Human Flow

HUMAN FLOW – a documentary by Ai Weiwei     (2017)

Highly recommended

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Catalunya (2)

fascismOctober 1, 2017.

Peaceful Catalan voters brutally attacked, and shot with rubber bullets, by Spanish police: 844 wounded.

More than half of the people showed up. Many were forcefully prevented from casting their vote or having it counted. Still, about 2.3 million votes were registered (43% of the eligible voters).

90% voted yes to independence.

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estelades(English at the end)

Los estados históricamente han representado estructuras de poder y dominio impuesto con la fuerza. Solo en épocas recientes, y solo en algunas partes del mundo, se han ido democratizando; pero casi siempre manteniendo ese aspecto de que el poder actúa de arriba hacia abajo, de que aunque podamos elegir democráticamente los que nos gobernarán, el Estado (y la razón de Estado) tiene prioridad sobre las personas, los individuos. Hasta los movimientos que quieren devolver el poder al “pueblo” comparten esa idea de que las personas están subordinadas a las entidades políticas colectivas. Mi visión (libertaria, y pragmática) es opuesta. Las instituciones políticas solo tienen legitimidad si: i) respetan y protegen las libertades y derechos de las personas; ii) sirven de manera eficiente a los intereses de sus ciudadanos en la provisión de bienes públicos y en las decisiones necesariamente colectivas (las que por su naturaleza no son divisibles en decisiones individuales independientes). ¿Quién puede decidir si se cumplen esas condiciones, o si procede hacer cambios? Los ciudadanos mismos, aunque el primer punto es en efecto una restricción a lo que se pueda decidir: ninguna violación de las libertades y derechos fundamentales es legítima, por cuanto mayoritario sea el apoyo a esas medidas. En el segundo punto, el análisis económico y social puede ayudar, pero al final son los ciudadanos que democráticamente tienen que decidir. Continua→

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ramblasWe were getting ready to drive back to the city on Thursday when we heard the news. It could have been even more deadly with two or three car bombs, as it was planned. A few hours later, my family and myself could have been walking in the path of death. But that’s nothing new. We are all targets for those who hate life and freedom. And not just in Europe or the West… even more so in Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Indonesia, Africa, etc. Last night we walked down the Ramblas, alight with hundreds of candles, with flowers, drawings and cards. People stopped in silence, some chanted a peaceful song, someone exchanged hugs, then went on walking. Love is stronger than death. As they go down, the killers will take some of us with them, but the rest of us will keep walking. There is no turning back the clock of history if our wish for life and liberty is stronger than their wish for power and death. Better to die enjoying life as a free person than to die as a slave to an idea or an authority. We’ll just keep walking down the Ramblas of all the cities of the world and fighting for everybody to be free. As the people of Barcelona cried: “No tinc por!” – I am not afraid!

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SÌ alla riforma costituzionale


Il referendum del 4 dicembre in Italia deciderà se entra o no in vigore la riforma della costituzione approvata dal parlamento dopo due anni di lavori (e sei votazioni). Non c’è quorum, se vince il sì passa la riforma, se vince il no rimane tutto come adesso.

Il punto più importante della riforma riguarda il Senato. In Italia (caso unico al mondo credo tra i sistemi di governo parlamentari, cioè dove il governo viene votato dal parlamento, non dai cittadini) vige il bicameralismo perfetto: le due camere che compongono il parlamento (la Camera dei deputati e il Senato) hanno gli stessi poteri e funzioni. Chi aspira a governare deve avere la fiducia (quindi la maggioranza) sia alla Camera che al Senato; e tutte le leggi devono essere approvate con lo stesso testo sia alla Camera che al Senato.

La riforma elimina il bicameralismo perfetto: il nuovo Senato (ridotto da 315 a 100 membri) sarà un organo di rappresentanza delle regioni (e comuni); si occuperà solo di una piccola parte delle leggi (la maggior parte sarà di competenza della Camera, che avrà almeno l’ultima parola); e il governo solo dipenderà dalla maggioranza della Camera.

Quali sono i vantaggi della riforma? Elimina duplicazioni di funzioni, riduce i tempi di approvazione delle leggi (nonché le poltrone e i costi). Ma il punto più importante è questo: con l’attuale sistema è diventato praticamente impossibile avere uno schieramento politico omogeneo che vinca una maggioranza sia alla Camera che al Senato. Continua→

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My endorsement for Hillary Clinton

I am not a US citizen and I cannot vote, but here are 4 reasons (in order of relevance) why I support Hillary Rodham Clinton in the presidential election.

  1. She is the only way to stop Donald Trump. His demeaning and insulting behavior towards women, minorities, and everyone who does not bow to him, together with his lunatic ideas, makes the idea of a Trump presidency more than a bad joke, a danger both to the American democracy and to the rest of the world. Hillary Clinton is now the only one who can defeat him, and this alone is a sufficient reason to vote for her.
  2. The Supreme Court. The next president will have a chance to nominate several candidates for the Supreme Court (though the Senate will have to approve them). The Supreme Court decisions on controversial issues have even more important long-term consequences than the president’s policies themselves. Having a majority of socially open and progressive rather than ultra-conservative judges may depend crucially on who is elected president.
  3. She is competent. She is not charismatic and may not be the ideal candidate, but at least she knows about the rest of the world, how government works, how to make deals to get something done. Even if we may disagree on the issues, political competence is important when you are at the top.
  4. She can be the first woman to lead the US. Now, to be clear, I am not a fan of quotas for women or anyone else, and between two candidates (a man and a woman) I would choose the best even if it’s the man. But I have already argued above that she is better. In addition, the fact is that women’s emancipation from the forced subordination they have endured for most of human history is still at the beginning: women constitute the largest group in the world still subject to discrimination and outright oppression. It would be an important symbolic and practical statement to have a woman leading the most powerful democracy. In fact, I believe she will win thanks to women’s votes.

Note that my points do not refer much to her specific policy positions. In fact, for my tastes I find her both too connected with the establishment (Wall Street and the elites), and too much inclined to government regulation and intervention (I am probably more libertarian on all issues). But on the eve of the election, knowing that one (and only one) of the current candidates will be president, I believe she is definitely the best of the available options, and the one who can best bridge across racial, gender and social lines. I hope a majority of Americans will come to the same conclusion.

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de Jesús Lizano (1931 – 2015)

Yo veo mamíferos.

Mamíferos con nombres extrañísimos.

Han olvidado que son mamíferos

y se creen obispos, fontaneros,

lecheros, diputados. ¿Diputados?

Yo veo mamíferos.

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