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Alarich II

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  1. Alarich II

    The Boys (Amazon)

    Thanks! I somehow thought that the scene showed Your explanaition makes much more sense.
  2. Alarich II

    The Boys (Amazon)

    I know nothing about the comics, but I really liked the series and how it treats the themes of power and abuse, loss, grief etc. Very well done. However, I don't get the last scene, it's so completely out of the blue. Total WTF???-moment. Can someone enlighten me?
  3. Alarich II

    German politics. Flinten Uschi defying the laws of gravity

    Interesting East/West divide; if I may attempt an explanaition: Western Germany and especially the South-West has seen "Eco"-Farming for a long time, Demeter started in the 1920's, Bioland in 1971. Organic farming has had time to grow and develop alongside conventional farming within a continuous ownership-framework. In Eastern Germany, farmland was collectivized: farms bigger than 100ha were expropriated and smaller farms had were forced into farm cooperatives. As a result, small farms (beyond your own garden) disappeared, fields were consolidated, barns and machine halls were centralized and most importantly, there was only conventional farming: Huge fields, massive use of pesticides, herbicides and fertilizer and a massive destruction of local eco-systems. This lasted until 1990, after that however, the physical structures, the consolidated fields, barns etc. remained, and many of the old owner-families who got their land back from the dissolved cooperatives didn't have someone ready to take over, so the big structures remained, the original owners either sold or leased to "professional" farmers who saw the potential in those structures that were optimized for conventional farming. Eco-Farms had a very hard time - for one, the knowledge and tradition was cut off in Eastern Germany and also the landowners didn't trust these new (sometimes outright esoteric) ideas. So those enthusiasts who started organic farming in the East after 1990 had a hard time to find the land and those who got land back from the cooperatives usually had less than 100ha.
  4. Alarich II

    German politics. Flinten Uschi defying the laws of gravity

    You said in reply to my post this Which pissed me off, because: a) the figure is true and b) it's not misleading either, I very clearly stated that this is a figure for Bavaria. I put this in contrast to Saxony and the comparison is apt, because in the context of this discussion, both are very conservative and also both stand for the smallest average of their peer group (East / West).
  5. Alarich II

    German politics. Flinten Uschi defying the laws of gravity

    Before you throw out baseless accusations, I suggest you go here for stats on dairy farming and here for statistics on farm sizes, output etc. I specifically said herd size in Bavaria . Average herd size in 2018 in Lower Saxony was 91 animals. Your relatives in Lower Saxony btw. are in a region where herd size has more than doubled since 1999, i.e. a region with fast consolidation. The percentage of "eco-farms" in any given size-bracket never exceeds about 8%, the prediction on wether a farm is big or small is more likely to be accurate if it's made on geography. And the ecological impact of farming is not so much determined by how big a farm is, but how the land is farmed. The close alignment with conservative policies are not exactly surprising but this is more value-driven than by economic interest. Especially in Southern Germany, where agricultural units are on average still very small, the effects of the agricultural policies are , for the majority of small farmers (and especially the conventional farms), detrimental. The divide between rural and urban regions in terms of mindset probably exlains more than the hard economic interests. My uncle worked for Demeter since the late 1970s and has a smaller eco-farm - and even he would never vote for the Greens. ÖDP at best (in his own words, the independent green flank of the CDU).
  6. Alarich II

    German politics. Flinten Uschi defying the laws of gravity

    Actually, farm size correlates more with East/West divide than than Bio/Conventional, because the collectivisation in the 50s and 60s has effectively shut down the carreer-path "farmer" for many descendants of farmer-families, so after 1989 when the old ownership-structures vanished, the physical structures remained very much intact. Take for example herd sizes for dairy farms in Bavaria: the average is 40 cows and most of them practise conventional farming, in Saxony 152 (and that the smallest average of all 5 eastern Länder!). Average German farm-size is 60 ha, smallest average farm-size in eastern Germany is in Saxony (140ha). The resistance against the restrictions on tie-stalls for example was mainly fuelled by the small conventional dairy farms in Bavaria. Whereas the big dairy farms (800 cows and more) practice the more variable and open forms of loose-housing systems that are much more efficient because the fixed costs of the monitoring systems are allocated on a bigger herd. So a small size is not necessarily better for animal welfare. Or sustainability: If you want to implement precision-farming (by installing steering-systems on tractors), your savings in fuel, fertilizer, herbicides etc. are greater if your farm size is greater. Individual field size and how the reins around it are maintained, hedge rows etc. are more important to biodiversity, protection agains erosion etc. than farm size on the ownership-level.
  7. Alarich II

    German politics. Flinten Uschi defying the laws of gravity

    Well, this is just keeping promises made, way before Trump was even thinkable as POTUS, so in principle I think it's okay to spend more on defence than we currently do. Problem is that the money is just siphoned off by "consultants".
  8. Alarich II


    Boxers are great with children, very patient, very robust and eager to.play, very resilient to pain. We had two when I was a kid and we absolutely loved them. Maybe a bit too big for a 18months old toddler (they might just run the kid over)? I don't know, my younger brother was 4 or 5 when we got ours and he had no Problems.
  9. Alarich II

    What's for Dinner part 8.

    He was right. Masticating is the first digestive activity, the enzymes in the saliva and the chewing starts to break down the food into pieces that are later processed in your stomach and intestines. Properly done, you tend to eat slower (and less) and you reduce the risk of digestive problems like pyrosis.
  10. Alarich II

    Workable Socialism

    The entire concept of trade doesn't work without the idea of ownership and we have archeological evidence of trade that goes back to the stone age. The concept of personal ownership of land is also much older than Locke. The Romans had very rich land-owners (not unlike in the big slave farmers in the US), in the middle-ages, entire villages were personally owned, traded, gifted to monasteries and bequeathed to heirs. In fact, those villages or cities here, that are 800 years and older usually have their first written mention in a written contract that transfers ownership (of course many of the places are much older settlements). The idea, that "the state" should own all land is not that new either. Ask the Egyptians, or Louis XIV, they would all agree that "the state" should own and control all. They just might have a differen opinion on what or who the state is to whom they are accountable.
  11. Alarich II

    Workable Socialism

    I lived for a few months in Paris, Cité Internationale Universitaire de Paris, a nice house (MHH). From my balcony I had a great view over the eternal river that divides Paris and Parisians from the rest of the world. Boulevard Périphérique they call it. Beyond is the land of barbarians, living in the banlieue and after that comes a whole lot of nothing until you reach moderately human dwellings along the coast. Unless you take the wrong direction and you end up in Belgium (and if it's true what they say in Paris about Belgium, you're ******). This is the legend I was told. In reality though, state or municipal housing coexists peacefully with private owned housing. Some of it is great, some terrible, most in between, but wether it works or not depends a lot on the social and economic context and not so much on who owns the property. Actually, in the US you have a very prominent long-time testing ground for rent-controls. New York hat pretty tight rent controls since the 1940s and their effects are widely researched and in fact most people opposing rent-controls point out New York as an example for why rent-controls have adverse effects and don't actually adress the problem that there is not enough housing. It is IMO better to let private owners build appartment complexes and then have the state or municipal body add their own construction program next to that to provide enough supply and competition pressure to keep rents at an affordable level. Not all housing needs to be state owned, just enough to take out the massive pressure of demand.
  12. Alarich II

    German politics. Flinten Uschi defying the laws of gravity

    Best commentary so far (not translatable): Bei der Bundeswehr halt sie alle für ein Flugzeug - egal was sie macht, sie fliegt einfach nicht. A terrible, terrible decision.
  13. Alarich II

    International Thread 3

    This is not really about US citizens losing some or all their rights, it's about having a decision about foreign policy scrutinized in an open and free discourse. That is a value in itself. If, for example the US decides to invade Iraq, the decision can and will be questioned, not only by journalists but also by politicians, even if that doesn't necessarily make a difference to the dead Iraqis. But what makes a differences is that those consequences can be talked about, that you'll not be killed for saying: this is wrong, we should not do this. A wrong decision can be reversed or at least corrected under the pressure of public scrutiny. The small, but important, difference is that the US has a public conscience, even if money, power and apathy drown it out for most of the time. And that's why I prefer the US to the alternatives.
  14. Alarich II

    International Thread 3

    The example is not very well selected, because last time I checked, the US were a constitutional democracy, where sentences are decided after a fair trial before a court of justice. The death penalty as a political instrument is not exactly what describes a democratic state and I would be wary of any politician who runs on a slogan like "death-penalty for ...", I mean it really does make "Lock her up" look tame in comparison and that was already far beyond the pale (IMO). But your point, as I understand it (and you'll correct me, if I'm wrong) is that those responsible are in fact not held accountable for their actions. Which is a valid point to make but doesn't really adress what I've been saying. Because the same can be said for those who are responsible for Russian warcrimes in Chechnya or Chinese warcrimes in Tibet and elsewhere. The difference is that talking about your own crimes in the US doesn't get you a bullet in the head or ten years in a "reeducation" camp. The question of right and wrong are open to public discourse and elections and that in itself is a valuable thing, even if the public decides not to care.
  15. My car doesn't look much better, you try keeping a clean car with two small kids...