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ScholaOsloensis

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Posts posted by ScholaOsloensis

  1. It's sad that the EU, which has been such a successful co-operation project is viewed this badly in parts of europe incl. UK.

    Generation Erasmus is growing up and younger people and politicians in continental europe (even in my own country, which has voted 'no' twice due to historical traumas with unions) are increasingly confident in thinking in european terms.

    My belief is that neither the UK nor the EU will benefit from this, and a successful brexit no matter how absurd it sounds, will be the victory of negative energy over positive energy, of nationalism over co-operation and of noise over reason.

    The euroskepticism is undoubtedly linked with the financial crisis and especially with that in the eurozone which carries extra symbolic value. This crisis will eventually be overcome, but the economically unwise decision to call on unnecessarily tough austerity measures (in 7 words: downtimes? = short term spending, long term sustainability) will postpone the recovery and the economic level of development will at a given point in time be lower than it could have been, had the sounder policy been adopted. This has little to do with the EU, but more to do with the political beliefs that are held in national offices.

    Realistically, I'd be very surprised if the political establishment in the UK is mentally ready for an exit and everything that comes along, despite what Cameron communicates..,

    • Like 2
  2. Any other contestant you would name? I couldn't name other.

    that was not irony. I thought Messi played well.

    I'd say Müller, but he prob should have done more in the final. Had it been him and not Götze, he would've taken it for sure. I agree that Messi played well.

  3. Fantastic tournament Brazil. One of the most enjoyable sporting events I can remember. :)

    Germany has a great team individually and collectively. The fact they were missing Khedira tonight, had maybe their best offensive talent injured (Reus) before the WC and could still bring in Götze and Schürrle from the bench is telling of the depth of talent in the german squad. When they're playing as well as a team as they do with simultaneous movements, one touch passing and players in front of the ball it's almost impossible to defend against, even for Argentina who's played insanely well defensively this tourny. In the end it feels very right that Jogi Löw's able to take this generation to a well deserved title.

    The final was very satisfying for a neutral, tense and entertaining from start to finish. Lots of talk about Messi and what he could've done or not tonight. He's had a good tournament and made a number of good plays in the final, but couldn't find his magic wand in the end. Can't imagine how it feels for Higuain though.

    Too bad it's over already.

  4. The grand essay is not necessary.

    Then we disagree. I've seen many deserved tributes to those who sacrificed their lives during the landing of Normandy, but too often and for too long has the war crimes inflicted upon the civilian population been an untold story. The bombings of Normandy were not a necessary evil and usually overlooked.

    The SS divisions especially were monsters, and we presumably all agree that the regime they represented was pure evil if it ever existed. The general sentiment is though, as evidenced here, that whichever evils we did were necessary, which I vehemently disagree with, although I recognize the occasion is perhaps a wrong one for this view and for that I'm sorry. Empathy? Well, I don't believe in free will so I feel sympathy with any being that suffers for whichever reason.

  5. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bombing_of_Normandy

    According to Antony Beevor in his book D-Day, "The British bombing of Caen beginning on D-Day in particular was stupid, counter-productive and above all very close to a war crime. There was an assumption, I think, that Caen must have been evacuated beforehand. That was wishful thinking on the part of the British. There were more than 2,000 casualties there on the first two days and in a way it was miraculous that more people weren't killed when you think of the bombing and the shelling which carried on for days afterwards. French civilians, caught in the middle of these battlefields or under Allied bombing, endured terrible suffering. Even the joys of liberation had their darker side. The war in northern France marked not just a generation, but the whole of the postwar world, profoundly influencing relations between America and Europe."[3]

    The bombings also destroyed 96% of Tilly-la-Campagne (Calvados), 95% of Vire (Calvados), 88% of Villers-Bocage (Calvados), 82% of Le Havre(Seine-Maritime), 77% of Saint-Lô (Manche), 76% of Falaise (Calvados), 75% of Lisieux (Calvados), 75% of Caen (Calvados).[4]

    It is estimated that the bombings in Normandy before and after D-Day caused over 50,000 civilian deaths. The French historian Henri Amouroux inLa Grande histoire des Français sous l’Occupation, says that 20,000 civilians were killed in Calvados department, 10,000 in Seine-Maritime, 14,800 in the Manche, 4,200 in the Orne, around 3,000 in the Eure. The most deadly allied bombings under the German occupation were these: Lisieux (6-7 June 1944, 700 dead), Vire (6-7 June 1944, 400 dead), Caen (6 June-19 July 1944, about 3,000 dead), Le Havre (5-11 September 1944, more than 5,000 dead)[5][6]

    For many families who lived through the war, it was the arrival and passage of British and American forces that was by far the most tormenting experience. It was profoundly traumatic for the people of Normandy. Think of the hundreds of tons of bombs destroying entire cities and wiping out families. But the suffering of civilians was for many years masked by the over-riding image, that of the French welcoming the liberators with open arms.[7]

    You can see the references on wikipedia. I don't know why the estimates vary, but whether it was less than 40 000 or 50 000 isn't significant.

    I agree that war crimes are generally part of war, however I think we should have come far enough to tell the entire story of the war, even when our side fought a regime that was an embodiment of evil.

    There was a culture of total destruction with little to no concern for civilian loss among officers in the british and american air forces. In the trade off between "our soldiers" and the security of civilians, the former won complete allegiance. Which is also part of the reason why many of these bombing raids were useless, the bombers didn't dear bomb close enough the german lines since they were afraid of hitting their own soldiers. What positively separated the allied forces from the axis forces was a political leadership that were generally more concerned with loss of civilian life and moral accountability than obviously its axis counterpart, but this didn't always translate to the battlefield.

    While we should of course understand the losses and horrors associated with liberating europe and getting rid of Hitler, in no way were many of the war crimes, especially those inflicted upon the civilian population after the axis forces were driven away, necessary or of any military value. Any excuse of them being done, must be seen in a very dynamic, fatalistic perspective where we accept our own inevitable evil to drive out a greater evil. There should be room to criticize the many specific actions that were not only war crimes, but morally disgusting from our point of view, especially since the propaganda associated with war efforts have done so much to overshadow these actions that many are completely unaware of them or don't want to hear anything about it. It's important to get rid of the long lasting notion of moral exceptionalism that is often attributed to the allied forces, and which has perhaps in part enabled a number of devastating war efforts post WWII. This should be done without in any way belittling the importance of what the allied forces fought for.

  6. Please also remember the ca 50 000 civilian casualties in Normandy of allied bombings before, during and after the d-day. Bombing raids that were largely inefficient and counter-productive. For some reason, they never seem to be mentioned in all those great documentaries and TV shows.

    While each and every allied soldier risking their lives did something honourable and extremely important, it's discomforting to see a story generally told so partially. It's understandable that we want to glorify the generation that liberated europe from the nazis, but there was lots of rape and looting in Normandy as well done by some allied liberators( http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/new-book-reveals-dark-side-of-american-soldiers-in-liberated-france-a-902266.html , http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2009/jun/05/women-victims-d-day-landings-second-world-war ). War is ugly, and it's very hard to come out of it deserving to be called heroic. Many individuals deserve that term and more, but few war efforts should be glorified too much, this one being no exception.

    As for the military operation, there were so much incompetence going on during that operation, on both sides, it's almost hard to wrap one's brain around. Omaha beach must've felt like something out of Dante and it's unimaginable to have to go through that hell.

    • Like 1
  7. Small birds are whispering from the corridors of government, and they're telling us "no".

    Looks like the progress party will shut down the bid, but it's very unconfirmed.

    Since I've grown colder to the idea of OSL2O22, I'm not too bummed. Bitter for the bid org who prob felt very close to the prize (, or the bill).

    But it would make the race very interesting. Feels like an Agatha Christie novel.

  8. The flood gates have opened a bit in terms of the number of positive tests.

    5 positives, but 4 are for the known contaminant Methylhexhanamine.

    Basically, everyone who gets caught for this stimulant will use the "vitamin", "sports gel" "energy bar" defence, cause it's known to be a contaminant in some of these products without being on the label. So as an athlete you can try to prove that it was a mistake as the cyclist Rui Costa succesfully did, but that will certainly take some effort and hard evidence.

    Many athletes might use this stimulant for its performance enhancing effect, we simply don't know, or they were just stupid and unlucky. It's just hard to believe that so many pros would be that careless. Use "safe" vitamins/proteins for god's sake...,

    Getting busted on EPO is a wildly different animal. Then you're a blood doper and you know the tricks. In my opinion, there's no reason at all to let people caught for EPO or other forms of blood doping back to sports. If it's unquestionable, it should be a ban for life.

    • Like 1
  9. Hm, he's still on the start list, couldn't find any reports in German/Austrian media so far.

    Yea, I noticed that... very weird. Apparently, the IOC had a press release out earlier tonight, but they removed it.

    I'm thinking they're doing some information control, making sure his family knows and that all the right persons and federations are aware, or someone has screwed up.

  10. Norwegian media reports that Johannes Dürr's sudden rise to "stardom" (3rd at TdS this year) might have been fuelled by EPO.

    He went back to Austria to prepare for tomorrow's 50 kms. When you do EPO, you have a time window of.., I believe 24-48h depending on the dose, where you don't want to get tested, but the performance enhancing effect lasts much longer. He obviously didn't expect to be tested in Austria when everyone was in Sochi, but he was and it turned positive for EPO.

    This might be a break through for what has been reported as the doping hunters being more focused on suspicious athletes. If the austrian ADA, which I have no knowledge of, takes blood samples and not just urine samples, as many ADAs unfortunately still do, they can make a blood profile and find indirect evidence of blood doping. And if the evidence are strong enough, they can catch him on that alone, but they can also target test and increase likeliness of finding EPO traces.

    This is a bit more dramatic than Sachenbacher-Stehle in my opinion, if the reports are correct.

    Sad, but very very good that they are able to catch someone for EPO. It's been a while now.., Very hard to say exactly how wide spread the use of EPO/blood-doping is.

  11. Hearing that it's a stimulant.

    Could still be that she messed up with some "vitamins" or maybe partied too hard.

    It's useless to test for EPO/blood-doping during the olympics anyways, so I'm always surprised that people get caught by the IOC testing, which I consider almost to be ceremonial. Except when they have had a breakthrough testing method that hasn't been revealed to the field.

    Olympic testing probably more relevant in 4 or 8 years time, as the revelations from Turin suggests.

    • Like 1
  12. I'm skeptical towards politicising the olympics even further. Not because LGBT rights isn't important or shouldn't be a topic of criticism and discussion in conjunction with the olympics, but because politicising it also means subjecting the "human rights critique" to existing power structures. In other words, "human rights issues" will be defined by "us". For those who've read Chomsky, they would know that the US is per definition never opposed to the peace process. If someone opposes the US in a conflict zone, they are per definition opposed to the peace process. The Olympics really shouldn't turn into an arena for western powers to exercise domination over their geopolitical enemies, as I'm tempted to say we're seeing with Sochi.

    Some points:

    Utah 2002, gay sexual activities were illegal. Was there any press about this at all? Where was the outrage? Did the POTUS send gay athletes leading the delegation in protest?

    It's not the same situation of course, and gays generally suffer much more in Russia than in the US which is very gay liberal in a global context, but there's still a degree of hypocrisy. As long as there's an "us" that is a lot stronger than "them" and this "us" dominates the olympic movement, you can never ever expect an honest assessment of something as vague, complex and value based as "human rights issues", "discrimination" or just "good guys/bad guys".

    It's good that ridiculous anti gay propaganda legislation gets shot down internationally, but it's sad if much of that engagement isn't genuine but in fact remnants of cold war mentality and anti-russian sentiment. That's what needs to be avoided for the '"olympic movement" to have credibility. So critique and concern over discrimination is good, but it shouldn't alone have disqualified Russia from hosting and everyone concerned about the olympics in the west should look at their own games with the same scrutiny.

    From a western european stand point, several held viewpoints and legal practices in the US is strictly against human rights, such as capital punishment, anti-gay legislation and illegal warfare. My mentioning of that will probably annoy some americans and they will point to practices of the EU that they don't agree with, which only reflects that different values rule in different parts of the world and no one really has a clean "human rights record". Still, you'll never see the europeans talking about boycotting an US olympics or the other way around, cause they are friends and allies.

    Discrimination laws, discrimination culture and other forms of human rights violation should count as a negative for a potential host nation, but I'm extremely skeptical to a categorization of good guys and bad guys.

    • Like 1
  13. Something has to be wrong with Jonsson. He looks like he's about to drop dead...

    Lol. Guy made a false start on purpose to be in the spotlight. He was done already before the final. He's a special sprinter and in the elevation and tough course some of them struggled with the stamina for the final..., So what happens is he drops off in the first hill. Has nothing.., then in the downhill before the stadium Glørsen, Ustyugov and Hellner all trips. Hellner breaks his pole. Ustyugov trips right over a Glørsen lying in the snow.. in high speed, and 30 seconds behind Jönsson comes, takes 3rd position and gives everything to hold it.

    Closest thing you'll get to a Bradbury this olympics.

  14. Sweden was 4-2 up vs Canada in the 6th, but Jacobs took two and it's 4-4. Canada already lost to Switzerland and have yet to meet Scotland and Norway.., 4 of these 5 teams will prob advance.

    You really don't wanna go down 1-2 here..,

    Two "easy" matches against USA and Russia for Norway.., they are evidently not as good in curling as they are in nuclear arms races. 5-3 against Russia in the 6th..,hm.., still game, but prob looking at 7-3 or 6-3 now.

    Looking like a good tournament. On the women's side, it's hard to see Sweden challenge Canada after the previous match.

  15. Petter is through.., time not as bad as thought, but didn't look good.

    Russians, Hellner and Cologna dangerous. Hattestad looks good, but his stamina throughout the day is questionable.

    Probably seen twenty crashes so far. Great TV and entertainment! I see what you did there, Sochi.. Who needs prepped courses for XC skiing.

  16. Happy with the women's prologue. Very impressed by Astrid Jacobsen who lost her brother on the opening day of the olympics. She's through to the quarters.

    Kikkan Randall..., didn't look that sharp. She's quite big and the conditions are probably favouring the endurance skiers.., in other words Bjørgen.

    Guess what.., the russians (or whoever responsible) forgot to salt the course adequately, so they had to run around and throw salt on it manually. The result.., parts of the course are completely loose and especially at the end of the downhill into the stadium. As a result, girls have been eating snow.

    It'll be an exciting day.

    Favs are Bjørgen for women with Randall as 2nd fav imo and Ustyugov for men as well as Northug, Kriukov, Hattestad, Pethukov, Cologna Hellner++.But Northug needs to find a good pair of skating skies, which he hasn't been able to all season. Guy has to regret leaving the national fed and their top ski park and prep. Actually, he just finished and probably out! wow..,

    Great to see the audience; can't remember last time an olympics was this well attended in these events.

  17. As great as the win was for me, you gotta feel for Shipulin and the russians.

    He was one shot away, the final shot, from the victory at home ground. And he knew it. and he blew it.., just painful. He finished 0,7 sec off the podium.

    With so much "hate" on the Sochi games already, the russians (as in the people) really deserve some great sporting moments.

    Oh well, about the medal table. Bode miller's all of a sudden the fav for downhill tomorrow morning (or late tonight if you're american) and if he wins it's all square : -) Not to mention the freestyle skiing going on.

    The US has so many gold chances and have already taken a surprising one in slopestyle; they're in good shape. Canadians will hopefully seek revenge and steal back some medals.

    --

    Looking forward to the hunt. You can see that the altitude and the demanding race course really creates an interesting dynamic. Fourcade skied well tonight, i think fastest or second fastest skier, but spent too much time shooting. Svendsen seemed almost a bit too heavy for the course, while Bjørndalen has always been good at height and is a light weight. Could be a good olympics for him..

    For tomorrow, I expect hot and slender Domracheva to be the girl to beat.

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