Thursday, October 27, 2011

Centrality and Subsidiarity

If you haven't heard, some irrelevant non-doctrinal curial document from an equally irrelevant Vatican division states unequivocally that something is wrong.

Actually, The Church is advocating for a global government of unlimited power to control the money and banks of the world. Some activists might be happy to hear this, until they read the footnote. We will be returning to the Renaissance and the world will be ruled by the Pope who will amass as much wealth as he possibly can, spend it on rich vestments and voluptuous churches.

It's happened before.

And now, why my first reaction to hearing about this document was positive: I am, as we all know, a secret monarchist (and by secret, I mean that I always talk about it.) My whole political theorizing is based on a strong central figure who oversees the treasury of the nation as well as inspiring the people to unity. Furthermore, with the point about Centrality comes the point about Subsidiarity. Although there is a call for a central regulatory system, it is practically bereft of power, or rather it is bereft of practical power. The laws of the nations, their traditions, their culture shall remain with a central system making sure the stupid banks don't lend money where they shouldn't etc.

The main problem I have with this document is a) it's not doctrinal and thus is not binding as law to the faithful. I mean how lame is that? b) It doesn't advocate for the reinstitution of the papal states. I may be a monarchist, but I am a papist first. c) It actually doesn't say that the central government will be the Pope. Totally unradical. Since when did we stop trying to shock the world?

Actually, b) is mostly unrelated to this whole thing, but I'm still not over the reunification of Italy.

Monday, October 24, 2011

EuroCrisis, PowerGrabs, and North vs. South

I love how the media likes to make things out to be terrible. Ok, I get it, Europe (the nation) is doing pretty bad in terms of economy. So is the US. So is most of the world. I certainly don't know how to solve the problems. I work on a very micro- level and can only do what I can to do architecture and live my life in a just manner. I don't know anything about the Stock Market, the reason the Euro insists on being worth 1.38 US Dollars, or why China is apparently doing so well economically while maintaining one of the most unjust systems on record. Why is the EU centered in Belgium? If Sarkozy doesn't want England telling the EU what to do, what does he want from England, just money? If there are going to be European States, the individual states should have the prerogative to let the others know what they think should happen. And that's not even addressing the question of whether it's just to maintain a union where the economies of the constituent states are so radically different not to mention culture. If Greece, Italy, and Spain are failing, should another country be forced to pay for them making their own economy tank? What are our responsibilities to other countries? Should we bail them out? Should we take out their dictators for them? If we took over countries, would our economies recover? Is conquest and war the only way we're going to get out of this? I have heard some suggest this. Which brings me to my meeting with two gentlemen from Verona.

My class was on a field trip to the North of Italy and one of the professors took some of us out to eat with a Veronese architect and his brother. Now the Northerners are not happy with the state of Italy, let alone the EU. They don't like having to pay for the South's slip ups. The deficit in one Department of the Neapolitan government has a bigger deficit than the whole of the Veneto. That's a huge deal, btw. And since it is a united country, the North has to bail out the South. The Veneto up to the end of WWI was part of Austria and apparently were very well treated by the Austrians. Now, since Italy is a mess, the Northerners have to do most of the work. Is that just? Who knows? Do we have a responsibility to help everyone in need? Does it help a country to be bailed out?

I have a lot of questions, I know. Maybe the situation is dark, maybe it's not. What I'm going to worry about is doing an urban redesign of a section of Trastevere and hopefully my work will translate into a more just society. Hopefully something I do will...

Monday, October 10, 2011

This was the whole point of the Senate/House of Lords

In the ideal government, the commoner, the aristocracy and the soldier would all have an equal say in legislation. I get these categories more or less from the medieval Spanish cortes which had representation from these three groups. (I think clergy might have been one too.) Anyway, in America, we have lost the sense of the aristocracy. The senate was set up to be this, the elite, older members of the community who had amassed wisdom over time. Well, like I said, we lost that with the fact that now senators are elected just like the Representatives.

Not so in England. The House of Lords is doing great things still, or so it seems. And of course the secular rabble is anarchically calling for the repression of the Church and the House of Lords. Oh well, we all have the right to say what we want, right?

Friday, October 7, 2011

More Downgrades.

Today, the news comes out that Spain has had its credit rating downgrades as the US and Italy had before it. Also, Belgium is on watch for this. Although I have not been in Spain (I wish I had been), I will be going to Belgium in about a month. This of course indicates to me that Belgium's credit rating will fall between the 24th and 28th of November. Watch out, Belgium.

Oh, Money.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Italy loses its credit rating or Reason #34 why you shouldn't travel with me.

So, I'm here in Italy quietly minding my own business, going to the Questura like a good Temporary Citizen to get my papers finalized, taking architecture classes, observing tourism from a more local standpoint and contributing to the Italian economy by buying local...mostly food. Yeah, I eat a lot of food. Anyway, I do all this for Italy and what does it go and do? Well besides the fact that its Prime Minister is somewhat loose with women and wears fake hair, Italy went and lost its credit rating. It went from Aa2 to A2. I mean, Whaaa...? Come on! The US just went through this and now Italy? It seems like I'm a ticking credit-rating-drop bomb. Wherever I go, as my brother said, its credit rating drops. And the euro just went up one cent. Things couldn't go any worse.

Maybe I should move to China? Ha ha ha.

Also, just in from the Bank of England (which has printed billions of pounds of money to make up for this...can someone say inflation...or whatever?): This is the worst financial crisis the world has ever faced. If that is the case, I guess the Depression was not that bad, cause I for one am not driving from Oklahoma to California in a broken down truck. If this is worse than that, either we're screwed or....yeah, we're screwed.

In other news, Sarah Palin has declared that she will run for president by not running for president. In other words, she's telling you that she is a Cincinnatus character who doesn't want to be President and is therefore the best for the job. Then maybe in 3 years, she will run. Yes, I meant 3. Make of that what you will.

Working on more analysis of the Piazza della Rotonda. Will we ever get to design? Probably not.

And last but certainly not last, Steve Jobs has died. I love what that man did for the technology. Now go and wear a black ipod armband.

If this seems like Friday 7 Quick Takes, it may be like it, but it is not Friday. Boo yeah!


Monday, October 3, 2011


If I were prone to swearing by things, I think I might swear by Greenwich Mean Time. I don't know exactly how they chose the meridian they did to base the time zones off of, but it's really irrelevant. What isn't irrelevant is that we currently base our time calculation on the rotation of the earth. After all, what is the most obvious way of telling that time is passing? The position of the Sun of course! Its position is entirely dependent on how much the earth has rotated. Civilization has been telling time according the sun for aeons. Here in Rome, the obelisks were used as sun-dials!

Well, there are some who are calling for an end to telling time according to the earth's rotation and instead to atomic vibrations. True, these are also a way of telling that changes are happening and thus that time is passing, but why throw away the very practical obvious sun-based time telling? Even the layman can tell time by this! But now we want to throw away thousands of years of tradition with a practice that is according to the human experience and giving away our freedom to scientists who want to control everything, even time itself....preposterous! Viva GMT!