Friday, October 24, 2008

Judicial activism rescues child

Child abuse takes many forms...

Italy’s top court has overruled a couple’s decision in naming their newborn son, labelling their choice “ridiculous”. The couple named their son Venerdi, which in Italian means Friday.

Italy’s Cassation Court has banned the couple from using the name saying it was a ridiculous name that would expose the boy to mockery. The Judges ruled that the name Friday — taken from Daniel Defoe’s famous novel Robinson Crusoe — was associated with “subservience and inferiority”.

Clearly, the poor child would have been at severe risk of taunts from literary critics. The judges did good.

The judges also ordered that the boy be renamed Gregorio, after the saint’s day on which he was born.

The problem now becomes that every child named Gregorio who was born on a Friday will be subject to taunts from literary people of “nerdy Venerdi...”

The couple, known only as Mara O and Roberto G, told the court that they are considering calling their next child Mercoledi, which means Wednesday.

Obviously they haven’t considered the risk to their unborn child of mockery from enthusiasts for ’Sixties sitcoms.

Memo to Cassation Court Judges: These people want flogging...

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Partial wrongness alluded to

“I made a mistake in presuming that the self-interest of organisations, specifically banks, is such that they were best capable of protecting shareholders and equity in the firms... I discovered a flaw in the model that I perceived is the critical functioning structure that defines how the world works. I had been going for 40 years with considerable evidence that it was working exceptionally well.”

Let he who has also been right for forty years cast the first stone...

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Goat Friday

Thursday, October 23, 2008

All anxieties tranquilised

The exit doors have been disguised so as not to be discerned by confused and enfeebled perceptions.

An ‘alternative pathway’ leads inmates through a corridor of rooms, which eventually and inevitably takes them back to the common room from which they’d hoped to escape.

This artifice has been contrived not only to constrain movement of the inmates, but also to reduce their awareness of constraint.

Lies are told to the inmates so as to avoid any responses which might cause them distress and thus upset the smooth running of the institution. Your mother may have died thirty years ago, but you will be told lies, to expect a visit from her, if it suits the powers-that-be.

No, this is not some sinister, nightmarish Cabinet of Doctor Caligari, but rather is presented as enlightened practice in the care of old people suffering progressive cognitive impairment, a.k.a. senile dementia.

The onset of dementia in advancing years is a problem which is growing with the increase in the aged population in many countries. It’s also a problem that many of us may have to personally face, whether it affects loved ones or (worst case scenario) our own selves.

To lose one’s marbles is indignity enough, but is it really necessary to be further insulted with lies and subterfuge?

Many experts increasingly would have it so, but there persists an opposing school of thought preferring an approach which favours ‘reality orientation’ — chiefly, so as to preserve the dignity of the sufferer.

Rubbish! say the cognitive engineers. The ‘reality orientation’ school are theorists, whereas we are realists. Better to be lied to — into believing, for instance, that your long-dead mother will soon come visit — in order to induce a pleasurable, rather than painful, reaction.

Better to induce reactions that are pleasurable than painful with which to colour their remaining twilight days.

Which would you choose to dispense?

Think on it carefully now, because when your time comes you’ll be unlikely to have any say in it.

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Monday, October 20, 2008

Crisis? What Crisis!?

With apologies to Supertramp.

KEVIN RUDD'S popularity has skyrocketed to record levels and support for federal
Labor has soared after the Government's handling of the global financial crisis,
the latest Herald/Nielsen poll finds.

The national poll, the first to
test the Government's recent reaction to the dramatic worsening of the crisis,
also finds overwhelming support for Mr Rudd's handling of the situation,
including his $10.4 billion rescue package.
Which is, one suspects, just why the Ruddster has charged about from commercial tv station to commercial radio station spruiking fear and panic over the WFC.

Setting the scene with language that clearly promotes the idea of catastrophe and impending doom the PM then intones that we should do the opposite of what that language indicates and not panic. Having spent a week or so in this mode, Rudd unveils his package of “spend till it hurts” (the taxpayer) not to parliament but to the media direct.

Used to be those national crises were dealt with within the purview of the parliament. You know oversight, debate, right of reply, etc. Open, transparent and accountability? Not on your nelly.

Extreme times coming to a TV near you...

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Sunday, October 19, 2008

herd mentality

ASX investors react to spurious signs of liquidity in finance sector stocks...

click to enlarge  —  imarge by jarcob

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