dstanners

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About dstanners

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  1. Future of Germany

    Well, it is hard to argue that it was anything other than instrumental in keeping peace within the EU countries. Off the top of my head it is hard to think of a period of around 70 years when none of the UK, France, Germany, Spain, Sweden, Denmark, Italy, Portugal or Holland were at war with one of the other countries on that list.   I take the point that without Nato, things could have looked very different with dealings with countries outside of the EU. Although even that becomes a bit of a chicken and egg scenario, because even the establishment of NATO required agreement amongst European countries....kind of like the sort of thing they had managed with the Hague congress (a year prior to NATO).
  2. It is just that your scenario of it only being used to identify "good" and "bad" is too general, and that it is just commonly used (by English language films) as an attempt to add some context, because by and large English speaking audiences rarely watch films with subtitles (of course there are exceptions). The other week I saw a particularly bad example of the problem you have identified with a new series on Sky called Warrior (not great by the way), in which the Chinese immigrants spoke with cod-"Chinaman" accent whenever they were speaking with Americans, as opposed to US-English when they were speaking to each other.    By contrast though, I find US films dubbed into German really miss a trick when they refuse to give regional accents to characters. For example, there's no way Rocky Balboa (I only watch highbrow TV/films) should speak as clearly as he does in the German language versions, and if they'd let him speak ruhrpoettisch or similar, it would make the character sound more authentic in German.      
  3. Move to South Bavaria???

    Just out of interest, do they ski in Chiemgau or across the border in Austria? 
  4. Car registration and registration plates

    Yes you can.  As you are in Mainz, you can use the info from this link (Umkennzeichnung eines Fahrzeuges auf Wunsch): https://www.mainz.de/vv/produkte/verkehrsueberwachung/181010100000073032.php
  5. Brexit: The fallout

    Yeah, but the EU issue is an unusual one for British voters anyway (which is why it was such a stupid referendum to call). The folk who dislike the EU would go through fire and walk over broken glass to register their vote: and did so. I think for the vast majority of us Brits it's either a "kind of good thing to have", or (particularly for the London voters) seen as such a no-brainer, that there was not really such a feeling of compulsion to vote. I've spoken with dozens of folk in London who say that they would have voted remain, but they ...considered remain a foregone conclusion, had a lot of work on, needed to walk the dog, thought the traffic was too bad, were tired from kids being up all night etc etc.  
  6. Brexit: The fallout

    I disagree with that statement. It is not BS to state that on 17m voted, but fact. Whilst that is the majority of those who voted it is clearly a long way from the majority of the population.  I have no figures re turnout in absolute terms for various elections (but given the population is greater, than seems an odd term of reference), but the suggestion that the EU referendum was a huge turnout is wrong. Right up until 1997, the usual turnout for elections was over 70% (source: http://www.ukpolitical.info/Turnout45.htm), and as you can see the turnout at the referendum of 72% (source table below) would have been low for any general election up until 2001. Of course the big difference between the referendum result and the general elections, is that the elections typically come around every 4 or 5 years. Whilst it is typical for a large section (in fact usually the majority) of the population not to have voted for the "winner" of an election (and so would not be 100% happy), this is a big difference. The implications of leaving the EU will far outlast any single Parliamentary term.   United Kingdom European Union membership referendum, 2016 Choice Votes % Leave the European Union 17,410,742 51.89 Remain a member of the European Union 16,141,241 48.11 Valid votes 33,551,983 99.92 Invalid or blank votes 25,359 0.08 Total votes 33,577,342 100.00 Registered voters and turnout 46,500,001 72.21 Source: Electoral Commission    
  7. Brexit: The fallout

    So, to get this back on track, I note that Gina Miller has put in an application for judicial review of Boris' decision. It's been over 20 years since I studied judicial review, but from what I recall I am not sure this has a huge chance. There was no procedural impropriety: whilst the rules are weak, he hasn't gone beyond his powers. Another key ground (admittedly from 20 years ago!) was irrationality/unreasonableness: but I seem to recall the bar was set much higher than the wording would suggest (something along the lines that "no reasonable person could have taken that action"). Strangely, I think the best chance might be the one which seems the toughest: the action is unlawful insofar as by his behaviour he has "fettered his discretion" or "surrendered his decision making responsibility". Anyone else know/remember anything about Judicial Review?    Oh, I also see Corbyn reckons he might squeeze some legislating in on Tuesday. That'd require significant help from both the Speaker and remain-minded politicians of all parties.
  8. Brexit: The fallout

    True on both counts (although these days, I have dual nationality). My point was not that the Queen should have done something, but that the nominal checks and balances provided by the UK constitution (such as it is) are a farce, and there is absolutely no point in having a Queen. As I also mentioned though - that is probably a point better left for another topic.
  9. Brexit: The fallout

    Yes, and that is precisely why she could/should be replaced by a pot (but I don't want to derail the Brexit thread onto an anti-royal one).    As an aside, she would have been entitled to rely on the opinion of the Privy Council, but as @Wulfrun has mentioned, that was headed up by the never delightful Rees-Mogg. 
  10. Brexit: The fallout

    It's strange when you think you need to look to Italian politics for a bit of sanity: two party leaders who dislike each other decide to put aside their differences in order to defeat a common enemy. In the UK, you've got party leaders who only care about how their party will look in a general election. Boris Johnson has everything he wants: groups of people to blame if/when everything goes wrong and the UK crashes out at the end of October (including bizarrely the EU for what he is describing as intransigence, and the people who want to block a deal who he can blame for "weakening his hand"...he does love to use analogies which suggest this is all a game). It's the classic: "I don't care about the outcome, I just want someone to blame" So, it's a win win for him. Also, was I the only one thinking how yesterday was a perfect example of how broken the UK's constitution really is? An MP elected by 23,000 in one constituency (of 70,000), subsequently elected party leader by 90 thousand members of his own party can decide to close Parliament for a country of 60 million people. No need to involve the Lords, the Privy Council was represented/advised by his school friend, and the f@cking monarch keeps her useless mouth shut as ever. Seriously, replacing her with a nice potted plant would be a huge improvement...in fact, even an ugly potted plant....or a pot (sorry...I'll keep the anti-royal rant for another day...)
  11. Brexit: The fallout

    Sadly, I agree with all of that, except the reference to "mass street protests", which implies that they might change something. Given the last two mass demos were the anti-Brexit one, and the anti Iraq war one, I don't think even they will do anything.  There is a real sense of resignation.
  12. Brexit: The fallout

    No. The Privy Council make the call.  
  13. Brexit: The fallout

    In itself, asking Betty for a break is standard fare for a new government. The issue will be the length of the break. Typically it would only be a week or two for conference season. Clearly the markets have decided that he's going to ask for 5-6 weeks, which would really limit Parliament's ability to vote on any potential deal or take steps to stop one. It has also meant that the GBP I was going to transfer to Euros today has diminished in value. B@lls. I was over in the UK again last week, and there really is an air of fatalism. Even staunch remainers seem to be accepting that the UK is leaving, that it will be cr@p, but there is no-one brave/sensible enough to take any proper steps to stop it.  The politicians prefer to sit back and have someone to blame after things have gone wrong, rather than risk an unpopular stance today which could limit the damage from occurring in the first place.      
  14. What's got you flummoxed today?

    @john g. I almost stopped watching when Bairstow was out. Bl00dy relieved I stuck with it. My youngest son has now watched two England matches on TV: the world cup final and this test. He is getting a really inaccurate impression of 1) how much games change and 2) how good England are at cricket. Absolutely brilliant game though.  
  15. First World Problems

    I reckon Bitburger's 0,0 radler isn't too bad (it's not beer, but it's drinkable). My linked first world dilemma is whether or not it is acceptable to let kids drink it? We don't let our kids have it, but at a barbecue at our place some friends did let their kids drink it. I guess since it's 0% then it's probably no worse than letting them have lemonade (which our kids sometimes drink). I'd like to say that my objection is that it stops them getting a taste for beer (but I'm really not sure that's true, and would be pretty hypocritical of me), but really my objection is just that to me is seems wrong to see 7-8 year olds walking around with Bit stubbies, even if there's no alcohol...possibly also hypocritical, but...well, that's why it's my first world dilemma. Views?