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I am extremely sorry about the loss, the suffering and
the other negative consequences on the Philippines and
its people caused by Haiyan
. I am also extremely happy
and proud that the United States are going much above
and beyond the call of duty, by answering a clear call
of our humanity, to provide massive help and relief to
all our fellow beings that were adversely affected
. I do
extend heartfelt thanks and a feeling of gratefulness
to the sailors and the military personnel on the George
Washington that arrived the soonest possible and are
coordinating and operating on our behalf this massive
operation, and to the United Nations, the Red Cross
and all other organizations; without all of you, we would
have been, clearly, less potent and we would have lost
something of our humanity
. On the other hand, I would
like to remind the Chinese Government and the People
of China that they are the State with the second highest
GDP on earth, well on their way to, perhaps, becoming
the first
and that the Citizens of the World expect this
positioning to be accompanied, apart by the well -
deserved feeling of pride, also by a sense of great
responsibility. Remember that, here, we are not talking
about inter - governmental disputes, land disagreements,
fights over natural resources and oil and historical issues;
here we are talking about a disaster of an unprecedented
scale and the ensuing suffering of our and your neighbors
and fellow human beings and it is our and your mission
and our and your responsibility deriving by our collective
sense of humanity to provide help to the maximum of our
capabilities. Based on what you can do, $1.6M makes a
mockery of the situation and shows that you have not
digested the potential with which your position has
empowered you and the responsibility that your position
has vested on you in World affairs.

In my opinion, reducing the life ban of the biggest fraud
and most unrepentant cheat in the history of sport would
be a clear indication that USADA is not serious about
cleansing sport competition and protecting the health
and quality of lives of athletes, but is rather just paying
lip service to the problems, mocking the fairness of the
competition and the enthusiasm of fans and, at best,
lackadaisically and, at worst, deviously and in bad faith,
performing its functions and carrying out its obligations.

The European Commission deserves significant credit for
adopting a compromise budget for 2014
. The European
Commission does not deserve credit, however, in putting
undue pressure on Germany
to change its policies because,
it seems, it deems Germany too successful in terms of its
exporting ability and its citizens too cautious and frugal
when it comes to domestic consumption. The key here
is not to spoil the recipe for success that the German
economy has been following, but rather (a) to borrow
elements from that recipe that are applicable to other
countries in the Union to improve their own position
and (b) to exert some influence on Germany to share
some more of this accumulated wealth with less prosperous
countries in the Union, which, acting in partnership with
Germany, have been crucial contributors to the integration
of the markets and the ensuing stability on the Continent,
which, in turn, have benefited Germany and other heavily
industrialized countries enormously and have helped
unleash Germany's potential and have provided a boost
to its exporting prowess.

Why does a country with such an important geographical
advantage, such as Ukraine, being in the crossroads between
Europe and the ex-Soviet Republics, have to choose between
joining the European zone or the Russian-led customs union,
rather than serving as a bridge and unifying link between the
two systems while, simultaneously, taking advantage itself
of this inherently unique geo-political opportunity? Why do
the European Union and the Russian-dominated bloc exert
undue pressure on Ukraine to choose one way or another
instead of sitting together, producing a wide free trade zone
from the Atlantic to the Pacific and encouraging Ukraine to
join that zone and to act as the unifying link between the
Western and the Eastern parts of the vast Double Continent?

What a biased piece on NPR by Shankar Vedantam!
To suck up to a Harvard Professor of ``public leadership",
Shankar presented one of his students, the ex-Prime
Minister of Greece George Papandreou, as a crucial
contributor, even creator, of the recent Greco-Turkish
entente and as a major power behind the perceived
assumption by the Greek public of the responsibility
for Greece's financial mess. What Shankar or, for
obvious self-serving reasons, Professor Heifetz or
George Papandreou himself, never mentioned was that
1. for the Greco-Turkish entente, there have been other,
    perhaps more significant catalysts, than whichever
    stance or behavior Mr. Papandreou adopted, and
    that, in the past, Mr Papandreou's party, in which
    he had been a highly ranking member for a long
    time, had contributed towards mistrust and enmity
    between the two Nations for political reasons and
    political gains, when many moderate voices and
    activists were shouting all along that more issues
    united rather than divided the two peoples;
2. the Greek people assumed, not the responsibility
    but, the burden of resolving the financial crisis, for
    which, clearly, like for the current American woes, the
    bigger percentage of blame has to be attributed to those
    that have the biggest profits to reap by such crises, i.e.,
    the big capital and the big private corporate interests,
    under the auspices and protection of the politicians and
    of the political establishment. Mr. Papandreou's Party,
    which had been at the helm for a significant percentage
    of the period during which the laxity and mindlessness
    and bad management that led to the crisis were built,
    had been, clearly, a part of this dysfunctional
    establishment rather than a counterbalance to it.
In conclusion, if you are an uninformed journalist, with
a very narrow view on the big picture and very little
appreciation of the real dimensions and the pros and
cons surrounding an issue, do not go around pretending
to be an expert just to lick high powered academics'
and politicians' feet, at the same time misinforming
the public, in the hope (?) of reaping a pat on the back
or some other kind of personal reward...

Bravo to Cambodia and Thailand for their courage
to refer to the International Court of Justice for the
border issue clarification. I am expecting both parties
to respect the decision and to shine as an example to
the rest of the World States that compromise and
peaceful resolution of disputes, even at a moderate
cost, is much more advantageous than costly prolonged
conflicts, that promote enmity and unnecessary bitter
feelings between Nations, and regional instability to
the detriment of both sides and the World Community
as a whole.

Let us not give up hope, nor spare any effort. It is
extremely extremely important that the parties are
talking and both the United States and Europe
should welcome this progress and encourage further
developments and embrace this new era of diplomacy
that will, hopefully, lead to friendly relations and
closer ties with Iran, its leadership and its people
And, no one wants to sideline the Israelis. My wish
is that the leading powers in these negotiations will
be able to provide Israel with enough assurances
and convince Israel that one should not get stuck to
past enmity and sour relations and avoid looking
towards the future with hope and dreams for a much
much friendlier relationship and a closer cooperation
towards mutual benefit, even with those parties that
have been difficult to work with in the past.

Even though I understand the traditions and the strict
protocol followed by the Japanese Imperial House, given
the gravity of the Fukushima disaster, not only for his
own subjects, but also for all citizens of the globe, His
Imperial Majesty Emperor Akihito should make an
exception and accommodate the exceptional behavior
of the MP Taro Yamamoto. His Majesty should recognize
that the gesture did not have a devious intent and that,
occasionally, exceptional circumstances will induce
people and MPs to resort to exceptional gestures...

Toronto does not have a mayor. Toronto has a wreck...

Our United States losing its status as a UNESCO member,
for whatever reason or excuse... WHAT A SHAME...
We are expecting better sense from both our Presidency
and our Congress. Reverse this absurd development now!

The issue is not about ``good" and ``bad" republicans.
The issue is that a Political Party, in the proper sense of
the term, is supposed to house political candidates and
the part of the politically sensitive electorate that are
kept together as a group by a coherent collection of beliefs
and are motivated by similar, if not identical, objectives
and goals
. Clearly, that has ceased to be the case with the
Republican Party of the United States. So it seems that
honesty and political courage would require the creation
of splinter organizations that would each house those
groupings that do possess some coherence in their core
of fundamental values and political beliefs. If this does
not happen, the GOP will keep relying for its success,
not on principles and convincing arguments, but on a
purely haphazard lucky strike of personal charm and
persuasion, which may, clearly, play a significant role
in Presidential Elections, but does not get one very far
in Congressional and other elections of a more local

A couple of things that trouble me with the foreign policy
thinking of the U.S. Senate:
1. I heard that while negotiating, hopefully in good faith,
    with Iran, the Senate is pushing to increase the scope
    and the extent of sanctions
. This reminds me of the
    unfortunate un-philosophical and unbecoming position
    of the Israeli State, which, while allegedly negotiating
    in good faith with the Palestinian Authority for a two
    State solution, is grabbing land, blatantly ignoring
    and contravening International Law (many of whose
    provisions were actually advanced to provide a shield
    and protections, under the auspices of the Great Powers
    and the International Community as a whole, against
    the atrocities and irrationalities witnessed before and
    during the last big war).
2. I also heard that the Senate has blocked funds from
    being used in advancing cooperation between the
    American and the Chinese Space Exploration programs
    I find this decision also politically and economically
    shortsighted and politically and socio-economically
    unbecoming. It may very well be that, because of their
    extensive history and their vast experience, under present
    conditions, the United States, Russia and Europe have
    little to learn from their Chinese counterparts (this,
    which came up as an argument in the Senate debates,
    I do not have the expertise to judge). On the other
    hand, the facts that (a) China has become a financial
    powerhouse, whose wealth has been consistently
    increasing at a much faster pace than that of the
    Unites States, and (b) China has 4-5 times the United
    States population, just showcase the untenability and
    arrogance of taking such a shortsighted position vis-a-vis
    International cooperation with every and all other nations,
    and, especially so, China and India, in discovering, learning
    and sharing more about our Universe.
I would implore Congress to reconsider both decisions to
improve the position, exploit the potential advantages and
raise the moral stature of the United States as related to
those Foreign Affairs issues.

In general I do believe that the Affordable Healthcare Act
has had a noble intention; to assist uninsured or poorer
citizens to acquire health insurance coverage, to prevent
the emergency services from been inundated with non-
emergency cases and to transfer some of the ad-hoc and
haphazard responsibility of helping our most needy fellow
citizens from the hands of charity to the hands of the
People's (in the U.S. Constitution sense) Government,
thus, making it a more equally shared and more solidly
and certainly managed responsibility.
On the other hand, I also feel that Barack should honestly
apologize for statements that he made, in trying to push the
law through, that turned out to be factually false. One in
particular needs special attention on the part of the President:
In declaring that ``For all citizens, if they like the Health Plan
they have right now, they will be able to keep it, period", the
President uttered a falsity that many people, even much less
smart and much less informed than the President, knew could
not possibly be the case. In uttering such an absurdity, the
President blatantly abused classical logical implication and
universal quantification and, for someone who is considered
a skillful lawyer, such a misuse is difficult to absolve and must
be explained by one of the following reasons:
(a) He honestly believed that statement to be true;
     In this case, he needs to apologize for not having
     anticipated an almost obvious consequence of
     the Act;
(b) He erroneously used implication and universal
     quantification to communicate some statement
     different from what was actually communicated;
     In this case, I would recommend studying again
     and retaking the LSAT.
(c) He intentionally misinformed the electorate in
     order to make the Law sound universally
     advantageous, even though he knew that could
     not possibly have been the case. If a proposed
     legislation has only pros without cons, would
     there ever be a rational political power not to
     support it? The art of politics is to honestly
     present advantages and disadvantages of proposals
     and successfully argue to convince the lawmakers
     and the electorate that the arguments in favor of
     the side that one supports outweigh those of the
     opposing side. In retrospect, it seems that the
     President did not have this intention or did a very
     poor job in carrying out this task honestly and
     successfully and he should apologize for that
     specifically, not in some general abstract sense
     about something or other...

I am wondering, frankly, if Councilman Gennaro and
Mayor Bloomberg are genuinely interested in saving
unnecessarily wasted human lives by protecting younger
people from the perils of unfortunate decisions, will they
lobby, with the benefit of the wealth that lies behind
them, the Department of Defense to also increase the
enlisting age to 21 years?
Because, in my mind, I cannot
reconcile the absurdity of considering an 18 year old
old enough to decide to fight and get killed in foreign
wars, but not old enough to decide to buy a pack of
cigarettes. And of course, before similar questions are
arisen, I am equally perplexed when I compare the
age of military service with the minimum drinking
age. If one is deemed by law old enough to decide to
make a life changing decision, such as to enlist in the
U.S. Forces, that same country's law should certainly
consider one, a fortiori, old enough to make such
considerably less complicated decisions, such as
enjoying a drink or smoking a cigarette.

China and Japan should analyze very very seriously
what the consequences would be of engaging in hostile
acts that could erupt into, even a limited, warfare
. I
am sure that both people and their Governments
would come to the conclusion that they would not be
worth the confrontation and that, there is a lot to be
gained on both sides by handling the island dispute
and employing the islands themselves as platforms
of friendship, lasting peace, civilized neighborly
relations and cooperation in the spirit of mutual
respect and advantage for both nations
. There is, in
fact, only one way that this can be accomplished:
Negotiating in good faith with the other side in a
constructive spirit towards a mutually agreeable,
amicable settlement and, barring such an outcome,
presenting a case in front of the International Court
of Justice, whose decision both States should respect
and on which they should build solid, friendly and
peaceful relations in the future. This is a situation in
which visionary leadership from both sides is very
much needed and I would expect to see that, both
at the level of Governments and Heads of State.

Moreover, I would hope that both countries would
welcome Good Offices either from outside States
or from the Secretary General to achieve a compromise,
before the situation deteriorates mindlessly and without
any justification.

Shinzo Abe should leave inflammatory rhetoric aside
and heed the calls of the citizens of China, Japan and
the Koreas and the example of his Chinese and Indian
and try to negotiate an arrangement with
his Chinese colleagues towards friendship and lasting
peace and cooperation for progress in the Western
Pacific. All World's Citizens want to see the East China
Sea and the Sea of Japan develop into a hub of friendly
and warm neighborly relations and a locomotive of
innovation, development and prosperity.

It is really sad, but very educational, to watch all the
leaches trying to suck some juice over the dead body
of an entertainer for whom, anyway, they only gave a
f**k, when he was alive, as long as they could use him
as a money making brand... Law suits and counter
suits for and against the estate over the corps of one
of the best pop artists of all time, that was, however,
obviously not intelligent enough to have sorted his
posthumous affairs out unambiguously so as to shut
all these leaches out and disallow these disgraceful
fights over his dead body.

The commentary and the rhetoric resorted to by both sides
is so antiquated and archaic.
In the visit of Albania's Prime
Minister and of Turkey's Prime Minister to Kosovo, one
should see three modern states with historical ties (which,
as all historical ties, consist of both positive aspects and
sour memories) that have a genuine appetite to work
together and advance common interests in a sensitive and
troubled region in the context of modern political, social,
economic and cultural regional and World affairs.
much emphasis on what happened in the 1800's and early
1900's and how that history - good or bad - might affect
the future dreams and aspirations and the future political
relations and engagements of these states vis-a-vis one
another, especially in the context of future membership
in the European family, is off the target and, potentially,
entirely missing the point and sending wrong messages.

Bravo to Prime Ministers Li and Singh!

It may be very optimistic, but would it not be nice if, by the
end of 2015 or maybe 2016, we saw both Serbia and Turkey
becoming members of the European family and, in addition,
we witnessed a fully unified, independent and sovereign
Republic of Cyprus?
I hope that there is enough maturity
by now to sit at the negotiating table and put forward all
the aspects that unite the two communities and find
solutions to the problems that have prevented reunification.
My opinion is that people should leave nationalism and
ethnic bickering behind and unite in creating political
platforms and political parties along ideological lines,
in which both communities across the political spectrum
will be represented by individual political human beings,
thirsty for finding solutions to burning current problems,
rather than by Greek Cypriots, Turkish Cypriots, Greeks
or Turks.

Even from Francis we hear a lot of talk and words, which
of course is positive in reminding both clergy and people
of the virtues of humility and moderation, but, apart
from some symbolic gestures, such as his driving a modest
vehicle and recognizing his own modest humanity, we have
not seen him perform any acts with great immediate
effects and significance
. How nice, would it be, for example,
if he reduced the salary of the German ``luxury bishop" by
decree and asked him to donate his multi-million euro
mansion to the church to make it a house of charity, where
volunteer younger people could provide, under the auspices
of the local church and the city, shelter, food and care for
the poor, handicapped and disabled people of Limburg!
These are the actions that I was expecting by a militant
Pope on the side of humanity in support of the disadvantaged;
Words, ``blah, blah, blah" we've heard many times before.
Change we have not and are not seeing even today...

With my apologies and sympathies to the Indians, but,
given that Japan has had such a great trouble controlling
and containing the Fukushima nuclear incident, have they
performed a substantial and deep enough risk-benefit
analysis of Kudankulam before turning the switch on?
Or are we again, in the not so distant future, to witness
another calamity of biblical dimensions and nuclear

Michigan, in trying to put back in order the political
and the financial mess of the Detroit City affairs, is
providing a virtuous example and sending the right
message of ``lessons learned" by paying the Emergency
Manager out of a fund whose sources are undisclosed
at the rate of $4,200 per month for lodging expenses???
I thought that such secrecy and such extravagance were
among the major factors that contributed to creating
the mess in the first place. Is it different depending
on ``who done it?" and ``who's backing it?"


I am shuddering to think that special forces of African
States, that may be employed for sensitive international
operations under the auspices of our United Nations
in cooperation with the African Union, rather than
being passionate on resolving a crisis and rather than
concentrating on the task at hand, are used to and/or
trained to act on instinct
. This time it may have been
looting at the Westgate Mall, but, elsewhere and on
another occasion, it may be beating, raping or killing
civilians, depending on personal inclinations and
prejudicial hatred. Because of their potential wider
implications, such incidents require a detailed
investigation, very carefully carried out, very focused
and as objective as possible, preferably with some
experienced and technically adept external support.

This latest trade agreement between Canada and Europe
is very significant for two reasons. First, it solidifies and
expands friendship and cooperation through trade between
the two sides of the Atlantic. Second, it might inspire and
motivate more States and/or Regional Organizations to
sign similar agreements in the spirit of cooperation, not
just in commercial matters, but in all other domains of
human activity. It is high time that cooperative spirit and
synergistic activities extinguish adversarial thoughts and
prejudices that we sometimes still get to witness, perhaps
as remnants from eras past and, hopefully, gone forever.

With sadness, I have to agree with Saudi Arabia's position,
in turning down a seat on the Security Council of our United
Nations, that the Council has gravely disappointed the World
Community of Nations and the World's Citizenry by doing
very little in practice in avoiding or, at least, substantially
limiting the bloodshed during the Syrian uprising
. On the
other hand, I am not entirely convinced that the best option
under the circumstances is to react with an unwillingness to
serve and to withdraw from efforts to restructure the Council
and exert as much influence as possible, especially from the
inside, towards persuading the Council to take its mandate
and the role it was entrusted to fulfill by the Community of
Nations, under the auspices of the Secretary General and the
Assembly, much more seriously.

The Italian Judicial System never fails to disappoint the World
community whenever possible. We just heard that, before dying,
the convicted Nazi war criminal Erich Priebke was allowed,
on humanitarian grounds and despite the fact that he was
neither ill or paralyzed, to serve his sentence under house arrest,
which meant that, in practice, he was able to wine and dine with
his friends at various restaurants in the Italian Capital
. I just
cannot even imagine how grateful the victims of the Nazi
atrocities and their families must have felt at this magnanimity
of the Italian Judicial System...

On the other hand, Athens shone again as a beacon of
Democratic and Moral Values, when the Hellenic Parliament
with a resounding and overwhelming majority, lifted the
immunity of all six MPs of the Golden Dawn criminal
that are implicated in actions running counter
to democratic standards, parliamentary ethics and the rule
of law. The Greek Members of Parliament showed clearly
to the World community that they have not, cannot and
will not forget Greece's sacrifices in defending and preserving
fundamental human freedoms and basic human rights
during the last big war and, thus, honored the memory
of all victims of this small country's tortured history,
and showed readiness to continuously and determinedly
stand up for these same unshakable principles in the future.

India, celebrated as the largest democracy on earth, based
on the massive size of its population and its political system,
has a strength test approaching, a test on how resilient, how
inclusive and how mature its democracy is.
India is a country
that has a relatively high level of illiteracy, high level of poverty
and low level of advanced education and, moreover, is plagued
by deep rooted problems with its polity, where parliament and
local governments pass laws that say the right things, but the
traditions, the biases and the prejudices of the population,
coupled with the inefficacy of the executive make the enforcement
of those laws very difficult and inefficient. Finally, the executive
and the judiciary have a terribly reactive, rather than proactive,
approach in strengthening appreciation of and respect in
universal human values and norms and, thus, contribute,
in a way, in perpetuating inequities and stinging fundamental
social attitudes and problems. Taking into account that India,
like most countries in today's World, is a highly multicultural,
multi-ethnic and diverse country, fiery ethnic rhetoric, used
for personal political advancement and aggrandizement,
regardless of whether it is accompanied by equally inflammatory
actions or a more temperate realpolitik, is tantamount to pouring
diesel onto a slow burning fire. Therefore, the Indian electorate,
based on the traditions established by India's best, should
choose moderation, temperance and harmony and must
resoundingly reject attempts at nationalism, religionism,
separatism and segregationism. In all countries on our
Globe, but, especially so in India, it is imperative to do so.

I join my voice with those of Archbishop Tutu and Secretary
General Kofi Annan in unequivocally opposing any move by
the African Union or by individual African States towards
withdrawing from the International Criminal Court.
I would
argue that the African States should be proud, rather than
critical, that the ICC has been paying particular attention to
the affairs of the Continent. Any help, internal or external,
towards a state or a regional or international organization
contributing to the promotion of good governance, fiscal
responsibility and the rule of law and ensuring continuous,
unimpeded and effective application of International Human
Rights and International Humanitarian Law should be welcome.
The fact that Africa has been at the focus should be a welcome,
not a despised, bias. An unwelcome and unfortunate situation
would only result if there had been a well-documented and
provable bias in the outcome of those trials and a violation
of the principle of presumption of innocence on the part of
the Court. The ICC, however, has been very careful and has
been making a sustained and consistent effort throughout its
existence to meet its obligations and honor the object and
purpose of its Statute.

The Prime Minister of Israel came to visit one of the most
civilized countries on the globe, with some of the smartest
citizens and the best universities on earth, and on his NPR
interview with Steve Inskeep, he revealed a state of mental
and emotional bankruptcy towards which he himself and
the state that he represents have slowly been falling, not

because they want to, but because of the inherent inconsistencies
in their objectives, which they have been unable or unwilling
to modify.
As an answer to the question on why it is Israel's sole right
in that region to possess nuclear weapons
, the Prime Minister
replied that he was not going to say what Israel has or doesn't
. Which, of course, makes one wonder how do, then,
Israel and his Prime Minister have the right to call a
"hypocrite" the leader of another state that follows exactly
this same policy?
On why supporting de facto double
standards in the world scene
the answer was "Israel is
not the issue" with the implication that "everybody else,
however, is".
And on the other very important issue of
signing the nuclear non-proliferation treaty the equally
disappointing reply of this unprepared, sorry and
lonesome political figure was that "signing of it is
Of course, here forgetting completely
that in passing legislation, or in decreeing rules, or in
acceding to international or multilateral, or even bilateral,
treaties, one does not shy from doing so based on the
fact that "laws are often broken", but is based rather on the
premiss that they are there to regulate behavior and to give
well governed states, international alliances and partnerships,
and the world community at large, diplomatic weapons
that can be used to ensure general compliance with widely
respected and commonly understood standards.

In closing the Prime Minister declared that, despite
his concealing attitude and his unrefined, manufactured
answers to thorny issues, through an obviously faulty
introspection with unwarranted conclusions, at 64 he
has at last "decided to say it like it is", exactly as in
answering the question about whether Israel has itself
stockpiled nuclear weapons.

In short my sadness and disappointment at the Israeli
Prime Minister stemmed from:
1. The realization that Israel and its leaders have brought
    themselves in an untenable contradictory position on
    the World political stage.
2. The Prime Minister of a state that felt it necessary to
    launch a campaign to gather support from other
    leaders and the public seemed to severely underestimate
    the mental faculties of his interviewer and showed
    similar disrespect to the intended listeners.
3. If a person that declares "saying it like it is" conceals
    and twists so much, and this, by his own admission,
    compares so favorably with past behavior, one cannot
    but wonder what conclusions can be drawn about
    his past long-term record in Israel politics and in
    other sectors of Israeli public life...

The Prime Minister of Israel, the first country in the
Middle East to have surreptitiously developed
nuclear weapons and, therefore, to have substantially
contributed to proliferation, has described the Iranian
President's position ``cynical... full of hypocrisy"...
If Israel wants to be taken seriously, it'd better back its
pretentious positions, posturing and criticism with
accompanying self-criticism and matching actions...

It is being reported in the media that the United States has
banned a plane carrying the Venezuelan President from
using its airspace while on a planned trip to China this
. It has also been reported that the U.S. has denied
granting a visa to a Venezuelan official wishing to attend
with the Venezuelan delegation a United Nations meeting
in New York. On the other hand, it has also been reported
that the U.S. is going to grant a visa to Omar "the Beast"
al-Bashir, the alleged mastermind of a genocide and
instigator and organizer of war crimes and crimes against
humanity, who has been officially indicted by the ICC.

It has been said that granting a visa to Al-Bashir would
be in accordance with International Law and diplomatic
norms and United Nations - United States Treaty
obligations; it has not been said why a civilized country
is bound by these norms and obligations vis-a-vis alleged
criminals, wanted by an internationally recognized tribunal,
whereas similar diplomatic courtesies are denied to leaders
or diplomats whose countries' political systems may differ
from ours, but whose criminal records are crystal clear
as compared to that of the Sudanese President.
It is high time that the Senate Troika of Clinton, Levin
and McCain, all of whom are deeply involved in pushing
and motivating our foreign policy towards a more just,
idealistic stance, take aim at such irrational decisions that
taint the United States image and put under question
the United States motivations on the international stage.

Η Δημοκρατία δεν αποτελεί λευκή επιταγή για την Αλητεία.
Η "Δημοκρατική" Αλητεία οδήγησε στο Ναζισμό και αυτό
το ιστορικό μάθημα δεν πρέπει να αγνοείται ή να υποβαθμίζεται
από κανέναν, εάν έχει το πραγματικό συμφέρον και την αρμονική
συμβίωση και ευμάρεια όλων των λαών και των φυλών της
υφηλείου σαν ύψιστο ιδανικό.
Ο Παύλος Φύσσας έφυγε γιατί δεν καταλάβαμε ότι η καμπάνα
χτυπούσε και χτυπάει δυνατά πρωτίστως για μας τους Έλληνες...

It is politically absurd and humanely unacceptable for pseudo
general Idriss to publicly declare that "there is nothing in the
Kerry - Lavrov agreement that concerns us".
Perhaps, the
pseudo general is sitting comfortably in some remote command
and control center and does not see the suffering of the Syrian
government's soldiers, the plight of the Syrian opposition's
fighters and, most importantly, the pain and suffering of the
Syrian civilians caught in between. But for us, World Citizens,
who have observed this long lasting conflict with utter dismay
and deplore the unjustifiable cost in human dignity and loss in
human life, the Kerry - Lavrov agreement is a welcome and
long overdue and very significant development
, however
irrelevant or insignificant the pseudo - general would like to
portray its achievement. His position reveals lack of reason
and lack of sensitivity on the part of the insurgents and does
not help in rallying the support or the sympathy of anyone
to their cause
. If only some people with non-existing brains,
that have been artificially implanted in positions of power,
like the beast al-Assad himself and the pseudo-general Idriss,
were the first to perish before they had been able to either
initiate, cause or perpetuate the suffering of others...

Julia Gillard's interview provides a rare glimpse of the physical
and emotional symptoms of withdrawal resulting from a power
addict falling from a position of power. It is a very interesting,
sincere and revealing interview that provides some insight on
why, apart from greed and fortune amassment, so may of the
leaders in countries with non-existent or shallow democratic
traditions (especially in Africa and the Middle-East) cling so
desperately to power even when their time is long gone and

Mexico's system of education (like many other things in Mexico)
is in bad need of reforms, radical reforms. However, the teachers
have had so many unreasonably absurd privileges that it is now
very difficult for any government to rationally convince them of
the need to give some of them up for the sake of revamping the
inefficient and corrupt system.

The ex-KGB-agent, turned President, turned Prime Minister,
turned President, turned Autocrat of All the Russias, Father
of the Nation, Protector of Civil Liberties, Protector of World
Order, Peace and Security, Protector of the Noblest of the Noble
Leaders around the Globe, etc, etc., etc., has very vocally and
unequivocally declared that "It is extremely dangerous to
encourage people to see themselves as exceptional, whatever
the motivation"; he has certainly been applying this rule inside
Russia to everyone other than himself with remarkable success..
That is the reason why his credibility and his motives are, to
say the least, questionable....

It is a tragedy that our United Nations have failed, by any
standard of proof, to uphold one of the main stated purposes
and goals declared in its Statute, the maintenance of peace
and security in Syria and the Middle East
.  Under current
circumstances, perhaps, the best way for the Obama
administration to proceed, taking into account the views
and opinions of other World players, is to place its full
weight, the full weight of the American Diplomacy and the
full weight of the American military might behind the
so-called Geneva II. ON THE OTHER HAND, as a
balancing compromising step, Geneva II should not just
be a fact finding and good will offices meeting between
the conflicted parties
; it should rather be a prelude
to a mutually agreed binding process of mediation or
arbitration under a panel of international legal experts,
appointed under the auspices of the Secretary General
with the aid and advice of the International Court of
Justice, that will have the written consent and authorization
of the Syrian Government and the Syrian Opposition
The ultimate aim should be to draft a new Constitution
for Syria, which will be in force for an extended period
of time before a constituent assembly is allowed to amend
it, and under which free and fair elections will be scheduled
within a reasonable amount of time. The U.S. military and
its allies (including France and Russia) should get, in
parallel, a clear authorization and mandate from the
Security Council to act if the Secretary General and the
Council deem that any of the warring parties has violated
the terms or failed in its obligations under this intermediate
transitional agreement; the Secretary General should also
massively mobilize and make available all political control
mechanisms and experts of the organization in assisting
and in supervising the implementation of the agreement
inside Syria so as to ensure  that the intended transition
occurs with as little further disturbances and cost in
human life as possible.

Bravo to the Chilean Judges!! They unequivocally accepted
responsibility for their shortcomings during Chile's darkest
hours without the usual legalese that are ordinarily accompanying
such admissions of guilt and relative failures. Bravo!

Another positive signal by President Rouhani concerning
the negotiations over Iran's nuclear enrichment program
I would hope that Iran has good will and that its intentions
are expressed in good faith. Also, a very positive gesture
that the Iranian President disappointed Iran's critics by
not denying that he wished Jews ``Happy New Year!";

Why would anyone expect the president of one of the
historically richest and most diverse countries of the
planet to deny sending his wishes to the people of another
nation? Perhaps we should start adjusting to the idea that
the behavior of the Iranian ex-President was not Iran's
issue as a nation, but a manifestation of his own
psychological problems and complexes aggravated by
his abrasive and unstable personality.

A very negative and badly thought out move by Kenya to
even threaten to withdraw from the International Court of
The world in its current stage of civilization needs
more, not less, of its nations to become members in the
various international structures, institutions, organizations
and Courts of Justice because they make the political, social
and economic life of the world's citizens better and they
force their leaders and all people with authority to be
more accountable to the citizens for their actions.

Στο Ιδρυτικό Συμπόσιο, ο τσουναμο-μπανιστηρτζής και
ο πυροσβέστης δώρισαν μεγάλη χαρά και πολύ γέλοιο σε
όλους τους παρευρισκόμενους. Μπράβο στο κίνημα του
γέλωτα, της αυταπάτης και της ψευδαίσθησης...

This is incompetence in grand scale that no one would have
expected from Japanese scientists and technologists
Measuring an 1800 level radiation with a devise that can
measure up to a level of a 100, seeing that the devise is
topped and still claiming that the radiation level is 100???

It is quite remarkable how, when their own leaders cause
havoc and use weapons of mass destruction against them,
the people of the Middle East look to the West and, more
specifically, to America as their last reservoir of hope, a
protector of their livelihoods and their human dignity. How
ironic that, when regime change occurs, and this will occur
sooner or later, these same people will  again label America
the "evil power" and blame that same Country, to which
they now deposit all their hopes, for all their troubles and
predicaments and all their political and social shortcomings
and failures. I suppose, knowing the Middle Eastern psyche,
one should not be that surprised after all.

I do agree with President Putin's comments that it would be
"utter nonsense" for Syria's Government to provoke opponents
with the use chemical weapons. What I have a hard time
comprehending is how President Putin has been led to believe
that there is any "sense" in the Syrian Government's actions.

What "sensible" political authority on this earth would stay so
desperately clung to power via killing over 100,000 of its subjects,
without even a hint of making at least substantial concessions
towards its political opponents, when there is still time, and,
miserably and totally failing in its duty to serve and protect its
populace, not resign and attempt to create an orderly succession

To point out one of the substantial and, perhaps, unfortunate
complications of the issue that the White House and other
Western allies have to deal with, despite their possibly noble
intentions, one should pay close attention to this NPR interview
of John Bellinger by Melissa Block in "All Things Considered"

Frankly, by telling us that "the region is like a gunpowder
store and the future is unpredictable", Ayatollah Ali Khamenei
is adding absolutely no new information to what we already
know; we have already seen part of the gunpowder explode,

unless he has not really digested the fact that over 100,000
human beings have lost their lives so far without any reason,
without any justification and without any of the influential
regional or world powers showing the concern that the entire
international community of civilized nations has come to
expect of its political, social and religious leaders... The
Grand Ayatollah would have been much more helpful and
would have acted much more constructively, if, instead of
so belatedly trying to blurb totally uninformative phrases,
would have influenced the Iranian Government in exerting
as much influence as it has had on Bashar "The Beast" Al
- Assad to convince him that, at present, there is no room
in this World for "leaders" who feel compelled to wage war
and slaughter part of their own countries' populations with
the exclusive goal of staying in power and of serving their
own personal and their masters' interests.

How have we managed to reach this perverse stage of
civilization, where when a few hundred birds die from
natural causes on our lake shores, whole teams of biologists,
ecologists, conservationists, environmentalists and other
scientists descend to investigate the causes, but, when in
some country not that far away from our own tens of
thousands of fellow human beings fall like flies because
of the arrogance, brutality and self-indulgent posturing
of a few human inhumane beasts, we all turn our eyes
away from fear of hurting our own interests and the
feelings of other nations? I find these attitudes stupefying,
incredible, dazzling, and find myself confused and dazed
and unable to comprehend in a bankrupt mental and
psychological state... and ethically paralyzed...

Congratulations, Security Council! To name - and - shame,
Argentina, Australia, Azerbaijan, Guatemala, Luxembourg,
Morocco, Pakistan, Republic of Korea, Rwanda and Togo,
but above all the Permanent Five Big Pigs of War, China,
France, Russian Federation, United Kingdom and the United
. The recent memories of Hama 1982, Halabja 1988,
Rwanda 1994 have not been enough for you to do something
more than to add/subtract and keep feeding to the press
updated head counts of the number of victims of yet another
man-made atrocity and disaster of unfathomable scale. As if
you had been asking all along for another Auschwitz, another
Dachau, another Mauthausen, for your sense of comfort to
be shaken and your sense of smell to detect and be bothered
by the unjustifiable deaths in the tens of thousands of your
neighbors, your fellow human beings... Congratulations,
Security Council. You asked for it (in your own way).
Now you got it.

Not abiding by the Clinton-Levin principle leads,
unfortunately, to ironic and comico-tragical outcomes,
which, all too often, have been the result of unprincipled,
hesitating, piece-meal and erroneous application of, or,
even worse, sometimes, total disregard for the principle.
Take a look for instance at the current developments
in Egypt: To avoid extremist tendencies, the West armed
and supported Mubarak's regime; to avoid extremism,
the West did not immediately, unhesitatingly and
unequivocally criticize the toppling of the new elected
President of Egypt Mohammed Morsi; eventually, the
military regime's and the opposition's rambling leads
to Saudi-Arabia and other well-known supporters of
sharia law and of extreme policies of domestic oppression
and foreign opposition and enmity towards the West
sending a multi-billion dollar aid package to Egypt to
help it stand on its feet; This has the long-term
unintended, but very real, consequence that Egypt falls
under the influence and the political wings of and the
economic dependence and obligation towards a group
consisting of the most extreme world players...

Definition of a foreign policy doctrine that may be
appropriate to call the Clinton-Levin Doctrine, since
Secretary Clinton tried to apply it as consistently as
possible (especially as compared to recent past history)
and Senator Levin strongly espoused its application
(as related to Egypt's affairs in a recent NPR interview):
Even if a set I of short term national interests seem to indicate that A would be the best option or course of action to follow under a set S of current circumstances or developing conditions, if the values and the principles that the U.S. holds inviolable and non-negotiable (such as sovereignty, equality, freedom, democracy and human rights) strongly suggest following a different choice or course of action B, that may conflict totally or partially with option A, in conducting foreign policy the U.S. should give strong preference to B in order to ensure a long-term stability and to be able in the future to support convincingly and stand unshakably behind actions that cement its own and all other countries' interests and well-being.

The Department of Justice has an obligation to look
very closely at and investigate very seriously several
of the incidents happening in Florida and showing
a lack of respect for fundamental human rights and
a tendency towards use of excessive, disproportionate
force both by law enforcement and by the public

under cover of terribly misconceived laws that,
instead of serving the public, are pushing Florida
into an abyss of a dark ages mentality. Act now,
before it is too late and the intervention needed
becomes too radical and too controversial.

In recouping money for the City of Detroit, the city's
emergency manager Kevyn Orr should first look at
those properties and assets belonging to the city's
previous administrators that have been amassed by
breaches of the trust that the city had placed in their
. Then, and only then, after having accomplished
seizing and exploiting those assets on behalf of the
city, should he start pondering about the possibility
and the usefulness of auctioning some of the city's
art collection. Art should not be used to pay for the
crimes and the excesses of the people at the top.

They should pay back when there is clear indication
that they have pocketed money that was not theirs.

President Rouhani is sending us very clear messages. I hope
that Barack's administration is listening carefully and has
the diplomatic quality and the necessary diplomatic skill to
read between the lines and to respond to these rare openings,
embrace the Iranians and re-engage Iran in the community
of Nations
. There is no time to waste; we must seize the
opportunity now. The same applies without saying to the
slight glimpse of dim light that Secretary Kerry seems to
have lit again in the Israeli-Palestinian negotiating process.

The next step perhaps will be to force all non-Swiss citizens
to tattoo their national flags on their foreheads and to forbid
them from approaching a Swiss citizen closer than a specified
distance so that the said Swiss citizen not feel uncomfortable
or threatened... What a country... Centuries of European
history with absolutely no lessons learned... Oh, maybe those
that can provide proof of a sizable bank account may be
exempted... the Swiss way...

Presidente Napolitano should not pardon Silvio Berlusconi.
Berlusconi has been running a state within a state, Berlusconi
has been deleteriously affecting Italian politics for several
decades and Berlusconi has been torturing and tainting the
Italian judicial system for decades. In a nutshell, he has
single-handedly converted one of the most respectable,
affluent and powerful countries on earth to a circus-like
pariah, almost to the point of political and economic collapse,
with tainted public image and very little international respect
and room for initiative. Why should such a failure, with such
a negative effect on his country's affairs, be even considered
for a lessening of a severe sentence, handed down belatedly
from this country's tortured judiciary, from this tortured
country's presidency?

I feel terribly embarrassed about the events transpiring
in the ``border" crossing between Spain and Gibraltar.

First, both sides of the ``border" are European territory
and, therefore, there should not even have been a border
there in the first place. Second, the European citizens
have two major achievements so far, due to the European
integration, that they consider inviolable and nonnegotiable
because, unlike the bureaucratic machine in Brussels, they
have significantly improved their lives and are affecting
them positively every day. And these are the common
and the free movement across the ``borders"
(which, hopefully, at some point in the not so distant
future will not even exist, similarly to the Berlin Wall
and the Iron Curtain). I do call on both Great Britain
and Spain not to look at their narrow nationalistic
, but look at their common histories and
common destinies as Europeans and work for the
comfort and convenience of their citizens
and, as a
result, do something easy and straightforward, do away
with this ``border"
, rather than pursuing their current
nonsensical, misconceived and discomforting attitudes

As one of the most powerful countries on earth, the United
States have a great responsibility in sending to the United
Nations their best, smartest diplomats, not those with ill will

that make undesirable, idiotic declarations. A prospective
ambassador, who starts her nomination hearings by making
utterly irrelevant, nonsensical, destructive and insensitive
statements, such as expressing a desire to combat the
``crackdown on civil society", is showing lack of diplomatic
and intelligence sensitivities and skills and should not be
appointed to represent this country.

Israel has no grounds for accusing the European Union for
skewed foreign policy on this issue. On the contrary, not only
should the Union not even have had to proclaim explicitly
such a move, but it should have adopted it long ago as an
international legal obligation erga omnes.
Foreign territory
that has been annexed and remains occupied must not be
supported in any way by States or International Organiza-
tions. Of course, needless to say, or rather repeat, the
Union should stand with Israel on its legitimate security
needs and should support and encourage its development,
as it should that of all other countries, in relation to the
territories internationally recognized as part of the Israeli

After so many revelations and after so much pressure, the
refusal of Prime Minister Rajoy to step down gives the
impression that everything that has been revealed is for the
Spanish political system not a surprise but, rather, business
as usual...
And, I guess the citizens of Spain could have taken
all these revelations with the same indifference as their French
counterparts had Spain been as wealthy a country. But, with
all the serious financial troubles that Spain and its banks went
through and the ultra-high unemployment among Spanish
youth, it is very hard to comprehend why the Spanish premier
is showing such an insensitivity and apathy and does not
acknowledge that letting things continue as usual is not an
option for either him or Spain anymore...

Unfortunately, many in Europe are as racist and as nationalist
as their great-grandparents and their grandparents two-three
generations ago
, despite this ample time in which the causes
and the consequences of racism and of colonialism have been
analyzed and counter-analyzed and thoroughly and heavily
studied. Two or more generations with no lessons learned for
many people is a sad, sad reminder of how primal and how
primitive some parts of humankind still are...


It is worth reading the text or listening to the short interview
by Robert Siegel on NPR
with Michigan Senator and Chairman
of the Senate Committee on Armed Services Carl Levin
. He
stated very clearly and very succinctly which exactly and for
what reasons the U.S. position should be concerning the
political developments in Egypt, using a conviction and a
reasoning that actually applies abstractly to many other
situations. If only our foreign policy was as consistent and
as principled...

Our United Nations should always stand for democracy and
no active or retired personnel of the organization should ever
participate in undemocratic, arbitrarily installed and arbitrarily
functioning regimes
. And this should be a firm, non-negotiable
stance that ElBaradei should have unequivocally stood for and
defended. If he accepts a prime ministerial position in such a
government, be it permanent or transitional, he will lose all
credibility personally and, what is even worse, he will take a
stance compromising universal political principles, contrary
to United Nations values.

Η Ελλάδα δεν έχει ανάγκη από γαϊδούρια κι από
ρατσιστικά φασιστόμουτρα
; απ' αυτά, δόξα τω
Θεώ, παράγει αρκετά ώστε να είναι αυτάρκης...

Η Ελλάδα έχει ανάγκη από ανθρώπους που με το
ταλέντο τους και με τη σκληρή δουλειά τους
παραδείγματα προς μίμηση και έμπνευση για τους
υπόλοιπους συμπολίτες τους. Επίσης, από ανθρώπους
που έχουν τη δυνατότητα να βελτιώσουν την εικόνα της
χώρας εκτός συνόρων και να προβάλλουν τις αρετές της.

It is encouraging to see in a nascent democracy the
activism of citizens (both supporters of the President
and supporters of the opposition) trying to express
their concerns and fears, and their aspirations and
dreams on the direction their country is taking and
on the path which its government is opening for
their future
. One political concern is that, be it in a
developed or in a developing country, the time period
of a single calendar year is too short a time to be
granted to a new administration (even in an established
democracy) for it to deliver meaningful results. So
the opposition should not be surprised if, down the
road, in a year's time, a new opposition has the same
legitimate concerns and the same legitimate rights
in protesting
for the change of the new government to
come as they do right now. And, in principle there is
nothing contemptible in frequently changing the leading
parties or coalition of parties when they fail to deliver.
The only issue is that frequent changes do not help
in establishing a climate of stability and trust
seems to be necessary in encouraging economic,
social and cultural (first and foremost, educational
and health care) development that are all very badly
and urgently needed in Egypt.
So what is to be done right now? How is the current
impasse to be resolved? I strongly oppose any undue
action (with good or bad intentions) by the armed
. Such a development will be a step back. The
circumstances are not the same as they were during
eras when Egyptians had justifiable grounds in looking
with hope to the army for solutions to political problems.
My view is that the solution lies with President Morsi
himself and the governing party
. Despite his legitimacy
as a ruler, the way the situation has unfolded, he needs
to submit his resignation, allow the constitutionally
mandated caretaker successor to step in and for new
elections to be proclaimed and to take place as soon as
possible and, if so decided by him and his party, rerun
in the new elections. This will allow the Egyptian electorate
the time to decide whether it was premature to demand his
ousting and want him to retry and continue his work for
bettering Egypt's future or whether they would like another
party or coalition to succeed the current president and try
to steer the country in a new direction. The army's role is
to make sure that this transition takes place peacefully
, that
the constitutional provisions are followed, that law and
order are preserved and the rights of the citizens respected,
and that the new elections are free, fair and transparency
and openness prevail. Egypt has just started a difficult
journey on a challenging and convoluted road
and bumps
are to be expected along the way. However, Egypt has a
long history of both successes and failures both in the
pre- and the post-colonial era from which its citizens and
its politicians can draw inspiration, lessons and strength
and hope
, and, in such critical historical moments this
does help immensely.
Good luck and best heartfelt wishes to Egypt and its people.


Michigan should not spend taxpayer money to try to
prevent the building and operation of new casinos.
Michigan Governor should order its Attorney General
to stand down rather than pursuing this shady case. In
a genuine free market economy, once the decision is
made on whether a product or a business is legal, the
only role of the state should be in regulating the
quality of the product or service provided. The state
should not be into the business of inhibiting or of
bolstering the entrenched or the emerging business
interests of some of its citizens to the advantage or
to the detriment of other citizens. It should leave
market forces free to operate and compete in an open,
free environment with transparency and fairness.
If casinos become too many, then the ones not up to
the standards that the players and the public demand
will go out of business and new better ones will enter
into the competition. The state should grant licenses
to all that fulfill some minimum standards, as
stipulated by relevant law.

Is the Turkish Premier taking, perhaps, some kind of
prescribed or unprescribed substances? How else could
one possibly explain nonsensical ramblings from a
politician who, until very recently, knew how to keep
his cool and, in general, knew what he was talking about?

When the administration is trying to calm our fears on
the massive gathering of data, their potential misuse and
the obvious issues pertaining to violation of privacy
by claiming that these programs are very well supervised
and under judicial review, they should first think what
our own reaction usually is when, in foreign countries,
U.S. citizens are sentenced by secretive legal systems,
with lack of transparency and, especially, behind closed
doors in proceedings where various justifications are
being provided for avoiding having them open to the
public and the media for due examination and scrutiny.
In the same way that Americans, based on long-held
domestic customs and cherished traditions, justifiably
mistrust such foreign shady legal proceedings, why
should we be more at ease when similar manipulations
occur here at home?

With a mandate to clean up the public life and support
transparency and good governance, Enrico Letta should
not be accommodating when ministers of his government
are accused of infringements of public trust and of using

convoluted methods to the financial detriment of their
country. Whether these things happen or not either in the
south or in the north is irrelevant. The point is that THEY
and that, if and when they
happen, the message should be clear that they are not to
be tolerated and the consequences should be severe and

One of the fundamental premisses of an egalitarian society
is equal representation in Law. It is therefore to applaud the
Michigan Governor for spearheading and supporting and the
Michigan Legislature for diligently working in a bipartisan
way to formulate and pass a bill that will hopefully strengthen
this important right of those most vulnerable and, oftentimes,
forgotten, the underrepresented and badly represented in the
legal system.

Karzai showed once more his idiocy and mercurial
He is bothered by the fact that the United
States are taking the lead in negotiations with the
Taliban and wants the process "Afghanized". It
would have been much nicer, more sincere and,
definitely, more constructive if he had first taken
the initiative and instituted the right policies in order
to combat the inefficiency and rampant corruption
of his country and of his government. In that way,
he might have achieved to Afghanize Afghanistan
before thinking of, and proceeding to demand,
the Afghanization of other things, which are way
beyond his available skills and his demonstrated
(lack of) capabilities...

The cooperation between the two sides of the Atlantic
and the frank exchange of ideas at the top level is not
only beneficial for all parties, but a sine qua non for
the entire community of nations. The frankness and the
constructive spirit that prevailed over these discussions
do provide a very good example to other nations and
other regional groups of what can be achieved when
the will is there, accompanied by a matching attitude.

Given the understanding that there are many differences
in the Iranian and the Western approach towards a wide
variety of issues and many unresolved bilateral problems,
the Iranian People's election of a moderate, that has
already made some statements to the effect that he is
going to constructively engage Iran with the community
of nations, and that will, hopefully, refrain from a
mindless and pointless aggressive rhetoric, is a hugely
positive sign, especially in contrast to the recent past.
I honestly and wholeheartedly wish the Iranian People
and their newly elected President success
; the success
of such an important country, from the historical,
cultural, political and geographical point of view, will
contribute decisively in a better, more peaceful and
more fraternal world, a hope of all of this world's