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Posts posted by ollie

  1. Hello all,

    So my better half is now here with me in Germany (we moved recently from the UK) and is now looking to learn the language.

    I am aware of Volkshochschule for example, but would prefer a somewhat more comprehensive approach, especially as we can afford to spend a little extra.

    I did some googling and found Inlingua (www.inlingua.de) and was wondering if anyone had experiences them?

    We're based around Osnabrueck btw.

    thanks all




    Europeans tend to oppose capital punishment on ideological grounds.

    Agreed, it's an indoctrinated response, i.e. socially conditioned.


    The Death penalty is usually already tarnished by the way it is dealt with in school, i.e. the focus is on the negatives exclusively.


    There's also a slight religious element to it, which contributes to people's perception of the death penalty. If you follow the school of thought that what was said in the New testament supercedes the Old, the Death penalty is off the table. If you see the Old as valid as the new, eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth.


    I don't know how much that influences public policy, but it certainly has an influence on personal opinion.




  3. I have always found this a difficult question to consider.


    The person inside of me just feels if you have taken away another's human rights, you forfeit your own.


    I am aware of the humanist arguments that these people have had a bad history etc. However, it's no consolation to the victims, and a majority of people from a difficult background to not become dangerous to the society they inhabit. Killing is wrong. Society is unambiguous in that message, regardless of where you grew up, and most people manage to learn that.


    However, that doesn't make this go away. Innocents need to be protected.


    Paedophilia is an excellent example. I am in no way endording Paedohpilia btw. This is a mental excercise


    You are sexually aroused by certain stimuli. For Hetero's the opposite sex, for gay people the same sex.


    There is not alot of conscious thought involved, alot of it is based on biological programming.


    So essentially, a Paedo looks at a child and gets the same feeling you do when you see a prospective sex partner.


    Social conditioning can steer this I am sure (rationally, they know it not accepted by society) to an extent, but for some the pressure must be unbearable.


    But when it gets down to it, it's an urge.


    You could argue people should be able to control their urges, but that is easy to say when yours are normal to semi-normal. Not repressing them won't lead to harm in most cases (rape etc aside, that is not what i am referring to).


    The reoffending rate is relativey high if I remember correctly (if I am wrong, apologies).


    So how the hell do you fix that?


    How do you find a medium way between the rights of potential victims and offender?


    It stumps me. I'd hate to have to make policy on that item







    Hihihi...it's actually quite funny - I always catch myself justifying British things to moaning/non-constructive criticising Germans and the other way round as well...


    But I find living abroad makes you more critical towards your own country as well, because you start noticing things which you previously thought were 'selbstverstaendlich'.

    I hear ya.


    I am always caught between both sides.


  5. Bipa,


    A few part reasons for the high taxation:


    Mismanagement leads to too high costs. Insufficient Maintenance means that repairs in themselves are more costly than they maybe could be, as they are made at the last possible moment.


    Add to that older infrastructure than in North America on average, and often in awkward places, and in many places higher population density which of course leads to higher wear and tear.


    The 'Eco' reasoning is also valid, albeit not from a fairness or economic PoV, but rather as a policy instrument.


    Germany is not a free market and the government heavily regulates. That means that they do and will use taxation to steer consumer behaviour, even penalizing some people as a side-effect. But it is on purpose in some instances.


    I wholeheartedly agree with you in regards to not offering enough alternative public transport. Considering the CO2 emission debate, it is also a major flaw in German planning which will have further negative repercussions as time goes by. No doubt this issue is exasperated by lobby interest groups representing German car manufacturing and a gasping funding shortage.


    However, in rural areas it is economically _sadly_ not viable. Not within the framework that is currently being worked in.





    LOLOL! Now THAT'S a typical German reaction. Throw mud on hedge fundies cause they earn money than you? How jealous of you!!! Don't turn green from jealousy!!!

    No, actually because these particular ones weren't as clever as they thought. But thank you for the insight into your mentality.


    You could argue that the managers themselves came out of it with alot of cash, but that is not the sole raison d'etre for them. They are meant to increase investment, not lose it.


    Simple criteria. The examples failed.



    I know more than a witless Arbeitslose dork (that's you) about this. I work for a hedge fund. Try reading something more than just few magazines and internet sites to understand the economies and how they work.

    First off, I don't believe you work for a hegde fund in any analytical or executive capacity, if you indeed for one at all.


    You have made base assumptions about my background and current status that you have no idea of knowing. You neither know what I studied, or what I do professionally. I am incidentally not unemployed.


    And even if you did work for a hedge fund, that doesn't mean you have a clue. So far you have displayed nothing but economical illiteracy.


    See below for clever hegde fund managers:







    Now you can blame the bad and evil Americans forcing good and innocent German banks to go into the subprime markets. LMAO!!!

    There was no point made of blame. I did not say 'evil' or 'innocent', nor did I imply it. I did not say the German banks were not stupid to do this. It was a statement of what and why. Don't attribute meanings and connotations to other people statements.



    I would rather send you and the rest of the propagandists to them. M

    aybe you can sing Kumbaya with them, or more likely you will find yourself on

    the receiving end of an Enthauptung.

    Resorting to insults because you have no rational argument?



    Good luck trying to prove that is entirely because of the US.

    Surely even a propagandist such as you must admit there are many other factors

    at play- after all the Tamil Tigers, the PKK and many other terrorist groups

    don't target the US or Americans. There have been a lot of terrorist targets

    for a long time- perhaps you familiarize yourself with the rantings of the terrorists-

    they call for Germany's destruction as well. Perhaps you think Germany

    will be spared because it once tried to exterminate the world's Jewish population.

    You used the argument to underline your stance. I just pointed out the glaringly obvious.


    I also see you are playing the historical jew trump card. Weak Rhetoric.



    Well, Al-Qaeda was using Afganistan as a base.

    As well as getting funds from Saudi Arabia and various other sources. Is the Taleban eradicated? No. Was Bin Laden caught? Nope. has Al Queda been weakened? We don't know, but it's not looking like it.



    Maybe you would have been willing to

    sip tea with them and the terrorist Taliban,

    but clearer heads in your own government knew better.

    Can't stay factual? Can't make an actual point rather than just hurling derogative remarks?



    Sure, our press is not as docile and deferential to its government as the German press,

    which gins up readership by continually criticizing the US and exaggerating quite a bit about that country.

    You didn't address the point the press is making. Once again, you revert to insults.



    Ah yes, the sky is falling on America! Propagandists and terrorists rejoice!

    Your hearts will be warmed by the hysteria, but you will be disappointed if you

    ever realize that these types of things happen in every economic cycle. Of course,

    your mighty German economy has absolutely no debt worries, right? Can't have a

    property bubble if property prices don't rise in nominal terms and they fall in real terms.

    Stating a fact has little to do with rejoicing. Everyone will suffer because of the situation. Once again, you seem unable to be able to separate criticism from a deliberate insult or attack.


    Germany can't have a debt bubble because it doesn't have liar and ninja loans.


    As to the economic debt cycle. With the changes in Interest rates deregulatio as well as the last years Yen carry trade, there is no historical precedent. How can you talk of Business cycles when the current system exists less than a century, if you are precise and include changes such as the 70ies move from the Gold Standard to a Fiat currency, new deratives such as CDO's valued market-to-market and put into AAA tranches even though they are actually subprime loans.


    These leveraged at times 25:1 bear no relation to the underlying economy, or even GDP. Otherwise how do you explain a stagnation of wages in real terms?

    How do you think can real estate asset values rise multiple times inflation within such a short span? Due to excess liquidity, cheap lending terms, financial buggery and predatory lending.


    You also cite models that are mere theories, not established fact. There are many counter theories, such as the Black Swan theory by Nassim Nicholas Taleb, or the Minsky Bubble Theory my Minsky.


    All you are doing is regurgitating official mantra. You bring no proper counter argument, are obviously ill informed yet accuse me of being a propogandist. Yet all of your arguments just repeat the FOX news outlook without any actual factual counter argument. You are coming at me with high school text book history that has little to do with actual history (which I concede is the same pretty much everywhere)


    You also seem to disregard the fact that the GDP et al reflect the Bubble. Once the bubble is gone, so is the rest. That's why it's a bubble, doh!

    Check out how many new jobs over the past 10 years have been in the building or supporting sector, or in the service industry.


    Or for a change, READ




    You asked for links and references, i gave them to you.


    If all you can retort with are insults, then this discussion is over.


    You can always tell when an opinion is conditioned rather than arrived at. You can't defend the positon rationally.





    I guess we should have sent Bin Laden and the Taliban flowers, eh?

    You still can send them flowers. They are still there. If you actually every manage to find find Bin laden, you can send him flowers too.



    Have there been any successful terrorist attacks in the US since 9/11?

    Where there any before?


    Let's see, I'll sacrifice a child today, if the sun goes up tomorrow it's worked...


    What you've just stated is called a logical fallacy. However. Terroristic incidents worldwide have increased.





    Well done, You're war on terror is as successful as your war on drugs.



    As for stopping terrorism, by your logic maybe Hamburg should have been invaded

    since that German city did a wonderful and hospitable job of hosting an Al-Qaeda

    terror cell.

    No, I actually said exactly he opposite. Invading a country to stop a non-centralized, non-localized organisation is tactical and strategical idiocy.



    Nice Stasi-style anti-American propaganda. First of all, the US has over 4% of

    the world's population. How you come up with the 25% of the world's incarcerated

    is beyond me- post a reliable link to back that up. North Korea is a prison society-

    our incarcerated have better living conditions than almost everyone in North Korea

    who isn't officially incarcerated..





    Care you inform yourself how much of the US national debt is actually owed from

    one US government agency to another rather than to "the world"? No, you are too

    lazy and ignorant. How much of German GDP is the German national debt?

    CIA Figures:


    External debt:




    1 United States $ 10,040,000,000,000 30 June 2006 est

    4 Germany $ 3,904,000,000,000 30 June 2006





    You can think of the total debt as accumulated deficits plus accumulated off-budget surpluses. The on-budget deficits require the U.S. Treasury to borrow money to raise cash needed to keep the Government operating. We borrow the money by selling securities like Treasury bills, notes, bonds and savings bonds to the public.



    Bonds!! Sold to Foreigners!! As well as Dollar Reserves. But why believ me, listen to your own counytrymen










    Hell, and I could post you several hundred more US based information sources.


    The fact that you are too lazy and too ignorant to even keep yourself informed about your own country is worrying.



    Economy bursting like a bubble? Nice try at Schadenfreude. Per capita GDP in Germany

    is only two-thirds of that in the US, and your country has much higher unemployment.

    The Russian bear is only a problem insofar as we have to protect allies from it.

    Same with China.

    That's great if you could trust the GDP figures, or if they were relevant to this discussion.


    The US GDP is to 70% based on Domestic Consumption. Which in turn is based on the housing bubble and other cheap debt.




    That you have not managed to understand that, after the last 3-6 months of news articles about the subprime bubble etc. Which has now well spread into other sectors.


    The Dollar is tanking for on very simple reason. The Fed stopped publishing the M3 Monetary Supply value. It's essentially an indicator of how much cash they are printing. Why would they do that?


    So you don't realize that they are adding +- 10% of extra dollars into the system each year. In addition to that, the CPI Index (inflation) does not include Energy, Housing or basic Foods. In other words, it is a farce value. More to that under http://www.shadowstats.com/cgi-bin/sgs?


    So, if inflation is far higher than actually published, that explains why we had a DOW of over 1400. In fact, even counting in official inflation, the Dow needs to be on 1430 just to not have lost Money. In other words, it's crashed.


    Another sign of inflation is as said, the strength of the Dollar, as well as Interest on Bonds (which are now barely being sold btw), is that the buying power goes down. I.e. you get less for your dollar. because there are more dollars.


    Add to that the little subtle facts that the entire financial system is probably over leveraged by 25-1, and it's not difficult to do the maths.


    I mean, where do you think Money comes from?? How is it created? How can the worlds assets go up by xxx % in a decade? Pure maths at the end of the day.


    If you are unable to separate attacks against your countries policy from attacks against you personally, I feel incredibly sorry for you.


    Hitler had 32% when he was voted in. Only 32%.


    Bush had more.


    Germany had the Reichstag Feuer, you had 9/11. Hell, it was even hinted at before




    Page 63



    Further, the process of transformation,

    even if it brings revolutionary change, is

    likely to be a long one, absent some

    catastrophic and catalyzing event – like a

    new Pearl Harbor.



    Look at the names. That's half the whitehouse.


    Hitler consolidated power by changing the law to suit him. Just like Bush.


    And the germans, pushed into war, happily complied.




    “Why of course the people don’t want war. Why should some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece? Naturally the common people don’t want war neither in Russia, nor in England, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.



    Right on, for example a snotty European like yourself. You have never went to school under crossfire did you? Your mommy packed your lunch and she drove you to school. Then you went to your picturesque school. Then she picked you up. How sweet and wonderful. Try going to school when people are shooting at you with machine guns. You might get shot by a bullet or your schoolmate might get a bullet hole in her head. After a while, you won't have any sympathy for terrorists aka for example Iraqis blowing themselves up.

    For the record, I had to run down the street not to get shot by bullets on my way to elementary school. I also saw people getting shot. So I have no mercy whatsoever for terrorists.

    No. You are of course absolutely correct. I apologize I wasn't born in the third world. I actually swapped my allocation ticket with the kid in front of me when he wasn't looking. God does not see all ;) I will try to reincarnate there next life though.


    What that had to do with anything said previously I am at a hazard to guess. What you rambled has no coherency, relevance, or relation to what I said before.


    If it's not gonna make sense, could you at least make it humorous?


    How launching a war against two counties, one of them completely unrelated to the terroristic incident, is stopping terrorism I am also at a loss for an explanation. American civilians did not deserve to be targeted. The Foreign Policy is to blame, as well as historic events. But to think that that was an inevitabl result of a century of bullying seems highly illogical. Number 1 Human Rights Offender: USA. 25% of all prisoners worldwide with just 3% of the population. You have more people in prison than North Korea dude. You owe the world 9 trillion. Your army is near the breaking point. Your economy is currently bursting like the bubble that it is. China and Russia are muscling their way in as well.


    And ya know what? Quite a few americans agree. www.counterpunch.org, www.alternet.org, jon stuart!! even sean penn ( http://www.counterpunch.org/penn12192006.html )and charlie sheen ( http://www.prisonplanet.com/articles/march...harliesheen.htm ) have had enough!


    And what about this freedom of speech you are fighting to give the world? Does it only apply to praise and not criticism?


  12. Wow, way to get it wrong.


    What i was referring to is that when the USA is criticized, it's Foriegn Policy and Administration is being criticized.


    People then take it personally, sputter some bullshit about what happened hell knows how long ago. Then they go ahead and try to tell me that the parents don't want their kids there.


    So, that's an anti-war argument then, isn't it?


    'it's not the people, it's the government'




    I mean c'mon. You're against the war, but woe if anyone else is. Snotty europeans, how dare they??


    I also don't see a majority of 120 million people demonstrating and calling for impeachment. You are defending a democracy that has gotten so lazy, it's government does what it wants. You say you feel for the parents and it's not the people that want it. And then you defend it. Brilliant!!



    So they don't want their kids to die!!! If you think they want to send their kids there so they can die there, you must be very ignorant!

    Then don't defend it. It's wrong, regardless of what Germany did 60 years ago. As you have just established, it's not the people, it's the administration and foriegn policy. You expect me to keep them apart when you won't?



    Last Sunday there was a ceremony for three Germans who died in Afghanistan. Germans wanted their kids to die there?

    Well, I wonder who dragged us there then? doh!





    A German character is definitely the habit of pointing fingers at other people. One example is refraining from talking about the Holocaust and let's say talking a lot about America's policy in Iraq or how awful the American history is. People living in glass houses shouldn't be throwing stones. 11 million, never forget.


    Don't thank me, this is not an email exchange, it's a forum.

    You can't change the past, only prevent it from happening again.


    Hence German criticism of the USA. We know a devil when we see one, we had one running the country.


    As to debating the Holocaust, I have no qualms about discussing that. It was an evil act with no possible excuse.


    That's why it's taught in schools, there are museums for it, and Germany bends over backwards not to appear to criticize Israel in any form whatsoever.


    As to the US of A.


    Ya know, it's Americans dying over there. If they want to send their kids to die so be it.




    But that table to me says it all. Scroll right down to the bottom.


    Empires seem to burn out faster the bigger they are.







    Anyway, console yourself with this and a Guinness: at least the Germans LIKE the Irish

    Dia duit


    Haha. So very true.


    I had a bunch of mates from school in Germany that went on a three week ireland tour.


    They said they had stayed the first night at some inn with a tree inside of it, and as they had Guiness there and had different music acts every night, they never budged.


    My Granddad was Irish, a lovely humorous man.


    Oh :) There may only 4 million irish in Ireland, but there are alot more everywhere else :)




    It also helps that you can claim Irish citizenship to the third generation.


    As the old saying goes, An Irishman becomes more Irish the further away from Ireland he is.






  16. How on earth you managed to deduct that sentiment out of anything anyone throughout this entire thread may have said, I have a real problem following.


    At no point was that mentioned, insinuated or even hinted at.


    Everyone condemned the attack. The debate was whether it was something inherently 'German' that comprised or contributed towards the root cause.






  17. UK Tax on average is 100-120 quid/annum


    USmay be less, but has collapsing bridges... </joke>


    Seriously, 200 euros is not alot. It may seem that way compared to some countries, but you have to consider that financing in general differs between countries.


    Relevant to this is how Road Repairs budgeted etc etc. So you may pay less in another country, but pay extra elsewhere for that. Or the money they collect is insufficient etc.


    Taxes are theft!! Period!! But sadly most voters don't agree, so they are a part of life.




  18. Canada, eh?


    Did you hear they volunteered 10 Battleships, 4 Jet Fighters, 200 SpecOps and 2000 Soldiers to the U.S. anti-terrorism cause?


    America gladly accepted, parades were planned, politicians rose to claim the glory. The day came when Canada's contingent was expected in Bagdhad, but it turned out after the exchange rate, it only came up to 4 canoes, 2 flying squirrels, a moose and 3 canadian mounties ;)




  19. The problem is that in Germany most Professions are apprenticed.


    In the main, this means 3 years of working with part-time college etc.


    For many professions that is what the Germans want. The system was designed to ensure that tradespeople are actually tradespeople, and they know what is expected of them.


    It's nigh to impossible to equate the qualifications of other nationalities within that framework, especially because the German system has pretty high standards (on paper at least, practical reality varies) compared to some countries.


    The simple truth is that without the paperwork or equivalent recognized academic title anything you learned elsewhere is pretty much worthless.


    For some qualifications there are equivalency programs, but these are limited.


    Those are the hard cold facts. If you agree with them is an entirely different matter, and it is by no means meant to imply professionals and tradespeople of other countries are in any way inferior. But that's the way the system works. As the system is built that way, that is how people assess prospective applicants. They have no way of really knowing how good you are, or if your own past training is sufficient. And due to pressure, very few will give you a second look.

    Think of it this way: The guy there has 20 Resume's, 19 German, 1 Ex-pat. The German C.V's he can immediately read and gauge. The Ex-pat one is difficult to compare. So the easiest choice wins. Stick to the 19.


    You have a few choices:


    - Aim for Hilfsarbeiter jobs, i.e. unskilled

    - Some professions (I.T for example, as it has alot of cross-entries) are less regulated due to either there being no particular training etc.

    - Get German qualifications, i.e. do a 'Ausbildung' or 'Umshulung' if you are able to.

    - Check with the Handelskammer or equivalent which, if any, of your qualifications may be of use to you.

    - Get an entry level job, and in time show them you know enough to fulfill a higher placement.


    It's a real bummer with the army qualifications, but some relations have told me there are quite a few that aren't worth much outside of the forces.


    It's the best I can come up with I am afraid, due to the fact that the reasons for the difficulty are very much systematic and written in stone.