<Back to Main>

We thought that Vladimir Vladimirovich was nostalgic
about Felix Edmundovich's Cheka, Nikolai Ivanovich's
NKVD and Ivan Aleksandrovich's KGB, but what we
did not realize was that he was also out to avenge the
failures of Nikolai Pavlovich and the ensuing imposed
humiliation on Alexander Nikolaevich...

I am all in favor of the ICJ investigating claims and
counterclaims surrounding the war following the
break up of the Yugoslav Federation
. The parties
that are suing, however, should be there with the
intent of discovering the truth and amicably closing
that terrible chapter of recent European History;
not with enmity, full of national hatred and bitter
feelings and with a vengeance. And what is the
point of closing chapters and leaving behind terrible
experiences and unfathomable suffering if the
leaders of today in Russia and in Ukraine have
not learned any of the associated lessons of those
terrible tragedies?

I thought that in this World, learning from History and
wishing to avoid unnecessary tragedies and state and
militant gangsterism that lead to tortuous adventures
and unspeakable human suffering, we had outlawed,
by the middle of the previous century, all annexation
of foreign territories by force
and all use of unacceptably
savage and disproportionately and indiscriminately
applied violence
, including, of course, murder, torture,
rape, genocide and all other forms of inhumane
treatment, from our domestic and international
confrontations, be it in the altar of either religious
or political causes. But here we are again, at point
zero... same practices, same loss, same sorrow, all
in all so, so, so disappointing and heart-breaking.

President Putin and the Interim Authorities in Ukraine,
do not start another war in Europe.
It is shameful for
such events to occur in the 2nd decade of the 21st century,
after all those lessons that the recent European history
has so tragically conveyed. Neither Russia nor Ukraine,
nor, for that matter, any other European State or the
World, has anything at all to gain if this conflict and
instability escalate to a full-fledged armed confrontation.
Stand down, hold your fire, let your senses prevail and
exchange negotiating teams with positive feelings and
good intentions, a friendly attitude and a good faith
for the benefit of both the Russian and the Ukrainian
People. Your two Nations have traveled long journeys
together, have had many positive and not so positive
shared experiences and have enjoyed much in a common
regional history. Do not demolish those strong fraternal
bonds on a whim.

Every American wishes this thug had been on food
stamps instead of having put our Nation through
so much peril due to his ineptitude in Government.
But the World rarely attributes justice, nor does it
place high regard on merit or reward people according
to what they really deserve. Political scum, hands
off our Barack.

After the discrimination, the oppression and the
indignities that the Mother Continent has suffered
under the European colonizers, I would have
expected to see a map full of Green Colors for
fraternity, inclusivity, diversity and tolerance
but, alas, everything is pink and red and Africans
continue traditions equally despicable to the ones
initiated, espoused and perpetrated by their former

I would never have imagined, even using my most
pessimistic standards, or dreamed, even in my worst
nightmares, that in our United States during the
second decade of this 21st Century, we would have
been so desperately searching for faulty arguments,
misusing rights, freedoms and religion, to reactivate
the bigotry of eras past and rekindle hatred
our most vulnerable fellow citizens. RESIST ALL


How saddening to read in semi-prestigious publications,
like the New Yorker, articles and opinions like the one
reported by the BBC, concerning the personality and
style of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.
1. I cannot comprehend why people want everyone to
    be uniform and the same. Pluralism and diversity
    are to be cherished. One Justice may speak too
    much, another very little; each style, and, similarly,
    all others, have something different to offer both
    inside and outside the courtroom.
2. How on earth can a pretentious, semi-ignorant
    journalist purport to know what goes on inside a
    Justice's mind? How could one possibly translate
    appearances and external signs and expressions
    into the inner workings of someone else's mind?

It would have saved Ukraine a lot of bloodshed if the
Western and Eastern powers to be had really meant,
and declared so publicly, a little earlier that they had
not intended the undue pressure they put on the
country and its now-former leadership as a move in
a zero-sum World domination game...

I had no doubt in my mind that I would meet again this
unspeakable character in the news and, once again, under
not the most flattering of circumstances. Some human
beings exhume a stinking aura that not even the most
powerful of detergents can cleanse.

The European Union made a grave mistake with regards
to Ukraine by not allowing its People and its Government
the space needed to look both East and West. Now, the
E.U. is ready to err again by imposing sanctions on the
ravaged State for the consequences of acts for which it
itself is partially responsible...

Governor Snyder, let us raise the minimum wage in
our State. We do want all workers to be able to afford
basic decent living standards and enjoy some minimum
security and comfort.
If our lawmakers are reluctant,
we can write a simple piece of legislation relating wages
to the well-being of corresponding companies by tying
wage increases in executive compensation to increases in
minimum wage that companies pay limited up to the
decided future minimum level. E.g., a statement along
the lines:
``If a company increases the average compensation
of its top 10 officers by x%, then, they should increase
the minimum hourly compensation paid its workers
by the same percentage x during the same year or
adjust them to (e.g.) $10/hour, whichever is minimum."

I lament the fact that the Chinese Government is
shamelessly shielding from repercussions
a family
run State that is reported to treat its Citizens at
the beginning of the 21st Century in a way that
is reminiscent of genocidal treatment of populations
during the commitment of some of the gravest
atrocities of our World's turbulent history
. All
Governments of our U.N., especially the Big Five,
must know that to us, World Citizens, it is not
acceptable even for a single human soul to be
treated without proper dignity and respect. We
must require and ensure that all individuals be
afforded at least the minimum basic Human
Rights and Protections guaranteed by our World's
International Standards and Regulations.


I do want the U.K. to stay in the E.U. and Scotland,
either on its own or as a Member of the U.K., and
Switzerland, if its Citizens so decided, to be Members
of the European Union. I have firm and strong
feelings in support of the European project and do
not get influenced by the short- and medium-turn
problems and ups-and-downs that every State, every
Alliance and every Block might face over time. I
am mostly convinced and swept by the long-term
invaluable consequences that European States
staying together and closely bound into a common
Organization with common values and interests
would mean for the Continent and its consequences
for the long-term well-being of all European Citizens
But to the U.K., to Scotland and to Switzerland I
say ``Remember that Membership entails both
Rights and Responsibilities; Be proud to contribute,
when you are doing well, and be humble enough
to ask for help when you are not doing so well,
and your fellow-travelers will be with you. It is
not proper and it is not wise to exploit through
bilateral or multilateral treaties the benefits and
enjoy the rights of membership or association,
while declining to contribute much to the benefit
of the same States that you rely on to repulse
dangers, alleviate burdens and get ahead."

Italians should not expect much from a man that is
so ambitious that he contributed to his own party's
Government demise just to climb an hour earlier
than his due time to the top chair; especially so, since
Enrico Letta has been to a large extent successful in
restoring, under President Napolitano's watch, the
respect and the dignity that one of our World's
oldest Republics so rightly deserves.

Unfortunately, the U.S. Attorney General has ignored
my pleas to intervene with regards to the ``stand your
ground law" in Florida. This law will be put ``on hold"
eventually, when enough unjustified and preventable
fatalities prove the case that it is a license for deranged,
mentally unstable and poorly educated white individuals
to vex their anger and express their aggressiveness
against black and other minorities in the streets
in their neighborhoods, while having lesser fear of
equally negative treatment by the law, if they hire a
powerful enough legal team.

Even though I am not opposed to Unionism in principle
and I fully understand and appreciate the historic role
that unions have played in improving workers' conditions
and in establishing minimum workers' rights in this and
other States of our World, I am happy that Volkswagen's
U.S. autoworkers sent a strong message to the unions
that they are slowly, but steadily, becoming unhelpful to
their bases, arrogant at the top and have been steadily

contributing to a perception that, instead of working in
the mainstreet, alongside their members for the members'
benefit, have been milking the membership with expensive
dues and have been channeling resources to extravagantly
paid union bosses, lawyers and lobbyists, who have had
very little, if any, contribution to the amelioration of the

working conditions in recent years. In fact, there has been
a steady worsening of workers' rights and pay, while those
at the top of the Unions have continued in the old way,
without properly and timely adjusting.

Turkey is going down a very slippery slope. It seems that,
following in Putin's Russia's footsteps, Prime Minister
Erdogan's Government has almost no respect for the
principle of separation of powers and is attempting to
control all three branches, leaving no checks and balances
to his authority. My feeling is that Turkey is being led,
due to the unchecked, unlimited ambition of its Premier,
to a chaotic backward political situation.

Η Κύπρος έχει αξιόλογους δικούς της ανθρώπους για να
κατεβάσει στις Ευρωεκλογές και δε χρειάζεται Έλληνες
καραγκιόζηδες προς ``ενίσχυση" (βλέπε ``εξασθένηση")
Εύχομαι με τις καινούργιες διαπραγματεύσεις και την
καινούργια κινητικότητα, στις ερχόμενες Ευρωεκλογές
να υπάρξουν κοινά πολιτικο-ιδεολογικά εναρμονισμένα
ψηφοδέλτια, με αξιόλογους και ανοιχτόμυαλους ανθρώ-
πους χωρίς προκαταλήψεις, που θα εκπροσωπούν και
τις δύο κοινότητες, χωρίς εθνοτικούς και άλλους
απαρχαιωμένους διαχωρισμούς
. Για να δούμε...

What Nuland says, when the mikes are officially on, may
be important as the position of the State she represents.
What Nuland says, when the mikes are surreptitiously
on, is more important when it comes to reading her own
attitudes and to identifying her own mentality vis-a-vis
Blocks or States that are indisputably among America's
most important partners
. Unfortunately, together with
many other stretched appointments, State and Defense
have had a problem with diplomats and officers, respectively,
who are careless in words or shallow in thinking processes,
very often both, and, sometimes, even plain deceivers and
cheaters, as we witnessed with all the revelations concerning
the scandalous behavior of military personnel in relation to
those tests and exams administered by the Pentagon.

Anastasiadis and Eroglu should find the courage to strike
the right balance through mutual compromises to resolve
the division on Cyprus
. This shameful and lamentable
situation has gone on for too long and should not be
perpetuated well into the 21st century. It is not in the
interests of any of the two communities and there are no
valid political, economic, military or socio - cultural
arguments anymore that would justify such divisions in
a climate where the overwhelming majority of Europe's
Citizens want to live together and create a common
prosperity for all in a joint destiny, rather than live
separately and antagonize one another.

In the Balkans, now that people realized that the hatred
for one another and the ethnic posturing and the bloodshed
have not fixed any of their problems, they are starting to
hate and to turn against their own governments
. And,
frankly speaking, with one out of two young people being
unemployed and with huge financial inequality, that is
continuously rising, how could one expect things to be
different? The only thing is that in the Balkans, we forget
very easily and if and when new self-serving politicians
come and tell us that ``others" are to blame and that the
solution is to take up arms and kill those ``others", there
will be, once more, citizens who will be more than happy
to repeat and perpetuate the cycle of violence...

Ντροπή για το ΣΥΡΙΖΑ να έχει στους κόλπους του
ανθρώπους που, μέσω ασυναρτησιών, υιοθετούν
ρατσιστικές απόψεις και προκαλούν διχόνοια από
το πουθενά, χωρίς απολύτως κανένα λογικό επιχείρημα,
και μάλιστα την ώρα που η Ελλάδα χρειάζεται όλους
τους πολίτες της, ανεξαρτήτως θρησκεύματος, να
δουλέψουν σκληρά μαζί για να ξεπεράσουν τις
παρούσες δυσκολίες.
(Shame on SYRIZA for having amongst its
members people who adopt, via irrational and
erratic thinking, racist views and create artificial
divisions and instigate religiously motivated hatred,
especially at this hour, when Greece needs all its
Citizens, regardless of background or faith, to
work hard together to overcome the difficulties.)

I am wondering how it is possible for intelligent
individuals, like the Wisconsin Attorney General,
who have such ample evidence available from the
60's, and not only, that when the American Public
read in the Declaration of Independence the phrase
``Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness",
they interpret it, unlike its own authors, as being
universally and equally applicable for all, and that
they so much condemn the obstinate opposition to
this Principle by the southern segregationists, how
it is still possible to have in 2014 an unjustifiable
fixation in trying to reverse the flow of the waters
of the river of equal rights, justice and opportunity
for all. I ask Mr. Van Hollen to reconsider and to
stand on the right side of History for equal rights
for all, without qualifying adjectives anymore.

If the allegations that are seeing the light of day are true,
then, not only is the New Jersey Governor mean-spirited,
vindictive and careless about the public's safety, contrary
to the obligations and the responsibilities of his official
duties, but, in addition, a plain idiot, unworthy of any
mention or political discussion, let alone of any false
presumptive ambition for holding the highest office.

I was not expecting a Hollywood actress to be informed,
nor was I expecting her to place International Law and
International Standards before financial interests and,
potentially, other surreptitious and undisclosed motives.
I would like to express my embarrassment, however, that
despite the large number of lawyers that surround and
accompany the famous nowadays, none of them considered
it his/her obligation to remind Ms. Johansson that matters
under the purview of International Law are not matters of
superficially formulated opinions and respect for International
Law is not in the eye of the beholder
or of one or another
significant or insignificant actor or actress. If everyone had
historically shown respect for international legal norms and
abided by relevant standards and decisions, then many of
the most thorny issues and most difficult situations that the
World faces today and much of the tremendous suffering of
humanity caused by other humans' actions would have been
either altogether avoided or, at least, alleviated.

If the established Parties and Movements want the one
and, perhaps, only man that has preserved some stability
and safeguarded a limited amount of prestige for Italian
politics impeached and removed from office, then they
have not really realized what Presidente Napolitano has
meant for the State in some of its most difficult and
darkest hours.

The fact that others in his position have threatened a
reporter before is not a good enough excuse for this
brute of a Congressman
. Nor is it the fact that he did
the journalist ``a favor" (really, savage animal, an
elected official doing a favor talking to a journalist?) a
sufficient excuse for his unacceptable savage instincts.
Any ordinary citizens threatening to ``break" someone
else or to throw them off a balcony would have been
arrested and the same should happen to brutes and
uncivilized members of Congress and any other high
street, not only to the people of the main street...

Our President delivered a good State of the Union address
last night. As my ancestors would reiterate ``πάν μέτρον
άριστον". He neither exaggerated any strengths nor did
he underestimate any weaknesses and he did remind me
of the 5-years younger idealist Illinois Senator running
on that platform of HOPE and CHANGE and he did
make the audience feel that not everything is in vain and
that some things do count, but that, perhaps, despite all
our idealism, we must be patient after all...
The opposition, as usual, sees the money only when it comes
to investments and grab and graft for those that have Das
Kapital, but shields the money in the shadows when it
comes to the ``not-haves", and, in the ensuing artificially
and voluntarily created mist and fog, cannot perceive the
very real, measurable and tangible ``income inequality",
but sees, instead, only a vague and, in their eyes seemingly
unrelated , ``opportunity inequality", if that actually means
anything, rather that just being used as a catch-phrase to
obscure the truth...

Bravo to Chile and Chile's Michelle Bachelet and to Peru
and Peru's Ollanta Humala for dealing with their and their
States' disputes amicably through the International Court
of Justice
, like all civilized neighbors should, and for
reaffirming their respect for the decision of our U.N. Court.
A small part of a territory may switch stewards and some
resources may switch hands, but the stability, peace and
prosperity resulting from such proceedings in the long
term are invaluable for both Parties and the International
. In contrast, I strongly oppose, despite
understanding and respecting that it is its sovereign right,
the move by the Japanese Government to reintroduce in
the Japanese Education curriculum teachings related to
territorial disputes with Japan's neighbors.
Japan should
follow Chile's and Peru's example and apply political
pressure to its neighbors to refer all open issues and
disputes over islands and maritime borders to our U.N.'s
Highest Court for definitive and permanent resolution to
ensure amicable relations, peace, stability and prosperity
in the years to come in the West Pacific Region
. We do
not need, nor do we want to see, a new generation of
Japanese aggressively and belligerently pursuing Japan's
claims in this area
. Such a move endangers friendly and
civilized neighborly relations and may result in future
generations less willing to compromise and work together.

The tasks and the responsibilities of the Greek Coast Guard
are Herculean in view of them being in charge of protecting
the borders of Europe, while being in the employ of the
poorest partner State, cash-strapped, almost bankrupt, with
the scarcest of resources available. Moreover, the Greek
Coast Guard is carrying on its shoulders the traditions of
the Greek Navy and the Greek Merchant Marine that have
upheld the noblest and highest ethical standards of navigation,
of helping others and of search and rescue throughout at least
three millennia of operation in the Eastern Mediterranean and
beyond. If the physical guts and the ethical standards of the
current officers and sailors are so substandard and they are
so demoralized by everything occurring around them and
unable to measure up to this heavy legacy, so as to have the
nerve to declare an operation a ``success" when so many lives
have been lost and so many families decimated at sea, then
those responsible, not for the operation itself, but for the
shameful statement, should immediately hand in their
resignations. My hope is that the Prime Minister will accept
the politically responsible Minister's resignation and the
resignations of all others who share political responsibility
and responsibility for command and control, and will apologize
to the International Community on behalf of the entire Greek
Community of Seamen and of Greek expatriates and Greek
Immigrants for those premature declarations of  ``success", and
reaffirm the commitment of all Greeks, and especially Greek
Seamen, that, when even a single life is lost at sea under our
watch, regardless of Nationality, the entire Greek Family of the
Seas is in deep mourning, not in a mood for shallow apologies
or, worse, in celebration of operational successes.

Greece has a good reputation for its strong support
for Democratic values, but President Papoulias hosted
the puppet President of the Egyptian Dictatorship
Iran does not enjoy a similar high respect for backing
freedom and Democratic principles, but President
Rouhani raised his voice in support of resolving the
Syrian crisis by holding certifiably free and fair elections
inside Syria
. Only then, will the international community
be able to objectively judge whether the Assad regime
or any of the opposition groups have a real majority in
the preferences of Syrians. Otherwise, neither the claims
of the Foreign Minister, who, clearly, has been very well
fed by the current regime, nor the arbitrary claims of
any unelected opposition group can bear any credibility.

Si fueris Romae, Romano vivito more, i.e., if you dare
visit Sochi, learn to s**t cooperatively...

Those that are going to Geneva with the demand that no
States that disagree with them should go and those that
go to Geneva with the assertion that it is going to be either
totally their own way or the highway are not serious about
compromising, negotiating and finding common ground
and should not even be there. These parties are the war
and conflict mongers, responsible for the hostilities, and
their only hope and wish is to keep spilling the blood of
others to serve their own self-interests...

Bravo, Governor Snyder! Match the donation amount
with part of the State's surplus, keep the treasures in the
State and provide some relief to our older neighbors whose
security is being jeopardized through no fault of their own
(at least in the overwhelming majority of cases).
Bravo! Let us all strongly support the proposal!

Last night, the Governor delivered the State of the State
Address and the Opposition their response. One speech
was a good speech both in style and content; the other
rather disappointing, without much real information,
just a statement that the other side has been doing
everything wrong and, with a change everything will
miraculously improve, without really addressing the
how or offering much in terms of refreshing ideas.
From the Governor's speech, it sounded like the State
is projected to come up with a considerable surplus
and there are, I hear, various proposals on the table
on how to manage it. I'd like to give some of my
thoughts, for what they are worth:
1. Some of it, as the Governor already suggested,
    should be placed in a rainy day fund. We are all
    human and we never know what awaits around
    the corner. A wise person always thinks in advance.
2. Being all a 10+M people family, as the Governor
    indicated, we should boost, even in a one-time
    fashion for just next year, some programs supporting
    the basic needs of our poorest Citizens and placing
    our unemployed fellow State Residents back to
    work, especially now that more opportunities exist.
3. Definitely try to direct a portion towards fixing
    our State's infrastructure (roads, bridges etc.),
    that, it seems, all political parties and the majority
    of our Citizens agree are in bad need of maintenance.
    It is not wise to procrastinate and, in doing so, both
    place lives at risk and let the financial tab needed
    for these projects further increase.
4. Finally, the Governor and the Emergency Manager
    of Detroit should consider seriously the possibility
    of contributing some funds to the Trust that we hear
    is going to be set up, in cooperation with non-profits,
    for safeguarding Detroit's Art Treasures, until the
    City gets back to its feet and becomes again robust
    enough to fully reclaim their custody. These are not
    just Detroit's or just Michigan's or just National
    Treasures; These constitute a significant part of
    the historical and cultural heritage of our collective
    Humanity and it would make us, Residents of this
    Great State, proud if our State and our Governor
    took initiative and played as significant a role as
    possible within our State's means in keeping those
    Treasures here, while at the same time helping our
    Greatest and culturally richest City and its residents
    in trying times.
In conclusion, do not just do the easy thing and send
back a check to everyone as a tax return. With so many
problems to solve and so many opportunities to either
save or improve things or simply to do something useful
or some things that are good and virtuous for the benefit
of all the Michigan Family, Be Inspired and Use Those
Funds Well for the Public Good and for Noble Causes.

It is very clear that, if an envoy, a mediator or a negotiator
has not been successful in his/her mission to bring about
some tangible results, regardless of whether this failure is
due to his own faults or to the unwillingness and reluctance
of the negotiating parties to compromise, he/she should
resign and clear the way for a successor to have a go.
Sometimes, it is not specific skills, but personality traits
and building of trust, that lead to fruitful mediation and
constructive negotiations. In making this statement, I
have in mind, in particular, three envoys of/to States in the
Eastern Mediterranean, that have overstayed their welcome,
having being in their positions and having played the same
(or, in effect, no) role for a long time (I am suspecting
drawing paychecks) without having produced any tangible
1. Saeb Erekat, chief Palestinian negotiator;
2. Alexander Downer, U.N. envoy to Cyprus;
3. Matthew Nimetz, UN envoy for the Greco-FYROM
    name dispute.
It is high time they give their positions up and allow
their superiors, be it the Secretary-General or the
President of the Palestinian Authority, to appoint
someone that may be better equipped, with fresher
ideas and, overall, at a better position to deliver.

A good indication of the slow adaptability to contemporary widely
acceptable standards of Jus Cogens is the lack of a rule in the
International Legal System recognizing the fact that most illegitimate
Dictatorships, shortly after unconstitutionally usurping power, organize
``elections" or ``referenda" to pass laws or new ``constitutions" of
their own choice with either biased debates, unbalanced campaigns
or, simply, insufficient and censored public coverage and participation.

Such a rule would deny international recognition by all States of
dictators, usurpers of power and their invalid public proclamations.
In appreciating this deficiency and affirming the Clinton-Levin
Doctrine in International Affairs, I call on both the Greek
Government, representing the Hellenic Republic, with its strong
ancient and recent Democratic sensitivities and the Government
of the United States with its own Democratic sensitivities, to withhold
recognition of the illegitimate ``constitutional referendum" (regardless
of the document's contents) organized by the Egyptian Dictatorship,
to facilitate, using all Diplomatic Means available, a return to the
Democratic Order and to encourage the Democratically Elected
Leaders of Egypt to respect fundamental freedoms and human
rights and, thus, reposition Egypt in its Historically and Culturally
Rightful Position as a friendly and brotherly Nation to all other
Nations of the community of our United Nations.

Repeated accusations emanating from Israel concerning
the "Messianic" fervor or John Kerry
or President Rouhani
and the Iranian regime
only serve to more forcefully
showcase the self-awareness and related discomfort
and self-pity of the Israeli politicians and the Israeli State
in the knowledge that the prevalent attitudes mixing politics
and religion in the State of Israel and the irrational, by
modern standards, semi-secular political outlook have
inhibited the Israeli State from advancing  beyond an
antiquated semi-religious political philosophy, despite
its formidable scientific and technological advances...

What is happening now in the Supreme Court of the Land
is not a serious debate about the Balance of Power. It is
an attempt to validate artificial technicalities that, if not in
legal terminology, at least in spirit, ridicule the Constitution
of the Land, make it more and more disfunctional and, as
a consequence, endanger its long-term viability.

After listening to Gates' interview with Steve Inskeep on
NPR, I know that:
1. I was correct in having a very negative opinion back
    in 2008 about incoming President Obama keeping
    a Bush-administration Secretary of Defense in staff;
2. I agree with him on one issue: Vice President Biden
    has made at least one mistake in his career and this,
    in my opinion, was not vetoing the appointment of
    Gates when he advised the President on his first
3. I think Gates has been wrong in many of his
    statements, either because he has been unable to
    back them up with hard facts and serious analysis,
    or, more validly, because he and I disagree on many

I am pleased, politically speaking, that the unfortunate
saga with the Indian Deputy Consul in New York seems
to be over
. I am also not certain about whether the
allegations against her were correct. What troubles me
is that, given the fact that, based on recent experience,
apparently, even for some very serious crimes, the
Indian Justice System has proven weak and Justice
only administered under political or intense public
pressure, this recent incident might further erode its
effectiveness when it comes to dealing with foreign
envoys accredited to the Indian State maltreating,
or, otherwise, breaking the Law, vis-à-vis Citizens
of Third States in India itself. It is very likely that,
in the future, should such incidents occur on Indian
soil, foreign Governments may demand from the
Indian Foreign Ministry the same level of Immunity
and Protection that India has insisted on for its
own Diplomat. This may potentially result in lack
of proper protection and rather dire and unpleasant
consequences for these Third State Nationals.

I am indeed very pleased. Our Barack, Secretary Kerry,
and the Cuban Leader Raul Castro and the envoys of
both Nations, should continue with an eye towards the
future, not with the view firmly fixed on a contentious
. The children of both Nations deserve the Citizens
and, especially, the Leaders of today having them, first
and utmost, in their minds. Their grandfathers and great
grandfathers taught us good and not so good lessons,
from which we should be learning to work and better
the future. The past is done and gone: we do not get
the chance to revisit and change it.

If the U.K.'s Citizens democratically decide via a
referendum that their future lies outside Europe,
this would be a respected decision and their leaders
should withdraw from European structures, follow
their own way and stop meddling with the decisions
of the block. On the other hand, if the Citizens
of the U.K. decide they want to stay in as partners,
their Government should stop blackmailing the
other partners of the block by continuously
threatening withdrawal from the Constitutive
. This is not a decent political behavior.
One has to definitively make up his mind and, then,
try to negotiate for its interests in good faith inside
the block's political structures, rather than hanging
on the edge and being disruptive to the collective

Shame on the Egyptian Army.
The same people that
grew up licking Mubarak's feet are now licking the
feet of their new, but identical in many, if not all,
respects, petty leader. Just a miserable, despicable
change of clothes and nothing more. Sorry for so
many deaths, for a revolution that might as well
have never happened, since it changed nothing...

Unfortunately Fallujah triggers again a stark reminder
of the lamentable reality
that, despite condemnation from
history, the ``leaders" that are guilty of sending our troops,
other people's kids, in harm's way under shades of fear,
peppered with medieval religious undertones, and without
any political objectives or a clear military strategy, just
for serving mercatus belli, have never been held
accountable in a court of law for mishandling the
responsibilities with which they were entrusted.

...And instead of the hawks of war running with the tails
between their legs
, they have the audacity of accusing those
inheriting the mess and trying, as successfully as they could,
to contain the damage for mishandling the crisis. If I were
them, I would be ashamed, and, If I had been in a position
of appropriate responsibility, I would have made sure that
some people at the top that initiated the mess would have
been held accountable
. Otherwise, what is it that would
make future decision makers more careful to avoid hasty
decisions and causing similar political and security disasters?

It is extremely disturbing and frustrating that, in a country
with some major problems needing our attention, among
which are financial predicaments, widening gap between
poor and rich, suffering education and health systems,
major challenges in home security and in foreign policy,
just to mention a few, so many of our resources and so
much of our focus and so many of our efforts are literally
wasted on judicially going back and forth on the issue of
same-sex marriage
. Why do we not, at last, stop interfering
both as individual citizens and as State institutions in
the lives and the personal decisions which every human
being has the right to make in a free society? Where
do we draw this arrogance from, that makes us try to
impose to other human beings our own way of life, even
in things that are so personal that a person's choices do
not in any way affect the well-being of fellow citizens?

What do the Spanish Royals think they have done that
could possibly entitle them to behave with little respect
for the Spanish Law and to plunder this near-bankrupt
country's meager resources?

I am pleased that the Coast Guard Pacific Area and its
Commander are heeding the Australian, Chinese and
Russian requests and are sending the Polar Star to
provide help to the stranded ships in Antarctica
. Our
sailors, based on the oldest and noblest of international
traditions, continue to remind us that, at least when in
the high seas and faced with adverse conditions, our
Humanity compels us to live and fight together and
assist one another in accomplishing our joint goals,
in completing worthy projects and fulfilling common

The South Sudanese have to understand that the
International Community is not ``arm-twisting"
them because, as they claim, they are a new Nation.
We are arm-twisting them because, obviously, they
do not know how to coexist and because we are
sick and tired of people on this planet not knowing
how to coexist
. We are sick and tired of new States
on this planet repeating the mistakes and causing
the same tragedies as the old and not providing us
with refreshing examples and glimmers of hope for
our Humanity.

If the declarations made by the freed former ETA militants
are honest and heart-felt, especially the pledge to ``act
responsibly with positive and constructive will and vision",
then they are very welcome
, even though, of course, they
do not absolve them of past behavior, past actions, nor do
they rectify whatever negative consequences linger on and
whatever impact they have had. Let this be a new beginning
for the Basque Country, Spain and Europe
and let this
signify a commitment to live and work together for more
unity, not for more separatism
. In democratic states, the
rights of people, minorities and regions are respected and,
when locals feel otherwise, usually the central governments
are open to listening and to negotiating conditions which
could make everyone feel comfortable and at ease, without
creating enmity and breaking existing bonds and relations
with fellow citizens and neighbors.

However much salt and pepper one sprays and, despite
the latest attempts by President Putin to add untypically
generous quantities of Sriracha, the fish still terribly

I am not very big into pop culture. I am not at all into
American, Canadian, Korean or Norwegian smart phones
or other comparable devices. So I was very much intrigued
and mildly perplexed by the fact that a petty, insignificant
event, the notorious ``selfie" that Barack snapped with the
Brit and the Dane
, has bothered me so disproportionately.
I think that it had been, initially, because at the ceremony
celebrating the most extraordinary, perhaps, leader (at
least speaking of the Mother Continent) that has ever
been, Barack was caught in an act that is the definition
of extreme averageness, an act that millions of people
perform every single moment of every single day on the
planet. This, in turn, regardless of circumstances and of
the bulls**t bimbo tabloid exploitation, hit me with the
stark reminder that Barack ended up being an extremely
average politician in a depressingly pop way, whereas, in
2008, a significant portion of the electorate were looking
up with HOPE to Illinois Senator Obama, with great and
noble expectations, perceiving him as an exceptionally
gifted, extraordinarily inspiring candidate.
On the other hand, there are exceptional politicians who
are determined to work for a vision to the point that, in
implementing that vision, they annihilate, destroy,
eradicate and exterminate causing havoc and leaving
behind chaos. And there are exceptional politicians,
like Madiba, that despite many personal shortcomings,
work selflessly for the betterment of not only their own
States and their Citizens, but all Humanity. And I am
HAPPY that we have an extremely average President
rather than an exceptionally misguided one
and I am
SAD that we have an extremely average President rather
than the force for good and virtuous change that we had
HOPEd for back in 2008

We are still so scared and terrorized by the ideology and
the policies of a regime that brought down one of the
most robust financially and of the most advanced
intellectually, theoretically and technologically countries
in the World, that we are almost on the grip of a hysteria
banning gestures, moves, facial expressions etc. etc. I think
that we are getting carried away by a frenzy that, by paying
excessive attention to the surface, tends to sideline what is
important and fundamental.
If we ban all kinds of moves,
salutes, physical inclinations and expressions, then,
eventually, they will start occurring here and there by
accident and innocent people will be accused of various
unintended intentions. On the other hand, the important
issue is whether there are people in our societies that do
believe in and are supporting racist, xenophobic and
otherwise discriminating ideologies and resort to actions
that are detrimental to their fellow citizens. And, of course,
detecting one's exact state of mind and beliefs is not
possible and, perhaps, not even desirable. After all, in
all advanced societies we strongly espouse freedom of
thought. Therefore, our only hope is to institute strong
educational systems, where a careful and honest analysis
of historical events and dissection of their causes, effects
and ethical repercussions make such an impression on
those willing to participate that societies will not feel
obliged to go around seeking scapegoats and continuously
discovering or attributing existent or nonexistent meanings
in the way significant or insignificant people move their
limbs, roll their eyes, frown their lips etc. etc.

Οι Γερμανοί είχαν αναθέσει σε αλήτες να πηγαινο-
έρχονται από τα κυβερνητικά γραφεία και τα Ελληνικά
Υπουργεία και να λαδώνουν με τη σέσουλα ακουμπώντας
εκατοντάδες χιλιάδες ευρώ
. Έτσι φυσικά, ακόμα και
χωρίς τις απαραίτητες προδιαγραφές ή την αναγκαία
ποιότητα του προωθούμενου προϊόντος, μπορεί κανείς
να φτιάξει μία ``Γερμανική" ποιοτικά βαριά βιομηχανία
και μετά να γίνεται και τοκογλύφος επιδιορθώνοντας
την κατάσταση στη δημιουργία της οποίας και αυτός ο
ίδιος συνέβαλε με τις απαράδεκτες και ξεδιάντροπες
πρακτικές που ακολουθούσε.

It is a wreck, it cracks but it runs. I'll take fifty bucks...
Only instead of a vehicle, he happens to be the Toronto
``Mayor". His lack of self-awareness and his hyper -
sensitivity concerning personal matters and lack of
sensitivity and respect vis-a-vis the electorate makes
him - apparently unknown to himself only - an unfit
candidate to run the affairs of Canada's Largest City.

I strongly applaud the Eurocentric New Year's Day
message of President Hollande.
Europe is and will
stand united with solidarity for a better common
future for all. European Citizens cannot, based on
historical lessons, and will not, based on fraternity
and good will, allow nationalistic feelings and old
fashioned primitive nationalistic thinking and other
isolationist attitudes to change the way forward,
or jeopardize their common gains towards a fraternal,
peaceful and prosperous common future or endanger
associated practical achievements, the crowns of which
are the Common Currency, a more unified economic
planning and, of course, the Schengen freedom of
movement and the open market for labor and the
products of labor. Bravo, Monsieur le Président!

In the same way that Greece's Citizens want their
Ambassadors, Consuls and other diplomats to be
safe and respected when entrusted with representing
their Nation abroad
and keeping in mind basic tenets
of Customary International Law and international
obligations under the Vienna Convention to which
Greece is a Party
, Greek Citizens are appalled by
the use of force against a foreign diplomat in the
Greek Capital
. After all diplomats are messengers
of good will and their primary role is to ensure
cooperation and communication and to iron out
differences of opinion and disagreements that may
plague bilateral relations. They serve to remind us
that, if we put our humanity first and uphold basic
fundamental principles of peaceful coexistence and
tolerate differences, the World would be a better
place indeed for all.

Israelis and Palestinians, help John Kerry help you.

Now is the time! Grab this opportunity for peace and
reconciliation and a future towards hope
. Show the
Secretary of State readiness for substantive, constructive
and fruitful negotiations
and avoid practices that place
you sincerity and honest commitment into question
Keep in mind that you primary responsibility, besides
hospitality, is to show good faith and good will. On his
part, I am sure the Secretary will try to be impartial
and to help bridge gaps and create new, helpful and
refreshing conditions on the ground for 2014.

When the Prime Minister starts seeing ghosts under the
afghan, perhaps it should be a clear wake-up call that it
is time to go...

How could the Muslim Brotherhood be the ``terrorist
organization" in Egypt when it fought the elections fair
and square and instituted a functioning government
according to the constitution and the laws of the land?
The real terrorizing institution in Egypt is the Egyptian
army that, instead of standing aside and helping the
Egyptian people to overthrow tyranny on principle,
it and its top officers had the ulterior motive of grabbing
power for themselves and instituting themselves as the
power-brokers under cover of peace and a nonexistent
democratic facade. Petty military criminals, take your
hands and your guns off Al-Azhar and transfer power
before you become laughable international pariahs.

When sons of ministers are caught with cash in shoe
boxes, when sons of Prime Ministers operate charitable
foundations with little oversight, when state prosecutors
are prevented from carrying out their investigations
and are, instead, removed from their positions for
ridiculous allegations, such as ``leaking information
to the media", it is clearly time for a change of regime,
a clear indication that, despite, perhaps, the best of
initial intentions, the governing party in Turkey has
been governing for too long for its own and for its
leaders' own good
. It is high time for a change of
government in Ankara both for the good of the
country itself and of its people.

It is counterproductive for the United States to block
the participation of Iran in Geneva II.
First, Iran can
play a very positive and constructive role in drafting
and implementing a potential agreement for resolving
the Syrian crisis for the benefit of all Syrian Citizens.
Second, it is an opportunity, after the nuclear deal, to
further enhance cooperation and bolster the mutual
confidence with an eye towards warmer and friendlier
relations in the future to the benefit of both Nations
and of all Citizens of the Globe.

What is it that pushes African leaders to instantly resort
to weapons and violence instead of talks, negotiations and
amicable, productive dialogue?
A glance at the data
concerning the two Sudans shows that there are many,
many problems that the Citizens of both States face and
that await attention, constructive dialogue and effective
measures for improving the conditions on the ground
and their lives. All leaders should be aware of the real
desires and expectations of the Citizens and have a sense
of responsibility and a real willingness to work jointly
towards achieving real progress on those issues, instead
of putting the Citizens at more risk for personal political
and financial gains.

``Eppur si muove..." Galileo Galilei

It is high time the United States put this mistake in
our foreign policy behind and accompany the symbolic
handshake between Presidents Obama and Castro with
a significant rapprochement in political and economic
bilateral relations
. We all have to understand, at last,
that history should provide food for careful analysis,
with the ultimate goal being to improve bilateral
relations, bring people together and increase the well
being of nations. Historical enmities and disagreements
of all kinds should not stand on the way as impediments
to innovative political thinking and should not prevent
progress towards establishing a better, friendlier and
more secure regional environment for the Citizens of
both (and all other) States on Earth.

I am not sure about what the U.S. military top command
and the officials at the State Department are thinking, but
it sounds like, in order to avoid the effort of classifying
veterans as having broken rules of military engagement
and military code of behavior on duty versus engaging
in untoward personal behavior due to psychological
pressures and traumas acquired because of their line of
work, they are putting both categories in the same basket,

thus dishonoring the pledge that the American People,
the President of the United States and the Government
of the United States have made and have been continuously
repeating on every occasion to the veterans on behalf of
the People
; that everything in our power will be expended
to perform our obligations towards respecting, honoring
and rewarding their service, especially in situations where
them and their families are severely and irreversibly affected.

It is being reported from Tel Aviv that the Israeli President
Shimon Peres, speaking at the Globes Israel Business Con-
ference, asserted that Israel does not ``consider Iran as an
enemy", that he personally ``does not have any enemies"
and that the goal is to ``convert enemies into friends".
I passionately and strongly applaud the Israeli President's
position, which is definitely one of the most moderate, the
most encouraging and the most visionary voices we have
heard recently from the land of Israel towards compromise
and extending an olive branch and a hand of friendship to
the Iranian State and its citizens and giving all Citizens of
the region a glimmer of hope for a peaceful, secure, stable
and prosperous future for them and coming generations.

The bilateral and plurilateral issues in Southeast Asia are
so widespread - almost every pair of Sates have bilateral
territorial disputes with one another - that closer cooperation
between the leading democracies, the leading oligarchies or,
for that matter, the leading monarchies are not going to
provide meaningful solutions. What is needed, what the
Citizens of the Globe are expecting, first and foremost for
the sake of peace, security and lasting stability for all our
fellow-citizens of that area of the World, is a wide regional
conference, perhaps with the mediation of Europe, Russia
and the United States and the help of the Secretary-General,
that will either form a consensus of the regional disputing
States on some permanent territorial agreement in the
form of a treaty, or will decide the referral of the issue
to International Arbitration under the auspices of our
United Nations
, where each State would be able to present
its case and its claims and a Panel of International Judicial
Experts decide the issue based on all relevant applicable
rules of International Law. The States involved should
understand that this is an issue of political, economic
and military importance that cannot wait any further
for a solution, since the well-being of all countries and
all citizens of the region, and of the World at large, relies
on lasting peace, security, stability and cooperation in
the Pacific region.

When Statesmen of this World agree and they and their
States stand more united and less divided, the World and
its Citizens cannot but be better, not worse, off. If things
turn out to not be as positive as they seem now, new
diplomacy will have to be conducted. I hope that neither
China, Europe and the United States nor Iran will easily
allow this warming of relations and the ensuing inertia
to pass without further improvements. Foreign Relations
and Diplomacy are never a one-act play, exactly as is the
case with human relations; they are always a work in
progress, continuous abrasions, fractures and amendments,
continuous give and take, continuous, relentless, determined
and collective work.
Secretary Hague, Minister Westerwelle, Chief Ashton,
Minister Zarif, Minister Wang, Secretary Kerry, Minister
Lavrov and Minister Fabius, we know that the talks were
long, tiring and painful; We know that you need some
sleep and that none of you is certain of the final outcome,
simply because no single influencing factor is entirely up
to you, but we do

Seriously? With Nelson Mandela on his deathbed, the
indecent Zuma is spending $20M for renovations in his
private compound and has the audacity to compare this
to performing renovations and installing security devices
in the White House? I thought that the officials of South
Africa's Government would be mature enough to know
the difference between spending public funds for upgrades
to an official State Residence, that will eventually be
inhabited by the successor of Mr. Zuma, versus spending
State funds for renovating Mr. Zuma's private compound,
which does not constitute State Property. Using Public
resources for such a renovation, regardless of the excuse
and the justification provided, is tantamount, in essence,
to embezzlement of public funds for personal enrichment.
The right analog in the U.S. would be President Obama
using State money to renovate and upgrade his Chicago

I do understand the historical significance of Strasbourg
sharing the seat of the European Parliament with Brussels.
However, economy, functionality and flexibility, as well
as the very important fact that the object and purpose
of the European Union is not harmed by this change,
should take precedent over this important historical
convention and practice. In summary, France could,
perhaps, back down from vetoing this very reasonable
request from the MEPs and, as a compromise, request
that the seat of another subsidiary organization of the
Union, that might be created in the future, for a specific
purpose, with non-overlapping authority with existing
organizations be based in the great city of Strasbourg.

The American and European trade negotiators would
tremendously simplify their task of negotiating common
admissible standards of products to be traded by simply
recognizing the fact that both sides have effective controls
for ensuring the quality and the safety of their products
inside their respective markets. They could, then, simply
accept the safety of the standards of the other negotiating
side, while, at the same time, ensuring that, where significant
differences occur, e.g., in genetically modified agricultural
products or automobile standards, the consumers, as the
ultimate decision makers and judges, are properly informed
through both straightforward and plainly written brochures
and announcements of those differences. Thus, whereas the
manufacturers will be afforded the flexibility of abiding by
whichever standards are governing their home market, the
consumers will be empowered to make informed decisions,
based on their own personal tastes and preferences when
they are choosing among the available products, without
any sacrifice in either safety or diversity and variety.

A simple solution for the art treasure that was discovered in
Germany, that would honor their owner and would be to the
benefit of humanity, both from an educational and from an
enjoyment perspective, is for all the pieces involved to be
collected and exhibited each year as a traveling exhibition
at the current European Capital of Culture, until the European
Commission and the Council of Ministers decide for a more
permanent structure or museum in one of the major European
cities that could be built or adapted to house them. Needless
to say, the ownership, the cost of conservation and the proceeds
from their exhibit should be shared by all European Citizens,
perhaps under a common foundation operating as subsidiary
to the Cultural Initiatives of the European Commission.

Bravo to the Turkish Prime Minister and the Leader of the
Iraqi Kurdish Community for trying to reinvigorate and to
further advance the process of reconciliation, based on the
preliminary steps that the Turkish Government has been
hesitatingly adopting, aiming at establishing a modern
State with equal rights and responsibilities for all Citizens
regardless of ethnic background.

Bravo, also, to David Cameron for not boycotting the
Sri Lanka Commonwealth summit, in contrast to the
Canadian Premier, and for speaking frankly and
courageously to the Sri Lankan President about the
need to move forward with as an impartial investigation
as possible and as an effective a reconciliation process
as possible for the benefit of the people of Sri Lanka
affected by the civil strife and for a more stable,
democratic and prosperous future for subsequent Sri
Lankan generations, regardless of ethnic and religious
background. The point is that, by boycotting a meeting
or an event, one may send a remote public message, but
a message nowhere near as powerful and as effective as
by sitting at the same table and discussing issues that
unite and issues that divide and, through disagreement
and, occasionally, frustration and rigorous debate,
finding the most suitable and appropriate solutions.

As for the public chastising by the Sri Lankan President
of the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and his
explicit and implicit references to the U.K.'s and, more
generally, Europe's past mistakes and, sometimes,
brutal and criminal acts towards both other Europeans
and people of other Continents, the Sri Lankan Leader
is historically accurate and his comments do express
historical truths for which all Europeans feel a sense
of shame and burden. However, the Sri Lankan Leader
should also acknowledge that Europeans have, at the
same time, a great analytical ability and a substantial
sense of self-consciousness that have enabled them to
think about and analyze the origins, the nature and the
consequences of those mistakes and to spare no effort in
trying to correct those mistakes, not only in their own
Continental affairs, by forming a community of Nations
that would have been unimaginable even a few decades
ago, but also in going out and encouraging other parties
to adopt ways that would prevent them from running
into those same mistakes that have created such pain
and such severe injustices in the past. The Sri Lankan
President would do well to draw from those bitter and
unfortunate experiences of the Europeans, instead of
angrily chastising them for having gone through them.
This would save Sri Lanka and its Citizens from much
pain and from committing mistakes that can be avoided
based on other Nations experiences, rather than by
repeating them and going through those same needless
and unnecessary misfortunes.

The President has apologized, as he should, about the
mistakes and the omissions that have hampered the
launch of the implementation of his signature Affordable
Care Act. I am confident that, despite those issues that
have been, with justification, discussed and that have
provided ammunition for many skeptics of the Act, in
the long run the provisions and the effects will prove as
popular with the American electorate as have similar
provisions of many other social legislative initiatives.
Most people, even the ones that hold opinions contrary
to the expansion of government initiatives, do take full
advantage of social legislation and, off the record, are
very happy that this safety network exists, at least when 
it comes to their own interests and to taking care of
their own families and relatives. Many of them are,
unfortunately, less thoughtful and sympathetic when
these same advantages are shared by others.

What is most disturbing about the Toronto Ford affair
is not that the mayor of the city is a train wreck without
brakes or that he acted with a degree of stupidity at a
level probably unprecedented by any other similar act
(at least in recent memory). The mayor is a human being
and it is in humans' nature to err and commit serious
and not so serious blunders, and it is in human nature
to ignore them or to realize them and apologize either
sincerely or just to save what can or cannot be saved.
The most disturbing thing is that, unlike the case with
even much higher-ranked officials, like Presidents and
Prime Ministers, for which there is a well-structured
process of censure which can be followed in exceptional
circumstances to remove them from office and have
them replaced, when a situation gets out of hand and
they become a liability for their States, there does not
seem to be available in the polity of the City of Toronto
a method or procedure that the Council may follow
to remove the mayor from office. If, in fact, no such
process exists, it should be encoded into existing laws
and regulations; If it does exist, the party or parties
that are responsible to exercise this power just seem
to be reluctant to perform their obligations and carry
out the duties by which they are entrusted...

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.