Maurizio – Omnologos

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The Incredible Power of the Roman Catholic Church

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A little more than two weeks before a U.S. Presidential election. The two candidates have just finished their series of televized debates. Nasty words are flying around. Some important States are definitely too close to call.

And yet: who could manage to get McCain and Obama and their undivided attention for several hours, together at the same charity/society event, forcing them to make fun if not fools of themselves?

Why, RC Cardinal Edward Egan, of course!

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2008/Oct/17 at 17:18:04

Careful With Upcoming “Massive Stock Clearances”…

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…it may mean a different kind of stock clearance than usual. And you may end up becoming an unwitting shareholder!!!

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2008/Oct/15 at 21:32:47

Time for No-frills Banking?

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Overbloated rewards, periodic bankruptcies, giant inefficiencies, always ready to ask for Governmental handouts…that’s the characteristics shared by national airlines, and an unseemingly large number of banks.

When will anybody take the chance to build a no-frills bank?

Perhaps one or two of the super-rich Sovereign Funds or Oil Magnates will give it a try. They do have the money, after all…and they have just seen lots of it getting burned by professional bankers.

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2008/Oct/14 at 22:38:34

Laptop Killer

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http://www.acer.com/aspireone/

1kg, WiFi, good-size keyboard, screen 1024×600, webcam, 15 seconds to start. VGA output.

After that, it’s truly absurd to go for a laptop PC.

Written by omnologos

2008/Oct/13 at 22:42:07

Posted in Computing, Technology

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My (Mauled) Letter Published on the IHT

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From today’s ( Oct 8 ) printed International Herald Tribune:

I understand Thomas Homer-Dixon and David Keith (“The ultimate sun-block,” Views, Oct. 7) when they state that it is better to study global-warming-related geo-engineering now rather than waiting. But what I do not understand is the interest in “flooding the atmosphere with manmade particles.”

Throwing colossal amounts of particles more or less at random into the sky, with no chance of retrieval, is surely a recipe for environmental upheaval.

Maurizio Morabito Orpington, England

Of course the above is a brutally shortened version of my full letter, as published in blog “Only Controllable Geo-engineering, Please!” where I did make the point that it is vital for all human anti-warming interventions to be fully controllable.

And before anybody refers to the ongoing atmospheric experiment called “the emission of additional CO2 from fossil fuels” let me clearly re-state the following: if we really need to combat the effect of the “CO2 emissions experiment” it makes no sense to experiment with a different set of emissions.

Written by omnologos

2008/Oct/09 at 22:19:51

Cyprus: Historical Analysis i.e. Fiction

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(Addendum to “Thirty Thousand Attempts to Keep Turkey Out of the EU“, Sep 24, 2008)

Perry Anderson is not new to writing historical but relentlessy leftist pamphlets. In his 24 April 2008 article on the LRB, “The Divisions of Cyprus“, the “baddies” are colonialist Brits, whilst Turks are either depicted as semi-passive bystanders going from one fabricated outrage to another, or even beastly thugs.

Tellingly, Anderson describes Turkish Cypriots as “a community that felt itself entitled as of right to a disproportionate share of power on the island, yet continually lived on its nerves as if under imminent siege” but then spends no time dwelling on the reasons for that “siege” mentality.

Archbishop Makarios is portrayed somewhat sympathetically (perhaps due to his willingness to defy NATO). But it’s the Communist AKEL party that, as expected, is the hero of the story, always on the receiving end of violence and the only group capable to express a leader like current President Dimitris Christofias, seemingly on the verge of an historical settlement with the Northern, Turkish area of Cyprus.

Exaggerations abound, including comparisons to the West Bank, Guantanamo, and pro-Franco Italian and German forces in the 1930’s. The British intervention in the 1944-1949 Civil War in mainland Greece is depicted as bigger than the USSR’s in Hungary in 1956 (never mind there was no civil war in Hungary, in 1956). Greek leaders Papandreou and Karamanlis are weaklings in the extreme, with the latter a “sentry duty in the Cold War” retreating “to his bedroom as details of the [Zurich] agreement were fastened down“.

Successive British Governments are invariably scheming and evil, and Greek-Cypriot General George Grivas “a nervi of extreme wing of counter-revolution“.

Furthermore, Anderson’s essays describe eminently self-consistent stories, with little or no space for mistakes, random circumstances, and the revelation that some critical information may be missing and/or open to different, equally valid interpretations.

All in all, one is forced to classify Anderson’s historical efforts not as much as scholarly analysis, rather as documented fiction. And by trying to present it as some kind of unvarnished history, one risks cheapening both Literature, and History.

Written by omnologos

2008/Oct/07 at 21:04:28

Financial Crisis…Hopefully, Not Charles II’s “Cure”

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Fingers crossed…after clueless proclamations by clueless European politicians, we can only hope the current “financial crisis” is not a remake of the notorius case of King Charles II’s being “cured to death”

[On February 2, 1685] Charles […] suddenly uttered a cry of pain and erupted into thrashing fits (most likely from a stroke that produced a brain seizure). A physician […] applied “emergency treatment,” that is, he let sixteen ounces of blood from a vein in the king’s left arm […] Scarburgh drew off an additional eight ounces […]

Unfortunately for the king, he stirred, and this “auspicious sign” was taken to mean that he would benefit from more fluids being extracted from his body. This Scarburgh did with a “volumous Emetic” that induced retching vomiting […]

Again His royal majesty stirred, and this time he was given an enema to extract still more ill humors […] another enema [was] administered […] force-fed an oral purgative […] the doctors shaved his head and smeared it with blistering camphor and mustard plasters […] encouraging frequent urination and the loss of more humors.

The patient, who thus far had felt no pain, spontaneously regained consciousness. The doctors were ecstatic. Their treatment had worked! Surely the king would benefit from more of it. […]

No need to dwell into more details of the ordeal. Charles II of England, Scotland and Ireland finally died after 5 days of “treatment”…

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2008/Oct/06 at 22:49:31

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