Friday, 28 November 2008

Muslim terrorism in India

Lots of things are going on in the world around us at the minute, but unfortunately I can't find the time to discuss all of them in writing.

On Wednesday 26th of November 2008, some gunmen have attacked several spots in Mumbay (India), including luxury hotels, in what seems an orchestrated terrorist action. The attacks have been claimed by another Muslim terrorist group.

Muslims have a problem with their religion. That is something that everyone in the world but they know. But the issue for the non-muslims is that they are taking violence against the different to extreme limits and that their madness may impact our lives badly. The same way it did with the 100 dead people in Mumbay this week, or in Madrid in 2004, or in London the 7/7, or in NY in 2001. Fatally.

However, most terrorist acts don't change History. There are some that do, such as the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, that triggered the WWI, or the murder of the Member of the Spanish Parliament José Calvo Sotelo, which triggered the Spanish Civil War. But most terrorist attacks don't change History, just their victims' history. The show must go on and for them the victims that sucks.

Aware of the slow reaction and usual opposition to violence of normal citizens, terrorists try to generate terror in their target in order to achieve their aims. But nevertheless the terrorists also foster a violent response by the attacked society which would enable them to justify their terrorism. Terrorists hate and they are good at that, so they want everyone to learn to hate and to take part in their bloody game.

I was discussing the Mumbay shootings on Wednesday evening with an Indian workmate. Our company is a multi-cultural work place where staff from very different backgrounds treat each other as equals. Staff is very respectful with the difference as long as some common professional rules are kept. Considering that work culture and the fact that Hindu people are very pacific, I was shocked to listen the excited talk of my Indian workmate. He was calling for extreme measures agains the muslims while it was possible, before they were too powerful to be beaten, before any islamic terrorist group had the atomic bomb... he was calling for the erradication of the muslims. I felt very sad as I saw that muslim terrorists were accomplishing the objective of their terrorist attacks on Indian sole: they are making the Hindu people learn to hate. To hate the muslims. And that may be the beginning of yet another religious war, the most lethal type of war because it's utterly irrational. And the jihad the muslim extremist are always looking for following their reading of the Koran.

I am profoundly concerned. All this goes against:

Love and freedom.

Monday, 17 November 2008

XKCD cartoons

- What are you doing?
- Spinning counterclockwise. Each turn robs the planet of angular momentum, slowing its spin the tiniest bit, lengthening the night, pushing back the dawn, giving me a little more time here WITH YOU.

XKCD cartoons

A webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math, and language: (Via Neeral).

Friday, 14 November 2008

Two more Spanish soldiers killed in the Afghanistan war

Este es el coste de hacer prevalecer la libertad y la seguridad en los lugares del mundo donde no la hay. Por esto mantenéis a compatriotas nuestros allí, y [por esto] estaban también en la misión de reconstrucción en Iraq, de la que los sacasteis para llevároslos a Afganistán.

M. I., Dos soldados españoles asesinados por un ataque terrorista

Error, Yennego, estos dos soldados españoles han muerto en acción de guerra, puesto que es la técnica de guerrilla que usan los enemigos de la OTAN. De hecho ambos han sido condecorados con la medalla al Mérito Militar con distintivo rojo, distinción que se otorga a "personas que, con valor, hayan realizado acciones, hechos o servicios eficaces en el transcurso de un conflicto armado o de operaciones militares que impliquen o puedan implicar el uso de fuerza armada, y que conlleven unas dotes militares o de mando significativas".

Ataques terroristas se dan en tiempo de paz. Pero Afganistán está en guerra, y el ejército español está participando en una guerra.

My heart goes to the latest two Spanish soldiers killed in the Afghanistan war and their families. Thank you for your sacrifice.

Love and freedom.

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

How much is enough?

Catalan and Basque nationalism are creations of the late 19th century. They stem from industrialisation, which made these the richest regions in the country, taking in migrants from elsewhere in Spain. At the time the Spanish state, unlike its French counterpart, lacked the resources to integrate the country, says Antonio Elorza, a Basque political scientist at Madrid’s Complutense University. Otherwise Catalonia and the Basque country would have been as content within Spain as Languedoc and Brittany are within France.

Mike Reid, How much is enough?, The Economist (06/11/2008)

I usually read the two main London-based financial media: Financial Times and The Economist, two of the most influential economical media in the world, together with the Wall Street Journal. I prefer The Economist because of its more "laissez-faire" opinions but I have always been somewhat sceptical with their judgement on the Spanish politics (at least it does not favour openly the Spanish Socialist Party as the FT often does). However, this Saturday's Special Report by TheEconomist gifted us with an audacious and correct analysis of Spain's economical and political situation: The party is over.

One of the articles of the report, How much is enough?, on the Spanish devolution of power to the regions, is so extremely accurate that I called my housemate so we could read it and enjoy it together. I could not believe some Britons at last were considering the Spanish regional nationalisms as they actually are: selfish, parochial and irrational. Though it stated the observable, plain truth, it made me very happy that an unbiased foreigner had been able to point the nakedness of the emperor (i.e., the non-sense of the nationalists' requests) after having observed, been informed and checked their opinions.

Of course, the nationalists yelled with rage and called for apologies: they are pissed off because truth hurts and even more when it is told in such a fair, balanced and English manner. As the report's author Mike Reid says, the Catalan government was upset by the Catalan ex-president being called "cacique" (provincial political boss, a kind of Mafia boss without the killings) because it is true.

Love and freedom.

Andalucia: cortijo del PSOE

Welcome to Andalucia: PSOE's country estate. Bienvenidos a Andalucia: el cortijo del PSOE.

La tela de araña andaluza (Andalucia's cobweb)

Caso Chiclana

Love and freedom.

Saturday, 1 November 2008

Comment to A. Esplugas' post

Para que luego digan que el "consumismo" es cosa del capitalismo. Capitalismo viene de capital, y el capital solo se obtiene ahorrando. Quienes promueven el vicio del consumismo, a costa del necesario ahorro que necesita acumular la economía para financiar su reestructuración y saneamiento, son keynesianos como Krugman. Que cada palo aguante su vela.
A. Esplugas, Krugman a favor del consumismo (31/10/2008)

My comment to Albert Esplugas' Krugman a favor del consumismo:

Simply put, Keynes' economic theory is welcomed by governments and policymakers of all countries because it gives them the chance to become even mightier, to control higher amounts of money and to appear as solvers of the problems they themselves help to create.

While agreeing to your post in principle, I'd propose a slight amendment: capital is a means of measuring the wealth and wealth is generated mainly by _working_, hardly maintained by _saving_ and multiplied by _investing_ it.

Love and freedom.