Maurizio – Omnologos

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Archive for November 2008

Scotland Yard Reveals: Pope “Not a Catholic”

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The Metropolitan Police confirmed Mr Green was arrested by members of its counter-terrorism command, thought to be Special Branch officers, at his home in Kent and searches were conducted at his homes in London and Kent and at two offices in Kent and London. It said the investigation was not terrorism related but did fall within the counter-terror unit’s remit and thatit was made without the knowledge or approval of ministers.”

If you don’t hear from Yours Truly for a while, please send cake with obligatory hand-file to Belmarsh Prison, Thamesmead, London (UK)

Written by omnologos

2008/Nov/30 at 23:49:00

Climate Change Activism’s Wreck of a Train

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Observationally, they have nothing to show to support their claims of upcoming climate disasters. Scientifically, they got it mixed up and regularly distort what Science is and is not showing. In practice, they are using persuasion tools developed to save pandas and the Hudson river, and those are the wrong ones because Anthropogenic Global Warming is not a species in peril now or a river polluted at the present, but a risk for the end of the century.

No wonder then, Climate Change activists have been fighting a mostly political battle for at least two decades. And the main objective appears time and again to force their solutions upon us, and to stifle all forms of dissent.

In desperation, what else have they got?

Written by omnologos

2008/Nov/27 at 22:55:13

Why Lehman’s Failure Was The Right Move

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Millions of gallons of ink must have been consumed in the neverending discussions about the “disaster” represented by the US Government’s decision to let Lehman Brothers fail and disappear. Andrew Ross Sorkin on today’s IHT agrees:

With hindsight, many in the financial industry blame a deepening of the global financial crisis on the government’s decision to let Lehman crumble

I disagree with that analysis, for two very simple reasons. When Lehman was allowed to go bankrupt, a signal was sent to all, saying that not everybody will be rescued. This was in direct contrast with the Japanese Government’s decadal efforts to prop up every financial institution under its watch (that’s why those efforts lasted for a decade or even more).

More importantly, the failure of Lehman Brothers showed everybody what the failure of “just a bank” may mean, with innumerable, overwhelmingly negative consequences propping up even in unlikely places. And this was good: because it is in the human nature to seriously question people advising that something bad may be happening in the near future, and to need a direct experience of that “something bad” before properly reacting.

You can spend every last molecule of your breath explaining a child that eating too many sweets can be painful. But there is nothing like going through a “tummy ache” that will convince the child of changing their way.

And you could transfer yourself back to January 1939 and explain all the reasons for the upcoming Nazi continent-wide monstruosity, but I am sure nobody in the UK or France (or the USA) will agree to go to war until forced to by the pain of circumstance.

And so, had Lehman Brothers been rescued alongside the other relatively large institutions, we would still be discussing the pro’s and con’s of rescue packages. And we would have never known that it takes just a bank to fail, to see a run on money-market funds.

Hindsight will fuel further commentaries on now-defunct Lehman Brothers: and hindsight can be useful to make sense of the world, but only works when there is something to look back at…

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2008/Nov/26 at 23:53:26

How Many People For Obama?

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How likely is it going to be, for 1.5million people to gather for President Obama’s inauguration?

Who can say? IMNSHO the crowd will be a bit smaller, but around the same order of magnitude. Check what Clark McPhail, professor emeritus of sociology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign had to say a few years back to Salon.com:

The counting formula divides the mall into eight panels and measures the square footage of each. For really huge [gatherings], aerial photographs are necessary to determine how much space is occupied […]  A crowd of 500,000, he says, would [fill] all eight panels, stretching from the Capitol Building to the Lincoln Memorial, or from Third Street to 14th Street […]

It is therefore not too much of a stretch of one’s imagination to think of a million people in the Mall on January 20, 2009.

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2008/Nov/24 at 22:29:57

No Blogs For Thin-Skinned People

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Troubled times at the National Review, apparently. Especially so if this is an example of their attitude:

[…] conservative […] columnist Kathleen Parker, received when she wrote a column in National Review that argued Palin was unfit to be vice president. Parker received nearly 11,000 e-mails, one of which lamented that her mother did not abort her. “Who says public discourse hasn’t deteriorated?” she wrote in a follow-up column. (National Review, as Lowry pointed out, can hardly be held responsible for a reader’s nasty e-mail.)

There’s lots of persons out there on the internet. And there’s all sorts. If one cannot bear the thought of receiving “nasty” comments and messages, one should really stay away from the web.

Written by omnologos

2008/Nov/20 at 23:32:05

Posted in Blogging, Politics

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Obama Should Thank Al Qaeda

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Al Qaeda in the news today with a “response” to the American Presidential Elections. Good for them. And good for President-Elect Barack Obama, who gets mistreated just enough, with a top-notch comparison to Malcolm X.

Why is that good for Obama? Well, imagine what would have happened had Al Qaeda sent unqualified congratulations to him…

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2008/Nov/19 at 23:36:41

Not Your Usual Take On Iran

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Great article by Ervand Abrahamian (“Who’s In Charge?”, London Review of Books, Nov 6, 2008), showing how false is the caricature of Iran as part of an “axis of evil”. I’ll try to post all interesting quotes: for now these two should suffice:

We need to take a reality check. Iran spends $6 billion a year on its armed forces; Turkey and Israel both spend more than $10 billion, Saudi Arabia $21 billion […] Meanwhile, the US pours more than $700 billion a year into its war machine. Before the 1979 revolution, Iran allocated as much as 18 per cent of GDP to the military; the figure is now under 3 per cent. During his recent tour of the region, Dick Cheney offered to sell $36 billion worth of arms to Saudi Arabia and the Gulf sheikhdoms to counter the Iranian threat

And

Iran is not a totalitarian state: the Islamic constitution, drafted in the early days of the revolution, is a hybrid, combining democracy with theocracy, vox populi with vox dei, popular sovereignty with clerical authority, modern concepts of government with Ayatollah Khomeini’s notion of velayat-e faqih (jurist’s guardianship).

Yes, Iran does have many issues to solve. But bullying it around surely will not help solve any of those.

Written by omnologos

2008/Nov/17 at 23:56:01

Posted in Iran, Politics, USA