Alarich II

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  1. Putin has in the past threatened double agents with death. And not only him, but other Russian politicians have played the "he had it coming" / " we will get them" card. So how is it surprising that Russia gets blamed when: - On the subject of Russian double agents Putin said this in public (look it up on YouTube): "Traitors will kick the bucket, trust me. These people betrayed their friends, their brothers in arms [that includes Putin himself]. Whatever they got in exchange for it, those thirty pieces silver they were given, they will choke on them.” - Then one of these traitors he threatened is killed with chemical agents that was developed by the Russians - and the last killing - also an ex Agent, with Polonium, - left a provable trail not only to the Russian doorstep but right into Moscow. But hey, let's follow that Mafia trail or whatever. I mean seriously: the Russian president threatens to kill these agents, one was killed with Polonium, that was traced back to Moscow, now one gets attacke with substances developed by the Russian state. At some point, you have to ask yourself what is more likely: a) The Russian President - an ex-Agent himself, and therefore one of the betrayed brothers in arms - with the means and the proclaimed will to settle these scores actually carries out his threat in a manner that sends a public message. or b ) some sort of shadow organisation has - for yet unknown reasons - attacked the guy, using a rare and very hard to get banned substance that is very likely to draw attention to the case, to plant a false trail to the Russian for reasons we also don't know.
  2. First of all, I never pretended that this is about Amazon, second: I doubt your assertion that TRU destroyed less jobs than it created. I'm sure you have some details ready on that point, but until I've seen it, I remain sceptical. Third, of course this is about one crappy retail chain, and not even a particularly big one either. This horrible, horrible job loss is not even a tiny blip on the radar in the current economic environment and the big picture here is just that: one crappy retail chain that relies on low income tertiary sector jobs in the West and even worse manufacturing jobs in the Far East is going out of business because it's owners were a bunch of greedy assholes. But hey, I'm sure it's easier to pretend that any job is better than no job - after all, who would do the shitty minimum wage retail jobs if we didn't scare the proles with a healthy dose of suffering, right? I bet if all the good employees of TRU had just agreed to work for an even lower wage, they could have kept their jobs a little longer and the vultures could feed a little longer on this walking carcass.
  3. I wonder how many people lost their jobs because of TRU, but nobody cared because these were just small family owned stores. In the end that's just the way things go, companies come and go, people lose their jobs, they find new ones and in between you have a decent social security net - maybe not if you are American, but in that case you have freedom and you can find peace in the knowledge that the bank can't take that away from you, even when they foreclose your mortgage. Anyway, even though the figure sounds like a lot, it is not even on the same scale as a factory closing 1000 well paid manufacturing jobs in one community. The job loss is so spread out that it doesn't really affect local economies. Especially since most of the stuff they sold, was not sourced locally but manufactured in China and the factories there will sell their stuff to Amazon and Walmart just as readily as they did to TRU. The people working in the retail stores will probably just move on to Walmart or some other retail job, or maybe use that as an opportunity to get out of retail.
  4. I won't shed any tears over them. They sold mostly crap, killed many small retailers as well and I have no childhood memories of it, because my parents loathed their stores and never went there. As an adult I was horrified at the unloving and uncaring way they presented their plastic shit. To me it's just one crappy retail-chain less in the world, no loss at all.
  5. I agree. IMO, this seasons finale leaves all the characters at a point, where a 3rd season can be very exciting. But for me, this season just didn't get anywhere close to the quality of season 1.
  6. I thought that it was the stuff in the inhalator when they sought out the homeless nurse. I mean, okay, the relapse because she had to relive this trauma is a reasonable explication. Makes great sense from a storytelling POV. Only in the case of Trish this connection is not at all what we see on screen. What I saw is: She is alone in a scary abandoned house, takes the inhalator, feels great and then has terrible physical withdrawal symptoms the next morning. Then takes the inhalator stuff again, and voila, relapse. I agree that the connection makes sens but what the writers decide to show us (or at least, what I saw) were her physical withdrawal symptoms that immediately go away once she takes another dose from the inhalator. To me, it seemed like the shows conclusion to the whole story was that Jessica punches a hole into the directors Tesla, the main lead from his new production is warned and leaves and that's basically it. No further mention of it. Maybe it's just that I thought that this confrontation was a big thing in terms character development and then it turned out that it wasn't. Well, then they didn't do it on purpose and it was just fortunate timing. Too bad they just very briefly touched the issue and then left it dangling largely unresolved.
  7. Maybe I just don't get the junkie brain - although Malcolm, also a recovering addict, seems to handle the inhalator substance and its addictiveness much better. He basically goes for a run and that's it. Whereas Trish descends into a pit of really stupid decisions which in the end leaves her with superpowers and no apparent downsides. The other thing about Trish is the "sexual abuse in show business" angle. We have one or two emotional scenes and then the whole issue is completely dropped. To me, it feels like the authors wanted to include that element, because it fits so well with the current debate and the overarching themes of the series, but didn't really know what to do with it in terms of character development and so they just left it in as a plot device.
  8. Finished it. I wasn't very impressed. - I missed a proper antagonist. Ever since the reveal in the beach house basement, it was pretty much clear how this one would end and the tension was out. I mean, JJs going back and forth "I don't know what to do" is credible and good acting too, but for me as a spectator, it get's tedious after a few episodes. - I also found the entire Jeri Hogarth subplot rather pointless. Yeah, I know, the grey characters are in fashion, but IMO the plot just slowed the pacing down. Although, to put this into perspective, I found the ending much better written than the JJ finale. - Trish: I don't like her, which in itself would be okay (I also don't like Hogarth, but I get why she acts like she does). But also I don't get her decisions. I understand that she too is totally fucked because of her psycho mom. But most of her subplot was a constant stream of wtf-moments for me. I was also disappointed that her most powerful scene (with the director in the trailer) never had any meaningful impact besides some mere information gathering.
  9. I hate it when I switch cars with my wife and she a) changes the radio station and leaves the seat in a setting, where I can barely squeeze in without needing an extra joint in my legs.
  10. In other sad news, water saving in some parts of Germany has reached a level, where pipes are clogging because there's simply not enough water running through the pipes to flush the excrements and other waste. Which means that bacteria are spreading and communities have to flush their sewage systems in regular intervals. It's a simple market mechanism that has turned into a vicious circle: Because water usage is priced by the liter, water saving means saving money. But because many of the infrastructure costs are fixed, the prices have to go up as consumption goes down. Which in turn increases the financial incentive for even more water-saving.
  11. Surely, after this avalanche of witnesses, no responsible parent will let their children come anywhere close to a professional or semi-professional carreer in gymnastics. It's like putting your child into a catholic orphanage back in the 50s.
  12. In first grade, me and a couple of class mates got told off by a teacher for forming a gang of robbers (after all the cops from cops and robbers wanted to be robbers too) who imprisoned a couple of girls from our class in a playhouse during recess. At the time it seemed logical that we, as a bunch of robbers, had to abduct someone. But the teacher made it plain clear that playing means voluntary participation, so our gang dissolved and we startet playing football, this time without the girls. Today, I'm grateful, that there was someone who told 7-year old me off at a pretty early stage. Later, we moved several times and I always arrived in classes that had already formed and I was the natural outsider: I came late into the group, I have a slightly different name and social background and there was always someone - boy or girl - who played a game of good old social ostracism with me. Thankfully they never got an entire class of even a majority behind them. Also, I was lucky that with the exception of two single instances, I was never physically attacked. I always had the verbal skills to retaliate with wounding remarks which drove off those bullies who weren't interested in a physical fight. And others probably, too. But I never aquired the social graces to become part of a clique. My observation was always this: among boys, the bullying was much more physical - provocations, threats, beatings etc. whereas amongst girls it was more verbal: name calling, social ostracism (for example inviting all girls except one to their birthday party or wait until the victim goes to the toiled and then do the vanishing thing etc.). Hiding and breaking stuff was equally distributed.
  13. From what I hear from people who went to the states for a year of university or even a full Bachelors degree right after high-school, the entrance standard is pretty low. But then again, in Germany we select at a much earlier age and only about 40%-50% of the students will reach a general qualification for university entrance. The rest goes on a skilled trade/labour kind of carrer path with apprenticeships and master craftsmans diplomas. But in the US - at least so it seems to me - your educational path is college or bust. So the standards have to be lower by necessity, because there are no or not enough decent alternatives like apprenticeships or vocational training. So when we compare the standards of entry, the whole pre-university school-system will necessarily skew the comparison. At masters degrees level I believe that standards are largely the same.
  14. The Kattegat-Escape was ridiculous: 1. Lagertha imprisons Harald, but leaves his men free? Two seasons ago, she would have laughed at such stupidity! 2. Astrid gets abducted in plain daylight and is dragged through the streets of Kattegat and no-one cares, even though she's the queens lover? Either Astrid is not much beloved or the inhabitants of Kattegat are an apathetic bunch of idiots. 3. Security: seriously, Kattegats security blows (a horn). I mean wtf? They announce the coming an going of ships by blowing their horn and that's it? Noone checks the boats at the pier? Not even a single arrow shot at the boat? Guards get killed but the queen is the first to notice something shady going on? And what on earth is Maigrets game with Torvi? This whole Kattegat-plot is bullshit. At this point, I just hope Kattegat gets burned down and we can concentrate on Bjorns raiding the living sit out of the Mediterranean.
  15. Not as weird as calling it a "culture" like geeks are some kind of indigenous tribe in the Amazonas basin...