March 5th, 2012

Ауди А6 за шес' хиляди марки. Проблемче?
  • htpcl

Y, O, Y, R U hatin' on teh Gifted Venus, tho'!?

Greetings, dear prudish puritans open-minded modern folks! See, a statue of Venus that was recently erected in the center of the city of Varna (yeah, yeah, we've all been talking about Varna these days, OKAY??) has caused a huge uproar in the local community. BUT WHY? Because the sculptor seemed to have made a prank (mistake? coincidence? non-issue?) by adding something like a... well, see for yourself what he added there:

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Yeah, yeah, I get it. She has something between her legs. A pleat of her toga or something. But NO, the local folks who are always so exemplary in their mores (especially during summer when their city is flooded with horny half-naked tourists from all around the world) were CONVINCED it was something far less innocent.

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We aren't used to this kind of attention.

Politics 2012: Battle Brews in Peace Garden State (UPI)
"Of the Super Tuesday states, we have been focusing on Idaho, Alaska and North Dakota, which are all caucus states where we have the highest likelihood of gaining a lot of delegates," Gary Howard, Paul's campaign spokesman, told U.S. News and World Report.

GOP strategist Ron Bonjean said Paul was shrewd to focus time and attention on caucus states, which attract large numbers of Paul supporters and allow them to leverage their enthusiasm into more votes for the libertarian congressman.

"He has shown strength in those Western states," Bonjean says. "The more delegates he earns there, the more powerful he becomes, even if he doesn't win."

The reason he wins even if he doesn't finish first is because each delegate Paul picks up gives him more leverage at the Republican National Convention in Tampa this summer, Bonjean told U.S. News.

"Paul measures success differently than the opposing campaigns," Bonjean said. "His not winning doesn't seem to stop him from staying optimistic."

I've been push-polled and called by a volunteer by Santorum's campaign. Both times they seemed surprised I said "no" to supporting Santorum (even the call center guy). I think that's more a function of North Dakota Nice than actual politics -- we don't tend to get ranty, sometimes we'll say "maybe" in the sweetest tone just to get off the damn phone and keep doing whatever was interrupted.

That Paul, Romney, and Santorum have spent any time in this state during this election is really amazing to me. We're North Dakota. The news media couldn't even get the capitol right until we found oil. North Dakota, South Dakota, it's all the same. So to be so front and center on the political landscape, let alone on the economic landscape, is kind of new to us.

Conservatives and business love us for the oil. Liberals and Occupy love us for our State Bank (go figure -- we also have a state flour mill, want some of that action too?). We have a brief but intense socialist past. We have a high church-attendance rate. We usually send Democrats to DC but keep our state politics with the GOP.

Ron Paul is spending Super Tuesday in Fargo and maybe Bismarck. I only hope that after the elections all of these people just leave us the hell alone again. We like our anonymity among the penguins and igloos.

(I'm off to work the night shift, so I can't respond to anyone until the wee hours, FYI.)
Quaero togam pacem.

Reform is the only way for Serbia

Serbia is jubilant. It's now an official candidate for EU membership. This doesn't mean it'll automatically become a member but it means that Serbia has stepped on the fast lane. On the other hand, a number of countries from the Western Balkans have the same statute and they haven't moved an inch forward, so let's be cautious.

But still. With such a diplomatic success under his belt, the president Boris Tadic can enter the election battle stronger than ever. In May the Serbians will elect a new parliament, and EU's support for the new course couldn't be more timely. The national-conservative opposition of the former president Vojislav Kostunica will be no longer able to hunt for easy votes. Anyone who hadn't decided whose side to take yet, will surely make up their mind now. Moreover, the EU's gesture finally removed Serbia's pariah aura that it got after a series of bloody conflicts, so this can't be anything but a good sign. The door to the Euro-Atlantic integration hasn't ever been more widely open for Serbia, no matter how irritating this must be for Serbia's big buddy Russia.

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