baltica funds, but just to improve the existing traffic at existing parameters. Lithuanians are calmly keeping their existing railways and inserting rails inside rails, as if implementing the new gauge (and receiving funding for it) while ensuring that none of the Rail Baltica trains will be able to use it.

Latvia has recently started to clear way for the station complex at Riga airport which, again, would be an offshoot or even at cross purposes to the entire idea of highspeed rail line. In your world, is an airport mover (tram, rail shuttle or whatever you call it) the same thing as a high-speed long-distance train?

The different aims and interests of the countries result in bitter fights and changes of personnel in the RB Rail board, ensuring that whatever gets done is done badly and haphazardly.

So, in Estonia the EU is funding total destruction. In Latvia and in Lithuania, the EU is funding what cannot be reconciled with the main idea of the project. I am not asking if the EU is stupid. It is clear that it is absolutely insane. The end result will, at best, not be completed at all. At worst, something will be built about as wildly off the mark as Musk's Loop tunnel.

  • jax
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  • Global Moderator
Re: What's Going on in Europe
Reply #1299
"We're not going to help fund that" can be seen as a demand when We is doing most of the funding, and even the more modest funding like those 20% is usually enough to convince national governments to pick a route that is more useful for the continent as a whole.

Not always. The high-speed route (and the logistics route) that makes most sense in Scandinavia, maybe the only one that does, is Copenhagen-Gothenburg-Oslo. Gothenburg is all for it, but it is the second city in Sweden, and Stockholm is cool on anything not involving the capital city. It would involve Oslo, but there is less political payoff connecting Oslo with Gothenburg than with Bergen or Trondheim (cities #2 and #4 respectively). Copenhagen already has a Malmö bridge in case they wanted to go to Sweden. Their interest is in access to Germany (and the continent), rebuffed by Germany that see little gain in a line to the periphery. And so it goes. EU paid for a project to win hearts and mind, going nowhere.