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Idee/Fatti del Mondo

Idee/Fatti del Mondo »

Dopo esserci stata padrona per un po’ di secoli (a Milano quasi tre, a Napoli e a Cagliari quasi quattro, a Palermo oltre cinque), morto il Caudillo la Spagna ritrovatasi democratica si cercò un modello politico-ideale aggiornato: e scelse lo Stivale. Noi avevamo cambiato padrone già nel 1945, trovando la felicità trent’anni prima che a sud dei Pirenei. Nell’ottobre 1982 gli spagnoli completano il corso d’apprendimento: danno il potere al ‘socialista’ Felipe Gonzales ed entrano anch’essi nell’età craxiana: soldi a debito per tutti, industrializzazione e grandi opere al galoppo, ottimismo …

Articles In English, Idee/Fatti del Mondo »

When I was a boy, many a holiday season ago, there was a palpable sense of “holiday cheer” from Thanksgiving to Christmas through to the New Year: people smiled and laughed;  opened doors for one another and helped people cross the street; greeted strangers with a warm smile and a wave; kept the elevator door open for that slow moving senior citizen; always tipped lavishly; and made church services an integral part of the  holiday season—joyously and gratefully, as people counted their several  blessings throughout the holiday season.
Thanksgiving was, uniquely, …

Articles In English, Idee/Fatti del Mondo »

Not even Sophocles could have dreamed up the degree of hubris shown by Boeing CEO Jim McNerney in his company’s negotiations with the Machinists Union for a new contract. McNerney, who last year pulled in 22 million dollars!, told the union that if they wanted to keep their jobs, they must give up their pension and accept higher healthcare costs!
This is the epitome of how Corporate America works: The lowly worker (who, be it noted, really makes the company) is threatened with losing his job unless he agrees to such …

Idee/Fatti del Mondo »

Che fa papa Francesco? Fa e (per il momento) soprattutto dice molte cose, che riscuotono finora molti consensi e non pochi entusiasmi, di vario colore, un po’ dovunque. Fra i prevalenti applausi cominciano però ad affiorare anche dubbi, perplessità e non celate preoccupazioni. E’ il caso di Angelo Panebianco, columnist di punta del “Corriere della sera”, che giorni fa ha sentito la necessità di avvertire che qualcosa di preoccupante, appunto, sta avvenendo nella Città del Vaticano. Non per quanto riguarda il mondo cattolico e i suoi problemi interni, un terreno …

Articles In English, Idee/Fatti del Mondo »

There are many important issues in history—or even everyday life—that do not resolve themselves into (so to speak) “easy round numbers,” but involve “messy arithmetical calculations.” So it is with Snowden: Any way you take him, the calculations to be done are messy indeed.
Let’s look at him, first, from a positive standpoint. What has he done that we ought to be thankful for? Clearly it’s revealing the inner workings of the NSA’s massive, indeed historically unprecedented, ability to monitor our calls, our emails, and our Internet activity—and to millions of …

Articles In English, Idee/Fatti del Mondo »

In Korea where I live and work as a teacher, education is entirely test-oriented. One is tested only too frequently throughout one’s education. The reason is to pass that all-important test to go to one of Korea’s top high schools: and this in order to have a very good chance of going to one of Korea’s three top universities, and then land a well-paying job upon graduation. Obtaining that well-paying job is the payoff; Korean education, and Korean society, cannot be understood apart from this fact. If you wish to …

Articles In English, Idee/Fatti del Mondo »

Oswald Spengler in his book Decline of the West famously—or infamously—asserts that all civilizations go through cycles and eventually die, and that the West is now in such a downward cycle, with its final decline and death certain.
I have not yet read Spengler myself (a desideratum), though as someone once said, after the publication of Spengler’s book and in the context of the horrific mutual bloodletting of European nations in World War I, “we are all Spenglerians now”, meaning that life after WWI changed how everyone saw western civilization, excepting …

Articles In English, Idee/Fatti del Mondo »

Comac (Commercial Aircraft Corp. of China in Shanghai) is an aviation experiment on a scale the world has never seen. The five-year-old company aims to produce jetliners in less than a decade.   China’s government pumped $3 billion into the new venture, promising much more, in a bid to overcome the country’s dependence on Boeing and Airbus, which  control 70% of the world market. Comac announced that its first jet would hit the skies in just six years, in 2014.
In some ways China has little choice but to get into aerospace. …

Idee/Fatti del Mondo »

Quando, il 23 gennaio 1981, il tenente colonnello Tejero Molina tentò il colpo di coda franchista contro la Transicion (alla testa di 200 guardie civili occupò per poche ore la Camera bassa delle Cortes), re Juan Carlos apparve in televisione e intimò alle Forze armate e al Paese di bloccare il conato dei nostalgici dell’autoritarismo. Da quel momento il Borbone divenne il beniamino di quanti usavano essere malevoli verso le teste coronate (l’attuale era stata imposta agli spagnoli dal Caudillo).
Trentadue anni dopo,  l’idillio tra il progressismo e la Casa Reale …

Articles In English, Idee/Fatti del Mondo »

The character of a man is shown by how he handles crises, especially those of his own making and which involve questions of ethics. Senator Paul Rand, Tea Party stalwart and aspiring presidential candidate, has been found guilty of cheating—plagiarizing other people’s work for his own speeches. This Tea Party bully who likes to pick on people weaker than he—the poor, the uninsured, the elderly, the sick, the unemployed, the under-paid—was caught red-handed with his hands in other people’s writings. And what does Mr. Virtue have to say for himself? …

Cambiare Democrazia, Idee/Fatti del Mondo »

Entrati nel Terzo Millennio e tramortiti dal falso trionfo del Mercato, più che mai abbiamo bisogno di una rivoluzione culturale. Ma, fatti accorti della colossale truffa del tardo-maoismo, la sola rivoluzione che possiamo concepire è rigenerarci in spirito. La rivoluzione all’antica, quella delle bandiere rosse e delle stragi, è il nulla. Invece il ‘Regeneracionismo’, movimento intellettuale di fine Ottocento, fu la pagina più alta della Spagna moderna.
La rigenerazione è una prospettiva d’utopia, proprio perché grandiosamente profetica. Per noi italiani, come per ogni altra società di industrializzazione matura, rigenerarci è ammutinarci …

Idee/Fatti del Mondo »

Perhaps it’s appropriate that Edward’s last name has “snow” in it, since he has caused a world-wide avalanche of reactions to his carefully released documents revealing how almost omnipotent the NSA has become in snooping, monitoring, and data gathering from seemingly every corner of the globe, whether friendly or hostile to the US.
Perhaps never before in history has electronic snooping been so ubiquitous  as to present at least the pre-figurement of Big Brother, if not Big Brother himself. The reassurances, for example, of the NSA’s director, Gen. Keith Alexander, that …

Articles In English, Idee/Fatti del Mondo »

Drones have certainly transformed the U.S. military: of late the American government has gotten very good at extending its physical presence for the purpose of killing people. Ten years ago the Pentagon had about 50 drones; currently it has some 7,500. The U.S. military reported carrying out 447 drone attacks in Afghanistan in the first 11 months of 2012. Since Obama took office, the U.S. has executed more than 300 covert drone attacks in Pakistan, a country with which America is not at war. Already  (Febr.11, 2013) this year there …

Idee/Fatti del Mondo »

La coscienza dell’uomo della Casa Bianca è più macchiata di quella di Priebke. Il capitano delle SS fece morire 350 ostaggi (maschi e adulti) : se non avesse obbedito all’ordine personale di Hitler sarebbe stato fucilato. Di ciò non è lecito dubitare, tanto feroce essendo il Fuehrer e tanto inesorabile la disciplina militare germanica (si legga in ‘Internauta’ -“Via Rasella ha ucciso l’ideale comunista”- la testimonianza di Paolo Caccia Dominioni sulla fucilazione a El Alamein di un paracadutista tedesco per avere bevuto acqua dalla propria borraccia).
Il presidente degli Stati Uniti …

Articles In English, Idee/Fatti del Mondo »

I wrote this several years ago. It still stands. But the figure about whom I wrote, instead of being criticized, is still lionized.  Today, October 27, 2013, Jack Welch is on his own show on CNBC’s “One-On-One With Jack Welch”, when, given his notorious record at GE, he should, at the very least, be shunned. Oh. I forgot to mention: GE owns NBC.
Corporations are today the dominant institution in life, both at home and abroad. Their reach and influence and power are unexcelled, and perhaps unexampled in history. They enjoy …

Articles In English, Idee/Fatti del Mondo »

“To speak with forked tongue” appropriately, on one account of its origins, goes back to 1699, to the French army in America, which invited the Iroquois Indians to attend a peace conference, only to have the French end up treacherously butchering all the attending Iroquois. Thenceforth, for Indians, to speak with “forked tongue” meant to lie—specifically, the idea that the white man lies and so cannot be trusted.
This unspeakable act of treachery by the French, in dealing with the Indian, has been all too common throughout our history. In the …

Idee/Fatti del Mondo »

In una visita di questi giorni in Spagna abbiamo appreso due fatti che aiutano a capire quanto accade nel Regno che ci dominava nel Seicento.
1) In dodici mesi le vendite della grande distribuzione sono scese solo del 4,9% (lo certifica l’Anged, organismo che rappresenta 2953 supermarket e giganti come El Corte Ingles e Ikea); l’occupazione del settore è scesa solo del 3,85. Era lecito aspettarsi ben altre cifre.
2) Per la crisi gli spagnoli non abbandonano il paese. Dal 2009 ad oggi il numero di cittadini spagnoli nati in Spagna ma …

Articles In English, Idee/Fatti del Mondo »

Ted Cruz not only seems not to have learned his lesson during The Shutdown, viz., that Americans are tired—tired—tired of gridlock and partisan politics merely; incredibly, he seem to have been emboldened by it all, ready and willing to trumpet out louder blasts of rancor and meanness while pursuing an anti-American agenda of more and more for the top 1% super-rich and less and less for the bottom 85% suffering poor.
Of course, he never—The Right never—tells the truth; The Right is trying its hardest to protect the average American, so …

Articles In English, Idee/Fatti del Mondo »

God:  How are things down below? At your insistence, I gave you nine years of great power. Are you making life better for everyone?
Ted Cruz: Yes, Lord, and we’re having a ball, too. You wouldn’t believe those Democrats,  mealy-mouthed, weak-willed nothings…No wonder our country’s in trouble. Who cares about the little guy? Does the little guy help our great country? Does he start new businesses, develop real estate, invest in new products? No, he’s  just a sponge. Let him mop floors, that’s all he’s good for. It’s the richest 1% …

Idee/Fatti del Mondo »

El planteamiento del presidente de la Generalitat, Artur Mas, de mantener el euro en Cataluna, pero estando fuera de la UE, conduce a un imposible financiero. Nada impedirìa a una Cataluna independiente adoptar el euro -o el dòlar- como moneda oficial. Otra cosa es si la divisa constituye un mero instrumento de compraventa en la calle o es, en realidad, algo mas: una herramienta politica y monetaria fundamental, que risponde a las necessidades del pais. Al salir de la Union Europea, Cataluna se colocarìa automaticamente en el primero supuesto, con …

Idee/Fatti del Mondo »

Un parallelo tra il regno di Juan Carlos e l’Irlanda del passato è stato tracciato su ‘El Pais’ dal giovane studioso Roberto Garcìa Delgado. L’analogia ipotizzata riguarda soprattutto l’emigrazione. Si calcola che gli irlandesi nel mondo siano 80 milioni; poco più di 4 milioni vivono in patria. Nel secolo scorso risultarono il popolo migrante per eccellenza.  L’abbandono dell’isola cominciò nell’Ottocento con la Irish Potato Famine; partirono oltre 2 milioni di persone. Nel Novecento due guerre mondiali, la mancanza di lavoro e l’egoismo dell’aristocrazia terriera anglosassone allargarono la fuga degli irlandesi …

Articles In English, Idee/Fatti del Mondo »

The Republican Party is risking the financial health of the United States, and what recovery the country has made since the 2008 (Republican-made) economic crisis, in order to fight national health care in general and “Obamacare” in particular. So fanatical, so anti-rational, so ideological are these Republicans, that even risking the financial rating of their own country, and its further economic stability, take a back-seat to their “all government is bad government” Tea Party ideology.
Republicans are acting like financial terrorists—willing to destroy the country’s credit and economic health for the …

Idee/Fatti del Mondo »

Sono passate le elezioni tedesche e i commentatori di fascia alta hanno evitato di unirsi agli autodidatti, che la responsabilità dei nostri guai la assegnano all’avarizia della Merkel. Hanno fatto bene, i commentatori che conoscono la storia. Tuttavia nessuno dei più noti tra loro ha portato fino in fondo, come coerenza vorrebbe, la riflessione sui portati attuali della grandezza germanica.
Hanno ragione a prenderla da lontano: dal trionfo di Arminio sulle legioni di Varo nella foresta di Teutoburgo; dall’ammirazione di Tacito per i costumi dei Germani e per il loro comunismo …