Chavez: The next American Idol

An article from the Ovi magazine

When everybody was talking about Venezuela’s Che I was a bit sceptical! When everybody was talking about the Venezuelan economic miracle I was wondering and when the Spanish king told Chavez to shut up I was relieved.

Nobody knows what would have happened to Che if he was alive and the myth of his death created an icon the size of a rock & roll star; but judging from his brief life, the things he said and the things he did, I doubt if he would have become a relic like Castro. Che always put humans before anything, including ideologies, and you might think that I am being romantic but I feel that it is sacrilege to compare Che with Hugo Chavez.

Hugo Chavez often makes me feel like he’s coming out of a reality show called the “American Revolutionary” where all the scenery and the scenario are inspired from Woody Allen’s film Bananas. I even went so far to read a couple of his speeches to find out that a big part of them didn’t make sense. He’s a populist who is ready to say anything so long as the audience will scream his name happily. Of course giving petrol in ridiculous prices, especially to the poor, and the ones who needed it is good and if you put aside the greediness of the oil companies there is a reason for putting taxes on the petrol. The money the states make supposedly goes back to the people by creating schools and hospitals, but please don’t tell me that Venezuela has solved all these problems – do they have enough schools and perfect hospitals? I think Venezuela is far from having a good education and health system.

And then there is another catch that holds me back when it comes to Chavez, the man is always too ready to protect and demonstrate about USA and the EU, emphasizing their lack of respect to the poor and defenceless. He’s talking about human rights and Guantanamo, yet at the same time he’s building his own Guantanamo. Venezuela hasn’t manage to champion human rights, on the contrary, Hugo Chavez found himself a lot of times having to excuse his actions with the opposition, the students, the workers and a number of other issues but his latest decision with the law for spying he definitely touches the limits that will turn him from a controversial leader to a dictator.

His excuse was to guarantee national security, prevent assassination plots and military rebellions. Leave aside the national security excuse, it has been used so many times and for so many reasons that it has lost the meaning; in the end we will hear even bin Laden talking about Afghanistan’s national security and we will not be surprised. Prevent assassination? From the very beginning Hugo Chavez has shown signs of persecution mania and with a little help from CIA’s war games it turned into an obsession. The thing is how far it goes his feeling that he is an assassination target and how far it goes his problem in see enemies around who want to kill him.

Don’t forget that we have another contemporary example of a leader who sees enemies everywhere who try to kill him, Africa’s caricature Hitler Robert Mugabe. And Mugabe has taken it one step further, first he accuses his victims for being English spies that follows with the accusation of assassinations against him – it will end with a dead body in the wild. Is this the path that lies in front of Chavez?

And where does this enemy and spy identity stop? For a man with a persecution mania anybody who’s opposing him can easily become a spy, an instrument of the enemy and in this case anybody can be the enemy depending on the mood. In Mugabe’s case just everybody who opposes him is an English spy. This new law also demands from the Venezuelans to cooperate with the secret services and the police into unveiling enemies of the state and spies. But we have lived the same much too often in the past where a personal dispute was enough to lead people in front the firing squad.

Last, the excuse for military rebellion really made me laugh because it definitely has the flavour of South American banana dictatorship threats and I think it was mainly for internal use warning Venezuelans, it is either a military junta or me!


Don’t let it be

An article from the Ovi magazine

Kids live their darkest times, not that they ever lived any better times since they have been the victims all through human history, but what they have to deal with today in the beginning of the 21st century with all this social and scientific advance is nearly unbelievable. Paedophilia is nothing new and has existed since the beginning of history and in some times it was not even a taboo and a crime, the use of kids as slavery is something that we saw even at the beginning of the last century, crimes with kids as the victims are immeasurable from the beginning of history. But we thought that humanity evolved.

And when I’m talking about evolution I don’t mean the physical or the technical evolution of the society but the social evolution where humanity became better and more aware of the environment as a wide meaning. Actuality and environment, where humanity realized the crucial part it plays and its role in this gigantic chain for survival, should evolve to something better. Respect to others’ rights didn’t even exist two centuries ago and it was a case of personal honour and ethics; nowadays there are laws to protect human rights and most importantly to protect the defenceless, much more to protect the kids. But what happens when the ones who are oblige to protect the innocent and the kids turn to be the bad wolves?

A leading UK charity organization, the organization Save the Children, accused peacekeepers in Ivory Cost, Sudan and Haiti for sexually abusing kids as young as six-years-old. The dramatic part of it is that this is not the first time peacekeepers have been accused for similar cases and it still remains to find the truth what happened in the former Yugoslavia and the many places the peacekeepers where based and there is a lot of talking for similar accusations.

A thirteen-year-old girl has already described in an interview how ten UN peacekeepers gang-raped her in a field near her Ivory Coast home and I quote her own word, “They grabbed me and threw me to the ground and they forced themselves on me… I tried to escape but there were 10 of them and I could do nothing. I was terrified. Then they just left me there bleeding.” Despite her testimony and recognizing her tormentors no action was taken against the soldiers. When the UN was informed and received a full report from the organization including a series of testimonies the answer was that they will study the report …closely!

According to the same organization, the testimonies they managed to collect were very few even to give an idea of the reality since most of the kids are scared to report anything in front the authority of the UN so the majority of these crimes go unpunished giving the criminals a chance to repeat their crime again and again. The UN spokesman, Nick Birnback, said to international media that it was impossible to ensure “zero incidents” within an organization that has up to 200,000 personnel serving around the world. “What we can do is get across a message of zero tolerance, which for us means zero complacency when credible allegations are raised and zero impunity when we find that there has been malfeasance that’s occurred,” he added.

I’m really sorry but I find his excuses very poor and sad. It’s pathetic if we excuse crimes like that blaming them on …human nature and I demand a better and more careful evaluation for the peacekeepers from the UN and the responsible officers. These people are not just soldiers, they are ambassadors of peace and arguments like …zero instincts have no room here but in a mercenary army out of a Rambo film! I’m not going to go after Ban Ki-moon, the UN General Secretary, I thought from the very beginning that he was the wrong person for the seat and unfortunately he hasn’t proved me wrong; but the act and the UN’s reaction probably shows that there is something seriously wrong with our society where we can excuse acts like that arguing about human nature.

A letter to a failed EU

An Article from the Ovi magazine

Dear Mr. President of the European Union, dear Mr. and Mrs. Commissioners and dear Mr. and Mrs. National representatives of the 27 nations in the European Parliament, I know you have been really busy with the relationship between the EU and Russia and constantly worrying about who is going to be the next president of the USA, so you have missed something basic: European citizens are being led to bankruptcy fast, here and now, and you haven’t done anything to prevent it.

In the name of European Unity and a better future we saw you all hurrying an expansion from 17 countries to 27 without preparing both, not the 17 neither or the 10 new ones. Poland did fantastic negotiations trying to take the best from Europe ignoring – and this is not Poland’s fault – that what they took and what they negotiated somebody has to pay for and in this case it is the citizens of the European Union, including the Polish citizens who became overnight the other members of this union. Ironically, part of these things that their government earned supposedly for them they now have to pay themselves. How? The glorious V.A.T. of course!

Careful, I’m not against the European expansion, on the contrary, I believe that the European Union should include every single European country to be considered a real European Union, after all the things that unite us are much, much more than the things that separate us; and I hope the missing countries like Serbia and, yes, Russia will also join soon. Regarding Turkey, I have my objections which have nothing to do with religion or my personal origins – something that has been wrongly pointed before – , but with the fact that Turkey is not a European country and if we make Turkey a member of the EU then there is no reason for not accepting Morocco and Egypt who would love to become members of the EU, or Israel and replace the UN with EU.

Turkey can have a special economic relationship with EU but this where everything should stop. And be careful, here I’m not judging how close or how far away Turkey is for what Europe points as criteria for a candidate member regarding democracy, human rights, respect to others and many more unanswered issues.

But to return to our theme, at the same time the European Commission was hurrying into an unprepared expansion they were also establishing a common currency, the Euro. What they were dreaming of was a currency that could bring a balance between Europe and the USA that would, firstly, help the exports that were suffering over the last few years and help the passage between people and products inside the European Union. Obviously missing again the greediness of an uncontrolled market full of multinational companies, with no organized protection for the consumer in fear of inflation with a result the consumers, the citizens of this union find themselves with prices increasing locally from 20% to 100%.

Approximation, that’s the name of the crime because it was a crime. Something that cost 89 cents with the old national currency in a period of months became one euro. And then most of them with excuses like the cost of adaption to the new currency have increased the prices another 20%.

The cost of life for a family with one kid where both parents must work – this is another failure of the system – suddenly became sky-high because, aside from the supermarket bill, the cost of land followed to make it sometimes impossible to cope with the rent or a loan that would really match the needs of the family, which was then followed by poor salaries and the blackmail of unemployment. The choice of the word was correct; unemployment has been used often from the employees as blackmail for pathetic and low salaries with the cover of the states.

In the name of the profit of the shareholders, companies fire hundreds of workers. I’m sorry but this is crossing the line, because some fat ass makes money sitting on his sofa eating hamburgers and he didn’t like the amount of the profit he did that evening hundreds of people lose their job. Am I a cynic? How far am I from the truth? This was supposed to be the union of the European citizens, not the union of the multinational industries and companies with the European citizens as the cheap labor.

The oil prices were the final hit. The increasing oil prices have become the next excuse of increasing all the prices from 25% to 50%. All the prices, from the milk I get from the supermarket to the shoes got higher in one night. The excuse? Oil prices! So the supermarkets want to tell me that they were totally empty last night and they filled their shelves this morning but due to the cost of oil and because the trucks that brought them those products this morning, please don’t forget this small detail, everything happened this morning; they had to increase the price of milk. Of course my salary remains the same! Again I suspect all has to do with a greedy market and stock holders you missed to control or put some rules on their games.

What can you do? Are you seriously asking me? When you applied for the damn job, when you asked for my vote you had read the job description and you had assured me that you were going there to protect me and help me. Well you failed and you screwed me! Because in the beginning I had to use my credit card but things kept getting more expensive and my salary the same, so I had to take the loan and things kept going more expensive and the time came for the payback you told me that the law says that … I lose my house!

You failed to protect the simplest elements that give every citizen of this union a life with dignity, you failed to protect the European citizen of the visual enemy, a greedy multinational market that you were oblige to control. You led people to poverty and I’m sorry to say you are fully responsible for that. All my life I believed that you shouldn’t ask what the state does for you but what you do fir the state and I was thinking the same about the European Union since I strongly believed that this union of people and effects was there for our common prosperity. But that meant that you would fulfill your side of the deal and you failed me, so don’t expect me now to do my part.

Actually, at this moment, my worry is not what I’m doing for the state but if my kid will find food on the table and I feel insecure in the world you have create for me and my child!

Talking to the deaf

An article from the Ovi magazine

It has been a long time since I wrote anything about Iran and that’s not because we are lacking news from Teheran or quotes from its president but because the man so often crosses the line so much that I’m speechless and cannot think of anything to write except… Man, shut your mouth, you are dangerous! The problem is that when I think of that I then read the new threats by an American politician and that makes me think that this is a totally idiotic situation.
When Ahmadinejad, Iran’s puppet president, demands the destruction of Israel you think that the man is not only an idiot but a dangerous idiot, but what can you call the US presidency hopeful Hillary Clinton when she’s warning that if Iran continues with nuclear plants she will bomb the country; she will start another war in the area? You might say that Hillary says things like this for internal use trying to attract voters who want a US international supreme police, judge and executioner. Yet, then again, how many of these people can drive a foreign policy by threatening a war that will definitely push the Middle East even further into the dark? How strong these few voters are? And if there are so many to influence foreign policy then Obama has bigger problem than he thought!

My position for this issue has been very clear from the very beginning. I’m strongly against using nuclear power for energy and that is not because I’m blinded by the dark side of the nuclear power; I have the logic to understand the need of energy in the modern world and I do understand that nuclear is one option but I’m against the use of it because there are three unsolved factors. First of all the cost is not lower, especially now we are talking about new generation nuclear plants. When governments talk about cheaper energy they mean the cost of energy after the plant is fully working but nuclear plants don’t just grow in the field one spring day, they need a huge amount of money and effort to be built and naturally all the costs lay on the consumers in the end. The use of electricity hasn’t become cheaper in Finland because there are four nuclear plants and definitely will not become cheaper after building the fifth and sixth.

The second worrying factor is the nuclear waste. Most of the countries that use nuclear power for energy have problems with nuclear waste and after poisoning oceans and African countries now they have to store this waste in their own country without been able to calculate the damage they do. Finland is using an old cave to store the nuclear waste in north western Finland but the damage which most of the scientists describe it is to be seen after two or three generations. To understand how dangerous that is you just need to look the mistakes two or three generations did in the last decades and the damage they have done to the earth today. How different things would have been if back in sixties and seventies we had done some simple things to protect environment, things we were aware back then anyway. How different would have been for metropolis like Los Angeles, London, Tokyo or even Athens cities that have become environmental monsters with their pollution and citizens with constant asthma problems.

And then it is the third factor, the human factor! All the accidents happened in nuclear plants from the Three Miles Island to Chernobyl a human error was what started the disaster and whatever they do, however much robotics develop, concrete on the cell becomes stronger and heavy water purer a human will press the right or the …wrong button in the end. Please don’t tell me that the people who work in these places are experts and fully aware of their work because the same responsible experts a few years ago sent the Challenger spacecraft to death by using cheaper material due to budgets and costs; and I’m taking the official excuse avoiding all the theories for enriching bank accounts and corrupted directors. The human error can happen in any level of the nuclear reactor and the result …well nobody knows for how long the area and the people who lived around Chernobyl when the accident happened will have to deal with and pay the cost often with their own lives. Sorry for been dramatic or cynic but nobody knows how many generations, especially young kids will have to deal with leukaemia because of a …human error.

This has nothing to do with Iranians capability to handle a project like a nuclear plant, first of all if you check all the scientific centres you will be surprised how many Iranian scientists you will find and Three Miles Island was not in Teheran or in any Third World country!

But human error is the choice to turn an otherwise for peaceful use nuclear reactor into a nuclear bomb – this is not literal but I know you understand what you mean. I do understand the logic behind this balance of horror, actually my generation in Europe lived it, and we were learning naively how to cover ourselves behind concrete walls in a case of nuclear war like there was any chance to be saved from the invisible power. And it did work but why do we have to continue a mistake just because it didn’t prove lethal the first and the second time? It needs only one time to destroy us all and there is no trial period in that.

The US and Russia are not the only ones living in this balance of terror, Pakistan and India do the same, Pakistan a country proved corrupt at every level from the ones we call terrorists, the Taliban. But then neither the Indians who have nuclear bombs nor the Pakistani people are worrying. Neither leader ever said that they are planning to eliminate the other country and both even in the worst of times when there were minor conflicts in Nepal tried to find ways through diplomacy.

Ahmadinejad on his side has called provocatively for the elimination of Israel; he has used the most prejudice often racist language for the people who are his neighbours damaging in the end every single right the Palestinians might have in their conflict with Israel since they are Ahmadinejad’s excuse to show his haters against Israel. The people who ruling Iran are dangerous and they are in an dangerous are where people blinded of their cause can become suicide bombers without caring how many innocent they are going to take with them. This is the human element that makes Iran a dangerous country to have a nuclear plant and in extent the ability to have nuclear weapons, the word weapons of mash distraction takes a different meaning in the hands of the Iranian cleric dictators and fanatics.

And when you feel that you made your argument and that there was logic in it Hillary comes and threatens with a war and you feel like talking to deaf for so long!

Ovi magazine, Copycats and Nokia

First of all, we want to thank reporters, journalists and bloggers because they are the only ones who have seen what Mr. Nikula missed and hopefully the legal department of Nokia Corporation will not ignore. Mr. Nikula unethically ignored that there was already an Ovi magazine in Finland that had been well-established since December 2004 well before he ever created his copycat.

Read the original story here:

The fact that there is an internet link with the same name was a major clue, plus when he was forced to choose a name like Ovi dash something. Actually he missed that there is Ovi Lehti, Ovi Sanomat, Ovi Junior, Ovi Cartoons, Ovi iKritic, Ovi-magazine, Ovi stories, Ovi iBite and many others that belong to Ovi magazine and are registered to Chameleon Project, never forget the Ovi Bad Boys weekly radio show that is announced to all the Finnish newspapers and magazine; none of which are for sale. Fortunately reporters and bloggers did notice and they are aware of the major ethical injustice.

We like to emphasize this ‘not for sale’ because the Ovi magazine is not just an internet magazine but it is an idea with a heart and soul that hosts from its establishment in 2004 the ideals of democracy, freedom of speech and the exchange of opinion. Human rights, domestic abuse, the plight of children have been among just a few of the worthy causes we have championed, while simultaneously offering a platform for the work of new writers and illustrators, from Finland and from all around the world. That makes us a universal family that cannot be estimated in money.

Unfortunately, through leaks to the press, we discovered that Mr. Nikula is negotiating the sale of his copycat magazine and the Ovi trademark to Nokia Corporation. We trust that this is just a wishful thought and that Nokia Corporation will search a little bit better as to what is going on behind the name Ovi magazine.

Our four years of hard work advocating freedom of speech was recognised and rewarded by Newropeans, while we have had cooperation with many national and international magazines, such as Ydin magazine, Europe & Us, Agenda magazine, Books from Finland, EU-MAN, Free magazine, Newropeans-Magazine, OneWorld, Psihadi magazine and more. We have relationships with Non-Governmental Organizations, such as Reporters without Frontiers and Finland’s International Cultural Center CAISA, and the site receives well-over 20,000 visitors a week – the numbers literally increase day after day. We are considered a well-established magazine and trademark internationally and Ovi magazine has been reference for hundreds of sites and blogs from all around the world.

We have always believed that this was an issue of ethics should it ever come to a court house – where, as we are well-informed by experts, we can easily win the case – and it comes as a surprise that, according to leaks to the press, some representative of the Nokia Corporation said that they had never heard of us. It is a simple enough task for them to Google, Yahoo, MSN, Ask Jeeves or whatever else to locate the name Ovi and then find us straight away. Of course we didn’t financially invest in the promotion and push of Ovi magazine, like an international corporation can do, but the thousands of articles, the thousands of links and references to our work, even from Wikipedia and most of all the thousands readers keep us on the top in every search engine.

The fact that the copycats of the printed Ovi magazine ignored us, despite the fact that we could open a case anytime demanding a large percentage of their profits, which they knew, doesn’t excuse an international corporation like Nokia maintaining the same attitude. We are expecting their telephone call before investigating our legal rights on what they plan to pay the copycat because we want to know whether it is true and not a wishful greedy act of somebody who wants to increase his lost popularity.

It has been a justifiable question as to why we didn’t take the case to the court. From the very first moment, other than the support that came from every side and every corner of Finland including employees of the certain magazine, we believed that there is justice that punishes the unethical and the failure of the magazine from its second issue to reach anybody in Finland was proof.

Regarding the money behind this case, we believe that the people who read this magazine and have seen the path we have followed and the fights we have given over the last four years for democracy, for justice, against poverty and have realized the hours, the effort and the financial cost we have put in this magazine will know in their heart of hearts whether we are after the money!

The Ovi Team

How Bizarre!

From Ovi magazine 

Browsing the news daily we often miss the little bits of news at the bottom of the page. They are often funny, sometimes weird, and they give us a new perspective on life, so here’s the next in our new column series: How Bizarre!

A vat of liquid cow manure covering the area of five football fields and 33 feet deep is California’s most alternative new energy. On a dairy farm in the Golden State’s agricultural heartland, utility PG&E Corp began on Tuesday producing natural gas derived from manure, in what it hopes will be a new way to power homes with renewable, if not entirely clean, energy.

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A certified nurse’s assistant has been arrested on suspicion of indecent exposure after “mooning” two co-workers while on the job at the Frasier Meadows Assisted Living Center, according to Boulder police. Two nurses told police that Suzanne Mueffelmann, 42, of Longmont, flashed her buttocks outside the room of a Frasier Meadows resident, according to an arrest report.

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minigunhandll_468x348_400The SwissMiniGun is the size of a key fob but fires tiny 270mph bullets powerful enough to kill at close range. Officially the world’s smallest working revolver, the gun is being marketed as a collector’s item and measures just 2.16 inches long (5.5cm). It can fire real 4.53 bullets up to a range of 367ft (112m). The stainless steel gun costs £3,000 although the manufacturers also produce extravagant, made-to-order versions made out of 18-carat gold with customised diamond studs which sell for up to £30,000.

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People who do not drink alcohol may finally have a reason to start — a study published on Friday shows non-drinkers who begin taking the occasional tipple live longer and are less likely to develop heart disease. People who started drinking in middle age were 38 percent less likely to have a heart attack or other serious heart event than abstainers — even if they were overweight, had diabetes, high blood pressure or other heart risks, Dr. Dana King of the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston and colleagues found.

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An art display which invited the public to put live goldfish through a food blender did not constitute cruelty to animals, a Danish court has ruled. The goldfish were placed on display swimming in the blenders, and visitors were told they could press the “on” button if they wanted. At least one visitor did, killing two goldfish.

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Police wrangled a gigantic pink bunny from atop an overpass above Interstate-95 in Palm Beach Gardens this morning. “He was a hazard,” said a Gardens dispatcher, and apparently causing quite a traffic back up to boot. The fuzzy culprit turned out to be the Buzz Bunny, who is promoting Buzz 103.1 FM’s upcoming adult Easter egg hunt.