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Old 2010-07-22, 23:02   Link #8361
TooPurePureBoy
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What are trying to gain by continuing to provoke me with silly little comments like "Hypocrisy is thine name!" ? I sent you a private message in order to move this lame spat (w/e it is) out of the way of other people but you continue to try and humiliate me in public with some lame attempt at witty insults....are you a child?
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Old 2010-07-23, 01:53   Link #8362
Solace
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What are you people, three year olds? History is very rarely set in stone but what we do know is accepted for what it is. It's challenged when someone can bring evidence stating contrary to our understanding, and accepted when no evidence is strong enough to dispute it.

Is it possible that the 3/5th's rule could have been misunderstood in intention? Sure, but if you're going to discuss it, bring some evidence. Otherwise you're all arguing in circles, pissing each other off and looking like idiots.

Since I can tell that the topic isn't going anywhere, I suggest dropping it before I have to infract people. I'm sure there's other things to discuss besides this.

If you're going to debate, know what your talking about, have some facts ready, and act civil. Otherwise don't bother wasting everyone's time.
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Old 2010-07-23, 02:13   Link #8363
SaintessHeart
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Quote:
Originally Posted by C.A. View Post
Nobody reads the astrology thread anymore, so I guess I'll post this here:

Most Massive Star Discovered—Shatters Record

This hyper giant star, R136a1, or perhaps an entirely new class of star, is 265- 320 times the mass of our sun, which is around 100 more solar masses than previously known heaviest stars.

Its not confirmed whether its the largest star by volume yet though, it will have to beat Canis Majoris which is around 2000 times larger than our sun in volume, but only 40 solar masses.
Stars do eat other stars when they come too close to each other. And not necessarily the bigger star will eat the smaller one : the smaller one, with enough internal mass, may consume the bigger one (Newton's law of gravitation).

With that kind of mass, I wonder if it will become a superstrong micro-black hole when it goes boom (very likely due to its density, calculated by mass/volume). It might be an interesting watch in sky itself since the mass per unit volume is so high.

By the way, C.A, it is astronomy. Astrology is in which you watch the sky and see Personas.
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Old 2010-07-23, 03:56   Link #8364
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Kosovo's independence declaration deemed legal
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The Hague (July 23, Fri): Kosovo's unilateral secession from Serbia in 2008 did not violate international law, the World Court said yesterday in a decision with implications for separatist movements everywhere.

The non-binding, but clear-cut ruling by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) is a major blow to Serbia and will complicate efforts to draw the former pariah and former Yugoslav republic into the European Union.

It may also embolden breakaway regions in countries ranging from India and Iraq to Serbia's war-torn neighbour and fellow former Yugoslav republic, Bosnia, to seek more autonomy.

"The court considers that general international law contains no applicable prohibition of declaration of independence," Judge Hisashi Owada, president of the ICJ, said in the clear majority ruling delivered in a cavernous hall at the Hague-based ICJ.

"Accordingly, it concludes that the declaration of independence on Feb 17, 2008 did not violate general international law."

However, Serbian President Boris Tadic insisted that Kosovo remained a part of Serbia, a statement which, alongside the unequivocal nature of the ruling, threw confusion over Serbia's path towards EU membership, seen in the West as a way to stabilise the Balkans.

"Serbia will never recognize the unilaterally proclaimed independence of Kosovo," Mr Tadic declared.

News of the court's decision prompted celebrations in the Kosovo capital Pristina. Kosovo Foreign Minister Skender Hyseni said the ruling would compel Serbia to deal with it as a sovereign state.

"I expect Serbia to turn and come to us, to talk to us about so many issues of mutual interest, of mutual importance," Mr Hyseni told Reuters. "But such talks can take place only as talks between sovereign states."

REUTERS
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Old 2010-07-23, 05:56   Link #8365
JMvS
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Originally Posted by TinyRedLeaf View Post
Great news for all those European regions seeking independence or autonomy from all those obsolete Nation States.
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Old 2010-07-23, 05:59   Link #8366
MrTerrorist
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Stars reveal carbon 'spaceballs'

Heh, 'Spaceballs'.
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Old 2010-07-23, 07:58   Link #8367
ZephyrLeanne
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JMvS View Post
Great news for all those European regions seeking independence or autonomy from all those obsolete Nation States.
Next up: A separate Sami land.
Sweden, Norway and Finland, prepare to lose land. Probably the whole of all their Lapland regions.

The Sami: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sami_people

Which would cover...

Dalarnas Län county in Sweden
Finnmark county in Norway
Jämtlands Län county in Sweden
Lapland Province in Finland
Nord-Trøndelag county in Norway
Nordland county in Norway
Norrbottens Län county in Sweden
Troms county in Norway
Västerbottens Län county in Sweden
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Old 2010-07-23, 08:47   Link #8368
JMvS
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Goodbye France, Spain, Italy, Belgium, Germany... hello Brittany, Savoy, Alsace, Franche-Compté, Provence, Corsica, Basque Country, Asturias, Catalonia, Andalusia, Padania (if not Piedmont, Insubria, Veneto, Liguria...).
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Old 2010-07-23, 09:07   Link #8369
Kamui4356
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Originally Posted by JMvS View Post
Goodbye France, Spain, Italy, Belgium, Germany... hello Brittany, Savoy, Alsace, Franche-Compté, Provence, Corsica, Basque Country, Asturias, Catalonia, Andalusia, Padania (if not Piedmont, Insubria, Veneto, Liguria...).
Not going to happen, not that I think you're seriously advocating it will. There are benefits to being part of a larger nation-state. Are there any polls showing a large majority of people in those regions wish to secede?

Plus, in the end it doesn't matter whether it's legal or not. All that matters is if the central government is strong enough to prevent break away regions from leaving, and friendly enough with the major powers to not get called on stopping them. When said central governments are the major powers, you can see how that won't work.
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Old 2010-07-23, 09:11   Link #8370
Irenicus
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Wouldn't it be the best irony ever if the regionalist breakdown of nation-states would end up producing the necessary conditions for the EU to grow into a genuine superstate to serve functions that the old nation-states were needed for?

I could just imagine the look on the Euroskeptics' faces when all is said and done. Goodbye France, welcome to Europe!

That said, I don't actually see something like this happening any time soon. While the Kosovo case involves Serious Business like brutal ethnic conflicts or even genocide, just how many Provençals out there are still feeling "oppressed" by France and how sane are they?

Edit: Tcheh. I'm slow.
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Old 2010-07-23, 10:24   Link #8371
SaintessHeart
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Irenicus View Post
Wouldn't it be the best irony ever if the regionalist breakdown of nation-states would end up producing the necessary conditions for the EU to grow into a genuine superstate to serve functions that the old nation-states were needed for?

I could just imagine the look on the Euroskeptics' faces when all is said and done. Goodbye France, welcome to Europe!

That said, I don't actually see something like this happening any time soon. While the Kosovo case involves Serious Business like brutal ethnic conflicts or even genocide, just how many Provençals out there are still feeling "oppressed" by France and how sane are they?

Edit: Tcheh. I'm slow.
All of the above reasons for France to be part of EU is the legalised proliferation of French maids isn't it.

If so, I am for it. Just hope that it doesn't cause a European export crisis where waitresses with cat ears are at the center of it.

North Korea threatens "physical response" to U.S. moves

Quote:
(Reuters) - Secretary of State Hillary Clinton urged Asia on Friday to enforce tough sanctions against North Korea, which hit back by threatening a "physical response" to Washington's plans for joint military drills with South Korea.

Clinton, speaking in Hanoi at the Asia-Pacific's biggest security dialogue, also called on Myanmar's neighbors to pressure the country's military rulers for democratic reforms, and said Asia must join the global community in sending a "clear signal" to Iran to curb its nuclear ambitions.

"One measure of the strength of a community of nations is how it responds to threats to its members, neighbors and region," Clinton told the 27-member ASEAN Regional Forum, which includes regional powers China, Japan and Russia along with the United States, European Union and Canada.

Clinton unveiled new U.S. sanctions this week against North Korea, blamed by both Washington and Seoul for the March sinking of a South Korean warship that killed 46 sailors and sharpened tensions over Pyongyang's nuclear programme.

A North Korean diplomat said Washington's new sanctions and the U.S.-South Korean drills would be met with a "physical response," and that charges it torpedoed the South's warship had pushed the divided Korean peninsula "to the brink of explosion."

"There will be a physical response to the steps imposed by the United States militarily," Ri Tong-il, a member of Pyongyang's delegation in Hanoi, told reporters. The military exercises, he added, would violate North Korean sovereignty.

The new sanctions target the ruling elite in the impoverished and isolated communist state and build on earlier U.N. sanctions that curbed trade with the North in hopes of persuading it to abandon its atomic ambitions.

Clinton said it was essential Asian nations enforce the punitive measures to encourage North Korea "to take the steps it must" to stop nuclear development and seek real peace.

She later told reporters Washington hoped for the day when Pyongyang was "less concerned about making threats and more concerned about making opportunities."

JAPAN TO MONITOR MILITARY EXERCISES

Japan waded into the crisis, announcing plans to send four Maritime Self Defense Forces officers to the U.S.-South Korea exercises off the west coast of the divided Korean peninsula as observers, responding to invitations from the two countries.

This will be the first time Japan's self defense forces join a joint exercise by the United States and South Korea starting this weekend, a Defense Ministry spokeswoman said. The four officers will be aboard U.S. aircraft carrier George Washington.

Clinton had hoped to rally regional support behind Seoul, but fell short of building consensus for a direct rebuke of Pyongyang. A senior U.S. administration official said the vast majority of countries at the Hanoi talks expressed regret over the sunken ship, but less than half were willing to condemn Pyongyang and potentially anger its powerful ally China.

n Hanoi, North Korea's foreign minister repeatedly denied any involvement in the sinking, according to diplomats present at the closed-door talks.

Clinton told reporters North Korea's belligerence prevented Washington from returning to six-party talks aimed at ending the North's nuclear weapons programme in return for generous aid.

The naval exercises are the first overt military response to the attack on the warship. The United States has said they are a show of force meant to convince the North to curb its "aggressive behavior" and will take place in international waters.

China has condemned the drills and launched its own exercises off its eastern coast.

PRESSURE ON MYANMAR

Clinton also urged Asia-Pacific ministers to put more pressure on Myanmar -- a member of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) which anchors the forum -- to enact real democratic reforms and allow elections later this year which will be both free and credible.

President Barack Obama's administration has expressed frustration that, despite U.S. offers of greater engagement, Myanmar's military rulers have refused to budge on key demands. These include the release of an estimated 2,000 political prisoners, such as Nobel Peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi.

It has also said it is concerned by reports that Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, is seeking North Korean help to develop its own nuclear programme, which, if true, could open an alarming new front in the battle against global proliferation.

Clinton's visit to Hanoi is part of the Obama administration's broader effort to boost U.S. engagement with Asia, in part to counter the rising influence of China.

Clinton also urged regional leaders to resolve longstanding territorial disputes over the South China Sea, which pit China against Vietnam and other regional countries in squabbles over the vast, potentially-oil rich maritime region.
Does Burma know that if it ever has a single nuclear accident or test, the entire SEA will be obliterated?

FFS we are already small enough. We don't need corrupt leaders selling nuclear technologies to terrorists, neither do we need them to engage in power plays with other parts of the world. Shouldn't they just build up their country's infrastructure first before talking about nuclear technology?
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When three puppygirls named after pastries are on top of each other, it is called Eclair a'la menthe et Biscotti aux fraises avec beaucoup de Ricotta sur le dessus.
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Old 2010-07-23, 11:12   Link #8372
Vexx
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kamui4356 View Post
Not going to happen, not that I think you're seriously advocating it will. There are benefits to being part of a larger nation-state. Are there any polls showing a large majority of people in those regions wish to secede?

Plus, in the end it doesn't matter whether it's legal or not. All that matters is if the central government is strong enough to prevent break away regions from leaving, and friendly enough with the major powers to not get called on stopping them. When said central governments are the major powers, you can see how that won't work.
I think it depends on how the EU evolves as a organizing nation-state. If the various countries evolve into "interesting postal addresses" - I can definitely see regional areas preferring to return to their primal designations or to designations that logically fit ecosystems or economic zones instead of lines drawn by a few hundred years of wars.
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Old 2010-07-23, 11:24   Link #8373
JMvS
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kamui4356 View Post
Not going to happen, not that I think you're seriously advocating it will. There are benefits to being part of a larger nation-state. Are there any polls showing a large majority of people in those regions wish to secede?
Well, on the issue I am semi-serious. Not that I am personally concerned about it, albeit sizable populations seems to be.
But I must admit that those recent polls which followed a mini regional political turmoil sent me rolling on the floor, and then thinking intensively.

Actually, as provocative as it might seem, I'm all for this proposition, as many peoples in and around my country are.

And the benefits of being part of a larger nation-state are appearing more and more less evident, as in or on Europe, the countries doing better are the smaller ones, while the larger ones seem plagued by their large size. To sum it up, as an old man interviewed in Savoy said: "what have we gained in becoming part of France? all I see are my taxes going to Paris, and that each of our villages has now a nice stone monument with the names of dozens of young men on it".

Quote:
Plus, in the end it doesn't matter whether it's legal or not. All that matters is if the central government is strong enough to prevent break away regions from leaving, and friendly enough with the major powers to not get called on stopping them. When said central governments are the major powers, you can see how that won't work.
That's why each time I see self determination being discussed in those circles, I cannot suppress a grin on my face, given how much this notion has been stamped upon in Europe during the past 2 centuries, and more often than not by the very ones which were promoting it (and in the rest of the World as well).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Irenicus View Post
Wouldn't it be the best irony ever if the regionalist breakdown of nation-states would end up producing the necessary conditions for the EU to grow into a genuine superstate to serve functions that the old nation-states were needed for?

I could just imagine the look on the Euroskeptics' faces when all is said and done. Goodbye France, welcome to Europe!
Actually, that's a very serious contempt within establishment Euroskeptics, as Federalism and Regionalism is nothing but the disintegration of the old fashioned states.
Following my grandpa, I've been following European Construction and concerns across the whole continent with constant interest. And what I can say is that Federalism is a very old movement within Europe, and pretty much the goal the Fathers of Europe had envisioned.
But naturally is goes against many of the core values of several Countries, especially those which were built around (a more or less artificial) nationalism in the 19th century, and varying degrees of centralization. For before that time, even within large political units, regions had a vast degree of cultural freedom.

Quote:
That said, I don't actually see something like this happening any time soon. While the Kosovo case involves Serious Business like brutal ethnic conflicts or even genocide, just how many Provençals out there are still feeling "oppressed" by France and how sane are they?

Edit: Tcheh. I'm slow.
Well, France is actually a prime example, for it is perhaps the state which was built upon the most extreme unitarian ideology. Unicity of the people, language and administration is entrenched within the constitution, and is the basis of it's formerly strong assimilationist policy toward migrants and colonies.

For during the past decades, there has been a strong resurgence of regional cultures and languages (in the past dismissed as generic "patois"), the thing is, for about a century, all were actively suppressed by the central administration (think the "speak white!" which was shouted at French speakers in the Americas). Problem is, the jacobinist Constitution of France cannot recognize any of those local language.

Plus, the countries borders saw considerable movements during this century: several regions, and there languages, experienced varying fortunes. Often ending arbitrarly divided within France.

Actually, all of this makes France all the more vulnerable to separatism, for it's very Constitution forbade it from recognizing historical regions and language as in a more federal context. And it is precisely this situation which fuels several regional movements, which are more or less radical in their secessionism: Corsica and Basque country come to mind, but also Savoy.

And all those movements know that ultimately they will achieve something, for even during the past half century territories have been going in and out of France.

Algeria is a notorious example of 3 departements which were abandoned (unlike the other colonies, Algeria was national territory).
On the other hand, several of the overseas territories gained departement status since. And even last year, the peoples of Mayotte, the only Comoro island which inhabitants voted to stay a French posession, voted for becoming a departement, abandoning their traditional cadi in favor of French Law. Of course, this infuriated the central Comoro Islands government, especially since two of the three islands have been showing regrets in leaving France.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vexx View Post
I think it depends on how the EU evolves as a organizing nation-state. If the various countries evolve into "interesting postal addresses" - I can definitely see regional areas preferring to return to their primal designations or to designations that logically fit ecosystems or economic zones instead of lines drawn by a few hundred years of wars.
Well per se, the EU cannot evolve as a Nation state, for unless one were to start capitalizing on an extremely broad "European Nation", an European Nation State is nothing but an oxymoron.
Unless it stays in the current purgatoric bardo for an indefinite time, the continents future points toward regionalization: with a reconstitution of the organic regions which the traditional Federalists seek.

But maybe that this evolution will be so contrived and opposed that some will instead look toward the alternative which has survived for 700 years in the middle of the continent.
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Old 2010-07-23, 14:35   Link #8374
Irenicus
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JMvS View Post
Following my grandpa, I've been following European Construction and concerns across the whole continent with constant interest. And what I can say is that Federalism is a very old movement within Europe, and pretty much the goal the Fathers of Europe had envisioned.
By old, how old?

I'm fully interested in your knowledge in this matter, since what little knowledge I have of federalism within Europe begins with the end of World War II and the rapprochement of the two nation-states of France and Germany. Jean Monet, et al.

Was there a major movement before this? Aside from the Socialist International of course, but that has a...different political angle to it as well.

Quote:
Well, France is actually a prime example, for it is perhaps the state which was built upon the most extreme unitarian ideology. Unicity of the people, language and administration is entrenched within the constitution, and is the basis of it's formerly strong assimilationist policy toward migrants and colonies.

For during the past decades, there has been a strong resurgence of regional cultures and languages (in the past dismissed as generic "patois"), the thing is, for about a century, all were actively suppressed by the central administration (think the "speak white!" which was shouted at French speakers in the Americas). Problem is, the jacobinist Constitution of France cannot recognize any of those local language.
Hence why I joked about Provence and France in particular. I'm not unaware that though the political entity began with the kings since the Medieval era (and involved such nasty episodes as the Albigensian Crusade), the real beginning of "France" for the common people started with the Revolutionary Republic, and was a process that lasted through the entire 19th century and beyond.

Yet in the writings I've read, even when an author acknowledges regional differences it mostly appears to be more of a "local flavor" than a sense of a different, well, nationality. Say, in Alexandre Dumas, père's fiction. In Les Trois Mousquetaires he mentioned Picards and Gascons, on the opposite ends of France, as rough rural people different from the refinements of the Parisiens, but the way he wrote it implied a rural vs. capital distinction rather than region vs. conqueror. Of course I'm aware this is the French intelligentsia writing, and not the common people -- but even in the most intense crises in the last two centuries it didn't seem to me like the state itself was going to break apart into pieces any time soon. Defeated, deprived of conquests and marginal territories, yes, but never torn apart. Not even close.

In the opposite case I didn't joke about Spain and Catalonia because I'm aware of how the regional vs. central issue there plays out differently in recent memory, with prolonged brutal events involved as recently as the Francoist dictatorship's violent suppression of anything regional, and separatism there and elsewhere running strong with legitimate and deep grievances.

And then of course there's the Basques...

Quote:
Plus, the countries borders saw considerable movements during this century: several regions, and there languages, experienced varying fortunes. Often ending arbitrarly divided within France.

Actually, all of this makes France all the more vulnerable to separatism, for it's very Constitution forbade it from recognizing historical regions and language as in a more federal context. And it is precisely this situation which fuels several regional movements, which are more or less radical in their secessionism: Corsica and Basque country come to mind, but also Savoy.
Basque country I understand, so is Corsica and I'll give former Piedmontese Savoie. Heck, I'll even give that Brittany/Bretagne still has a strong regional identity. But Provence or Picardie or even Aquitaine? I'd say the separatists are annoyances and extremists rather than a genuine movement with genuine concerns.

Decentralization on the other hand is a real force post-WW2, reversing the French state's natural tendency to centralize, but to my admittedly limited observation skills from a far vantage point it seems to me more like a largely administrative process to fit new economic and political realities than a real acknowledgment of different regional identities within France.

Of course I could be biased. Well, I actually am. I'm an immigrant to the USA so my "identity," to abuse a cultural term, is not even nationally dependent much less regionally. Texas for Texans? Bah, idiots. I'm not even for America for Americans. Earth for humanity is where it's at. Then we go and spread our miserable quarrels throughout space.

Quote:
Algeria is a notorious example of 3 departements which were abandoned (unlike the other colonies, Algeria was national territory).
On the other hand, several of the overseas territories gained departement status since. And even last year, the peoples of Mayotte, the only Comoro island which inhabitants voted to stay a French posession, voted for becoming a departement, abandoning their traditional cadi in favor of French Law. Of course, this infuriated the central Comoro Islands government, especially since two of the three islands have been showing regrets in leaving France.
Algeria is a unique example really. Despite being considered part of the Metropole it was geographically overseas. Despite being nearest to the mainland after Corsica it still had only a relatively small minority of European settlers, who inhabited the place in constant conflict with the natives with the back-and-forth in power struggles generally favoring them, which only meant that Algeria became a unique theater in the greater decolonization process. On one hand it was a part of the decolonization process; on the other hand unlike Indochina a few defeats weren't sufficient to force the French government to give up direct control, because for one it was officially core national territory, and for another there were Pied-Noirs there who thought of it as their home and they weren't about to leave (at least at first). Ergo -- heavy oversimplification I admit -- civil war.

Corsica or Savoie don't seem to be the same case.
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Old 2010-07-23, 15:16   Link #8375
Arbitres
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This will be the first time Japan's self defense forces join a joint exercise by the United States and South Korea starting this weekend, a Defense Ministry spokeswoman said. The four officers will be aboard U.S. aircraft carrier George Washington.
Maybe this is good, maybe really good. But why do I think xenophobia will be massive? I really don't think North Korea will be that hard to take down, considering it's geography and it's military.

C'est la vie. It's impossible to avoid at this point.
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Old 2010-07-23, 17:06   Link #8376
SaintessHeart
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Actually, if there is a war in Asia I don't mind becoming a war journalist to cover it.
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When three puppygirls named after pastries are on top of each other, it is called Eclair a'la menthe et Biscotti aux fraises avec beaucoup de Ricotta sur le dessus.
Most of all, you have to be disciplined and you have to save, even if you hate our current financial system. Because if you don't save, then you're guaranteed to end up with nothing.
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Old 2010-07-23, 18:11   Link #8377
JMvS
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Originally Posted by Irenicus View Post
By old, how old?

I'm fully interested in your knowledge in this matter, since what little knowledge I have of federalism within Europe begins with the end of World War II and the rapprochement of the two nation-states of France and Germany. Jean Monet, et al.

Was there a major movement before this? Aside from the Socialist International of course, but that has a...different political angle to it as well.
Well, even prior to WW1, during the Belle époque, the unity of the European Continent is something that appeared natural.

You had institutions like the Latin Monetary Union, and the meaning of crossing a border was vastly different from what it became in the XXth century.

It was also the time that saw the establishment of the Red Cross International Committee, the new Olympic Games, and numerous International Expositions... and also the time that saw the birth of the Socialist International.

Also, when you read some literature from this time, especially the more positivist like Jules Vernes, the prospect of some form of United States of Europe is seen as a natural outcome.

On a more political scale, one could see a clear convergence during the whole century and up to WW1: after the turmoils of the Revolution and Napoleon, the timed 1848 Spring of Nations led to 20 years of accelerated Nation Building, and all new and remaining States evolving toward democracy.

After WW1 and the disastrous Versailles Treaty that scarred the whole continent, the unification could no longer be seen as a natural outcome, but rather had to become an agenda: Aristide Briand and the Paneuropa movement were actively promoting a European Union since the 20s. It's also within this context that movements such as Panropa were born.

But all those had to face the Economic Crisis and the consequences of the Versailles Treaty: ensuing WW2. It's only after this shock treatment that all the peoples that were involved in paneuropeanism had arguments strong enough to apply their agenda, and establish the Council of Europe.

(wikilinks are just informative, I've drawing on various books and publications, and the French and German wikis tend to be more complete on these subjects)

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Hence why I joked about Provence and France in particular. I'm not unaware that though the political entity began with the kings since the Medieval era (and involved such nasty episodes as the Albigensian Crusade), the real beginning of "France" for the common people started with the Revolutionary Republic, and was a process that lasted through the entire 19th century and beyond.

Yet in the writings I've read, even when an author acknowledges regional differences it mostly appears to be more of a "local flavor" than a sense of a different, well, nationality. Say, in Alexandre Dumas, père's fiction. In Les Trois Mousquetaires he mentioned Picards and Gascons, on the opposite ends of France, as rough rural people different from the refinements of the Parisiens, but the way he wrote it implied a rural vs. capital distinction rather than region vs. conqueror. Of course I'm aware this is the French intelligentsia writing, and not the common people -- but even in the most intense crises in the last two centuries it didn't seem to me like the state itself was going to break apart into pieces any time soon. Defeated, deprived of conquests and marginal territories, yes, but never torn apart. Not even close.

In the opposite case I didn't joke about Spain and Catalonia because I'm aware of how the regional vs. central issue there plays out differently in recent memory, with prolonged brutal events involved as recently as the Francoist dictatorship's violent suppression of anything regional, and separatism there and elsewhere running strong with legitimate and deep grievances.

And then of course there's the Basques...
Well, I don't know if you have some French friends, but Dumas Sr. 's vision is far from outdated, and permeates the whole of French History since the Revolution. You have Paris, which equates France, and next you have La Province. France is particular in that during the past two centuries, there's something to it that is more of an overgrown City State than a country.
Even nowaday Parisian will find Provincials "cute and charming with their particularism". And many "Provincials" will reciprocate with a defiance of everything Parisian, and by extension the State.

The thing about France's history, is that the country was built little by little by the Capetian dynasty, and while the Unity under the Crown was celebrated, those that were subjected to it were the States and Peoples of France, emphasis on plural.
Then came the Revolution and the suppression of Privileges, but those Privileges of Private Laws, were not only the specials rights held by the nobility, but also all the charters held by cities and guilds, their parliaments, their own laws, sometimes written in a different language.
More so, the administrative map was totally redrawn: regional level was totally suppressed (the current French Regions are artificial entities, created recently more or less arbitrarily), and departements were created by redrawing arbitrarily the Bishopric, without any concern for organic communities.
If you add the forced uprooting of the whole religious background, then yes, the country at this point was on the point of collapse; it was only the Conventionary concern for it that prevented it, along with their absolute disregard for human life. Ultimately it was Napoleon that sealed the modern French State, by force, law, a few compromises and a lot of bleeding: the latter point is extremely important, as as soon as the XVIIIth century, unlike the rest of Europe, France was already in a low demographic regime: consequently, for the next centuries, many regions were durably (and increasingly, owing to the drain of the industrial revolution and to new wars, culminating with WW1) depopulated and weakened.
But even despite such weakening, following the fall of the IInd Empire, the politicians of the IIIrd Republic had to use an iron hand to keep the castle together. And it's no coincidence that it was this IIIrd Republic that more than ever put into application the unicity of the Nation, promoting French via public education and all the paraphanelia of official "national" history, mentioning only as a parenthesis the 1800 years between Vercingetorix and the Revolution.

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Basque country I understand, so is Corsica and I'll give former Piedmontese Savoie. Heck, I'll even give that Brittany/Bretagne still has a strong regional identity. But Provence or Picardie or even Aquitaine? I'd say the separatists are annoyances and extremists rather than a genuine movement with genuine concerns.
Well all of these movements are far from having similar agendas. While Basque country and Corsica have been prone to using violence in order to regain autonomy if not independence, owing to their particular cultures. Many are first of all asking for a true recognition of their cultural and geographical particularities; Brittanny and Savoy are good examples for this, as (as well as other regional languages) their languages are still unrecognized folklore, and their historical boundaries are still negated: the current Region Bretagne is far from encompassing the Historical Bretagne (the former capital of the Dukes of Bretagnes is not even within it...), and Historical Savoy is broken down into two departements in the artificial Region Rhone Alpes, which is the largest and most populated (there what is considered are reunification, or independence, or even joining Switzerland).
Provence and Aquitaine are more within the whole revalorization of the Oc language and heritage (in which the modern Cathar historiography certainly plays a role, but so do the rich cultural pasts of Aquitaine and Provence; the former with Alienor being linked to England and the latter to Roman Antiquity by it's very name). For Picardie, I must say I am unaware of movements within it, and anyway geography, linguistics and political events (see Belgium) do not point toward a strong movement. Same goes for much of the Seine and Loire Basin, which are french France, of Pays d'Oil; meaning they are the very cultural, historical and political core of the country.
On the other hand, Alsace is perhaps the area that is currently the most sensible to federalism, for it is the one that has been the least exposed to overcentralization: it experienced relative autonomy within the German Empire for about 50 years, before seeing forced francization during the interwar and postwar periods. It is even unique in that, together with Lorraine, it is the only part of France were the Law of Separation of Church and State does not apply. Added to that is the fact that it is economically and demographically depressed, with the country to it's West being way less attractive than the others North, South and East.

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Decentralization on the other hand is a real force post-WW2, reversing the French state's natural tendency to centralize, but to my admittedly limited observation skills from a far vantage point it seems to me more like a largely administrative process to fit new economic and political realities than a real acknowledgment of different regional identities within France.
Yes your interpretation is quite right, as until now the decentralization has blatantly ignored organic communities, as aforementioned.

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Algeria is a unique example really. Despite being considered part of the Metropole it was geographically overseas. Despite being nearest to the mainland after Corsica it still had only a relatively small minority of European settlers, who inhabited the place in constant conflict with the natives with the back-and-forth in power struggles generally favoring them, which only meant that Algeria became a unique theater in the greater decolonization process. On one hand it was a part of the decolonization process; on the other hand unlike Indochina a few defeats weren't sufficient to force the French government to give up direct control, because for one it was officially core national territory, and for another there were Pied-Noirs there who thought of it as their home and they weren't about to leave (at least at first). Ergo -- heavy oversimplification I admit -- civil war.

Corsica or Savoie don't seem to be the same case.
Well it's true that the Algeria example is unique in many regards. While compared to the Americas it's minority and presence seem limited, compared to the rest of Africa, it was actually significant, especially in light of the traditional assimilassionist french policy; for the Pieds-Noirs were not only European in origin, but also Europeanized, meaning local Sephardic Jews and Kabyls which adopted Metropolitan culture and laws. The suite of events was mainly due to an half-assed assimilation policy, principally fueled by "respect" and fear of a possible demographic backlash.
The latter point is crucial in understanding the outcome, for France did not lose Algeria: the country had been pacified, with the support of a sizable part of the population. But it was all in the interest of France to let it go, for all the infrastructure and subsidized economy money France had poured in it was an extremely heavy charge on the national budget, and there was the demographic ticking bomb.

Corsica and Savoie are of course far from being the same case, but in a legal case, strong parallels can be made: Corsica is "equally" oversea, and Savoie has been a French territory for less time actually. For Savoie the legal issue can be important (at least it is funny), because, as France is celebrating the annexation, the regional movements are digging all the treaties France has breached and failed to register since.
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Old 2010-07-23, 19:11   Link #8378
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Originally Posted by SaintessHeart View Post
Stars do eat other stars when they come too close to each other. And not necessarily the bigger star will eat the smaller one : the smaller one, with enough internal mass, may consume the bigger one (Newton's law of gravitation).

With that kind of mass, I wonder if it will become a superstrong micro-black hole when it goes boom (very likely due to its density, calculated by mass/volume). It might be an interesting watch in sky itself since the mass per unit volume is so high.

By the way, C.A, it is astronomy. Astrology is in which you watch the sky and see Personas.
Yea my brain was kind of dead when I typed astrology and I even have the google bar right there for me to find out if its logy or nomy.

But anyway, because this star is way beyond 150 solar masses, which is what scientists thought to be the size limit of stars, they have no idea now how it grew so big.

It doesn't seem to have formed from absorbing stars, it shows no signs of any previous star merging with it. If any other star has orbited around it and merged with it, it would need to slowly absorb the star through its accretion disk and it will take too long and R136a1's life span is too short.

It is already middle aged at 1 million years old, it is mind boggling how 265 suns can form in a single spot in 1 million years, just how dense is the nebula and how fast did all the material come together?

And when this star dies, it will not leave behind a black hole, it is far to big to leave a black hole, it will be a 'clean death' nova.What this means is that when it blows, it will blow everything apart, there will be nothing left, not even a core.

A star's size in volume and how it will end depends on the how much mass and the difference between its outward pressure (radiation of partices) and inward pressure (gravity). Heavier star produces more radiation to counter gravity from collapsing the star on itself, meaning larger star.

If when a star runs out of material for fusion, 3 things can happen, become a dwarf, a nova or a black hole. If mass is too small, when the outward pressure becomes zero, inward pressure will just collapse the core into a dwarf. If a star is a heavy giant, the last wave of outward pressure will be strong enough for a nova while the inward pressure collapses the core into a dwarf.

For a black hole to form, the inwards pressure must be great enough for the star to collapse so much and become so dense that it punctures a hole through the space-time fabric.

But neither of these will happen to R136a1, it has way too much outward pressure, it will just blow itself completely away in its last wave of outward pressure. This type of event has never been observed before as stars of such mass were extremely rare and is only theoretically possible. It is calculated that stars above 140 solar masses will result in such an event and R136a1 is almost double that. Only a handful of stars that are above 140 solar masses have been found and none of them will are dying soon enough for observation of such an event.
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Old 2010-07-24, 02:07   Link #8379
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11-Year-Old Viral Video Star Placed Under Police Protection After Death Threats (Updated)

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Let's hope that the Cyber-Police doesn't backtrace this post.



I kind of feel sorry for the girl, but the father, I can't stop laughing at it. It's OK to yell at the bullies in person. NEVER do it online.
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Old 2010-07-24, 02:41   Link #8380
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I hate bullies. How do you think breakdowns happen? How school shootings happen? Long as the bullies are humiliated I don't see the problem of the method.
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