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The Cape

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Everything posted by The Cape

  1. Westworld (TV series)

    Has anyone been watching this? I'm enjoying it so far, and
  2. This looks absolutely amazing, really looking forward to it!! I'm wondering how car mouth for example will work with the 2-player mode? Maybe Waddle Dee goes on the passenger seat?
  3. Netflix

    I tried to do that as well, but didn't find any way to stop it. I've recently started using Netflix, and the streaming is good but I think they should really improve on options and organisation. There's another thing which I don't know if any of you guys know how to do. I'm sharing a Netflix account with my brothers, and we all live in different countries. The account was opened in Holland, and when I open it from here I have the Dutch catalog, not the English one (which is a shame, as the Dutch catalog seems to have way less movies and series). Do you know if there's any way I can access the catalog of this region with that account? I was hoping I could fix a certain profile to a region, but I can't find anywhere how to do something like that.
  4. Catalonia

    Many of you have probably seen Catalonia a lot lately in the news. Right now the Spanish senate is debating and will vote on the article 155 of the Spanish constitution. This article is about taking over the control of autonomies within the country which are acting against the law and the constitution. The implementation that they will do of this article will be extremely harsh, taking over the Catalan government, the media and the police. They were also threatening the Catalan school system. The article will be approved, as the main party in Spain (PP, a right wing party) has the majority in the Senate. However, most of the opposition parties will vote to apply it as well. The Catalan parliament may declare independence tomorrow, as an answer before Spain tries to take over. The implementation of this article comes mainly after the events that occurred on October 1st, almost a month ago. There is a lot of history and context needed to understand the events. Very briefly: there has always been an independence movement in Catalonia, but in the last 7 years it has gotten much stronger. Before 1714 Catalonia had never been a part of Spain, it was part of a different kingdom (The AragonCatalan crown). On 1714 a war was lost in Catalonia, and since then it has been a part of Spain (independence was declared twice since then however). The current royal family in Spain is who won the war. Moving on to 1936, there was a civil war in Spain, and after that there was a long dictatorship, ruled by Francisco Franco. Catalan language and culture was abolished and prosecuted during that time. As an interesting note, the dictator Franco, unlike in other places, died of old age in his bed, saying that he had left everything planned for the future. He had chosen his successor, which was the former (and actually still is) king of Spain, Juan Carlos. Now Juan Carlos' son is the king of Spain. Juan Carlos decided to be king and hold elections, and the parties wrote a constitution for Spain, which is the one we have now. The army tried to do a coup and failed, but many say that the constitution was not voted in the most democratic situation, in 1978. Another interesting thing to note is that the current party at power in Spain, PP, was created then (and so was the main opposing party, PSOE), by people who were ministers of the dictator Franco. In Spain nowadays there are still many streets and references to the dictator, the political party descending from him exists is still a thing, etc. Around 7 years ago, Catalonia voted and approved by a vast majority a new statute. The main party in Spain at that time, PSOE, cut it a lot, but the cut statute was approved again. However, PP was against it, and the spanish constitutional judges forbid its application a bit after. One of them made a very unfortunate and derogatory comment. This is a good moment to point out that in Spain there is no separation of powers: the political parties choose the judges, and so the judges now act according to PP's will. All this led to a massive pro-independence demonstration in Catalonia in its national day, with about 2 million people (Catalonia has in total about 7 million people). After then, every year for our national day (11th of September) there has been a massive demonstration asking for independence. Was this people demonstrating for independence representing a majority? It certainly was a lot of people every year, but we can't be sure. The Catalan government at the moment decided to hold a new election seeing this movement, and the main Catalan party slowly started shifting towards independence, arguing that there were no agreements with Spain. In 2015 we had another election in Catalonia, which happened after an independence referendum. That referendum however was non-binding and not recognised by Spain. In the 2015 election the parties wanting independence won by majority (in parliament representation; in votes it was 48% I believe). Since now the Catalan parliament had a majority which wanted independence, and the spanish government had said repeatedly that they would never talk about any possible independence or referendum because Spain cannot be broken, the Catalan government decided to hold another referendum, to see if the majority of Catalans wanted independence. And this was the referendum held on the 1st of this month. As you may know, the spanish government (PP is in power now) tried to stop it, and I'm sure you've all seen the terrible images from Oct 1. Participation was 43% if I recall correctly, with yes winning by about 93%. The result cannot be trusted though, as the spanish police stole votes, hit and shot people, the websites to vote were trying to be hijacked, etc. After that, Spain has kept avoiding talking about this issue, and the situation has gotten more and more tense. Jumping to today, PP has said that they will now intervene Catalonia and apply the 155 whatever happens (even after the Catalan president said he would hold elections this December), and so the Catalan president has decided to not call for the elections. I have to point out here that a few days ago, the spokesman of the Spanish government said that in the elections in Catalonia after the 155 has been applied all parties with a program that is not constitutional would be banned. This would imply banning what now is a majority in the Catalan Parliament. The uncertainty in the situation is very high right now. As of this minute, it seems that the Spanish senate will approve the 155 today with the votes of PP, PSOE and another right wing party, tomorrow Catalonia will declare independence, and on Saturday Spain will take control of Catalonia. This will lead to protests and many Catalan workers not recognising the spanish newly set TV and police chiefs, and the situation will get even worse. One last side note. PP is a very corrupt party. Two days ago it was proved that it has had illegal funding for many years. Many of its former and current members are imputed for corruption. Some are saying that they started this strong movement against Catalonia a few years ago to shift the focus to Catalonia, and not to his own crimes. Many things in the last few months are very suspicious (deaths of people who had to declare against them, burning of records of their cases), but it is hard to find them in the news. Note also that the public television in Spain is also partly controlled by the government (as journalists have been saying especially in the last few weeks). A few days ago, a member of the small spanish right wing party asked in their congress why the international press had told a story of the events on October 1st similar to what the Catalan press had said, and not similar to what the Spanish press said. So, he was asking why the international press had not been controlled by them. Apologies for the long post, I'm hoping it's not too poorly written. I'm not sure what information is arriving here in general. I read some English media, but I would like to know what's your view on all this, if anyone is willing to discuss it. This is a very complex and difficult situation, and right now I don't see an end to it. I can clarify or expand on any of the above.
  5. Catalonia

    Another quick update. A few days ago the Catalan parliament had to vote to make Puigdemont (the former president, now in exile) president again, as I said above. Spain was doing all they could to avoid that, even doing careful border checks by land, sea and air (it sounds crazy, but the minister of interior of Spain was explaining that on TV, it is in Spanish though https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MEMAopK5oas). They even checked the sewers. Anyway. Seeing this the president of the Catalan parliament decided on the day of the vote to postpone it, to ensure the safety of Puigdemont. This has created some division within the pro-independence parties, but they are still working on it. The next days will be crucial. In the meantime, Spain's international reputation is going down because all this. The Guardian put the Spanish foreign minister in a short list of authoritarian leaders that use fake news, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/jan/25/how-trumps-fake-news-gave-authoritarian-leaders-a-new-weapon and the economist published that Spain is about to become a flawed democracy according o their standards, https://www.elnacional.cat/en/news/the-economist-spain-flawed-democracy-catalonia_234585_102.html There are some other small things, like some members of the European parliament also complaining. --- Some personal opinion: after the first of October, there truly is a division in society. Before there wasn't, at least not that much I believe. Most people who want independence won't accept going back to an autonomy like before, and the other half, people who don't want independence, would probably be happy with less autonomy than we had before. So there is no common ground, about half of the population wants one thing, and the other half the other. Pro-independence parties chose the, let me say, 'non-violent, non-confrontation way', but Spain has shown that is clearly willing to go far. They can keep imprisoning people. Also, they approved a new law recently. All the people going to a demonstration that is not approved by the Spanish government can be fined with up to €600,000. Spain has already said that the people who went a few days ago in front of the Parliament, when they were expecting Puigdemont to become president and afterwards to a peaceful protest because of the oppression, will be prosecuted by that law. If there isn't a change of mentality of the people, things won't move forward. I don't think internationally this will have any consequences to make the Spanish government change the way it reacts. Either we bend or we take more direct action. That is very unlikely to happen though, I'm sure of it.
  6. Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

    Anyone following this? It's a great season! In the last episode,
  7. Star Trek Discovery (2017)

    I liked the last two episodes, even though I was also worried about where they are now. Too much is happening though, we're only in the middle of the first season!
  8. Xenoblade Chronicles 2 (2017)

    I started playing this a few days ago, I'm just starting chapter 3. I'm loving it so far, and I like the blades mechanic, even though I'm just starting to understand how it all works! The game does feel somewhat unfinished though... The jumps and movement in this game seem like they'd need some more polish, the previous Xenoblades moved better. Some animations and actions also seem a bit off, and I'm still not sure why the character you're controlling only shouts sometimes when jumping... None of this is a big issue though, I'm really enjoying the game and the voices
  9. Catalonia

    Just a quick update on the situation. The former Catalan president and a couple of former Catalan government politicians have been in Brussels for some time now, as they will get arrested if they enter in Spain. Two other former government politicians are still in prison (and have been for many weeks now), and so are two political activists. We had elections on the 21st of December, organised by the Spanish government, and the independentist parties won again. Well, the party which won the elections is a (extreme, I'd say)-right wing one, but it doesn't have enough support to form a government. The sum of the parties pro-independence has the majority. It's also important to say that, PP, the party which is now governing Spain, is the party with representation in parliament that got less votes. Tomorrow a new president has to be chosen in the Catalan parliament. The parties for independence want to make president the former one (now in Brussels). They'll need to do that without him in the country, and they also want that the people in prison or in exile in Brussles (which have been elected again) to be able to delegate their vote to someone else. There is a big debate now whether this is legal or not, and the Spanish government has already said that if they do any of that (make the former president, Puigdemont, president again 'via skype', or let the others delegate the vote) they will rule this illegal.
  10. Agreed. My favourite part was the it was absolutely hilarious
  11. Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

    I didn't resist for very long... great start of season!
  12. Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

    It starts again on December 1st!
  13. Super Mario Odyssey

    New Donk City is absolutely amazing. I got 277 on the rope (world record yesterday was 55,555, that is crazy!). That is not the toughest minigame I found in the city though, I gave up on the second one, which is And I was filled with joy yesterday
  14. Super Mario Odyssey

    I'm loving the game. I had an initial worry with the controls/the way it moved, but after setting the camera sensibility to high everything clicked into place So far it's not very challenging but great fun, so I have nothing to complain. I have about 160 moons, and my next kingdom is New Donk city. Looking forward to going there tonight!!
  15. Catalonia

    All the members of the Catalan government, except the four in Brussels, are now in prison.
  16. Catalonia

    What we call Spain today was established after the war which ended in 1714. It is true that about a hundred years before that the Aragon crown and the one in Castilla married their descendants, but Aragon+Catalonia were still a separate region with their own courts, etc. There were succession issues afterwards, and those led to the succession war which ended on 1714. I'm not an expert on the topic though, wikipedia has articles on it if anyone is interested: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_of_the_Spanish_Succession https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siege_of_Barcelona_(1706) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siege_of_Barcelona_(1713–14) They are indeed, ever since a woman lost an eye because of them (and which happened again on Oct 1st) I agree with that. The reaction of the Spanish government is only causing more people to be willing to separate. Thank you The Catalan president and some of the Catalan ministers are in Brussels, and they held a conference an hour and a half ago. They went there to escalate things down, and to avoid police violence in the streets and undesirable situations for the public workers. It seems like they will stay there until the situation normalises, to denounce that judges are very political and they will participate in the election imposed by the spanish government on the 21st of December. So things will probably be calm for a while, thankfully. The spanish government has already said though, if on December independence wins again, the will just intervene again and impose all this process again...
  17. Catalonia

    To be honest, I don't think we'll get much international recognition now, if any. I hope I'm wrong, but I can't see it happening. I agree that the other EU countries will back Spain. With the mentality of the spanish government it is impossible that they allow any independence, as they don't want to break the unity of Spain under any circumstances. Other territories might ask for that as well then, true, like the Basque Country. And it would mean the end of the political party in power in Spain when that happened. I agree that this is a huge issue for Spain, but it needs to be addressed as it is too big. If they had done things correctly, say, five years ago, we wouldn't be in this situation now, and I don't think people would be talking about independence. And from the Catalan side, yes, a phased independence is the option which had more strength I believe. It will/would be a long and complicated process. Rajoy, the Spanish prime minister has ceased all the Catalan government (as the article 155 is now approved and in action), and said he's holding autonomic elections in Catalonia on the 21st of December. Let's see how events unfold. --- Let me stress once more why I think Catalonia needed to declare independence now. A few months ago, a poll revealed that 80% of the Catalan population wanted a referendum to decide about independence. We already knew that about a 50% wanted independence, and that a considerable percentage (20-30%) only considered the option if it was in agreement with Spain. Rajoy had said that he was open to talk about anything except about a possible referendum for independence, or anything related. So, from the Catalan point of view it seemed that this was the only way to be heard and taken into consideration, either nationally within Spain or internationally. --- And let me just share two more facts about Catalonia. First, the national day in Catalonia is the 11th of September, and we remember the defeat of 1714. Second, the national Catalan anthem is about defending the land against an enemy. And indeed, that enemy is the spanish army, in the context of a succession war between Spain and France in the early 1600s. With this I just mean: you cannot expect the region to comply to policies against its people, given all the past history, the dictatorship and how some things are too similar to that period. You need to embrace the diversity within your country, and act accordingly. As I said above in this post, I'm almost certain that we would not be in this situation if things had been done differently in the last few years.
  18. Catalonia

    Yes, I do think this is just to show they're serious. Since this is a power move, I would say that so far nothing will happen. We have to wait and see. But yes, with every process like this, whatever you do some people will not be satisfied.
  19. Catalonia

    We do not have army. Currency and everything else needs to be sorted out, I'm not exactly sure how much the Catalan government has prepared. This would be a long process. And you're right, international recognition is needed. But Spain will take over in a few hours, the Senate just voted to intervene Catalonia, so I don't know what will happen. Probably none of the above. They would have taken over no matter what. As I see it, this declaration of independence is just an attempt to resist the spanish intervention. Let me add, I'm not happy. I'm extremely worried. With the way Spain has handled this independence movement, there were two alternatives: inaction and submission, or what they've done. This should have been resolved between political leaders, talking. But it was not possible. Let's see what happens now.
  20. Catalonia

    The Catalan Parliament just declared independence.
  21. Catalonia

    I would still want independence, yes. If we were to be independent and recognised, I don't think we could be a part of the EU, at least for some time. You are right. But seeing how the EU is right now, I honestly think that would be for the best. I know this would mean big economic difficulties, but I strongly believe that something needs to change. I don't think this is the main line of thought of the people who want independence, let me remark that. Most want to stay in the EU, and thus are asking for mediation, to find a solution to the issue. But all this would be part of the discussion in favour or against independence, which we haven't been able to have.
  22. Catalonia

    Thanks for that article, it was a nice read. Having a right wing party in Spain controlling the spanish media also helps the other countries to give more biased information I believe, even if for Spain is not biased enough. It is militia enforcement, and Catalonia is starting to be an occupied region. Hearing the spanish senate today, it's going to get much worse in a few hours. I am Catalan, yes. I'm very disappointed in the EU. A few weeks ago they were condemning what happened in Turkey, but when it's happening within their borders they go silent and do nothing. Juncker has said that they don't want an EU of small regions, but of large countries. And Spain is somewhat powerful within the EU still, so I believe they don't want to discredit its leader. As I see it, the EU is hanging from a thin thread right now. The talk about dividing Europe in two, fast and slow Europe, with two different currencies is gaining more strength. I also think that the EU is now starting to worry because the extreme right is gaining power in Europe, and discovering that in Spain it has been there all along would be traumatic. I want independence. I want the Catalan Republic. I have wanted it for many years, as I don't feel spanish. However, I believe that right now independence is needed, to be able to negotiate from a more powerful position. We cannot accept and subjugate to the spanish repression. There is too many people asking for independence, this has to be addressed. A proper voting needs to happen, proper yes and no arguments must be on the table. Also, it looks like unless there is proper action, nothing happens internationally. And with every movement the stock market in Spain goes up or down accordingly. We need to get things moving, we cannot wait indefinitely. And seeing how the spanish government is showing its true extreme right face, I don't see many alternatives. Ideally, I would like the EU to mediate to solve this conflict. To hold a proper referendum. I think the EU should be formed of many small regions, not countries. With decentralisation and proper common politics. With a shared retirement scheme. With many different currencies. With many different cultures and many different languages. Now in Catalonia we have our government, the Spanish government and the EU. I don't want the middle one. Alternatively, I'd be happy if Catalonia enters in the EFTA, and so does the UK. But this is dreaming too far away. When the spanish government occupies Catalonia in a few hours, the people will not be happy. The streets are already filled with people. The media and the police won't comply to Spain. I'm extremely worried, as Spain's government couldn't have handled this worse. I'm afraid that there will be blood again this weekend, and more than on October 1st.
  23. Catalonia

    Yes, that is true. That's why participation percentage was very important. If you were to have a referendum and enough people voted so that the result doesn't change even if the rest of the people vote 'no' (or assuming 80% participation or similar, which would be more realistic), then that would be enough. This was not exactly the case but, as I said, I don't think that the result can be entirely trusted, as the police was involved. I think that what is clear is that a lot of people voted 'yes', but we can't know for sure yet if that is a majority of people. I think that the way the Catalan parliament is distributed now is relevant: 72 parliamentarians for independence 36 parliamentarians against independence 27 parliamentarians which are undecided/mixed (keep in mind that in Spain each vote does not count the same, it depends on where you live. So, 72 parliamentarians for independence were 48% of the votes) This was a year and a half ago.
  24. Catalonia

    It's a very difficult time, indeed. As I see it, the whole process has been handled very badly. However, the independence issue has been there for many years now, and if the Parliament has a majority pro-independence, that is not something you can ignore. I understand why none of the two big political parties in Spain want to be responsible for holding a normal referendum, as the possibility of independence winning now is very real. But I also understand that after all this time, and seeing what has happened in the last 30 years, the minority (in this case, Catalonia) has to start acting at some point. Today the voting in the senate and in the Catalan parliament are taking place. It's going to be a long day. Let me give some more information: The main party in Catalonia (it was then called CiU) started shifting towards independence around 2011, with the first big demonstration for independence that I mentioned. So, indeed, that party moved in part out of political interest. And we also have to keep in mind that the economic crisis was hurting the country badly at that time, so the economic reason was very strong for them as well. Let me make another side note: Catalonia is a rich region within Spain. It contributes about 20% of the total spanish economy, and there is a net flux of money that goes from Catalonia to Spain and doesn't come back. Yes, there has to be a contribution from the richest parts of a country towards the poorest ones, but in Spain that is at the cost of having less and worse infrastructures in the rich region than in the other regions of the country, less opportunities for the students, etc. Corruption also plays a role here. However, economy it's not the only reason, as I started explaining in the first post. The right wing government in Spain has always in some degree threatened the Catalan culture. Spain is also very centralised in Madrid. The infrastructures, like trains, are highly prioritised to go through the capital, even if it's less beneficial economically, for commerce and for the transport of people. And there are many other examples, like moving water from one region to another at the cost of losing biodiversity, etc. It also needs to be said that the parties asking for independence have been gaining more and more votes ever since 1978 gradually. So it didn't jump all of a sudden on 2011, even though it was an important turning point. I know for a fact that the economic reason is getting less and less important as each day goes. And we only need to look at the recent events to understand that. The repression for the voting and the threats the Spanish government are doing are making people remember what kind of country Spain can be. A few weeks ago they arrested for two days some members of the Catalan government. A week and a half ago they imprisoned the two heads of the civil societies that organise the demonstrations for independence. They have threatened that the actual Catalan president could end up like the previous one who declared independence, who was put in jail for two years, then escaped, the nazis caught him, brought him back to the dictator Franco and he was executed. For the 1st of October, Spain sent three quarters of the total spanish army police to Catalonia, about 10,000 policemen. They were the ones in the violent images on Oct 1st, and they are all still in Catalonia. The streets of at least Barcelona (and I have seen this with my own eyes) are tense now, as all this police is there. And they have been causing disorder as well, hitting random citizens because they are pro-independence, causing disorder in bars, etc. And I believe this is a not very well known fact, but in Catalonia rubber bullets were prohibited a few years ago when a woman lost an eye to them. Another eye was lost on the 1st of October because of them. And then we have declarations like this one: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/world-europe-41712725/spain-fm-many-police-violence-pictures-fake I was there, and I can say: violence was not proportional. A video of a spanish policemen leaked where he speaks to a chief over the phone, saying they can't act, there's too much people. He gets ordered to do so, and then they start marching towards a voting school to break in. Many schools were damaged. Firemen did indeed try to stop them. There are videos that show that. But everyone did so in a pacific way, not with violent resistance. It needs to be said as well that the Catalan police closed more voting stations than the spanish one (as they were ordered to do so from the spanish courts) and without violence, and they are still being prosecuted for not acting correctly. And there is something else that needs to be understood here: when the police left to go to Catalonia, some people on Spain were cheering on them chanting: 'go get them!'. The government and the king of Spain back that up as well, so this attitude is understood. We also have to consider that they are now living in not very good conditions, some in the Tweety ship, some in the usual barracks of the spanish army police, but all of them in very crowded and not in the best conditions places. A last comment: some demonstrations and reunions for dialog between Catalonia and Spain or for the right to hold a normal referendum have been stopped by the spanish government in some parts of Spain. However, the extreme-right, fascist demonstrations are allowed, and they tend to involve more violence. In Valencia, the region just south of Catalonia in Spain, a extreme right group attacked the people doing a legal demonstration for independence. The Spanish police does not act in those cases. And there are more fascist demonstrations programmed for the next days.
  25. Super Mario Odyssey

    NUK just dispatched mine! I hope it arrives tomorrow or Saturday early morning!