Support Kurdistan, why don't we!

Sep. 25th, 2017 09:30 pm
asthfghl: (Слушам и не вярвам на очите си!)
[personal profile] asthfghl posting in [community profile] talkpolitics
Iraqi Kurdistan in historic independence vote

Today, the people of Iraqi Kurdistan (and those territories currently contested between Baghdad and Erbil) will be voting on an independence referendum. The poll, initiated by the president of the Kurdish autonomy Masoud Barzani, is expected to win in a landslide.

Of course this doesn't mean there'll be a new country in Northern Iraq on the next day after the referendum. It's entirely possible that the referendum itself, whose legitimacy is being contested by the central authorities in Baghdad, could be a diplomatic game by Barzani, who is hoping to earn some points at the domestic political front. Like using the issue of Kurdish independence to marginalize his domestic opponents, and use the referendum to earn further concessions and benefits from the central Iraqi government.

It's become patently clear by now that the Kurdish people want their independence more badly than their leaders do. Still, there are at least five reasons why Europe and the EU should consider recognizing the result of the referendum.


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Thoughts on Star Trek: Discovery?

Sep. 25th, 2017 11:45 am
deaderthandisco: (happy)
[personal profile] deaderthandisco posting in [community profile] startrek
Hi, everyone! I'm not sure if you've had the chance to catch the first (and only) broadcast episode of the latest series Star Trek Discovery on CBS last night or through Netflix outside of the US, but I thought it'd be a good idea to have a post in this community about it for those who want to discuss it.

My own thoughts are pretty mixed. I'm not much of a fan of the JJ Abrams look myself, and the cinematography was, um, confusing at times with all the dutch angles and cuts. That being said, I'm interested in how the series will portray the Klingons, as they seem to be more inspired by series like Game of Thrones in their look and feel this time around, and I have high hopes for the lead actresses. I'm very wary about the lead's connection to Sarek, Spock's father, and how that will play out.

Please make sure that you label your posts appropriately for spoilers. A good rule of thumb would be something like this: SPOILERS EPISODE 1 or SPOILERS EPISODES 1 & 2 before the main body of your comment.

fridi: (Default)
[personal profile] fridi posting in [community profile] talkpolitics
As per the monthly topic, Trump's UN speech comes just timely. If anyone had expected even a semblance of diplomacy and nuance in his address to the UN, they might've been struck by the depressing amount of predictability in the final product. Trump appeared before the UN session as a commander in chief rattling his nuclear sabres, rather than a statesman. And this failed to surprise anyone.

In his speech, he reiterated a Twitter jab he made the other day about Kim Jong Un, the Rocket Man. In the most important speech on foreign policy he has had since the start of his presidency, he told the world leaders that Rocket Man is on a suicide mission. Ha. Ha. Ha.

The insults in the speech of the president of the United States killed the last remaining hopes that he'd send an honest message to a regime that's been challenging its neighbors for years. It's time for NK to realize that quitting nukes is the only responsible future for them, Trump argued before the UN - which by itself may sound like a relatively rational requirement. Unfortunately, what would remain in memory from this speech is his choice of an Elton John song to irritate the fellow Dear Leader of a rogue state with nuclear aspirations.

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Off-topic: Backpacking.

Sep. 23rd, 2017 12:45 am
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[personal profile] nairiporter posting in [community profile] talkpolitics
Do you guys like hiking/backpacking? Which are your fave spots and trails that you've done? Care to share a pic or two?

Same about wild camping. You like that sort of thing? Do you have some tips regarding the most efficient organization of the luggage, what are the most essential things I should bring along? Thanks!

Friday offtopic. FB types.

Sep. 22nd, 2017 08:45 am
kiaa: (funky)
[personal profile] kiaa posting in [community profile] talkpolitics
I'm not sure this list of FB types if too exhaustive, and besides, who would ever fit into a single category, amirite? But still. Which of the 4 options might you be generally gravitating towards?

1) Selfie type
2) Relationship builder
3) Town cryer
4) Window shopper

Anyone here go to KiScon?

Sep. 21st, 2017 01:43 pm
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[personal profile] labingi posting in [community profile] startrek
Did anyone on this community attend KiScon this past weekend? It was my first time attending and was a thoroughly wonderful experience. I'd be glad to connect on DW with folks who were there.

In bed with the enemy

Sep. 21st, 2017 06:55 pm
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[personal profile] luzribeiro posting in [community profile] talkpolitics
Yeah, Trump again. Got fed up with these Trump posts, eh? Can't help it, sorry. :-)

He may've been a major douche, but for the last couple of weeks he has strained the nerves of his fellow party clergy to the brink. I'm talking about the debt ceiling deal, where he decided to side with the Dems and postpone the debates on the debt ceiling for another 3 months. Oh, and he also may've supported a motion to legalize the status of illegal immigrants (DACA), and even had a dinner with Pelosi and Schumer over the issue.

He heeded Pelosi's request and wrote some tweets that was meant to calm down the immigrants that they wouldn't be deported (let me note again that nobody from Trump's PR team has any control over what he tweets - well, turns out, Nancy Pelosi might have). Then he supported Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D) who had some, let's call them difficulties before the election. And now he's hinting that the US might actually stay in the Paris Agreement. What the hell's happening?


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Trump, and the Paris accord

Sep. 20th, 2017 08:55 pm
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[personal profile] airiefairie posting in [community profile] talkpolitics
What On Earth Is Going On With Trump And The Paris Agreement?

Sigh. So many ignorant science denialists in the comments section.

1. The accord allowed each nation to select a target reduction of CO2. The US agreed to 25% below 2005 levels. 195 nations have reduction targets, not just the US.

2. The target date for industrialised nations is 2025; for developing nations it is 2030.

3. That doesn't mean any nation can wait until 2030 to start lowering CO2. If your target is to have $1 million in your retirement by age 65, you cannot wait until you are 65 to start.

4. China is reducing CO2 now. Today. They are moving more rapidly to solar than the rest of us are.

5. No one is being "penalised". The US simply agreed to that 25% reduction.

6, All industrialised nations are paying to help the developing nations, not just the US. All the major EU nations, Canada, Japan, Australia, Sweden, Norway, South Korea, etc. The money goes into a UN climate fund to help developing nations convert to green energy. They have to apply for grants for specific projects. Most people recognise these nations cannot do it by themselves, and the CO2 any nation emits affects our climate. All of us. The list of projects funded is public record.

7. The accord was signed under a treaty the US had already ratified earlier, the UN Framework on Climate Change.

Oh and by the way, a lot of American cities are sticking to the Paris agreement, it is just that poor excuse for a president that doesn't seem to care.

There is more )

A small punch for man...

Sep. 19th, 2017 10:27 am
kiaa: (soundkitteh)
[personal profile] kiaa posting in [community profile] talkpolitics
One of the most memorable moments for me, tbh. You know, the one where Buzz Aldrin, the legendary astronaut, one of the first two men to land on the Moon, and the second to set foot on its dusty surface, delivered a knock-down punch on an ideological opponent. The guy had been literally thumping a Bible on him, so Buzz decided enough was enough.

Now, I'm not in favor of violence and all that, but I can't deny sights like these can't help but make even the most avowed pacifist snigger with delight. Here's why.

First, the event:



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Sobieski is a Nazi now?

Sep. 18th, 2017 03:31 pm
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[personal profile] dreamville_bg posting in [community profile] talkpolitics
The other day, a bunch of Antifa geniuses decided to prettify a memorial to Jan Sobieski commemorating his victory in the Battle of Vienna (1683) - you know, the one that repelled the Ottoman invasion of Central Europe. These experts of history wrote "No Nazi" on it, probably because they believed Sobieski was a racist Islamophobe. A proto-Nazi, so to speak. He fought the Ottomans, after all.


Because Nazism existed in the 17th century, obviously.

He was such a Nazi, that Sobieski! )

Lessons unlearned

Sep. 17th, 2017 05:49 pm
abomvubuso: (Groovy Kol)
[personal profile] abomvubuso posting in [community profile] talkpolitics
Failed companies, billions worth of lost investments and savings, millions of personal dramas... For many people, the mechanism that translates little digits jumping on the laptop screens of some costumed gentlemen sitting in their Manhattan offices, into a Greek docker losing their job, remains a complete mystery. But as all-encompassing as it may've been, the crisis never really reached to the core of the system. It didn't change the way the markets function, and neither did it prompt us to cleanse the financial system of the piled systematic problems, or to uproot the errors that have led to them.


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Talk about stupid walls...

Sep. 16th, 2017 12:11 am
luzribeiro: (Default)
[personal profile] luzribeiro posting in [community profile] talkpolitics
Not sure if true, but if is, then WOW.

These Plans For A High-Tech UK Border Wall Might Even Be Dumber Than Trump's



"Plans formulated by a think tank for a high-tech border between the UK and Ireland have been met with derision, because essentially the plan is to have drones and airships patrol the border like we're living in a steampunk dystopian future. ... A proposed solution from the Legatum Institute is to deploy drones, airships, and hot air balloons to patrol the border at all times. They say that "persistent surveillance of the border region" could be achieved through a combination of these unmanned arial vehicles and aerostats (airships or hot air balloons)."

I don't know, maybe the "think" part in think-tank is not too appropriate in this case.

Cassini: the Grand Finale

Sep. 15th, 2017 09:47 am
kiaa: (Default)
[personal profile] kiaa posting in [community profile] talkpolitics

20 years after NASA launched the Cassini probe toward Saturn, and 305 years after the death of its namesake, the bus-sized gadget is having the last moments of its mission. In a plunge into the atmosphere of the 5th planet, it will send a last batch of images, and will be no more. Just after 6:32 a.m. ET, Cassini will turn into a meteor, and burst to pieces.

Links for watching live:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wwMDvPCGeE0
http://www.ustream.tv/nasahdtv

Meet the failures club

Sep. 14th, 2017 09:03 pm
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[personal profile] mahnmut posting in [community profile] talkpolitics
https://ichef-1.bbci.co.uk/news/624/media/images/79162000/gif/_79162185_growth_rate_624.gif

BRICS. These countries were supposed to be the future economic superpowers that would eventually overcome the clumsy Western economies. But China is now pursuing goals of its own, Russia is pressed against the wall, Brazil and South Africa are lagging behind... What happened?

The BRICS meeting in China was a good chance for the host country to demonstrate their prowess right before the 19th congress of their Communist Party. To show off both to the world and at home. The sensitive topics were to be ignored for a while, lest any unrest be caused before the umpteenth re-grouping of the ruling elite. Only topics where relative consensus exists are to be touched, like free trade, climate change, and protection from cyber terrorism. Oh, and the challenges to the digitalized economy, a subject that's of particular importance for the Indian chairmanship of BRICS. Except, the big summit and the demonstrations of like-mindedness can't conceal the fact that China has long abandoned the main purpose of BRICS. With their New Silk Road initiative, they've shown they pursue their own goals and they want to increase their domination of the Asian continent.

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The consequences of stupidity

Sep. 13th, 2017 09:29 pm
fridi: (Default)
[personal profile] fridi posting in [community profile] talkpolitics
A few days ago Nikki Haley, the US ambassador to the UN provided a glimpse into Trump's plans for his policy towards Iran. Sure, the details are yet to be forged out, but the international community got the idea. And things ain't looking good at all:

Haley lays out case for US to leave Iran deal

Trump himself is going to announce his intentions about Iran next month. But Ms Haley is preparing the world with what her boss perceives to be a long list of Iranian transgressions, making the case for the upcoming confrontation.

It's a long list really, and the accusations are serious. Given the events in Syria, the list will probably be growing even longer. Because Iran is about to turn Syria into its colony, as regional observers are so eager to point out. As far-fetched as such an assessment may sound, it's not exactly groundless.

All of this could serve as an excuse for scrapping the nuclear deal with Iran. Because Iran's regional ambitions are not subject to that agreement, and they're pretty obvious. As are the US ones.

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Empty threats

Sep. 12th, 2017 08:25 pm
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[personal profile] luzribeiro posting in [community profile] talkpolitics
It's tempting to say Trump is incompetent and unfit for ruling just because his style is so inadequate. But such conclusions would only give more ammo to his supporters. They don't care about criticism, they believe it's the elite's clinging to the status quo that Donnie the Hero has brought down. In fact no flood victim in Texas would've received more aid, or gotten a new home if Melania hadn't made her first trip to the region on high heels but in rubber boots. The world would probably be no further away from a catastrophic conflict with North Korea if the president had given hints about his intentions at a press conference like most people do, instead of Twitter. And the pardoning of sheriff Joe Arpaio would've been a scandal anyway, because even before he had signed the decree, the president had already demonstrated his disdain for the supremacy of law too many times.

Let's face it. Both America and the rest of the world will have to learn to live with this president for a long time, whether they like it or not. As for the big tasks at hand, from Texas to Florida to Korea, it's useless to dwell too much on the little snags. In fact, the moderates within the GOP may be going too far by dismissing even his maniacal boasting as a stupid whim. Because with his empty threats and empty promises, Trump is undermining the credibility of the presidential post. It's an eternal crisis management, a permanent divide-and-rule tactic. After Harvey, his administration did avoid many of the mistakes Bush did in 2005. But that's not so much thanks to the president as it is *GASP* thanks to Congress, which has managed to reform its disaster response routine through the years preceding Trump (THANKS, OBAMA!)

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