• ichbineinberliner commented on the blog post What a Functional Health Care System Looks Like

    2014-02-14 11:16:01View | Delete

    Public health insurence in France is through a dozen or so public insurers (depending mostly on your job, e.g. if you’re a farmer you’d be in the Mutualité sociale agricole). These are much more centralized and beholden to the national government that in the classical Bismark system (which is more local and self-governing).
    Financed through IIRC *three* schemes of payroll/income/profit taxes and earmarks from some excise taxes (alcohol and tobacco mainly) and a special tax on pharma advertising.

    Because the public system has quite substantial co-pays (e.g. 30% on doctors visits and 20% on hospital stays), most (87%) French have additional supplemental insurance, either private-for-profit or co-operative insurance (Mutuelles).

  • ichbineinberliner commented on the diary post Germany Says No to Weaponized Drones by David Swanson.

    2013-11-16 06:29:28View | Delete

    Uh? The EuroHawk procurement was canceled because Northrop Grumman’s collision avoidance system isn’t certified to operate within the civilian EU airspace. It seems that in the coalition negotiations the parties have agreed not to purchase (and work towards internationally banning) ‘fully independent weapon systems,’ i.e. without humans in the shoot/don’t shoot loop, but that is [...]

  • ichbineinberliner commented on the diary post Things the United States Makes by inoljt.

    2012-02-14 09:48:59View | Delete

    From an US-exports (or non-American) viewpoint there is one more “thing” you make: Intellectual property/media – music, movies, tv-series, video games, multi-media franchises (Disney, DC & Marvel, and so on). Dwarfs practically every export to Europe except maybe aerospace products and cars. Having the global lingua franca as your mother tongue is an extremely valuable [...]

  • The good news is that recently the German Constitutional Court has found that obligatory sterility (and obligatory GRS) are unconstitutional, these parts of the law aren’t valid since January 11, 2011.
    Decision (in German).

  • ichbineinberliner commented on the diary post Get Ready for the EuroBomb by wbgonne.

    2011-10-21 23:57:30View | Delete

    “Let the banks eat the Greek default.” I share that sentiment, but most of Greeks debt here in Germany is owned, some way or another, by the taxpayer not private banks (~20 billion owned by the federal and state governments vs ~6 billion owned by private banks). And most of Greeks sovereign debt globally is [...]

  • … would have likely won zero seats …

    Actually that isn’t hypothetical. The Berlin election uses (like the federal) a mixed-member-system. The first 78 seats are elected through first-past-the-post with the first vote in the election districts (so called “Direktmandate“/direct seats). The reason is that every inhabitant has “his” or “her” representative which has local ties (and less dependency on the party to put them on a safe spot on the list…)..

    The rest of the seats (“Listenmandate“/list seats) are then filled from party lists so that the proportions of the second (proportional) votes are reflected in the parliament.

    So if we just look at the 78 direct seats we can easily see how a first-past-the-post parliament would look like:
    SPD – 35
    CDU – 25
    Greens – 11
    Left – 7
    Pirates – 0

    And as a contrast the total (direct and list seats):
    SPD – 48
    CDU – 39
    Greens – 30
    Left – 20
    Pirates – 15

  • This was a constitutional complaint. Everyone can file one of these if s/he thinks that his or her rights as codified in the German constitution is infringed on by a German government entity.

    Since the point of contention in this case is the right of the German electorate to influence their taxes through the election of the parliament (Bundestag), every member of the electorate can complain.

    In this decision there were two complaints, one by a group of five professors, two of them retired (Hankel/Nölling/Schachtschneider/Spethmann/Starbatty) and one by a retired politician (Gauweiler).
    That is fairly typical for such general complains.

  • ichbineinberliner commented on the diary post Socialism wins, says hairy-chested, alpha capitalists by diogenes.

    2011-08-08 01:32:30View | Delete

    ” and I intend to (ab)use the term socialist to get their attention. ” Don’t try to out-crazy the crazy or ignorant, it will not work. Facts are facts, and words have meanings. The correct word for “social democracy” is “social democracy,” not “socialism.” To say that most of the countries on that list are [...]

  • imagine how politically connected these kids must be to get Norway’s Hilary equivalent to show for a talk

    Well, Norway has less than five million inhabitants and the Arbeidernes Ungdomsfylking has less than ten thousand members, the so the 600 at the camp where actually only around 6% of the total membership.
    Probably the more active and engaged members in the Oslo area, but “elite” is probably too strong a word.

    In such small population countries you can’t judge political elite status from sheer proximity or acquaintance to elite members, because the pool of persons who are active in the “political scene” is quite small.
    The political scene of the whole country is a bit like the “beltway” in Washington: everyone knows everyone else…

  • Defaults are considered something bad because after that you have a hard time borrowing. Because nobody trust you to pay it back. If on the other hand you pay back the debt by simply switching on the printing press, your lenders get paid back. With nicely colored paper witch is now very little worth, because [...]

  • ichbineinberliner commented on the diary post This Is What A Police State Looks Like by Rania Khalek.

    2011-05-22 04:49:28View | Delete

    Specifically, former Chief Justice Warren Burger and DC Circuit Judge Malcolm Wilkey have both stated the same thing.


    One proof of the irrationality of the exclusionary rule is that no other civilized nation in the world has adopted it.


    police do no get warrants for search of homes or wiretaps-they just do it

    are obviously not [...]

  • ichbineinberliner commented on the diary post This Is What A Police State Looks Like by Rania Khalek.

    2011-05-21 14:33:15View | Delete

    Regarding Germany, I worked with their narcs and they did not get warrants for diddley

    That would be highly illegal. See the German Constitution Article 13 (2) and the Code of Criminal Procedure Section 105 (1). Oh, and the distinction “inquisitorial system vs adversarial system” is way more narrowly defined (by the inquisitive role of the [...]

  • ichbineinberliner commented on the diary post 70% of Americans are interested in creating a third party by Liz Berry.

    2011-05-20 10:48:02View | Delete

    Just this year Germany, for the first time in its history, has Greens controlling two of its states after its April elections

    Only one state (Baden-Württemberg) if by “controlling” you mean that the Prime-Minister (think Governor) is a member of the Green party. But anyhow: if you want a multi party system you’ll need some kind [...]

  • ichbineinberliner commented on the diary post Do you want to fucking win or not? by Eric Patton.

    2011-05-15 06:15:02View | Delete

    What you call the “coordinator class” is called “intelligentsia” in orthodox Marxism. In most Bolshevik systems the intelligentsia was actually quite disdained. Just think of Lenins remarks about them, and their fate in the Maoist East Asian regimes. Heck, the Khmer Rouge killed people for wearing spectacles… A somewhat different example was the East German [...]

  • ichbineinberliner commented on the diary post Rand Paul Is Not the Stupidest Tea-GOP Senator. However . . . by Scarecrow.

    2011-05-12 13:23:08View | Delete

    No, there is no “free treatment clause” in the Hippocratic oath. And I can hardly imagine that American doctors would have to take it, because the oath is very unsuited to modern medicine. Especially the general ban on surgery and the master-apprentice “secret art” training system which is totally incompatible with modern university study and [...]

  • It is actually expected that the EU Council of Ministers will evoke directive 2001/55 for refugees from Libya at their meeting in April, 11. This would give refugees from Libya one year visas. The interesting part of the April, 11 meeting will be the question of quotas. That has less to do with outright racism, [...]

  • ichbineinberliner commented on the diary post How a real democracy works! by kabuki101.

    2011-03-29 01:44:10View | Delete

    Infratest dimap, the polling/forecast institute associated with the public network ARD, publishes state polls (called LänderTREND) once a month here. Forschungsgruppe Wahlen, the polling/forecast institute associated with the public network ZDF, has interesting weekly reports called Politbarometer. here on their page and here on the ZDF page . For example a 20 year graph of the Sunday Question: PDF file [...]

  • ichbineinberliner commented on the diary post How a real democracy works! by kabuki101.

    2011-03-28 08:06:11View | Delete

    To make thins complicated even further: the parties aren’t monoliths. One party can differ wildly from one state to the other. For example the Hamburg CDU/Green coalition you mentioned, many (especially CDU supporters) thought this would be a trend. But it really only worked because the Hamburg CDU was socially so liberal (von Beust was [...]

  • ichbineinberliner commented on the diary post How a real democracy works! by kabuki101.

    2011-03-28 06:33:04View | Delete

    Some remarks: 1) For people associated with the classical labor movement the German Greens aren’t an unalloyed blessing. They aren’t part of that movement, their main clientèle are relatively affluent white-collar employees or self employed, in class terms the “small bourgeois”. And their economic policies reflect that. Even the “triangulated Third Way SPD” is slightly [...]

  • ichbineinberliner commented on the diary post Sunday Food: Asparagus – Reality and Myth by Ruth Calvo.

    2011-03-27 10:50:36View | Delete

    Who said anything about “unhealthy”? You said: The thing is that canned vegetables have one *additional* heating process that fresh or frozen vegetables don’t have. How much difference that makes depends on the care the producer gave this step. But the difference is never less than zero, i.e. the nutritional value/”freshness” will never *increase* because [...]

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