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Everything posted by theguyfromtheVale

  1. French politics: houlala!

    @Tywin et al. Complacency is of course the wrong position to take, but I'm not massively worried right now. Macron is ahead by a 20 point margin in the polls right now. That's quite the head start; the polling errors for Trump's election and for Brexit were in the order of 1 to 3 percentage points. The only comparable event to a 20 point miss would be Sanders' primary result in Michigan - and primaries are much harder to poll than actual elections.
  2. French politics: houlala!

    Very bad things happened to him. before. He's not in that wheelchair because of an accident, disease or a genetic disorder, after all. But yeah, whenever Merkel's seemingly squishy stance makes me consider German conservatives not that bad, all things considered, I remember that there's always Schäuble waiting in Merkel's wings.
  3. French politics: houlala!

    I wouldn't go quite that far. But I have to admit, I'm not going to give Le Pen the benefit of doubt after merely six years. We're not talking something that happened centuries ago but rather very recent developments. And while I'm unlikely to ever support her politics for a myriad of reasons, I'd at least give her some grudging respect if she turns out to really have turned a page on positions that, for me, are really unforivable. Some political positions are just too toxic to make you return from contact squeaky clean, and what Le Pen père said and did in his lifetime certainly qualifies for such a political position. His daughter might be different, but she has a lot of proving to do, and her turn from her father's positions was far less clean-cut than might have been hoped for, even if it's commendable that that happened - but so far, it's all been hot air, smoke, and potentially mirrors.
  4. French politics: houlala!

    Oh, sure. But you then have to live with being okay, and having been okay, with the politics of said party before yout leadership; you can't claim to have been opposed to it on principle. If you were opposed to it, your opportunism was, quite obviously, greater than your disgust at those positions.
  5. French politics: houlala!

    You're describing not fascism, but totalitarianism, of which fascism is one flavor. However, fascism is far more open to private ownership than socialism ( and particularly totalitarian communism) is, and indeed usually promises large-scale corporate welfare (including forced labor) and increased infrastructure spending, which is attractive to business owners (particularly if the only politically viable alternative is full nationalisation under a communist regime). I recomment reading up on Hjalmar Schacht and Alfred Hugenberg if you think fascism was perceived as opposed to big business back in the day. I'd also recommend reading up on who the richest German families in 1900 were - and which the richest families in the 1950es were. Hint: the Nazis were not all that bad for most of them, with the exception of those whose wealth used to be mainly concentrated in possessions in Silesia and Pomerania... For a checklist of what fascism is, I usually refer to the late, great Umberto Eco's analysis. Let's just say Le Pen isn't looking too great on many of those positions. As for party history, it's extremely important, and for two reasons. First of all, your history lesson on racial politics in the USA during the 19th century ignores the history of racial politics in the USA during the 20th century in its entirety, in particular the Civil Rights Act and the Southern Strategy, which basically reversed the position of the two parties. However, that switch was based on actual legislation passed by the Democrats, not some window-dressing. You can maybe change such a position over the course of decades, but to do so in just six years seems to me to be quite the warning sign. If the FN continues to expel actual fascists amongst themselves, they may earn my grudging respect for that. But I will not base that change on just once incident when most underlying positions haven't changed to a matching degree. In case of MLP, she was a party member when her despicable father was party leader. Did she resign in protest over his flirt with fascism? She might have made a political career in any party, but she chose to stay. I think that choice reflects on her principles vis-à-vis fascism. And not in a good way. As for your example: Yes, I do. Wh do I think it's wrong to strip such a person of their citizenship? Because (s)he may have been born in your country, and only ever lived there? Because it sets up inequality of the law for citizens depending on who their parents were? Because our failure to educate and integrate young people whose parents immigrated isn't their parents' home country's fault? And lastly, because stripping people off their civil rights because they are imagined to be opposed to your own principles makes one precisely totalitarian?
  6. French politics: houlala!

    With the difference that people like me who are descendants of card-carrying Nazis don't continue carrying their political heritage onwards. Marine Le Pen had lots of opportunities to break ties with her father before becoming the leader of his party. She didn't, until his detestable positions that were fundamental to the party she inherited became political baggage to her ambitions.
  7. French politics: houlala!

    Yep. Note Rippounet said MLP's party is fascist. He made no statement on Le Pen herself. And given the history of the FN's founding members in terms of participation in the Franco-sponsored terrorist OAS or the Vichy regime and the rampant Holocaust denial of Le Pen père, it's hard to argue against the idea that the FN, from its inception, was a fascist party. That might have changed, but knowing the party's history should, at the very least, make one wary of the possibility. I'd also argue that fascism is not, usually, opposed to (big) business per se. It's not even bad for the economy, at least in the short term. In many ways' fascism is the corporate-friendly populism that drives righteous anger at the economic circumstances away from those in power towards those who wield even less power than the masses in the first place. It's the lightning rod corporations put up to continue business as usual. As for opposition to free thought, Le Pen's idea to strip people of their citizenship based on their ideology seems to me to be exactly that.
  8. UK Politics Unexpected Election edition

    The problem with that is that a strong, unified position is almost impossible when the result was reached by a small margin. This can also be detrimental when you're unified in the strong decision to drive off the cliff (or at least threaten the livelihood of 20% of voters); criticism and alternative positions are not a bad thing. Lastly, it's far from guaranteed that debate will be more unified after the election.
  9. UK Politics Unexpected Election edition

    That's kind of what I was aiming for. If Labour had any sense they'd try to position themselves as the party that respects the result of the referendum, but doesn't want to ignore the 19% who lost, either, as the Tories are trying to do. But then, it's Labour, so that if is a pretty big one.
  10. UK Politics Unexpected Election edition

    Sure, but soft Brexiteers might still fare better in Remain districts than hard Brexiteers would. We'll have to wait and see, though.
  11. Well, I was perhaps a bit antagonistic, but... well, please explain your response. Because yes, I fail to see how owning a weapon for intended use against other humans (as opposed to sport, hunting, self-defense against animals) is anything but the stated intention to kill other human beings for scaring you. ETA: I'm coming from a European perspective to this, even if from a country where gun ownership isn't all that rare (but gun homicides are incredibly more rare than the USA)
  12. So you think premeditated violence against your fellow human beings is a good or even acceptable thing? Good to know.
  13. UK Politics Unexpected Election edition

    If they do well enough, May might be able to ignore the hard Brexit crowd among her backbenchers. I think such a success is incredibly unlikely though. Also, the Tories might well have a worse result than expected right now - there's still an election campaign to run, and I expect Tories in Remain districts to face some stiff opposition this time around.
  14. @Swordfish: Apparently not enough of them to encourage responsible gun storage in every gun owner. Perhaps any single measure isn't effective on its own, but all of them combined are. In that case, complaining about the efficacy of any one measure is misguided. I mean, sure, a V8 engine on its own in insufficient in getting me some 200 miles away from here, but when combined with a transmission, axles, wheels and a chassis, things start looking differently. The main point, in my opinion, has to be a change in perspective amongst gun owners: guns absolutely need to stop being seen as tools for self-defense against other people. Defense against wild animals, hunting tool, even backup for police are all less problematic than "defending yourself against intruders" or "standing your ground" (aka killing black and brown people for scaring you with their dark skin)
  15. If the latter has no consequences for you personally, but the former has? Sure the incentive is greater.
  16. Yeah, TP, the mechanism is pretty clear: If you make people liable (preferably even prosecutable...) for unsafe storage of guns, sure the effect will not be immediate, but over a few years it should at the very least reduce the issue. When people hear that their child shooting another with their unsecured gun could mean either a multi-million dollar lawsuit or even significant time in jail, they'll hopefully start paying more attention to storing their guns safely. And if they don't, well at least there are some consequences for that, which is more than can be said right now.
  17. Scot, but local regulation can't possibly work if people have to, at most, take a half-hour drive to avoid that regulation. There are no border custom controls between US counties or states, after all. Indiana's lax gun regulation makes any and all attempts at gun regulation in Chicago ineffective.
  18. US Politics: Passing Gas In Public is Abhorrent Behavior

    ... eh, it's Kansas. Winning that would have been quite a feat, and while they failed, the margin is quite promising for even just slightly more marginal districts.
  19. US Politics: Passing Gas In Public is Abhorrent Behavior

    Mass production, both by the US and the USSR, beat the overengineered and hence far too expensive German vehicles. Part of that was that Germany had less resources than the Allies and hence had to rely on superior training and technology of the individual pieces of equipment - but another part of that was Hitler's mistaken assumption that bigger weapons were better. The search for a "wonder weapon" hindered the development of cheaper, mass produced designs.
  20. US Politics: He's Trump, he's Trump, he's Trump, he's in my head

    Well, Trump's also a badly aging blond who inherited the wealth he thinks he worked hard for. I think the comparison is pretty spot on. ETA: though Kal's point is well-taken. Bobby's impulsiveness certainly also applies.
  21. US Politics: He's Trump, he's Trump, he's Trump, he's in my head

    Neither is Ginsburg, though. And Kennedy is relatively moderate, all things considered.
  22. U.S. Politics: High Nunes or Russian to Judgement

    Dresden, too. Or Viet Nam.
  23. UK Politics: Trumpy Cat Trumpy Cat Where Have You Been?

    He'll understand. Majorca is usually refered to as our 17th federal state for basically the same reason.
  24. "Friend Zone" as Rape Culture and the Alpha\Beta Dichotomy

    @Myshkin: Thank you, thank you, thank you. This sums it up quite neatly.
  25. UK Politics: Trumpy Cat Trumpy Cat Where Have You Been?

    I'd also note that this French president is a lame duck at this point. He almost certainly won't be involved in negotiations.