On the Road to Right

It’s too early to say "I told you so," but it’s looking more and more like my prediction on the eve of the German election will come true: talks for forming a "Jamaica Coalition" have officialy broken down. Moreover, neither of the two possible liferafts seem available to Merkel. The SPD stands by its earlier…

A Study in Propaganda

Every time there’s a mass shooting, someone brings up Australia’s gun laws. After the Port Arthur Massacre – really Australia’s only American-caliber mass shooting1 – Australia put in some far-reaching gun restrictions and instituted an expensive buyback program, which is estimated to have reduced the number of guns in private hands in Australia by 10%.…

Black Liberty Matters TOO

One of my friends likes to tell a story about how a lesbian couple opened his eyes to the idea that gender can be a barrier even in a homosexual relationship. That point is the story, of course – he mentioned something to one member of the couple about how it must be nice not…

The Pre-Aftermath

"Results" from the Catalonian referendum are in. Der Spiegel reports: [Nach katalanischen Behörden] beteiligten sich rund 2,26 Millionen Menschen an der Abstimmung, dies entspreche 42,3 Prozent der wahlberechtigten Katalanen. 90 Prozent votierten für eine Abspaltung. ([According to Catalonian authorities] about 2.26 million people participated in the vote, accounting for 42.3% of eligible Catalonian voters. 90%…

Catalonia and International Law (as I understand it)

Tomorrow Catalonia either will or won’t succeed in holding a vote on secession from Spain. The referendum was duly approved by Catalonia’s regional parliament (albeit under somewhat sketchy circumstances), but is considered illegal by Spain’s national government and constitutional court. The national government’s response has been surprisingly harsh ("decisive," if you prefer), and it is…

Votes by Region

Spiegel Online has a really fun interactive map of election results. It shows a map of Germany broken down by district, and you can filter by party to see how well each party did. Of course, the most dramatic results confirm an old insight: votes for the more extreme parties are concentrated in the East.…

30 Days

Now that the shocking results are in, it’s safe to say that my prediction from yesterday has a pretty good chance of coming true. That was that Germany would get its first ever federal minority government1, and that it would be formed by Union (CDU/CSU) and the FDP. It all depends on inter-party negotiations from…

Puigdemont Has Written An Essay

Carles Puigdemont – premier of the Catalonian Autonomous Region – is currently winning the PR war with the Spanish government. That seems to be the temper of the times: there’s a strong misalignment between the forces that are good at manipulating public opinion and the forces that are for right and the rule of law,…

Election 2017 – Predictions

Since the German election is tomorrow, this is my last chance to post a prediction. I think it will be … A Union-FDP coalition minority government, the first minority government in the history of the Bundesrepublik. Here’s what we know to almost a moral certainty: Merkel will be chancellor again. There’s no way the CDU/CSU…

Et the Internet, Spain?

The budding constitutional crisis in Spain over Catalonia’s secession/independence referendum is a near-perfect example of the hallmark of our times: issues that escalate for no good reason other than the sheer fuck of it. The latest brick in the wall is attempts by Spanish authorities to shut down websites reachable on .cat TLD urls that…