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xawery

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Everything posted by xawery

  1. xawery

    European Politics Thread.

    In theory leaving the EU is indeed illegal, or rather, there are no formal provisions for such a procedure. This however did not stop Greenland from leaving the EU in 1985. The Withdrawal Clause included in the "constitution" (it isn't a true constitution, hence the quotations marks) is nothing more than a formalisation of the process used in 1985. From Wikipedia: As you can see, this has nothing to do with 2/3 majority voting or anything similar. On another note, I have a hard time understanding the opponents of this "constitution". It is nothing more than a compilation of existing treaties. What is more, it is the first treaty to explicitly state what have been the basic principles of the European Union throughout the decades, i.e. the principles of subsidiarity and conferral. These principles in fact ensure that the EU does not become a centralised superstate. How can anyone be against this treaty? It does not change the status quo in any significant way, it streamlines the decision making process by introducing qualified majority voting* in more areas and basically compiles all the treaties the member states have previously accepted. In fact, a better reason to vote against it would be the fact that this treaty is not radical enough. regards, Xawery *It is argued by opponents of the constitution that QMV will allow the large countries to dominate the EU. Anyone willing to analyse the QMV system will see that this claim is unfounded. While the QMV does away with the impractical unanimity vote, it makes it relatively easy to create a blocking coalition.
  2. xawery

    Brother in Arms

    Funny how the opinions differ wildly on this game. I for one found BiA to be very disappointing. Sure it's better than MOHAA and CoD, but that's not saying much... I'm quite fed up with the setting and, just as I had feared, the game was oozing with the kind of drama and crap dialogue that just gets me nauseous. Very Hollywood... Of course, I knew that up front but was hoping that novel bits like squad tactics etc. would make up for it. No such luck. BiA is as much a tunnel-shooter as other games in the WWII genre. The ability to flank is not enough to cover up for it. The weapon models look shite, the textures even worse, and the audio fx aren't very exciting either. I'll go back to playing Red Orchestra.
  3. xawery

    Best Games 2004 -upcoming-

    My vote goes to Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay. A sleeper hit, if you ask me. The pc version is truly amazing. While I understand that Vin Diesel-action may not be everyone's cup of tea (nor is it mine, normally), this game is so immersive and cinematic that I can only compare it to System Shock 2, excitement-wise. The gameplay is completely different of course, but you know what I mean. The combination of stealth, over-the-top action, very different settings, great voice-acting (go to www.imdb.com and take a look at who's contributed!) and the very cool commentary mode make this my favourite game of 2004.
  4. xawery

    RED ORCHESTRA

    Unfortunately I don't have the time to read that article, so would anyone mind remind me what the prizes were in that Make Something Unreal competition? Do they get a virtual cup or something more substantial (like a retail release, endorsement by the original publishers or sth similar)? Cheers in advance. Oh and Bonko, tell me what servers you play on so we can have some ex-SWAF nostalgia:P
  5. xawery

    OFP-MANIAC-MAP-Locator

    Bastler, could you please add the following? Haarlem, Netherlands. Nice to see that the good ol' Lowlands are so filled with OFP fans to warrant a seperate map, haha! Beatiful city, btw. Haarlem, that is. Over 750 years old, with historical sites every few steps... Plus great local beer!
  6. xawery

    Dying For Your Country

    I suggest you read Denoir's reply one more time. As he clearly states, he intentionally used the Soviet Union to simulate the hostility between the British and the French. Besides, it's simply redundant to call the founding fathers patriots. As they had to create a state, there was nothing to feel patriotic about in the first place. The independence was announced for very concrete and rational reasons, not something as irrational and vague as 'patriotism'. Furthermore, saying that the founding fathers were patriots suggests that there is a possibility that creators of a new state may not be patriots, i.e. may not love their country. That's simply illogical: how can one not cherish one's own creation, at the time it was conceived? In sum: saying that founding fathers were patriots is not only a pleonasm, but also introduces an illogicality.
  7. xawery

    Dying For Your Country

    Bah, nice is for the... errr... nice
  8. xawery

    Dying For Your Country

    I have yet to see patriotism that is devoid of any form of ethnocentrism or bias. I'm with Llauma on this one - I am only willing to die for my own ideals, and if those coincide with the so-called national ideals, so much the better. It's just a difference in motives. I think all who have contributed to this thread would fight, should their country come under attack. Some might do it as a consequence of a knee-jerk reaction: "beloved country under attack - must fight". I would do it because my livelihood and my loved ones were threatened, as well as the way of life I adhere to. All in all, I feel this discussion is rather trite - unless one is principally opposed to warfare, I think everyone would defend their country when attacked, for whatever reason. Fighting carries the risk of dying, so yes, everyone willing to fight for his country is simultaneously (although implicitly) willing to die for it. I cannot help but wonder about the sanity of the human race when I see people answer the question "would you be willing to die for your country if the chance of dying was 100%?" positively. What kind of idiocy is that? Do you think your death will make a difference? You're insignificant in the face of conventional warfare. I guess you'd also be willing to run into MG fire if your CO would order you to, "for your country?" God, you'd fit right in at Passchendaele. We're straying wildly off-topic here though - MilitiaSniper wondered whether dying on foreign soil counted as dying for one's country, disregarding total wars such as WWI and II. In my opinion one can only be said to have "died for one's country" when defending it after an act of aggression. Fighting on foreign soil may be a part of that, once the aggressor is pushed back onto his own soil for example. That's why I think coalition soldiers in Iraq are (sadly) not dying for their country, but for the whim of ideologues and opportunists (i.e. politicians). How can one NOT feel bitter about that? In reply to Gollum's post: That's right, but the decision makers are drawn from the nation, elected by the nation, and are rotated periodically. While the state is not the nation, the nation is the state. I can understand your simplification for the sake of ease and conciseness, but I disagree with such a discrete seperation of the concepts state and nation. You use the supposedly most advanced democracy in the world as your example. In my opinion the amount of executive privilege the president and his administration enjoy in the US undermines the above claim. Furthermore, one cannot limit "the state" to just the government. What about the parliament? The government will have trouble initiating a war if the parliament opposes it, especially in a multi-party democracy which usually requires coalitions to form a government. That's also why I consider a two-party system to be less than optimally democratic. I think we might have been talking past each other a bit, admittedly due to my inconsistent usage of terms. While I acknowledge that there is an obvious difference between the state and the nation, I do not agree that there is a clear delineation of the two. That line is quite porous with overlaps between the two simply because "the state is not the nation, but the nation is the state". I assumed humour was your intention, but I'm just not comfortable with someone attaching my signature to something I did not exactly say, though the essence may be the same. And yeah, my formatting was shite:P
  9. xawery

    Dying For Your Country

    The state is a reflection of the nation, that is the fundament of democracy. The state is far more than just the decision makers. It is the holistic institution of government, as well as the laws it, as well as the rest of the country are subject to. It is just as abstract as the notion of nation. While there is a clear delineation between state and private persons in the legal sense, I find it to be rather artificial to make such a distinction in practice. Of course not. I hope you aren't talking to me Please don't type something up and quote it as if I had said it. I am not (only) saying that war isn't nice, I'm pointing out that death is a dreary affair that has little nobility in it.
  10. xawery

    Dying For Your Country

    That's an interesting distinction you make, Gollum: nation and state. Might I remind you that in a democratic country the state IS the nation? The two cannot be seperated. As long as some bellicose bastard who won't ever feel a bullet rip through his flesh is willing to put troops in harm's way, I am not willing to jump on the 'dying for your country'-bandwagon. Furthermore, I dare to venture that 75% of the people who so eagerly want to sacrifice their lives haven't ever been confronted with the true horrors of warfare. It's not OFP or "The Longest Day" you know - you don't catch a bullet in the heart, keel over and die a noble death. No, you choke on your blood, piss and shit your pants while your screams are drowned out by those of your buddies, who suffer a similar fate. To sit in your cosy chair and post on the internet how willing you are to die for your country, now THAT'S fucking disrespectful towards those who have died on the countless battlefields of the past century. You'd think that after the twentieth century, people would have caught up with the idea that WAR IS NOT NICE and there is no glory in death when Total War is involved. It's a machine, fuelled by flesh and blood of nameless soldiers. I am not advocating selfish disregard for things greater than oneself. Ideals are certainly worth fighting for. Dying belongs to the risks that accompany fighting, alongside physical and mental mutilation. There is no glory to this - it's a bitter necessity, at least as long as one wants to be able to look oneself in the eyes. I have yet to find a country/state/nation that would reflect my ideals. They are far too broad to be encaptured by such a diffuse and unreliable concept as 'country' or 'nation'. Hence, dying for one's country is illogical in my eyes.
  11. xawery

    The Christmas/New Year Topic

    Ah, Christmas - time of obligatory joy and fratricidal tendencies... in the broadest sense of the word. Brotherhood of man and all that, you know? Dear lord but I detest Christmas... not the event itself, mind you: I am not religious but the Christmas mass etc. at least manages to give the whole affair an air of legitimacy. No, it's all the hubbub surrounding it that bothers me immensly. People running to and fro, hell-bent on getting presents for an occasion that (usually) means nothing to them. Christmas has become nothing more than a convention everyone is supposed to adhere to. To make matters worse, Coca-Cola has kidnapped Christmas over a century ago with its fat, red-clad bastard and has been holding it hostage ever since. Every bleeding bar or cafe seems to be decorated (and I use the term loosely) with disgusting Coke ornaments. Screaming children, annoyed parents, stomachache-inducing music; yes ladies and gentlemen, Christmas shopping is a tub o'fun! Is my misanthropy showing?
  12. xawery

    European Politics Thread.

    The high-quality newspapers in the Netherlands have a rather simple rule on this matter: unless the perpetrator's ethnicity is relevant to the story, it is not mentioned. Period. Simple and effective.
  13. xawery

    The youth of today

    Is it worth it? Sure is! Speaking as someone who deals with customers on a daily basis, I find it highly gratifying to be an asshole towards assholes - the more I enrage an unreasonably irate customer, the more I'm laughing inside. And then later on, I get to swap stories with my co-workers . While I agree with the general concept of enraging unreasonably irate customers, I beg to differ on the methods. I have found - in my retail days - that being disgustingly polite in combinatoin with a smug smile works better than just being an arsehole. Later on, noone can claim that you were being unreasonable - after all, you remained civil while the other chum grew red in the face and hurled abuse. Yep, thank goodness I'm a people's person.
  14. xawery

    The youth of today

    Dear lord, my stomach turns when I hear the bollox about Generation This and Generation That; both terms are little more than products of the diseased mind of some marketing manager (that's a bit of a pleonasm really). I hate this labelling obsession. The whole damn human species wants nothing more but to belong in one shoebox or another. Kids these days? More like people these days. The 'seniors' or 'adults' or whatever you want to call them are right when they complain about 'the youth', but they themselves are just as bad. It's not generation X, Y, or Z, it's PEOPLE. The problem started with a general misinterpretation of the term 'respect'. People seem to confuse it with 'authority', or 'awe' or something similar. Respect means treating others in the way you would want them to treat you, irrespective of age, sex, social position etc. Why should I treat someone who's older in a different manner than a younger person? That's direspectful towards the younger individual. Respect cannot be earned - it should be there by default. Respect can only be lost. There is one simple rule: every generation believes that education/youth/etc. were better when they themselves were in their prime. Hypocritical, predictable twats. Is my pessimism showing?
  15. xawery

    European Politics Thread.

    Holy crap. I remember similar billboards from my history books... they were in a different language though, cough cough...
  16. xawery

    European Politics Thread.

    You conveniently overlook the fact that it is the EU who is the diplomatic mediator in this conflict, so you can hardly call the Union lazy. They've been on top of this from the beginning. What the US does actually smacks of breach of sovereignity, but hey, that hasn't exactly stopped the US in the past... I agree with you that the EU should condemn such techniques, but doing this now would draw attention away from the real matter at hand, i.e. the Ukrainian elections. Besides, from the point of view of game theory this is the optimal solution for the EU - the US does the dirty job which, if succesful, will result in a pro-EU government. Opportunism at its best. (Incidentally, I feel that the pejorative meaning of opportunism is unjustified. It simply means utilising an opportunity when it occurs;))
  17. xawery

    The Iraq thread 4

    I've been following the recent developments in this thread for quite some time, and I've noticed that people fail to make a distiniction between two very different concepts: faith and religion. Faith is a personal belief in something, be it God, Grand Architect of the Universe or what have you. Religion is the institutionalisation of faith, the very organising of people Bgnorway spoke of. This, in my eyes, is the source of all evil in the world. Let me put it this way - anything that employs dogma's is wrong by definition. Period. Faith=good. Religion=bad. Ideology=bad. Anything that claims to offer ready-made solution and disencourages individual thinking is evil. And yes, I use the word evil while being fully aware of its pregnancy. I am not one to use such words lightly (unlike certain statesmen, cough cough).
  18. xawery

    Where would you like...

    He didn't. After all was said and done, it turned out William of Orange got the most votes. Anyway, Scotland. Preferably Glasgow. Wet, cold, and good whisky. Hmm, if not Scotland, then perhaps Cracow, Budapest or Prague. Beatiful, old cities, with beatiful, young girls. And the best part being, I can still do all those things! Whee:)
  19. xawery

    RED ORCHESTRA

    RO is completely MP based. UT2k4 has a SP mode, but it's basically MP with bots. The bots are excellent though (in UT, not RO). In the end, however, UT is only worth purchasing if you're planning to devote a lot of time to playing online. Both UT and RO, while completely different in gameplay, are excellent games, evidently geared for the needs of the online player. It's money wellspent.
  20. xawery

    RED ORCHESTRA

    The tanks are... waaaAAAGH! Awesome! Incredible! The game is truly incredible now:)
  21. xawery

    Theo van Gogh murdered

    While this thread's digression into issues of ethnicity is interesting in itself, I would like to post something more in line with the original theme. The two men captured after the 14h siege in Den Haag appear to have been planning an attack on two controversial members of parliament: Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Geert Wilders. Hirsi Ali, as we all probably know by now, is the MP of Somalian origin who was the co-creator of Van Gogh's short film 'Submission'. Geert Wilders is a far-right dissident from the VVD (Volkspartij voor Vrijheid en Democratie, People's Party for Freedom and Democracy), who left the party because he refused to conform to it's favourable stance towards Turkey joining the EU. Wilders has created a one-man party called Groep Wilders.
  22. xawery

    RED ORCHESTRA

    Ok, the release date is set for monday the 15th, but to keep us calm in the meantime, a new trailer has been released! Go to the RO site for the details. ...I've just finished watching it and holy crap on a stick, is this going to be good! The tanks look better than ever, the interiors are stunning... and finally, you can button up:) Bullet whizz sounds, improved hit boxes... I doubt I'll be getting a lot of work done coming monday:)
  23. xawery

    Theo van Gogh murdered

    Christianity is as violent as any other monotheistic religion. Don't you know your history? Or let me put it differently: Christianity an sich is quite a peaceful religion, it's just a shame that no one has ever tried it... Catholics, Protestants... Have you looked at Belfast the last couple of decades? Mutually exclusive religions will always cause tensions.
  24. xawery

    Theo van Gogh murdered

    Very much agreed. Though cultural diversity is a good thing in the end. The basis of modern society is respect. When respect is gone society will unravel. Let me add to this that accepting different cultures into their midst isn't some recent phenomenon for the Dutch. Over the centuries, the Netherlands were a haven for e.g. the Huguenots and Sefardic Jews: ethnic and religious groups whose cultures differed a great deal from the Dutch. Of course this wasn't sheer altruism - the Dutch profited immensly from the knowledge these people brought in. Just as the Dutch profited from the Turkish and Moroccan immigrants in the 60/70s, by having them perform work the Dutch themselves couldn't be arsed to do. Sadly, for some people integration isn't enough: they desire assimilation, and that's when the shit starts to hit the fan.
  25. xawery

    European Politics Thread.

    Heheh. I wouldn't mind meeting some of you chaps in a cultural environment. Besides, with a wee bit of good will, one could ascribe European integration to such boundry-spanning projects like OFP
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