Tony Blair may think that he is smart and that the citizens of
this world are dumb, but he should understand that he cannot
unduly manipulate language to distort facts for which he is
clearly and unequivocally guilty. Instead, he should have
thought much much more carefully when it was still time,
when he had the responsibility and the opportunity to do
so in order to counterbalance the hastiness and mindlessness
characterizing the terrible foreign and defense policy decision
making of George W. Bush and his fact-fabricating team of
First, what Blair calls ``an argument" is not an argument
at all
; it is a simple statement. And as an educated man,
he knows, or at least should have known, very well that
both in science and in law statements are not debatable;
they are either true or false. The fact that Bush and Blair
engineered a military campaign against Iraq under false
pretexts and fabricated evidence has been proven to be
true. And such an attack constitutes a clear breach of the
international legal obligations of all countries that are
signatories of the Charter of the United Nations. So, it
is my opinion that Archbishop Tutu's declaration is
definitely warranted and the facts and issues involved in
such a case should be presented in front of an international
court to resolve all remaining doubts about this case. It
is high time that the international community holds the
leaders of the powerful nations to the same high standards
that are applied to the leaders of African nations when they
clearly engage in breaches of their international obligations
towards peace, stability and well-governance...

It is interesting to observe how unprepared Paul Ryan was
on concrete facts, or how little material he had to blame
Barack on,
except for vague generalities, that the few things
that he tried almost backfired on the ex-Republican boss
and himself. And what could one say on McCain's speech?
Despite his very decent show during the 2008 Presidential
Elections and his graceful appearances, his lambasting
the foreign policy strategy of Barack and Secretary Clinton,
one of the best foreign policies that this country has
witnessed for a long long time, is definitely a sign of anxiety
and desperation from another distinguished leader of the
main opposition party...

What good would it do anyway asking this man for a birth
certificate? People have been asking him for a long time for
something much more interesting and substantial (his tax
returns) and he's been stubbornly refusing to show...

Goodbye Neil. May the moon and the stars, that you brought
all mankind closer to, accompany you and look over you on
your last journey to the other side.

Jens Weidmann should leave literature and metaphors to
novelists and poets, and should leave policy-making to
politicians and elected representatives of the people, and
should instead concentrate on his own responsibilities;
namely on the financial mess that him and his own kind
have created through their greed, incompetence and
negligence and which they are now unable and unwilling
to fix, but which they seem rather eager to pass down to
others less responsible...

Η βλακεία και η ανεγκεφαλιά δυστυχώς δεν πάνε στα βουνά...

Bravo to the Finnish President Sauli Niinistö, who added one
more courageous voice opposing the hasty, precipitous and
inconsiderate, but politically expedient, approach and the
posturing of some members of European governments of
the north
that, motivated by their current comfort and the
messy state of affairs of some southern states, are disregarding
their responsibilities to provide help, a help of a character
similar to the one their own countries had sought in more
difficult times. The ones that are doing better have a certain
responsibility to help the less fortunate; it is a responsibility
to and abidance by the principle of solidarity between partners
that provides the comfort, and arms one with the right, to seek
help, should times change and they find themselves again in
more unfavorable circumstances...

Still another wise voice is added to the numerous calls for the
politicians of the Continent to stop bickering and pondering
about whether to move forward or return to the past
, to make
a firm and non-negotiable commitment to the future, to a
different, collective mode of decision making and to a heartfelt,
genuine, non-opportunistic cooperation, and to form a unified
vision and common goals for the sake of peace, stability and
prosperity for all peoples of the Continent.
Germany and the other top economies of the Continent can,
should and must play a major role in leading and assisting
the European structures in the establishment and solidification
of this common vision, in planning and efficiently executing
the individual steps that would bring the Continent closer to
its goals and in updating those goals and maintaining over
time this ambitious, but noble, dream alive.
The smaller countries have to contribute everything in their
power to create, both for themselves and for the larger more
powerful partners, a climate of genuine non-antagonistic,
cooperative spirit and of mutual trust so that they may be
encouraged and empowered in their role in leading and
assisting in good faith and selfless spirit, without constant
doubts and oscillations, the entire Continent in the long road
There is NO PALPABLE ALTERNATIVE. Whoever thinks that
a political rift, a social distancing or a financial isolation and
broadening of the wealth gap is going to be absorbed smoothly
and to lead to a stable, peaceful, amicable long term coexistence
not only is not a good steward of the people's interests and
aspirations, but is, on the contrary, a very poor student and
shortsighted interpreter of the political, social and military
history of this and all other continents of our planet. Let us
not fool ourselves. Not only Europeans, but every single nation
on Earth cannot any longer reasonably incubate thoughts of
going it happily and prosperously alone. We are all critically
dependent on the well being of every other country and our
future is intertwined with the future of all other citizens of the
globe; not only our neighbors, but all others. The sooner our
politicians realize the contemporary historic need for increasingly
larger zones of common political, economic and military
cooperation and of genuine coordination for the common good,
the more peaceful, friendly, tolerant and, in general, better off
all citizens of this planet will be.

Some people are providing wise advice, while some others come
up with idiotic proposals that have nothing to contribute towards
realistic solutions to the problems (political, social or financial)
that the continent is currently facing...

Contrasting with the intelligence of Chancellor Merkel, Minister
of Foreign Affairs Westerwelle and Minister of Finance Schäuble,
stands the verbosity, mindlessness and triviality of the Vice
Chancellor Rösler. I do not see what is the point, but also what
is the need, for Rösler to keep repeating every few weeks during
interviews that Greece is not fulfilling its commitments to its
European partners
. First, this is information that everyone knows
and for Rösler to keep repeating the obvious does not add any
useful coloring, nor does it make sense, if one assumes that this
politician is at all intelligent. Moreover, it would seem that, at
his position, he would have understood by now that what is
needed is not a perpetual criticism and rehashing of the negatives,
but rather a constructive criticism and an effort to achieve some
progress and contribute to some improvements, if possible. It
sounds like Germany and its partners would have been better
off without the stupidity of some members of the Federal
Government that discourages and inhibits the cooperative spirit,
the momentum of efforts and whatever small steps can be
achieved towards progress.

Israel's President and regional leader Shimon Peres is visiting
Athens for a three day visit
that is aiming at further developing
the strong ties between the two countries. Greece, a country
that understands at a truly fundamental level the value of
friendship and cooperation between all countries of the globe,
both at the bilateral level and at the international arena, has
taken many steps in the recent past to improve, as much as
circumstances allow, its foreign ties and relationships. Under
that light, the visit of the distinguished Israeli veteran politician
should be seen as extremely significant for the region. On the
other hand, talk concerning balance of power, deteriorating
relations vis-a-vis Turkey, etc., should not be taken very
. Greece and Turkey have also been investing very
substantial efforts in getting closer together in recent years,
and, despite the "Mavi Marmara" incident, Israel and Turkey
have made significant strides towards a bilateral entente.
For a change, there is hope that all three countries of the
eastern Mediterranean will prove, both through their mutual
bilateral ties and through regional engagements, sources of
peace, stability and prosperity in that tortured region...

At last, we will not have to listen to him coming back from Syria
and declaring how much happier and calmer he had become by
the worthless reassurances of the criminal butcher al-Assad that
everything was under control and that, contrary to every and all
reports in the international press, the government was not targeting
its people and nothing really dramatic was happening. Pity is that
Secretary Ban is still praising his nonexistent "formidable skills
and prestige"...

In the last few months we have been witnessing day after day two
extremely unsettling (but laughable) events: One is the unacceptable
President of Afghanistan, father and godfather of corruption (and
some would even say corruption itself incarnated), promising the
international community to fight corruption. And all intelligent
citizens of the world getting the same rotten gut feeling that we
would have gotten if the most notorious Mexican drug lord had
been appointed chief of the Mexican anti-drug enforcement agency.

The other is the unacceptable, and rather unskilled, ex-Secretary
General and chief negotiator for Syria Kofi Annan coming and
going back and forth to and from Damascus and showing fake
optimism and confidence and "trusting" in the statements of the
arch-liar and arch-butcher of the middle east and worthless
interlocutor Bashar as-Assad. Sad thing is, several smart western
diplomats are, not only allowing these two persons to go about
their everyday nonsensical business, but, in fact, enabling and
supporting their deception by providing funding through public
funds, while the citizens of the world stare flabbergasted... and
powerless to act or influence developments.

Unfortunately, as if all our other problems had not been enough,
now Greece has in addition to deal with the neo-fascist animals
and their brutal and aggressive behaviors and impulses...
are people that even Germans themselves would have been
ashamed of... And here we are, less than 60 years after the
atrocities and the tragedies of the second war, and while the
Germans remember, the Greeks have started forgetting. And
the same applies to our emigration. Roughly 50 years after many
of our relatives and citizens left to seek a better future in countries
like Germany, the U.S., Canada and Australia, we ourselves
prove incapable and unwilling to honor the age-long Greek
tradition of hospitality and to understand the factors that drive
so many of our fellow world citizens to seek a better future at the
shores of our own continent, like ourselves did a few decades ago
by leaving for foreign lands... Instead, we elect brutes and savages
to our parliament
to aggressively and dishonorably deal with those
people in need...

Αυτά τα μπερδέματα συμβαίνουν όταν κανείς είναι φαφλατάς,
φλύαρος και μιλάει χωρίς περιεχόμενο. Και ο Βενιζέλος τα έχει
. Για να πει ο άνθρωπος κάτι που άλλοι μπορούν να εκφράσουν
σε μισή πρόταση, χρειάζεται δύο παραγράφους, εντός των οποίων
η κάθε λέξη και η κάθε πρόταση επαναλαμβάνει ακριβώς αυτά
που έλεγε και η προηγούμενη...

Barack and Secretary Clinton would do the world a great favor
if they invited the Presidents of Sudan and South Sudan to the
United States and mediated into meaningful negotiations that
would result in a definite, peaceful and lasting settlement of the
differences that exist between the two countries. This is urgent,
since the more an antagonistic situation and an inflammatory
rhetoric are allowed to continue, the more strained relations
become and the more difficult for parties to negotiate in good
faith and reach a fair and viable agreement. It is also an
opportunity to show the world that the United States is ready
to invest in trust and peace and spare no resources for stability,
rather than just pay any price for war, military action and
aggressive interventions.

Ας εκλέξουμε Λουκά Παπαδήμο για άλλη μία τετραετία στο
τιμόνι της χώρας μέχρι να απομαρυνθεί από την κρίση και
τους κινδύνους. Γιατί ΝΑ ΤΙ ΕΝΝΟΟΥΣΕ Ο ΧΟΝΤΡΟΣ
ΚΑΙ ΑΞΕΣΤΟΣ ΟΤΑΝ ΕΛΕΓΕ "Όλοι μαζί τα φάγαμε"...

ΠΑΠΑΔΗΜΟ για πρωθυπουργό

When is Tsohatzopoulos, and every other Tsohatzopoulos of the
Greek public life, going to understand at last that, even though
it may be politically and legally important whether his alleged
crimes are subject to a statute of limitations, it is completely
irrelevant to the sensitivities of the Greek public, who has been
struggling to survive this and other previous financial meltdowns
while he (and others) was pocketing bribes, abusing public assets
for a few dollars more and buying luxurious apartments and
other properties. It is a shame that, instead of facing those
allegations head on and preparing an honest and direct deposition,
he is emphasizing the fact that his alleged actions are subject to
time limitations and cannot be prosecuted.
These are the kind
of people that should be punished harshly rather than been
shown mercy and excused and be allowed to continue plundering
country and resources.

Has the Hungarian Prime Minister been to Greece in these last
couple of years? Because if he had, it would seem to me that
he would have been ashamed of talking about the EU treating
Hungary as a colony or, at least, of Hungary being singled out
for such a treatment
. And even though it is to a degree
understandable that under - performing countries and their
citizens feel bitter about excessive EU controls and oversights,
us Greek citizens know better. We are mostly strong supporters
of the common project and its underlying common vision
for a common future, partly because, as a small country,
we have needed in the past and we will need again in the
future the goodwill, friendship and support of our fellow
Europeans to survive and prosper either inside or outside
a common political structure like the EU. Also because
we have seen the alternative of everyone going it alone and
we have seen its consequence too many a time to be able
to live comfortably again in any traces of nationalism or
isolationism. For this benefit of common policy and of
common feeling, where the strong will embrace and take
care of the weak and where the weak will feel comfortable
in that embrace and welcome and support their membership
in the same structures, all countries have to do their share,
contribute their best efforts and strive for the best, with
proper appreciation and respect for the position of their
fellow members. And any and all help from the more
experienced and the more successful to the ones less so
in achieving those goals should be welcome, not loathed,
feared and despised. I respect the Hungarian people and
I understand the frustrations of Prime Minister Orban,
but I call on him to face the situation with a cooperative
and constructive tone, rather that in a confrontational
and antagonistic fashion. His stance affects not only his
own political future and the Hungarians' well-being, but
also the state of affairs and the collective progress of all
people in the Continent.

Bravo, Sarkozy! Perhaps your idea of Europe is to have a
bunch of bureaucrats sitting around in Brussels and Strasbourg
and getting fat from the Union's taxpayers' money. What is
Europe to the ordinary citizen, in practical terms, other than
liberté, égalité, fraternité, if you kill the Euro and the Schengen?
That Europe, that you hope to create with your self-serving and
careless comments, you may take and wipe up your a**...
If you are not capable for anything better, then leave leadership
to the German politicians and, for the benefit of the French
people and the other Europeans, step aside and let Hollande
take the lead of France to try to raise it once more to the role
it deserves at the helm of the Continent.

My hope is that, even if Pa.So.K. elects Venizelos as its new
President, he will never make it to get elected as Prime Minister
of the country. I am right now listening to one of his speeches.
He is distinguishable for his verbosity and windbaggery
(αρχιφλύαρος και αρχιφαφλατάς) and keeps talking either
babbling obvious pedantic stuff or using convoluted phrases
to express simple concepts just to make himself appear more
grandiose and more important than he actually is, at the same
time becoming inelegant and repulsing...

Greek politicians seem to still not be getting the mood of the
Greek electorate despite numerous polls showing that most
people are disappointed by their skills and disgusted by their
selfishness and their performance. Having Papoutsis and
Chrysochoidis publicly drawing their swords and fighting
out to damage each other's reputation and kill each other's
nonexistent remaining public trust
is senseless and moronic.
Moreover, having Papaioannou announcing the hiring of more
public servants without explaining where the budgetary allocations
are secured from and how this move does not contradict the
general troika directives and the general governmental policies
of reducing the number of public employees is also despicable.
It just gives the impression that the Greek government is reducing
salaries and eliminating positions in the public sector on the one
hand, while, on the other, is appointing more public employees
with, perhaps, higher salaries, without regard to the sensitivity of
the populace or the dire financial need for reigning on budget
expenditures as much as possible...

Ann Romney said that despite her multiple Cadillacs, multiple
horses and vast wealth, she "does not consider herself wealthy",
adding that "it can be here today gone tomorrow". So, it seems
from context that either Mr. Romney has dementia, or what
she really meant to say was that she "does consider herself rich
today, but might become poor tomorrow by some twist of fate",
or that she in fact does not consider herself wealthy, not based
on material wealth considerations, but rather on personal and
psychological issues. In that last case, the electorate would have
appreciated some more elaborate analysis in case these issues
have something to do with her family's circumstances, which,
for obvious reasons, are critical in an election year for
decision purposes...

This latest row between Brazil and FIFA showcases once more
the attitude of the unacceptably powerful sporting superstructures,
like FIFA and the OC, who, despite plagued by cronyism, lack of
transparency and various functional inadequacies, act as super
national gorillas trying to strong arm those that are working,
on many occasions, under very detrimental terms and with very
risky undertakings, for those organizations' interests. One of the
really sad aspects of these engagements is that, even though many
countries and many national associations feel very lukewarm to
negative towards these bodies, they dare not take any initiative
to disband those bodies and reduce their centralized power by
redistributing it to the collection of all national associations,
where it naturally and rightfully belongs.

Journalists, politicians and the public at large, but especially
journalists and politicians, have to absorb and digest the fact
that, no matter what the state of the de jure relations between
Germany and Greece might be, either inside or outside the
framework of the European Union and/or the Economic and
Monetary Union, the de facto relations must and will be those
of two neighbors (by modern standards), allies and partners,
one politically powerful and economically strong and robust,
the other less so, both of whose fates, however, and whose future
are inextricably tied one to that of the other. Therefore, all this
German and Greek and third party rhetoric, that, justifiably
so, this week the German Foreign Minister tried to underplay,
is not helpful or constructive and, frankly, on occasion it
verges on the point of, at best, short-sightedness and, at worst,
maliciousness or even meaninglessness. But exactly because in
modern politics sometimes the absurd prevails and, instead of
leaders and governments taking steps forward, they seem to
back pedal and ignore the lessons of history, we must be to a
certain extent grateful that, currently, Germany has a Chancellor
and Foreign and Finance Ministers that, despite all the
difficulties and the obstacles that to us citizens of the Union
seem frighteningly overwhelming and insurmountable, have
found the courage, the audacity and the boldness to support
steadfastly and pursue consistently and energetically a course
of action that attempts to place the entire continent on the right
side of historical development forward and to solidify and
empower the European family and further inspire the European
spirit. The citizens must also show some patience and some
courage and, perhaps, also some faith, that with hard work,
cooperation, but also with appropriate public scrutiny and
criticism in the spirit and framework of well functioning robust
democracies, the Continent will move forward as a more - not
less - united, more harmonic and, above all, more peaceful and
more prosperous future.

A smart law student is wise enough to know that she should
ignore the bitter comments of a pretentious bigot. She does
not need the support of the President or anybody else to be
reassured of the freedom to hold her political views and to
express her opinion uninhibited and without being harassed
and verbally abused by the worst of these public media
non-personalities. On the other hand, it was a noble and kind
gesture on behalf of Barack to place a phone call and provide
that self-evident and self-explanatory reassurance.

I am not an expert in such matters, nor do I profess any working
knowledge of relevant international law regulations and procedures,
but it only seems helpful and reasonable, in objectively assessing
the developing situation and relieving the circumstances of the
local population on the ground, that monitoring fly-over missions
from manned and unmanned spy planes be allowed to get under
way in Syria. This has become even more critical since grave
accusations are now surfacing of the al-Assad regime trying to
bury evidence of atrocities against its own citizens that would be
potentially important in a case in front of the ICJ for violations
of international humanitarian obligations and for war crimes
and crimes against humanity.

In the current Prime Minister, Greece has found a leader that is
as decent a personality, as adroit and visionary a leader and as
skillful and capable a coordinator of appropriate actions as
other foreign leaders of leading European nations.  It is not
the time now for new experiments in the Greek political scene.
Loukas must stay on. He is enjoying both domestic trust and
European confidence and that is critically important; in
particular, in view of the bankrupt reputation of all professional
career Greek politicians that have lost any trace of legitimacy
both in domestic and foreign eyes.

Μπράβο για μία ακόμα φορά στον Λουκά.
Όχι γιατί δεν δικαιούται,
αντιθέτως με τους Αντωνάκηδες, Γιωργάκηδες, Βαγγελάκους,
Θοδωράκηδες, Κωστάκηδες, κλπ., κλπ., ούτε ένα από τα Ευρώ
της πατρίδας που ποτέ δεν έβαλαν υπεράνω εαυτού, αλλά γιατί
ανέδειξε για ακόμα μία φορά ότι τις πραγματικές κοινωνικές
ευαισθησίες στην Ελλάδα, αλλά εν πολλοίς και στο εξωτερικό,
τις περιμένει ο έμπειρος και ενημερωμένος πολίτης δικαιολογημένα
από απλούς πολίτες - πλούσιους και φτωχούς - μάλλον, παρά από
πολιτευόμενα και εγωμανή Βενιζελικά, Παγκαλικά, Παπανδρεϊκά,
Σαμαρικά και άλλου τινός είδους γαϊδούρια. Και να πεις ότι
διαβάζουν, μελετούν, αναλύουν, καταλαβαίνουν, αντιλαμβάνονται
ευθυνών να πάει στο καλό, αλλά, οι γλύφτες, ό,τι τους λένε κάνουν
οι ανήξεροι, και, αν τους μαλώσουν και κινδυνεύσει και η χρυσή
κουτάλα, κάνουν και ότι δεν καταλαβαίνουν, ποιούν και μία
πιρουέττα και ματαγυρίζουν τούμπαλιν... ΕΛΛΗΝΙΚΕ ΛΑΕ
που βλέπεις, γνωρίζεις και αντιλαμβάνεσαι, ΑΣ ΟΡΓΑΝΩΘΟΥΜΕ
, για να μην τολμήσει κανείς αχαϊρευτος, αριστερά ή
δεξιά, ογκώδης ή υπέρογκος, να συνεχίσει να μας καθοδηγεί
αφότου μας έχει ρίξει
ήδη προ πολλού στο γκρεμό...

The Chancellor once more is expressing the right vision for the
future of the Continent.

Ο Σημίτης δήλωσε ότι "το μνημόνιο συντάχτηκε χωρίς να υπάρχει
ικανοποιητική προετοιμασία και λειτούργησε με τρόπο που επιδείνωσε
την κατάσταση".
Η αλήθεια είναι πως η κατάσταση δεν επιδεινώθηκε
λόγω της έλλειψης επαρκούς προετοιμασίας ή του τρόπου εφαρμογής
του μνημονίου, όπως ισχυρίζεται ο Σημίτης. Η πραγματική αιτία της
επακόλουθης επιδείνωσης είναι ότι η Ελλάδα ήταν μία χώρα που
αεροβατούσε και της οποίας οι πολίτες ζούσαν πολύ πέραν των
παραγόμενων υπηρεσιών και αγαθών της χώρας. Ήταν συνεπώς
οικονομικά επόμενο, οιαδήποτε κι αν ήταν η ακολουθούμενη τακτική,
να υπάρξει ένα οικονομικό σόκ ώστε να "επανορθωθεί" ή να επανα-
προσαρμοστεί η υπερφουσκωμένη οικονομία στα πραγματικά της

Conservative members of the Republican Party have been encouraging
the media for a long time to tout family values and they have been
advertising themselves as staunch promoters of those values. When they
fail to abide by the values they preach and that they try to impose through
legislation on the rest of the population, it is utterly disgusting, completely
pretentious and entirely unacceptable to blame the media and not themselves
for not being able to uphold their own values and preachings
. Unfortunately,
Gingrich, who is an egomaniac and an opportunist, thought that by saying
"sorry, I erred" would have made talking a talk, preaching values for others
and walking a different walk acceptable and sufficient for cleansing his
record, history and behavior. Unfortunately, Mr. Gingrich, despite what
you think, Americans do think. They are not mere sheep, whose intelligence
you can underestimate and whose mental functions and analytical skills you
can suppress if it so suits your interests and your ego...

Who the hell are these guys that want to govern us, but they
are so far away that they do not even know how much they
earn every year?

Mitt Romney standing in front of the general public and
shamelessly proclaiming that he is earning some money as
"speakers fees from time to time, but not very much", when
this not very much in 2010 was an amount totaling $374K, an
amount that for the overwhelming majority of American voters
would be like earning the lottery or better, clearly shows a
candidate out of touch with the ordinary lifestyle, the needs
and the struggles of most of his countrymen. The real difference
between Romney and President Obama is not showcased by the
difference in their income levels (Obama's income is also
exceptional by average middle-class standards). The difference
lies on how these two politicians perceive their income and
provides an indication of their political and moral convictions.
Obama acknowledges that he belongs to a category of
exceptionally fortunate citizens and believes in actively helping
the less fortunate advance by transferring some of the social
load set aside for social cohesiveness and solidarity to the most
fortunate like himself. On the contrary, not only do Romney
and his party seem unable of understanding that what they
call "very little" is humongous by most people's standards,
but, what is even worse, amidst their ignorance or indifference,
they are seeking to reduce the load that society is placing on
the most fortunate like themselves and to pass the accompanying
reductions in public spending (that will unavoidably follow) on
the backs of the lower middle class, that seems to be paying the
highest tax rates already anyway. The U.S. citizens can see this
difference and will surely make up their minds according to
their political beliefs, moral convictions and personal concerns
in an informed way when decision time arrives.

Perry said that Turkey is a "country that is being ruled by what
many would perceive to be Islamic terrorists"
. Unfortunately,
Texas is a "state that is being governed by someone that many
would perceive to be a moronic and uninformed governor".

Instead of declaring that he is going to use his delegates "as a
bargaining chip to force the GOP to stick to its limited government
, Ron Paul should instead learn a lesson from his failures:
he must revert to average airline pricing to avoid extreme public
spending for his traveling behind the voters' backs, when he publicly
and vocally maintains time and again that he is a fiscal conservative.
First, put your own house in order, then tell us what we ought to
do as a nation. And if the two disagree, you are then unworthy of
our trust and, therefore, also unworthy of public office.

For a guy traveling around the country forcefully denouncing big
government and big public spenders, this is UNACCEPTABLE.

Ron Paul supporters should demand an honest explanation from
their candidate instead of unquestioningly hailing him as a small
government pioneer and a fiscally responsible politician. The excuses
presented by his staff are just too lame and do not justify talking
a talk and walking a different walk...

Barack and Secretary Clinton have decided to upgrade the
nation's diplomatic relations with Burma to an ambassadorial
. Many, mainly on the right side of the political spectrum,
have criticized the move of the administration as too hasty
and not very well planned or carefully thought out. First, it is
high time that the U.S. started responding faster to gestures of
peace and good will and slower to calls of conflict and calls of
war, as it has been happening hitherto too often. Second, it
makes one wonder whether these critics have been following
closely enough the dexterous and charismatic handling of the
Secretary, under the guidance and direction of the President,
of this issue during at least the last few months, perhaps even
the last few years. I am once more impressed by their
performance on foreign affairs and I believe that their
contributions, in general, will initiate a new era and will
become a refreshing force in American foreign relations in the
long term. Finally, it is perhaps worth mentioning that, even
a reversal of the progressive steps taken by Burma's government
will not diminish the positive stance currently assumed by the
U.S.: All foreign policy decisions and actions are supposed to be
flexible and adaptable. Showing our good will and applauding
the openings of the Burma government is the right thing to do
now. If these policies are reversed, then our foreign policy may
also readapt and reshape under the light of new developments
and Secretary Clinton and President Obama will once again try
to use the nation's influence to steer Burma, through the right
encouragement and, perhaps, using some tangible incentives,
on the path of reform once more. Foreign policy, if done
correctly with patience and flexibility, should not be expected
to bear fruits necessarily here and now, but it creates a long
term memory that can become a significant force of trust,
understanding, friendship and mutual positive influence
between all the nations of this globe.
BRAVO to the President and to Secretary Clinton!!

This just shows how deeply uneducated the "educated"
Mr. Gingrich is
, how terribly he misjudges his fellow
Americans as short-sighted and misinformed and how
terribly he underestimates their values and intelligence
and their education (not, perhaps, formal and useless
as his), but deep - rooted and insightful.

The world's informed citizens have not forgotten, but,
unfortunately, the Iranian regime itself seems to have
forgotten, that in the days of the all-powerful and very
influential (in world politics, engineering and science
and world commerce) Persian Empire, the Persian shahs
and their subjects were providing valuable protection
and significant aid to all world citizens of the then-known
western and eastern worlds that were developing commercial
and political ties between the two continents.
It is only a recent unfortunate development that Iran has
chosen to withdraw from that constructive role and to
become a fundamentally backward and isolated country
and has started to label all those noble international aid
and support gestures as "humanitarian actions" of a
suspicious and strange nature...

The Republican Party should be embarrassed at having as a
front running candidate for the nomination a man that has
blatantly played and is still playing the political system for
personal enrichment and, who, therefore, has questionable
values and priorities.
If one wants to be completely honest,
a mediocre historian, who would have fetched a consulting
fee of at most a few thousand dollars, had he been lucky
enough to find a mediocre position as a mediocre professor
at a mediocre university, has instead been harnessing fees in
the order of millions of dollars
, still as a mediocre historian,
but now with the additional "perk" that he has been involved
in Washington and therefore can be a "mover" for the
companies hiring him to "consult". On top of that, not
only did his adept consulting not help the consulted avoid
bankruptcy, but its smartness, analytic qualities, depth and
objectivity might even have helped accelerate their downfall.

Karolos Papoulias has to intervene to drop the prosecution to
justice in Chalkida of the few people that demonstrated their
anger and frustration during the celebrations of the Greek
Orthodox Phota
. He has to show, as the President of a country
finding itself in dire straits, whose population is squeezed day -
by - day financially by the same people that have the greatest
responsibility for causing the financial chaos in the first place
(including himself, as an ex member of the political establishment),
an understanding and a tolerant approach. After all, what they
did is not a crime, as compared to tax evasion, match fixing,
etc. etc., which are all going unpunished in the absurd Judicial
system of the Hellenic Republic that he heads...

Rick Santorum, according to the news reports, has a significant
handicap, as compared to Mitt Romney, in the race for the
Republican Party Presidential nomination for 2012 in his campaign's
relative lack of money and infrastructure. Santorum, however,
has an even more significant problem to overcome. He must first
become a cautious, thoughtful and effective debater of real political
issues, rather than a doctrinal preacher and stubborn supporter of
social, non-political issues, to attain the level of sophistication of his
main  rival. The issues and opinions that he is currently choosing
to focus on are not going to help the country advance; on the
contrary, they inhibit new forward thinking by getting the debate
stuck on issues and attitudes that will eventually change as society
changes (as it always does) in the direction of freedom of choice and
will and of more liberal attitudes, whether Santorum likes it or not.

Another eastern oligarch, this time a Ukrainian, with both
political ties to the top and with significant wealth in the
west is trying to present himself as a political refugee in
order to safeguard his wealth in a European Union country
It makes you wonder whether the west is really helping or
hindering eastern European efforts at reform and transparency.

Unfortunately, the German presidency under Wulff has been
acting like the French presidency under all recent French
Presidents with a certain arrogance in personal and financial
, as if the two institutions are beyond scrutiny and
not subject to accountability, primarily to the public for their
conduct, but, also, to the press, as an investigative public tool.

Bravo, also, to the German Minister of Foreign Affairs
Guido Westerwelle for visiting London so soon after the
recent disagreements between Britain and the Continent
to reassure the British leaders and the British public that
Europe (including Britain) are united to face the common
challenges and that London is necessary to Europe and
Europe is necessary to Britain, setting aside the needless
and pointless rhetoric of the past few days.

Bravo to President Napolitano, who captured, with his words,
the feelings of all Italians and all European citizens, declaring
the path to a more substantially united Europe and the
commitment to a common currency not just a priority of
European policy making, but rather the only way forward.

President Obama and Secretary Clinton, the passing of the
North Korean leader Kim Jong-il presents a great opportunity
for the American people and their government and foreign
policy representatives to send, once more, to the North Korean
people a message of friendship and support and to assure them
that the only thing in the mind of the U.S. and its citizens is
the freedom, social improvement and economic betterment
of all peoples of the globe
. Grab this opportunity to invite in
New York, under the auspices of Secretary General Ban, the
envoys of both North and South Korea to let them know that
we want peace, freedom and prosperity on the peninsula and,
even though, right now, we are also in difficult times financially,
we would be ready to do anything in our power to support any
openings and reforms that the new regime might be ready to
initiate towards the realization of those goals and aspirations.
If, according to your judgment, it helps, you might involve also
the Cuban ambassador, which may be a sign from us to Cuba
and, also, from us to North Korea that we want to support also
Cuba on the same path and that Cuba might have an important
role to play, as another representative of the Americas closer in
ideology thus far with North Korea, in extending to the North
Koreans a hand of friendship and support.

The Czech Republic's first president, playwright Vaclav
Havel is no more... All Europeans will remember his
legacy in leading the eastern part of our continent to
a path of freedom and democracy and contributing
in improving the economic, political and social union
of its member states.

Μπράβο στον Τέως Πρόεδρο της Ελληνικής Δημοκρατίας.
Επιτέλους ένας Έλληνας πολιτικός που λέει τα πράγματα
ως έχουν, χωρίς φόβους και πάθη και πλήρως απαλλαγμένος
από την καρεκλολαγνεία που διέπει τους περισσότερους
από τους υπόλοιπους.

Gingrich's remarks on the Palestinians clearly show that
he has a very superficial understanding of the history of
the Middle East, and his ignorance is exacerbated by his
populist attitude and his arrogance.
Moreover, his remarks
prove his unsuitability for the highest office of the most
powerful country on earth, that is being expected to play
a constructive and not a destructive role in peace making
and contribute to the advancement of all people and all
regions of the planet, without prejudice for or against their
inhabitants. The United States need a strong President
with a capable Secretary of State and, no matter how
much the Republican candidates might try to diminish
the work and the record of President Obama and our
Secretary Clinton (for understandable political reasons),
they should know that the American electorate is smart
enough to understand that they have conducted foreign
policy at a level unparalleled by anyone in recent memory
and the voters are very thankful for their contributions.

Like an idiot, I had been expecting UEFA to tighten the grip
on the Hellenic Football Federation to seriously investigate the
scandals in match fixing and betting in the Greek football.
How could UEFA possibly do this, when its president proves
to be clueless about abnormal behavior and related results
in UEFA's own competitions? Platini, have you ever heard
the phrase "if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is"?
Perhaps you have, but you never understood what it meant...

The new Penn State president started his tenure with a
miserably failed attempt at trying to market his school
differently, but his words were disquieting and missed
the point
. I quote from USA Today:
The president said the center, which will draw experts from the university's
24 campuses, will be housed at Hershey Medical Center's Children's Hospital
and will be initially funded with part of $2 million in college football bowl proceeds
it is slated to receive from the Big Ten Conference.
Anyone else out there seeing the irony?
"However, he vowed that students, taxpayers and university donors would
bear no responsibility for the mounting legal fees, potential settlements and
other costs associated with the inquiry.
Is Rodney Erickson serious? Will the over-compensated lawyers
work for Penn State pro bono? Is Erickson going to pay them
out of his own salary? Or maybe he is going to mount a student
expedition to the Treasure Island to hunt for the treasure map
fallen in the hands of the legendary pirates and recover, thus,
the legal costs in gold? I bet no-one is going to give Penn Staters
or Pennsylvania taxpayers an honest breakdown of how all these
expenses were covered, when all is said and done, after all. Penn
Staters, sleep well. Your football and your new president will
continue business as usual. You will never be upset because
you won't be told who covered the bills.

The Greek citizens are expecting at least one major development
to take place from the tight oversight of the Greek system from
the peer European authorities: the correct, efficient and impartial
functioning of the Greek institutions. This last week, we were once
again gravely disappointed. The Greek state conspired in a completely
untransparent and devious way in relieving from their duties the two
prosecutors who were in charge of investigating the match fixing and
bribe and bet profiteering in the Greek soccer. This action shows that
the Greek justice system is not independent from the executive and
that the Greek state is not working for the interests of the people nor
in the best interest of justice and transparency, but is supporting
instead those that are keen on breaking the laws and hiding their
illegal deeds. The UEFA and the European states should have made
clear to the Greek authorities that, in a period where efforts are
being made and legislation voted upon and implemented demanding
from the citizenry a change in attitude towards salvaging the image
of the country financially and otherwise, the same and more should
be expected from the Greek authorities.

Even though it is sad, I think it is a dose of justice and of righteous
payback when the private lives of those that profit by falsely assuring
others of the nonexistent security of their enterprises, safeguarding
critical personal information, get exposed due to their own insufficient
care and hack-prone software
. Next time, when Zuckerberg provides
false assurances to his followers, he might be tempted to think twice.

If the international community is still hoping for reforms
from the Karzai regime, then the international community
is still sleeping a deep unconscious sleep...

Taking impetus from the latest decision of the International Court
of Justice
, it is time for the two friends and neighbors to take an
honest and serious look at the name dispute, resolve it and move
forward. This is a good opportunity and it will facilitate progress
and unhindered cooperation in the region. It is my opinion that
both parties should work keeping in mind that borders can no
longer change de jure and that it is very unlikely that they will
change de facto, since no country in the region has any desire to
get involved in a conflict that would be detrimental to its well
being and its international standing. Therefore, it would be very
constructive to take a look at the region and its geographical,
ethnic and historical development, accept the fact that Macedonia,
geographically speaking, was subdivided right after the first big
war to three regions (with the Pirin going to Bulgaria, the Aegean
going to Greece and the Vardar going to Yugoslavia), and, perhaps,
rename, with some objectivity, FYROM as Vardar Macedonia to
reflect the fact that it occupies that exact portion of the historic
Macedonian lands and to ease the anxiety (justified or otherwise)
of its neighbor and friend. In psychologically charged and
emotionally sensitive international disputes, the solution comes
sometimes by painting issues in black and white and avoiding
perpetual discussions on the right shade of grey.

The European leaders have to realize that the major drawback
that has led to the difficult situation with the common currency
is delaying the realization that a common currency needs to
be tied with common fiscal policies and continuous and strict
oversight of the component national economies, based on as
simple as possible, well understood and agreed upon principles
and regulations. It is sad, very surprising and peculiar that the
architects and early implementers of the common currency,
who failed to realize such a simple economic principle, are
now going around in national and international media accusing
the current leaders for acting too late to contain the current
financial crisis.
My opinion is that they should first deal with
their own errors in not installing the right fiscal and political
union in place to guarantee the future well-being of the currency
and, then, place blame on the current leaders, especially, the
German Chancellor, who had to deal not only with the practical
emergency aspects of the crisis, but also with the errors and
critical omissions of the founding fathers. Moreover, looking
forward to the future, if the common policies become a reality,
the Euro might flourish to such an extent that countries, such
as Great Britain and Sweden, which are currently viewed as
strong skeptics, eventually decide to join the common
currency. This development, however, is currently in the
hands of the existing members and their determination to
make the currency strong enough for others to want to join.

Ide com Deus Capitano. Graças para a memória.

It is pouring cats and dogs, but Herman Cain is exploring with
his campaign staff whether it is cloudy or shiny outside. And
people were willing to have this human being as their president
and were donating money to his campaign. And, to add insult
to injury, this was to elect him to replace Barack Obama.
become moronic in our judgments?

Ο Πάγκαλος πρέπει να καταλάβει ότι όταν βγαίνει στα
ΜΜΕ και καταλογίζει λάθη σε υπεύθυνους, αναδυκνείει
τη δικιά του γαϊδουριά και ανευθυνότητα. Έχει αυτός ο
κύριος άραγε αντιληφθεί ότι, ως στέλεχος ενός από τα
διαρκώς κυβερνώντα τον τόπο κόμματα των τελευταίων
δεκαετιών και ως υψηλόβαθμο μέλος των εν λόγω
κυβερνήσεων, είναι ένας από τους κυρίους ενόχους προς
τους οποίους απευθύνονται οι καταγγελίες του? Μήπως
καταλαβαίνει καθόλου ότι η πραγματική μαγκιά και
το πραγματικό νταϊλίκι, που νομίζει ότι πουλάει, θα
ήταν να αποδεχθεί δημοσίως τις δικές του προσωπικές
ευθύνες και να αποχωρήσει αξιοπρεπώς από την πολιτική,
αφήνοντάς την επιτέλους σε νέα "καθαρά χέρια" που να
εμπνέουν ακόμα κάποια ίχνη εμπιστοσύνης στους πολίτες?
Πρέπει επί τέλους να σταματήσει την ανόητη φλυαρία και
πολυλογία στον τύπο και να κάνει πράξη τα όσα βγαίνει
και δηλώνει και διαλαλεί, άν όντως πραγματικά τα
πιστεύει, τα αντιλαμβάνεται και τα εννοεί. Αν πραγματικά
έχει κανένα ίχνος εξυπνάδας και μπορεί να καταλάβει
όσα γράφω σ' αυτήν την παράγραφο, δε θα έπρεπε
καθόλου να αναρωτιέται γιατί δεν μπορεί να διασχίσει
την Πλατεία Συντάγματος ανενόχλητος και αλοιδώρητος.
Απλά, ο πρότερος έντιμος βίος και η αγωνιστικότητα στο
παρελθόν, δεν αποτελεί συγχωροχάρτι για κανέναν για
τις αστοχίες, τις αδυναμίες, τις απραξίες, την ανευθυνότητα
και την εγκληματικότητα του πρόσφατου παρελθόντος
και του παρόντος. Ντροπή σου Πάγκαλε! Κάνε το σωστό!
Να αντιληφθείς επί τέλους τη βαρύτητα των όσων ο
ίδιος καταγγέλεις και να σηκωθείς να αδειάσεις την
καρέκλα για κάποιον λιγότερο ένοχο για την κατάντια
της ίδιας σου της πατρίδας που επί χρόνια συνοδηγούσες
και ακόμα, δυστυχώς για τους πολίτες, συνοδηγείς...

From the latest developments in the financial front, it just
sounds like the markets and speculators have turned in
earnest against Italy and Spain and that, accordingly, it
will be almost impossible for these two economies to make
it through without external aid. The significance of this
development is that restricting the Euro only to those
economies that are robust and can face crises on their
own would really mean leaving the Euro as the common
currency of Germany and France and, possibly, of a few
much smaller and fiscally responsible northern satellites.
Therefore, it seems that down to the wire, the ultimate
decision is going to be either an acceptance that collective
efforts will be needed to retain the Euro as a wide European
currency and to salvage this aspect of the European
integration project, with, of course, Germany and France,
and, perhaps also Britain, playing the leading role, or, else,
to return to a pre-integration status of loosely coupled
economies with some tariff and taxation agreements, but
without overall tight centralized co-ordination and no
binding sacred common policies and oversights.

Saleh and Hamad, why the blood and the torture? For a few
days more in the Presidency and the Kingdom? At least, and
at last, you realized that people are no more willing to suffer,
be tortured and be killed and have their voices gagged due to
the absolutism and for the convenience of an appalling leader.
I hope that both of you, as a contribution to modern society, in
the interest of global progress and harmony, and as a sign of
personal retribution, will place a call to al-Assad and let him
know of your experiences and what is awaiting him, if he keeps
refusing to come into terms with modern political realities...

It is interesting how a single country's leaders can sometimes
be so respectful, patient, informed and, when needed, forceful
in their relations and reactions to events in other countries,
and some other times so passionate, unreasonable and mean
spirited, with little regard towards a helpful and constructive
approach, in their relations with other countries or alliances.

Yesterday evening, the Republican hopefuls for the Presidential
candidature clashed on issues pertaining to national security.
was flabbergasted by how little informed they are and how little
thought and analysis they have put on many issues pertaining
to foreign policy. And, to be clear, I am not referring to agreeing
or disagreeing with their opinions; I am referring to how little
value their opinions and attitudes held because they were very
hastily and unintelligently put together. The only area that
seemed to have held any honest interest and any honest gravity
in their analyses was illegal immigration and border policy.
In particular, I would like to single out two responses that
were so unworldly, that showed that the two candidates in
question should not even be aspiring to the highest office of
the most powerful country on the planet. When asked about
whether candidates would aid or otherwise support Israel in
a preemptive attack against Iran, Cain said that he would
be careful because Iran has a mountainous terrain and that
he would help only if there had been some guarantees of
success (as if he had been asked to buy a car)!!! Moreover,
Bachmann, who, also, is clearly incapable for the highest
office, no matter how much tutoring she gets before her
appearances, when asked about opinions on cyber-terrorism
and related cyber-attacks, instead of shutting up and gaining
some points by a "do not know, will not add nonsense",
responded that she is familiar because in her state there had
been problems with recruiting by al-Shabaab!!!
Sometimes, frankly, you can listen to more informed opinions
from common citizens of the country down at your favorite
corner pub, than from uninformed pseudo-politicians and
unacceptably ignorant presidential aspirants...

The members of the U.S. Congressional Committee on Deficit
Reduction do not have any realistic appreciation of the magnitude
and of the urgency of the problem they were called to help resolve
nor of the social, economic and political consequences of their
failure to assume bold compromising steps on both sides of the
political spectrum. Does anyone of its members actually realize
that, if their inaction results in a further downgrading of U.S.
credit worthiness, this may be catastrophic for the U.S. economy,
given the current level of indebtedness? Further, do they realize
that the President of this country, its Secretary of the Treasury
and its Secretary of State will become comical and laughable
figures when they go around the globe telling U.S. partners to
put their finances in order and reign on their debts, because these
allegedly affect the U.S. prosperity, when their own country and
its own legislative bodies are unable to put their own house in
order and reign on their own debts?

Oli Rehn and the other European leaders are right to steadfastly
demand a written and signed guarantee from the Greek political
leaders before releasing the next installment of the financial rescue
. Unfortunately, with a feeling of guilt and a feeling of
shame, we have to realistically admit, given recent past record,
that neither us Greeks nor our European partners have any
confidence or trust left anymore in our political leaders and our
national authorities. Even at the moment of "consensus" the
leader of the opposition has been trying to take advantage of
the situation for personal and partisan gains rather than for the
improvement of the country's image and international standing.
As far as polity goes, what could European leaders expect from a
government that, even though headed by a capable technocrat,
has reinstated vice-presidents that are either lacking expertise,
like Venizelos, or are complete and utter idiots without any
political sensitivities, like Pangalos?

Needless to say that the tough stance of the Turkish Prime
Minister Erdogan vis-à-vis the unacceptable political situation,
the abominable atrocities against citizens and the despicable
behavior of the beast al-Assad in Syria is refreshing and a
clear signal that a significant regional power is standing by
the Syrian people and ready to take action should the Syrian
citizens find themselves in the edge of a precipice and the
international community, including Russia and China, leaps
into action to protect them.

The Blatter incident, despite his apology, must teach us and FIFA
a lesson: First, do not elect as presidents incompetent relics of
the past. Football is a sport that needs steering by people that
have been involved relatively recently and are capable, vibrant,
energetic, inspirational, ethical and full of ideas for the betterment
and improvement of the game inside and outside the pitch. Second,
do not hold mock elections, with candidates unopposed. This leads
to them becoming stenchy old kingpins, with no sensitivities and
no sense of responsibility, leading to shamelessness and apathy
when it comes to mismanagement and/or other unbecoming
behaviors. In any decent organization or company, the CEO would
have resigned or would have been fired for publicly expressing
opinions against one of the main missions and visions of the
organization that sent conflicting messages to its shareholders...

The Italian students should have been out in the streets protesting
continuously when they had at the helm a ridiculous charlatan that
was more interested in his vast fortune and his immunity from
prosecution than in the well-being and fiscal discipline of Italy.
Now, that a positive change has occurred, when a capable and
well-reputed technocrat is at the helm, smart enough to leave all
politicians out of government, the students should give him and
his government time to implement reforms and raise Italy to the
position that it deserves, both domestically and internationally.

An incompetent man, overpaid for his nonexistent talents
and his negative contributions in the development of the
most popular sport on earth... It is just sad that people
are only now waking up and calling for his resignation...

Despite Barack's shortcomings and failures in leading the nation,
at least in the financial sector, out of turmoil and uncertainty, the
alternatives presented by the Republican party so far are not
credible. Barack is still by far the smartest, best equipped and
most eloquent candidate that we have available for 2012.

We are very happy to find out that, despite his fondling other
women and having sex outside his marriage with random people,
Dominique Strauss-Kahn and Anne Sinclair are indeed very
happily married to the point of filing a law suit against "Le
Figaro" for daring to make claims to the contrary. There are
some people in this world, that will remain unnamed, whose
arrogance and shamelessness is such that they deserve a beating
with a wet plank as the saying goes (χρειάζονται ξύλο με βρεγμένη

Very similarly to the Greek case, one of the most challenging, but
potentially life saving, tasks of the new Italian government under
Mario Monti will be to change the mentality of the Italian public
and, accordingly, bring the huge underground economic activity
in the mainstream and be able to collect all relevant taxes that
many sectors are currently evading
. Together with all remaining
measures that the Italian Parliament has passed in the last couple
of days, and with the change of a charlatan at the helm with a
personality that is inspiring and has international stature and
reputation, should be enough to reverse the financial climate
inside and outside the country and bring Italy back to the right
track, from a pariah to a leadership status in European and
World affairs.

For the establishment of a promising future in a democratically
governed country and for the well-being of the Syrian people and,
also, for the vindication of at least 3500 souls that have perished for
a better Syria in the hands of all Syrians, I hope and wish that we
are literally witnessing the last few breaths of that worst of all Syrian
citizens, that Syrian beast at the helm
, that kills and maims coldly
and indiscriminately all opponents just because they dare to express
their opinion and demand a better future and self-government.

It is just very very sad that despite the availability of numerous
distinguished and smart Greeks inside and outside the country,
it takes a precipitous national crisis to tap into their experience
and their expertise. It is also sad that none of these distinguished
personalities are tempted or encouraged by the political system
to get involved and contribute their talents to the political process.
In Greek politics, inefficiency, corruption, clientelism and lack
of transparency discourages the best equipped from getting
involved and creates a system where mediocrity begets and feeds
mediocrity. It is also very very sad that Samaras is already with
his remarks and comments trying to undermine the success of
the new government in order to keep his vulturous eyes and
claws on the prime ministerial chair even though this is to the
detriment of both political evolution and financial stability in
his own country. I hope that the electorate is going to provide
a loud and clear response to him personally for his despicable
behavior when the time comes to go to the polls.

I consider Paterno's statement "with the benefit of hindsight, I wish
I had done more" entirely pretentious and completely unacceptable.

Paterno knew of the alleged incident, but, perhaps, not of the extent
of the allegations. Moreover, he knew that it was covered up by Penn
State since no action was ever taken to seriously investigate it and/or
rectify it. Furthermore, Paterno was, probably, the best paid, longest
serving and most "successful" employee on the Penn State campus,
which implies that he had both the responsibility and the power to
stand up to both the administrators and the board members, that
were not acting on the allegations, and to demand a more thorough
investigation. All these facts lead me to believe that the real heart
felt meaning of Paterno's statement is "had I known that the
allegations would have seen the light of day, I would have done
something more about them" rather than "had I known something
more about the allegations, I would have done something more".
When some coaches are paid multiple times the salary of a president
and are revered beyond words, the community expects of them
much  more than a winning record and preserving the University
brand by helping locking up ghosts in a closet. Paterno failed
those expectations miserably.

I am afraid that the new Greek Prime Minister is not being given
the freedom and versatility necessary to accomplish its assigned
What is the purpose of appointing a very capable technocrat
at the helm, if the entire government under him consists entirely of
the same old politicians that created the mess the Prime Minister
is supposed to try to get the country out of?

How far beyond repair does the country's situation needs to go
and how many days need to pass by for the Greek politicians
to realize that there needs to be a highly non-political and non
partisan solution to the country's problems? Making the same
mistake twice is not a wise man's quality and the Greek leaders
have made the same mistakes multiple times so far. Enough is
enough is enough. Appoint a technocrat that is capable,
experienced and respected NOW!

In my opinion, the sentence against Jackson's doctor should
be relatively benign. One should take into account that Mr.
Jackson had exclusive responsibility to make a wise choice
for a private physician and, like so many other things in his
unfortunate private life, he made of this decision a big mess.
Let us just keep in mind that Jackson offered $150,000 per
month to a doctor who has had innumerable medical
malpractice convictions, and an unknown number of children
from, presumably, an unknown number of different women
of various unknowingly low qualities. No other person with
that kind of wealth in a right state of mind would have ever
hired such a low quality of a person and doctor as his private
physician to protect them from harm's way...

Herman Cain saying that he does not want to explain or
face honestly anymore the allegations for improper sexual
behavior against him is like Barack Obama saying that he
does not want to discuss the nation's fiscal deficit anymore.
The only way this can be achieved is if he steps down and
returns to private life. Then, he can do whatever he wants
behind closed doors and get solace from his wife's positive
attitude towards these allegations and her unwavering

Samaras seems to be realizing at last that, when you ask for
loans to pay for your expenses and when you survive from
paycheck to paycheck, as the saying goes, you do not have
the luxury or, frankly, the freedom, to maneuver in whichever
way you find populist or politically expedient. I wish, for the
good of the country, that the main opposition party had a
more intelligent and less egomaniac and self-destructive
leader, but one has to hope for the best from whoever
happens to be at the helm at any specific moment in time...

The media have to realize that the issue with the Cain accusations
is not whether they are valid or fabricated, nor whether he just
made an innocent joke that was misunderstood or whether he
acted improperly. The real issue is the way he handled these
accusations during the first few days after they surfaced.
It clearly
showed that he was not open about them, despite his responsibility
to the contrary as a front-runner, and he was blatantly dishonest
by contradicting himself in his statements. Moreover, his later
calculated answers were clearly a result of consultation and not
the straightforward viewpoint of what had really happened and
how he himself thought about the alleged incidents. It is obvious
to me, as a reasoning and cautious citizen that Cain exhibited a
completely unacceptable behavior as a candidate for the supreme
public office and, a fortiori, an extremely irresponsible and
demeaning behavior had he been already a president. The voters
should not be flexible in this regard. Forgiveness just leads to
a feeling of invincibility that may escalate to lying and deceit
as a habitual behavior, if it goes unpunished. I hope that we are
all going to realize and reason that we deserve much better.

In this country, it seems that our politicians have become so
cynical, so pretentiously puritanical and so dishonest and
our electorate so open to be deceived and so apathetic to
deceit that, even when a politician is caught lying in cold
blood, there is no immediate outrage and/or immediate
withdrawal from political life as a result
. Shame on the
establishment and shame on Cain, who, despite running
as a fake reformer, reinforces the disgust and the stench
we are all so tired of in big money and politics...

After the latest developments with the announcement of the
referendum for the Greek issue, it seems that all sides have
seriously erred in the handling of the crisis. First, to be frank,
the blame for the crisis itself lies overwhelmingly with the Greek
political system, both because of deliberate distortion of the
statistics used by successive Greek governments and because of
the very low standards in public services and public accountability
in the country. A much lower blame is to be laid on the global
economic downturn that, unavoidably, affected the Greek
economy, like it did every other economy on the planet.
On the handling of the crisis, the Greek Prime Minister made
a very serious mistake which is ironically manifested in his
contradicting moves: On the one hand, he was inviting, in the
role of advisers, economists and financial experts, both from
Europe and from overseas, to get advice on how best to face
the growing handicaps of the country. On the other hand, at
the same time, right in the middle of the crisis, he was replacing
a capable economic technocrat handling the finance portfolio
with a novice constitutional lawyer. Thus, in typical Greek
fashion, while asking from expert advice from abroad, he was
trashing the most trusted and experienced domestic wisdom
available in handling the crisis. The blame for this move lies
partly also with Venizelos himself. Being a high ranking party
and government official and, allegedly, an educated person,
he should have realized that there are reasons why people study
what they study and become experts in their areas, and he should
have encouraged the prime minister to keep his old finance
minister and should have declined appointment to such a critical
portfolio outside his expertise at such a critical time for the
Finally, the Europeans, in their hastiness to handle a difficult
situation and to lower as much as possible the shared costs,
but also for domestic political reasons, completely disregarded,
underestimated or ignored the effects that a radical and extreme
fiscal policy and accompanying austerity measures would have
had on the Greek electorate, who was not informed either
before or during or, even, shortly after the recent elections of
the true financial conditions of their own country.
All these factors led to the current impasse and to the lame
attempts by the government at discontinuing shouldering the
sole responsibility for the implementation of the rescue package
and at trying to pass some of it onto the shoulders of the people
and/or of the opposition. These attempts prove that the earlier
declarations of the prime minister on having the resolve to
pass the required measures and save his country from bankruptcy,
in spite of the serious accompanying political costs, were as
shallow and meaningless as many of his other statements and
declarations during his tenure, such as those about reforms
and transparency. The ironic thing would be if Prime Minister
George Papandreou, on the surface a more moderate leftist
politician than his father, is going to actually be the one that
will indirectly implement, because of powerlessness and
incompetence, an exodus (or a drastic reduction of influence)
of the country from the European Community, which had been
one of the fundamental initial demands of his father based on
his left political ideology...

One wonders how many settlements for harassment out of court
Mr. Cain has had so far for him not to be able to remember
first time around when he was asked
to which one the journalists
were referring to
or whether Mr. Cain, before even becoming a
candidate for President, thinks already of himself as being above
the law and untouchable... Let us put this candidate also aside
and look for someone that is honest and straightforward. Every
person has issues. If one wants to be president admit your issues,
own your mistakes, deal with your problems and then try to run
for public office to fix ours...

Seal, you were paid $500,000 to sing for a dictator and human
rights abuser. Do not fool yourself that you "sung for the Chechen
people", nor that your appearance is "apolitical" when you sing
for public personalities
. What would you have thought yourself
about those artists who had been paid to entertain Ghadafi's sons
at the expense of the Libyan people before the recent regime
change? I am of the opinion that artists should be politically
alert and informed to avoid such unbecoming engagements,
but, still, it is to the credit of Hilary Swank that, even a posteriori,
she held herself accountable for her mistake and fired the people
who were paid to protect her from such blunders, but failed to do

Today's vote in the United Nations for granting Palestinians formal
Membership in UNESCO
showcases an unfortunate misconception
in international politics that is a relic of the past and does not
represent the tremendous progress in international relations that
has been achieved over the last half century. The United States,
by its vote, seems to indicate that it is still stuck to a belief
that its support for Israel goes hand - in - hand with its
opposition to Palestinian aspirations, even if these are harmless
for any state in the family of nations. The good news, however, is
that in modern politics, one does not necessarily have to be against
the opponents of a closed ally to be a helpful and constructive friend.
Moreover, Germany, also missing the point of current international
relations and disregarding its symbolic powerful stature as a leader
in Europe, has sought to redress wrongs of the past against one
people by denying rights of the future to another people just because
of existing disagreements and antagonism between these two peoples.
This is a shortsighted approach. Germany should have taken a
positive stance towards both peoples, supporting the legitimate rights
and the legitimate aspirations of both. All countries should realize
that in a modern world, in a positive and peaceful political climate,
this is an advantage, a possibility and an ideal that they must pursue
and strive for, rather than taking the "one or the other" approach.

If the two women who are alleging improper sexual behavior by Cain
in a professional environment were paid to leave their place of work
after they voiced their concerns, it is completely insincere for Cain
to respond that he has
"had thousands of people working for me" at different
businesses over the years and could not comment "until I see some facts or some
concrete evidence"
Obviously, if the matter had been as serious as
to pay for the women's silence, then Cain must surely remember it
vividly and he has to address this allegation head - on rather than
pretend loss of memory...

Samaras is complaining that Papandreou is happy that Greece in 2020
will restart from the point that it had been in 2009. This, of course, could
have been avoided if Greeks had been smarter and had not elected his
idiotic predecessor in whose government Samaras was a participant.
Moreover, Samaras should know that Greeks are intelligent enough to
realize that, under the current dire circumstances, Papandreou's
government has adopted constructive policies and a positive attitude,
whereas his own party has stuck to negativism and defeatism, with the
only apparent goal for Samaras to grab the Prime Ministerial chair
and succeed in another disastrous New Democracy government.
At the other side of the political spectrum, we have the comical Tsipro-left,
which is claiming that the cutting of the Greek debt signifies that Greece
is going to be placed under a constant long-term European oversight.
If Tsipras sees such an oversight as a negative development, then perhaps
Tsipras jumped into Greek politics from another planet. Any European
oversight and any European technocratic aid in managing the Greek
debt and avoiding behaviors similar to the ones adopted by the Greek
politicians when they were not under foreign guidance should be
welcome. Greek politicians alone have PROVEN for decades on end
that they cannot do a decent job in steering their country towards
development and true integration with the rest of Europe. Any Greek
poltician that tries to convince the electorate to the contrary is at least
naive and utterly forgets, or purposefully disregards, facts that prove
their incompetence.

We all stand with the Turkish people in yet another strong
earthquake that hit the eastern city of Van
. Both Greece and
Israel have been among the first neighbors to offer any and
all possible help that the Turkish government might request
in this time of crisis.

In view of the upcoming Republican political debate centering
on foreign policy, we keep hearing from, mostly well-meaning,
political analysts and journalists that, even though it will be
very interesting, ultimately the centerpiece in the 2012 elections
unavoidably be the issue of creating jobs and the state of our
economy. This argument, justified on a naive and superficial level,
does not reveal the entire truth, nor does it account for the whole
First, we should keep in mind that, according to some estimates,
the total cost for the recent foreign wars that the U.S. got engaged
in during the Bush administration is forecast to top $ 4Trillion
(just compare this with the task that the Super-committee on
Deficit Reduction was assigned, i.e., to reduce the deficit by
$1.5Trillion in the next decade). As one can see, foreign policy,
and, especially, reduction of overseas operations and termination
of foreign wars, will have welcome dramatic effects on the financial
well-being and the longer term economic stability of the country
and may well contribute drastically to improvement of various
economic data and indices in the domestic front, including,
perhaps, increases in new (not war related) investments and
lowering of unemployment figures.
Second, discounting foreign policy as a decisive issue in the 2012
presidential election is suspicious because foreign policy is by far
the strongest point of the current administration, to the credit of
both the President and of Secretary Clinton. One could, with
some justification, be as bold as to even judge the foreign affairs
handling under Barack and Secretary Clinton as exemplary in the
history of powerful and influential leaderships and partnerships.
A mix of
have all contributed in allaying fears and convincing populations
around the world that what lies at the heart of what the U.S. is
hoping, wishing and striving to achieve for all people on this
planet coincides with what they had hoped, wished and striven
(and are still hoping, wishing and striving) to achieve for themselves
all along as well.

Meaningful democracy is challenging and difficult, but democracy
is sweet and beautiful, by far the best advanced political structure
that humanity has ever conceived and established.

We are hearing rumors that Gaddafi's widow is demanding that
the exact circumstances under which he was killed be investigated.

I cannot help but wonder whether the widow, who, like a mobster,
took part of the country's gold reserves and fled the fighting, had
ever asked her husband during her happy marriage to investigate
the exact circumstances under which any of his political rivals
or other regime dissenters had vanished...

We are extremely lucky that the Iraqis did not agree in granting
U.S. forces immunity from prosecution
and, as a result, all our
troops are returning back home. Besides signifying an end to all
U.S. military involvement in Iraq, this will, hopefully, also result
in Iraqis starting to pay for the expenses incurred in building up
the infrastructure and maintaining the security in their own country
and, also, in their assuming responsibility for the political stability
or the political chaos that will ensue after ending foreign involvement.

One of the reasons that Herman Cain is receiving such a favorable
response from the Republican crowds is that he is the only candidate
on stage in the Republican debates that does not look stiff, artificial
and made of plastic.
Every other candidate, male or female, seems
to be popping out of an ad for the latest hair products and make-up
and salon parlors. I think, candidates should understand that the
electorate is too savvy to be attracted by nice hair and maquillaged
faces and that it needs instead constructive ideas and proposals for
solutions of the current burning issues the country is facing. Further,
some intelligent thoughts and discussions, rather than catchy rhetoric
and accusations, would not hurt either.

Republican front-runner Cain's tax scheme is remarkable for its
attractive simplicity and it may be the basis for a simple and uniform
federal tax scheme. It needs, however, to be modified from its current
catchy, but unfortunate, 9-9-9.
Given the current difficult financial
situation that the country is facing in terms of its ballooning deficit,
it seems appropriate to leave the personal income tax at least to its
present levels and to have a slightly higher corporate tax bracket.
Finally, in taxing purchases of goods, it is a sine qua non to distinguish
necessities from luxuries in the institution of a national sales tax.
In concluding an 18-15-12-9 scheme may be a scheme more acceptable
to the American electorate, i.e., a flat 18% corporate tax, a flat 15%
personal income tax, a 12% luxuries sales tax and a 9% (or even
lower) necessities (e.g., basic food and clothing) sales tax.

Δυστυχώς, ακόμα και στην Κύπρο, η παραδοσιακή ευαισθησία, που
είχε επιβιώσει λίγο περισσότερο απ' ότι στην Ελληνική μητρόπολη,
έχει δώσει πλέον τη θέση της στην αναισθησία, τη γαϊδουριά και
την καρεκλολαγνεία, όπως περίτρανα αποδυκνείει το ξεδιάντρωπο
γάζωμα του Χριστόφια στην προεδρική καρέκλα,
παρά το γεγονός
ότι μόνο ο ίδιος αρνείται να καταλάβει και να αποδεχθεί ότι οι
προσωπικοί του χειρισμοί στη μεγαλύτερη Κυπριακή τραγωδία
των τελευταίων ετών ήταν το λιγότερο ατυχείς και ανεύθυνοι και,
ίσως, σε κάποιο βαθμό εγκληματικοί... Αν αυτό δεν είναι αρκετό
για παραίτηση για λόγους ευθυξίας, τότε, συγγνώμη, αλλά κανένα
ίχνος ευθυξίας δεν έχει παραμείνει στον Κύπριο πρόεδρο και στο
Κυπριακό πολιτικό σύστημα, όπως εξάλλου ακριβώς και στο

Και η Κύπρος, στην προσπάθειά της να αποφύγει τον εξευτελισμό
της για μία χούφτα ευρώ, τελικά θα εκπορνευθεί σε χειρότερους
νταβατζήδες για μια χούφτα ρούβλια

Is this the quality of the men that the CIA and the State Department
are sending overseas with loads and loads of our money to win the
hearts and the minds of Pakistanis and Afghanis?
And, then, when,
predictably enough, they commit crimes, use more and more of our
money to "wash" the unwashable blood trace they leave behind?
Hillary Clinton, Leo Panetta, David Petraeus and Barack should be
following the quality of their men closely and punishing culprits
severely, instead of spending our money to wash away and forgive
their crimes and repatriating them safely so that they may continue
their aggressive behavior and harm their own compatriots over a
parking spot...

Unfortunately, the Greek members of Parliament, via their positions,
show that they do not honestly appreciate the disappointment, agony
and cynicism of the Greek society about their work and against their
ethics. I was just reading that there were, today, informal discussions
about cutting the extra pay they receive for participation in committee
work, which should have been done long ago. Some of them, completely
out of touch with reality, claimed that it would not be a good measure,
because it would be viewed as a self-inflicting wound in the already
damaged reputation of Parliament and an admission of guilt on behalf
of the lawmakers for the current woes of the country. They claim that
such an action should not be taken now, but should have been taken
long ago before the financial developments started making it a necessity.
I was utterly shocked by this position. It shows that, even though they
are all (or in majority) in agreement when enforcing upon the electorate
measures that they should have decided upon long ago, but they only
found the courage to enforce because of the financial situation, they
are reluctant to do the same for their own comfortable lives and benefits.
Shame on all those Greek MPs who voice such opinions and attitudes
and who think of themselves as different from and above the average
Greek citizen or public servant. Now is the time to cut their luxurious
benefits. Any arguments to the opposite, no matter what the excuse,
further undermine their credibility and reputation and do not help
in preserving any trace of decency that might have been left in the
Greek Parliament and the country's political system.

Ο Βενιζέλος βγάζει στην εφεδρεία όσους έχουν λέει περισσότερες
πιθανότητες να ανταπεξέλθουν μιας και, λόγου όγκου και καλορικών
αναγκών, ο ίδιος θα είχε σχεδόν μηδενικές πιθανότητες να ανταπεξέλθει
και, έτσι, ανεξαρτήτως προσφοράς και αποτελεσματικότητας, η δικιά
του θέση προ εκλογών ως δημοσίου υπαλλήλου παραμένει, ακόμα και
με τους καινούργιους κανόνες, ακλόνητη...

Israel and Turkey may think that dog-fighting in the Eastern
Mediterranean is a fun exercise to carry out.
And it might be
up until the point when an accident occurs and the pilots and/
or other military personel lose their lives, and, then, not only
is it not fun anymore, but threatens to escalate and cause
serious grudges and international friction and the politicians
and military-men claim that they did not see it coming...

I think the most important keywords in this "plan" to salvage
the Greek economy, that are kept low-key on purpose and for
ulterior motives, are the "fees" and "commissions". If the
private sector is entrusted to liquidate Greek state assets, then
all these untrustworthy "advisors" and "financiers", who are
responsible for the crisis to a large extent in the first place,
stand to enrich themselves by charging fees and commissions
in their bid to save their victims.
Shame on those that propose
those shady deals, like the one allegedly presented by Roland
Berger to the German government.

At least they are not forcing us to borrow further to pay for the
cost of those too...
Even though, I would bet that, in a deal that
big to materialize in the middle east, several millions of dollars
in "small" bribes must have changed hands between Iraqi
officials and American middlemen, company representatives
and government good willers and facilitators...

Pangalos stroke again. The Vice-President of the Government
that is leveraging tax after tax on every possible type of asset
ownership declared that, even though he owns a big number
of real estate, he is unable to pay the newly instituted property
taxes unless he sells one of the properties
. Then, he challenges,
with his typical insensitivity and provocative ineloquent style,
the other Vice-President to go and arrest him, should he fail to
sell a property, since then, he would be unable to pay his taxes...
George Papandreou, leave the German trips and the superficial
efforts at charming Europeans and your shallow declarations
about glasnost and perestroika aside and, first, clean your
Government from idiots that try to undermine your "collective"
efforts from within, starting with your Vice-Presidents...

It seems that the law in this U.S. of ours is still very sexist. In
most states, the law assumes that, by marrying a woman, a man
gives his assent to sharing his fortune with her, unless explicitly
stated otherwise. But, it does not seem that the law assumes
reciprocally the same for a woman, i.e., that, by marrying, she
gives her assent to sharing the fortune of her husband
. If that
had been the case, I do not see how the wife of an ultra-rich
Mexican drug lord could not have been arrested for being a
shareholder in the proceeds of a criminal enterprise...

Unfortunately, in their debates so far, the Republican Presidential
Candidate choices have all shown that they are out of touch with
what the voters are expecting and what the voters would like to
find out about them.

1. We do not care whether Perry called Social Security a Ponzi
    scheme and we are not interested in Romney attacking Perry
    for calling Social Security a Ponzi scheme. We want to know
    whether Perry would want to abolish Social Security or not,
    and we want to know what each of these two candidates is
    going to propose as a solution to the forthcoming insolvency
    of Social Security, if they are going to keep the program. Not
    that they want to do something, everybody does; but what
    they are proposing to do.
2. We do not care about whether Romney's Massachusetts plan
    was distant or similar to Obama's Health Care Law; we want
    to know if both of them will repeal the Obama Law. If yes, are
    they proposing any alternatives to fill in the gap? And how are
    those alternatives better, not on the abstract, but based on
    numbers. If not, do they propose to improve the law? If yes,
    how and why?
3. We do not care that Perry allowed funding for the tuition of
    children of illegal immigrants in Texas. We want to know
    what they are going to do (concretely) to resolve the large
    problem of illegal immigration that the Nation faces. Are they
    preparing a law that will deal with the status of the illegal
    immigrants in the country? Are they going to reform future
    immigration procedures to ease this problem? What are
    they proposing to do? We need proposals about the future,
    we do not want to see and hear bickering about the past.
4. Job-wise, we do not care on whether Texas being good or bad
    is to be credited to or blamed on Perry or his predecessors. We
    want to hear what these two people, that are accusing Obama
    of incompetence, have on the table as concrete proposals to
    improve the job market and reduce unemployment. Clearly,
    telling us on the abstract that they are going to put more money
    in the pockets of the rich (who are getting richer every year)
    because they are the ones that create jobs is not cutting it with us.
    What are the concrete job creation measures that they propose,
    if they have any?

Perry, Romney, and all the rest of you, get your act together
and start talking in your debates about things that we want to
be informed about. Then invite one another at each other's
houses and punch each other to death to your hearts' satisfaction.
That is not what we want to be wasting our time seeing during
your political debates. Make it useful for us to tune in when
you show up for debates.

Η Ελληνική πολιτεία στην παρούσα οικονομική της κατάσταση δεν έχει
την πολυτέλεια να επιτρέπει φοροαπαλλαγές στην Εκκλησία της Ελλάδος
και αυτό πρέπει να το συνειδητοποιήσει ο αρχιεπίσκοπος και οι
υπόλοιποι ιεράρχες.
Εάν οι εκκλησίες είναι περιουσία της Εκκλησίας
της Ελλάδος, η οποία κάθε άλλο παρά άπορη είναι, τότε να πληρωθούν
οι φόροι περί ακινήτων όπως πληρώνονται και από κάθε άλλο Έλληνα
και από κάθε άλλη Ελληνική Εταιρεία. Εάν οι εκκλησίες δεν είναι
περιουσία της Εκκλησίας της Ελλάδος, αλλά περιουσία του Ελληνικού
Δημοσίου, τότε αυτή η περιουσία πρέπει να υπαχθεί υπό τους ίδιους
κανόνες εκμετάλλευσης, όπως κάθε άλλο περιουσιακό στοιχείο του
Δημοσίου. Τίποτα λιγότερο, τίποτα περισσότερο. Το να ακολουθούνται
ειδικοί κανόνες και εξαιρέσεις σε μία εποχή τόσο δύσκολη για την
επιβίωση τόσων πολλών εκ των συμπολιτών μας είναι προκλητικό και
απαράδεκτο. Ντροπή για μία κυβέρνηση που αποκαλεί τον εαυτό της
σοσιαλιστική να καταληστεύει τους μικρομεσαίους αλλά να απαλλάσει
τα τσιφλίκια και τα παπατζιλίκια...

Netanyahu and Obama offers to engage in talks with Palestinian leader
Abbas are just a belated and pretentious sign of foreign sympathy and,
for the latter, also of domestic desperation; they should have come
many months, if not many years, ago; now, from the Palestinian and the
Arab viewpoint, they are justifiably almost meaningless, just too little
too late...

Imagine how clueless banks are if they can suffer $2.3 billions of losses
in unauthorized trading before they realize what is going on.
It seems
like households are much smarter than banks in managing their resources.
Who can convince us that the financial system is sound and fraud-proof?
And the clueless boss of UBS Gruebel is not even willing to resign...

What the Florida Republican Party debate revealed about the Texas
governor is that he is against state intervention in private life if this
does not cost him and his associates anything and if this does not
deprive him or his associates from any favor or profit in connection
with big commercial interests. Otherwise, he is eager and willing to
intervene to avoid the personal cost and/or realize the personal profit.

We do not need such men in office. We need honest men that act on
principle rather than on ulterior motives, regardless of whether they
might sometimes make mistakes...

Αντί να σιωπά, το ανίκανο ζώον τολμά και ομιλεί...

What is actually going on with the Greek Statistical Authorities?
Is it just me or are the responsible overseeing European authorities
following closely the dismantling of the Greek Statistical Directorate
(Ελληνική Στατιστική Αρχή) by Finance Minister Venizelos? Is the
disruption of the impartial functions of such an authority justified
or is the Finance Minister trying to conceal another round of
revelations of statistical data that would showcase an increasing
number of failures by the government to attain the financial goals
that the government promised would be achieved soon?

If a United Nations resolution is the only way to bring a Palestinian
State into existence and if all other member states of the Security
Council are ready to approve the creation of a Palestinian State, then
the United States should not veto a resolution leading to the creation
of a Palestinian State.
Instead, the United States, together with all
other countries in the Security Council, especially the Permanent
Members, should work carefully, by applying all appropriate means
and measures at their disposal, under the auspices of the United
Nations and under the guidance of the Secretary General to ensure a
peaceful and meaningful transition to a new regional order, in which
a Palestinian State will be created alongside the Israeli State with the
political, economic and social conditions that will guarantee their
coexistence as partners and civilized neighbors looking forward to a
relation of mutual benefit rather than backward to a past full of
animosity and mistrust. I believe that, with enough foreign support
and enough international involvement, this goal can be achieved
and, moreover, that it needs to be achieved now, taking advantage
of this window of opportunity. If this chance is lost, then the current
unsustainable situation is going to be allowed to propagate for many
more years to come, holding the entire region hostage and keeping
its true potential for political, social and economic advancement and
prosperity unexploited and in limbo.


Unfortunately, Japan's political reputation has been tarnished recently
by various comments made by politicians whom the electorate had been
expecitng to be more serious, sensitive and professional in their behavior
in office
. It is perhaps a sign of the times that many of the politicians and
the public officials in the top industrialized economies in the globe do not
feel any longer that they have to prove themselves in office and to build a
reputation by performing their tasks diligently in a professional and
efficient way, but instead are imbued with a culture of entitlement as if
their offices and corresponding duties assigned are deserved in advance,
because somehow they are better than anybody else...

The Egyptian people should know that they have every right to be
angry at their country's military, who, having supported a corrupt
and oppressive regime for several decades, are now employing various
means and arguments to unjustifiably delay a transition to a democratic
government and the implementation of vital political, social and economic
reforms that the overwhelming majority of Egyptians have endorsed and
have fought for so selflessly during their recent uprising. However, the
Egyptian people should be aware that, right now, they are holding their
own fate in their own hands and that blaming the United States or Israel
for their leaders' progress, or lack thereof, towards these vital reforms is no
longer justified. Their current unelected leaders are the ones responsible to
ensure the stability of Egypt by quickly and smoothly aiding their country's
transition to a state that satisfies the aspirations of their people. Otherwise,
sooner or later they will have to face unrest similar to that that ousted the
country's ex-dictator. Finally, even if it had been the case that a foreign
country was responsible for their woes and the inability of their military
leaders to follow up with promised reforms, breaking international law by
attacking foreign diplomatic missions, storming their headquarters,
damaging their property and jeopardizing the safety of their personnel
and the inviolable status of their documents is not the way for a newborn
civilized country to showcase its best face and give the first signals to the
world on its future intentions and future place and role in international