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11
DnD Central / Re: Grammatical Mutterings
Last post by ersi -
In Dutch, the Bible is the holy text of Christians and a bible is a printed specimen.
Really? Is there a difference? I consider the difference as imaginary (or rather unnecessary) as between Internet and internet. (As to "the", Estonian - and Finnish and Russian - don't have it and I'd rather we never did.)

An extremely not at all sane capitalisation orthography is on display in German. A very sane one (i.e. everything lowercase, unless totally unambiguously a name) happened to exist in Low German, which I assume turned into Dutch orthography with hardly any changes. The Low German style is a major contributor to Estonian spelling tradition also, certainly when it comes to capitalisation.
12
DnD Central / Re: Grammatical Mutterings
Last post by Frenzie -
In Dutch, the Bible is the holy text of Christians and a bible is a printed specimen. Grammatically some Dutch spelling norms can be a bit weird and sometimes straight up absurd, but uppercase-wise it's mostly reasonably sane and consistent.
13
DnD Central / What is going on in Brazil?
Last post by ersi -
From London Review of Books: Chronicle of a Coup Foretold
Far from being a tightly held secret of seasoned conspirators, the would-be coup was advertised in plain sight, all over social media, with maps and photos, using the pseudo-military codename ‘Festa da Selma’, and the hashtag #BrazilianSpring, which Steve Bannon, together with Bolsonaro’s sons, Eduardo and Carlos, helped launch in November, though it only started trending after 5 January.

The justice minister, Flávio Dino, had vowed to prevent small groups of far-right fanatics from seizing power; his promise became an object of ridicule on Twitter on 7 January. ‘Partygoers’ were advised not to bring children or the elderly, but some came along anyway. They were also told to bring bibles, though these weren’t much in evidence. They took selfies and couldn’t help posting them, incriminating themselves; several police officers also took selfies with looters.
A marginal note on orthography: Bible is spelled in this article in all lowercase like a sane spelling convention would require, but names of months are still capitalised.
14
DnD Central / Re: Finding the best system of government
Last post by ersi -
In December I managed to read Thomas More's Utopia. I have read some books in the utopia and dystopia genre before, but avoided More's Utopia thus far because my primary school history teacher said that some all-important Commie (probably Lenin) said that Utopia is the first ever Communist book, proto-Communist or such. At my job some people organised a book club and Thomas More was on the list, so now I took a look.

It turns out that it is a nice little book, a very solid entry in the utopia genre. It consists of two main chapters, the first being a critique of More's contemporary England, starting with counterarguments to capital punishment for thieves. The second chapter is a description of life in Utopia, with some more ctitique of the way of life in England/Europe per topic.

Some points of emphasis are the overall equality of the members of society, seniority by meritocracy, primacy of agriculture and family values (strict monogamy and children being primarily raised by own biological parents) - all well aligned with my own preferences. Some topics, such as religion, slavery (as punishment, not as an institutionalised social rank), and financial peculiarities get treated several times in various places throughout the second chapter.

The narrative is arranged in the first chapter as a dialogue where More is among opponents/skeptics about Utopia. The second chapter is entirely the narration of Raphael Hythloday, the character who supposedly visited Utopia multiple times.

I found an old English-Latin parallel publication that I will maybe examine more thoroughly later. A decent English edition is here https://theopenutopia.org/full-text/introduction-open-utopia/
17
DnD Central / Re: Today's Bad News
Last post by jax -
Speaking of these German burgers, far-right groups used to have wild plans to get into power.

Now they seem more intent on cutting power instead.

Fears of Extremist Campaign After Attack on US Power Station

Quote
Vandalism at four power stations in the western U.S. state of Washington over the weekend added to concerns of a possible nationwide campaign by right-wing extremists to stir fears and spark civil conflict.

Local police on Tuesday gave no information on who they suspected was behind the vandalism, which knocked out power on Christmas Day for about 14,000 customers in Tacoma, a port city area south of Seattle.

Tacoma Public Utilities, which owned two of the facilities targeted on Sunday, said in a statement that it was alerted by federal law enforcement in early December about threats to their grid.

Odd, though. The closer groups are to Putin, the more keen they are on energy warfare.
20
DnD Central / Re: Everything Trump…
Last post by ersi -
The final report appeared just in time as a Christmas present for Trump https://january6th.house.gov/sites/democrats.january6th.house.gov/files/Report_FinalReport_Jan6SelectCommittee.pdf

Results are as follows.

Trump (and others) referred to "possible prosecution":
Quote from: p. 690
The Select Committee has referred Donald Trump and others for possible prosecution under 18 U.S.C. 2383, including for assisting and providing aid and comfort to an insurrection.

Law amendments to reaffirm that Vice President is not the maker of next President:
Quote from: p.689
To deter other future attempts to overturn Presidential Elections, the House of Representatives has passed H.R. 8873, “The Presidential Election Reform Act,” and the Senate should act promptly to send a bill with these principles to the President. H.R. 8873 reaffirms that a Vice President has no authority or discretion to reject an official electoral slate submitted by the Governor of a state.

Consider a purge in federal/congressional offices (specifically among those who failed to vote correctly during impeachment?):
Quote from: p. 690
The Committee believes that those who took an oath to protect and defend the Constitution and then, on January 6th, engaged in insurrection can appropriately be disqualified and barred from holding government office—whether federal or state, civilian or military—absent at least two-thirds of Congress acting to remove the disability pursuant to Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment.

And amend some more laws for the future, if prosecution is difficult or penalties ineffective:
Quote from: p. 691
As indicated in the Report, the Committee believes that 18 U.S.C. § 1512(c)2 and other existing provisions of law can be applied to efforts to obstruct, influence, or impede the joint session on January 6th, including to related planning efforts to overturn the lawful election results on that date. To the extent that any court or any other prosecutorial authorities ultimately reach any differing conclusion, Congress should amend those statutes to cover such conduct. Congress should also consider whether the severity of penalties under those statutes is sufficient to deter unlawful conduct threatening the peaceful transfer of power.

Don't they look too much to prevent similar events in the future by overhauling legal acts and regulations with amendments and reforms? If amendments and reforms are needed, then current laws may not be enough. And if current laws are not enough, then criminal referrals and calls for prosecution may end up empty, because amendments and reforms will not have retroactive effect.

Of course, if laws and procedures worked, Trump would have been locked up already. It's very long overdue. The leader of Oath Keepers was found guilty of seditious conspiracy, of disrupting a peaceful transfer of power, so why the delay with Trump?

As Trump says, "Witch hunt!" At least Trump's re-run for president is definitely over now - it was already for other reasons.