Tuesday, May 31, 2011

IT'S THE CORPUS DELICTI... at least a part of it: "A 40-year-old Bangladeshi woman cut off a man's penis during an alleged attempted rape and took it to a police station as evidence, police in a remote part of Bangladesh said Monday."

Sunday, May 29, 2011

EGYPTIAN SPRING 'PROGRESS': a group of Egyptians have announced their intention of establishing a Nazi party.

Friday, May 27, 2011

SPAIN may be too big to fall, but worries grow:
Many global bond fund managers have so far hung onto their holdings of Spanish debt, hoping that the world's 12th-largest economy will escape the trauma of some of its neighbors. But questions over politics and hidden debt lead some to fear that the worst is yet to come in the euro zone.
The risks; another downturn in the Spanish housing market which could destabilize the whole banking system; social revolt that could hinder the government's austerity plans; and a possible restructuring of Greece's debt, which would hurt Spain's.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

WHEN YOU WIN it's all fine and dandy, but as soon as you lose, then... "Spanish PM Zapatero faces rebellion as Socialists digest election defeat"

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

A FUN QUIZ: who said this?

And today this...

SPANISH PROTESTS: Viva, err... what, exactly?

(Previously on this blog, here)

Monday, May 23, 2011

THE ECONOMIST on the big shakeup after yesterday's local and regional elections in Spain in which Zapatero's Socialist party got trounced badly.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

SORRY, but those guys are no tea partiers. From afar it's tempting to romanticize the protests taking place in Spain right now, but they are not definitely a wakeup from Socialist utopia, but a call to delve further into it.

You only need to look at their resolutions (oddly in several languages but not in English): they demand more, not less government intervention, including: the right to a house; public, free and universal healthcare; more taxes, including Tobin tax; the declaration that wealth is subject to public interest; renationalization of bailed out banks and former public companies that were privatized; popular access to media (whatever that means, but something that would make McCain-Feingold a kids' game); the closure of all nuclear plants; the drastic cut of military expenses, including the closing of arms industry; a declaration of "No war".

You get the drill.

Yes, there are some valid points (the push to real separation between powers; transparency in the administration and political parties; a censure on corruption) but those valid points are marred by the rest. And also by the fact that the guys are handing themselves (by whom?) a sort of sovereignty over the legislative process, as if whatever a bunch of guys decide at an open assembly, voting by raised hand, was democratically superior to a parliamentary system.

UPDATE. This is totally mistaken: "The socialist federal government sought a supreme court ruling to halt demonstrations that have been happening for a week, but it was turned down Friday. "

The Supreme Court, and the Electoral Commission before, had ruled the demonstrations illegal not once, but twice, but the government announced it wasn't going to comply and clear them out. Which may make sense --it's not that easy to clear 20 thousand guys out peacefully. And I personally think the so-called 'reflection day' prior to the election, when campaigning is illegal, is stupid. But the law says what it says, and the Supreme Court ruled what it ruled, which is the total opposite of what UPI reports.

Friday, May 20, 2011

GREENLAND, or how I learned to love global warming.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

HITCHENS on the Strauss-Kahn case and the "silly stereotypes about American and European morals".

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

THIS IS what you discover when you take a Geiger counter on a trip from SF to Japan, near Fukushima, and back. Revealing.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

SPAIN may have billions of hidden public debt:
Spain’s regional and local administrations have “hidden” debt, not included in the official accounts, amounting to about 26.4 billion euros ($37 billion), according to research by Freemarket Corporate Intelligence, a consulting firm, the Financial Times reported.
And there's regional and local election this Sunday, with a big shakeup expected. Incumbents have been hiding all this dirt under the rug, to save face during the campaing. If they're sent home, it'll come out. Can't wait.

Monday, May 16, 2011

LIBERTARIANISM AND SELFISHNESS: a response to the frequent, and simplistic, accusation.

Friday, May 13, 2011

OSAMA didn't just watch videos of himself on that crappy TV, it seems: "A stash of pornography was found in the hideout of Osama bin Laden by the U.S. commandos who killed him, current and former U.S. officials said on Friday."

[By the way, Blogger.com has been down for almost 24 hours; it's been impossible to add new posts. Sorry for the inconvenience]

Thursday, May 12, 2011

THIS PICTURE is begging for a good caption...

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

THE OPACITY OF THE TRANSPARENCY HERO: Wikileaks gags its own staff with a contract that stipulates they'll have to pay almost $20m (12m GBP) if they leak anything about it. No hypocrisy here, no siree Bob.

HOW Microsoft will change Skype.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

JEFFREY GOLDBERG: Danger -- tyrants falling.
As dictatorships crumble across the Middle East, what happens if Arab democracy means the rise of radical Islamism? Does promoting American values while protecting American interests—most notably, containing Iran and preserving our access to oil—require the Obama administration to call for more democracy in one country while propping up the monarch next door? In a word, yes.
It's five pages long, but worth your time.

WHY the eurozone's fate lies with Spain.

WHAT REALLY HAPPENED at the Situation Room during Geronimo (click to enlarge):

Plus, don't miss Obama's Facebook wall.

Monday, May 09, 2011

SPANISH STEREOTYPES through the lens of Google Search. Don't assign to it much sociological value, though (but you knew that).


WOW: 50 viral images shared in 2011. Some are mind-blowing.

Sunday, May 08, 2011

THE RISE of a pity-for-Osama lobby: "The chattering classes’ ‘uncomfortable feeling’ with the killing of bin Laden is underpinned more by moral cowardice than political principle."


I HOPE you're not too shocked to read this here, but anyway: Maureen Dowd is totally spot on in her column on bin Laden's death.

A FASCINATING inside look at the Navy SEALs. Don't miss it.

AND THE PRIZE to the stupidest comment on Osama bin Laden's death goes to... [drumroll] Noam Chomsky:
We might ask ourselves how we would be reacting if Iraqi commandos landed at George W. Bush’s compound, assassinated him, and dumped his body in the Atlantic.
You don't need to agree with what happened to use minimally intelligent arguments, do you?

Saturday, May 07, 2011

THIS SMELLS like disinformation, but the mere chance it may be true is enough to make it interesting: ¿Was Osama bin Laden stitched by al-Zawahiri, al-Qaeda's No. 2?
Osama Bin Laden's deputy led U.S. troops to the Al Qaeda leader's hideout so he could take over the terrorist group, it was claimed today.

Egyptian Ayman Al Zawahiri, who has been touted widely as the man who will succeed Bin Laden as the head of Al Qaeda, turned his back on his terrorist leader following a prolonged power struggle, according to a Saudi newspaper.

DEATH OF BIN LADEN: it all started with a phonecall.

Friday, May 06, 2011

SOMETHING'S happening in Iran, it seems:
A few minutes ago on May 5, 2011, Arab TV announced that Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khameini requested Iran's President Ahmadinejad to step down from his post. This has not been confirmed nor verified by Western media as yet, however, it has been reported that several of his close aides are already under arrest.
Of course this is not independently confirmed, but it's far from the first sign of a serious internal rift in the regime. Stay tuned.

Thursday, May 05, 2011

HOW DO YOU SPELL 'Guantanamo' in Korean? According to Amnesty International, there are more than 200,000 people interned in concentration camps in North Korea. Here's some images.

Here it is. I'm dead, and this is my last post to my blog. In advance, I asked that once my body finally shut down from the punishments of my cancer, then my family and friends publish this prepared message I wrote—the first part of the process of turning this from an active website to an archive.
Keep reading.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

WHY bin Laden's killing was legal.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

SURE IT'S NICE, but at the end of the day killing bin Laden won't do much for Obama's chances to renew in 2012:
In the immediate aftermath of the targeted killing of Osama bin Laden, President Obama’s approval rating has jumped higher, with big increases in the number of Americans giving him high marks on dealing with terrorism and the situation in Afghanistan.

But the new poll, conducted Monday evening by The Washington Post and the Pew Research Center, also finds virtually no movement in Obama’s numbers when it comes to handling the economy. That suggests that success on one front — even one as important as the death of the mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks — might not translate easily to other areas.
Especially because the first part will fade relatively soon, while the second will linger on during the campaign.

HMMM. This is getting interesting. "Osama bin Laden raid yields trove of computer data":
The assault force of Navy SEALs snatched a trove of computer drives and disks during their weekend raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound, yielding what a U.S. official called “the mother lode of intelligence.”

The special operations forces grabbed personal computers, thumb drives and electronic equipment during the lightning raid that killed bin Laden, officials told POLITICO.

“They cleaned it out,” one official said. “Can you imagine what’s on Osama bin Laden’s hard drive?”

TOP 50 Internet reactions to Osama bin Laden's death.

Monday, May 02, 2011

BINGO: Osama bin Laden is now in paradise with his virgins. Excellent news, that's for sure, though -- even as I understand and share the happiness and relief -- it still grates a little to see people out on the streets celebrating with chants and so forth. It's one thing to be happy for positive news privately (no doubt the world is a little better today than it was yesterday), and another is to do what we have criticized of the so-called "Arab street" after an attack: celebrating it as a sport victory of sorts.