Germany’s state election results reflect a new search for identity

Since the outbreak of the second World War 80 years ago, Germany has been a bulwark against the re-emergence of fascism and the far-right. As a consequence, it became an oasis of stability in a shaken Europe. But Germany’s politics, like most other European countries, is now in turmoil.

The results of Sunday’s state elections in Brandenburg and Saxony show two losers and two winners: The “Altparteien” or the “old parties” — the Social Democrats, who are in fact in free fall, and Merkel’s conservative CDU lost out to the right-wing “Alternative für Deutschland” (AfD), which almost became the strongest party in both states, and the Green Party, which managed to gain ground despite the fact that the economically weak east of Germany is traditionally not a winning territory for them.

The results seals two country-wide developments: the continued rise of the AfD and the upswing of the Greens. Although these two parties occupy very different areas of the political landscape, their success has one thing in common: it reflects Germany’s growing search for identity and a quest for “Heimat.”

“Heimat” is a German word that means much more than just “home.” In fact, Heimat can be far away from home. It includes the idea of genuine belonging, and a special connection to the space and people around you. Heimat can be a country, a village, a house, an apartment or even a person. It provides a feeling of security, and is strongly linked to German romanticism, nationalism and the idea of community.

The desire for Heimat becomes stronger once it is threatened, when everything that is familiar could change and vanish forever.

There are two things Germans fear the most at the moment: climate change and immigration. One worry — particularly highlighted by the Greens — is about the exploitation …read more

Source:: The Week – Politics


Pac-12 power ratings: The overreaction edition is back (Week One is all about jumping to conclusions)

We reacted (Saturday Night Five).

We re-reacted (Sunday morning rant).

Now, it’s time for the annual overreaction edition of the Week One power ratings …

1. Utah (1-0)
Result: Won at Brigham Young 30-12
Next up: vs. Northern Illinois
Comment: In mid-season form in August, USC’s without its quarterback and nobody else within the division has the horses. Next stop: Levi’s Stadium on the first Friday of December. And from there, on to the Granddaddy.

2. Washington (1-0)
Result: Beat Eastern Washington 47-14
Next up: vs. Cal
Comment: An entire section of the playbook, collecting dust for years, has been turned loose. With Oregon’s unsteady hand and Stanford’s injuries, the Huskies are the team to beat in the North. Also: Welcome back, Chico. Welcome back, to that same old place that you laughed about …

Well the names have all changed since you hung around
But those dreams have remained and they’ve turned around
Who’d have thought they’d lead ya
(Who’d have thought they’d lead ya)
Back here where we need ya
(Back here where we need ya)*

3. Washington State (1-0)
Result: Beat New Mexico State 58-7
Next up: vs. Northern Colorado
Comment: Gardner Minsh-who?

4. Stanford (1-0)
Result: Beat Northwestern 17-7
Next up: at USC
Comment: The Cardinal has won a load of games over the years — several of them against USC, by the way — with stout defense and unspectacular but opportunistic offense. Could 2019 echo the ’12 and ’13 seasons?

5. Oregon (0-1)
Result: Lost to Auburn 27-21
Next up: vs. Nevada
Comment: Once the receivers get healthy, the offense should shift to a higher gear. But count on the Ducks finding new and bamboozling ways to lose to the top teams in the North. First one comes Sept. 21 at Stanford.

6. USC (1-0)
Result: Beat Fresno State 31-23
Next up: vs. Stanford
Comment: JT Daniels is done, and so are the Trojans — unless, that is, the …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Sports


Watch the Bugatti Chiron smash through the mythical 300 mph barrier

Speed, especially extremely high speeds, can get pretty abstract. I don’t know about you, but I find it difficult to wrap my head around anything faster than 150 mph, which is the speed most commercial airplanes reach when they take off. So when Bugatti announced today that its Chiron hypercar has smashed through the 300 mph barrier, my brain just found it difficult to accept that such a thing was possible.

Fortunately there’s video! Here’s Andy Wallace, Le Mans winner and Bugatti test driver, reaching a top speed of 304.773 mph (490.484 km/h) on August 2nd on the VW-owned test track at Ehra-Lessien in the German state of Lower Saxony.

To put it in more relatable terms, 300 mph is fast enough to cover the length of a football field —…

Continue reading…

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Source:: The Verge – All Posts


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