In the news

7 02 2009

It seems that Barack Obama will get most of his economic rescue package through the Senate. Nobody knows for sure if it will work but they are going to have to give it a try even if it does create a trillion dollar budget deficit. The Zimbabwe Government has not been paying attention and seems determined to kill off the economy before it can even start. In the process they have also removed another 12 zeros off the Zim dollar; that makes it 28 in just over 2 years. How they will ever restore faith in the local currency is beyond me!

Yesterday, chatting to my local pharmacist, I was told that the Reserve Bank officials had been calling to see that businesses in the area were licensed to deal in real money. Most formal outlets will be charged 12000 USD a year, payable as $1000 a month. This is certainly beyond my limits and I gather that a lot of businesses have simply stopped trading. Informal traders (on the street) will be charged $25 a year so perhaps there will be surge of vendors outside more formal outlets.

Italy is all in a tizzy over the ruling by their highest court that the woman who has been in a vegetative state for the last 17 years be allowed to die with Berlusconi trying to halt the process and the president refusing to sign his decree (as unconstitutional). The Vatican, predictably, in some absurd right to “life” issue would like her to carry on in the vegetative state for as long as modern medicine can keep her that way. This would undoubtedly be a very long time. Withholding sustenance until she dies would not be cruel – she essentially died 17 years ago, but it would certainly be a release for her family from a person they no longer know. The chances of a spontaneous recovery are close to zero. I have it written into my will that in case I enter into such a state with no chance of recovery I be allowed to die. A lawyer pointed out a while back that it has to be a living will so I’d better change it sometime.

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