Who Won the European Parliament Elections? What happens when all votes are not counted equal (redux)

The new European Commission has just been announced by its President-elect, Jean-Claude Junker. Yes, elected. This is the qualifier that is already common currency among commentators. Inspired by the new provisions of the Lisbon Treaty the main European political groups have organized the electoral campaign for the European Parliament around the spitzenkandidaten, one (or two) Read more about Who Won the European Parliament Elections? What happens when all votes are not counted equal (redux)[…]

Information Security for Researchers (and Journalists)

Our information processing tools are an interconnected system: what can an investigative researcher do in order to secure data or protect sources? The TCIJ’s handbook has a few good tips. The handbook on Information Security for Journalists, by Silkie Carlo and Arjen Kamphuis, recently published by The Centre for Investigative Journalism (http://www.tcij.org/node/1016) is an important Read more about Information Security for Researchers (and Journalists)[…]

All Votes Are Not Counted Equal: A Proportional Cure for EU’s Democratic Deficit

The Lisbon Treaty assigns to each member state a number of seats in the European Parliament based more or less on the relative size of their populations. More for the less, actually. It is well known that small countries are over represented at Strasbourg/Brussels. Each MEP from, say, Malta or Luxemburg, represents around 70-80 thousand Read more about All Votes Are Not Counted Equal: A Proportional Cure for EU’s Democratic Deficit[…]

Police Civilization: how different countries call law enforcement and why it matters

To many people of liberal persuasion, the norm of our times, a ‘police state’ is one of the worst nightmares (unless it is a matter of national security, of course). What a change since the times when authors would express their admiration for the high civilization of a country saying that it was, literally,’ well Read more about Police Civilization: how different countries call law enforcement and why it matters[…]

Afghan steeds at the Qing court

Happy New Year of the Horse! Given my interest for Afghanistan I thought it fitting to celebrate the new Chinese year of the horse with these portraits of Afghan steeds, painted for the Qing emperor by the milanese Jesuit missionary artist Giuseppe Castiglione (Lang Shinin in pinyin) in the 18th century. Horse Yuekulai (lit. Moon-bone Steed) File:Horse Read more about Afghan steeds at the Qing court[…]

Defining failure in Afghanistan

 What do we mean by saying – as in a recent European Parliament resolution – that the international strategy in Afghanistan has failed? Old dictionaries have interesting suggestions about fraud and self-deception. * * * A cultural association in Bologna asked me recently to participate to an event about Afghanistan. They would screen the documentary Read more about Defining failure in Afghanistan[…]

Primarie a Bologna: partecipazione aumenta grazie a Frascaroli

Le elezioni primarie del 23 gennaio 2011 per il candidato a sindaco della coalizione di centro-sinistra hanno visto un sensibile aumento della partecipazione. Smentendo le previsioni – o auspici? – di vari commentatori, 28’313 elettori del centro-sinistra sono andati alle urne, un aumento del 14% rispetto ai 24920 elettori del 2008. I tre candidati alle Read more about Primarie a Bologna: partecipazione aumenta grazie a Frascaroli[…]

Sakineh e le altre donne lapidate: se chi tira le pietre siamo “noi”

In questi giorni l’opinione pubblica italiana sta avendo un sussulto di indignazione. Scrittori, giornalisti, sportivi e migliaia di cittadini esprimono solidarietà per una donna, Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, condannata a morte nel suo paese, l’Iran, e si appellano alle autorità di quel paese perché sospendano la pena e rivedano il processo. Oltre alla secolare avversione di Read more about Sakineh e le altre donne lapidate: se chi tira le pietre siamo “noi”[…]

Sakineh and other women stoned to death: if those throwing the stones are “us”

 [machine translated from Italian] These days the Italian public opinion is having a burst of outrage. Writers, journalists, athletes and thousands of citizens are expressing solidarity with a woman, Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, sentenced to death in her country, Iran, and they appeal to the authorities of that country to suspend the sentence and reconsider the trial. Read more about Sakineh and other women stoned to death: if those throwing the stones are “us”[…]

Bolognistan Report #01

L’immaginario inviato del favoloso sultano del paese di Gardex informa il suo sovrano sulle strane abitudini degli abitanti di Bologna. ~ ~ ~ Vostra Divina Altezza Sarjahan Gardexi, Caput Mundi, Califfo dell’Epoca, Padshah glorioso come Jamshed, Circondato da schiere di Angeli, Ombra di Dio sulla Terra, Rifugio e Protettore della Vera Religione, Discendente della Casata di Timur, Read more about Bolognistan Report #01[…]