Flu of misinformation and hypocrisy

An article from Ovi magazine

Conspiracy theories are not my thing and I have to admit that I always laughed at most of them. After all, turning to conspiracy theories means that you’re having problems accepting logic, ignoring how crazy any theory might sound. Back in the eighties when HIV AIDS stormed into our lives, especially when the first celebrities were caught in the storm, conspiracy theories blossomed. CIA had created the virus and lost control; there was even a laboratory somewhere in the USA that had created the virus as a lethal weapon against gays. Everybody seemed to forget that even cancer has existed throughout history, but doctors only identified it the last three centuries, and started focusing on it and doing research.

Humanity has experienced a lot of illnesses throughout history, many of them lethal. Illnesses often also became the focus of superstition, for instance the plague was blamed on Satan and heretics during the medieval period, instead of the lack of hygiene in the growing cities. Recently, Robert Mugabe, Africa’s caricature Hitler, blamed British intelligence for the cholera epidemic in Zimbabwe, instead of his own inability to help the people with basic needs such as clean water and food. The common factor in these cases, and I suppose in the majority of all cases, is not any kind of conspiracy theory, but the lack of necessary action. With this I mean distributing the right kind of information to deal with the problem – which points directly at the states and this is not … a conspiracy theory!

There is no conspiracy theory behind the swine flu and scientists have, often cynically, used their logic to explain in detail how the flu started and how it expands. They have exhibited studies and statistics that are not new – there is nothing new about swine flu – and they have explained defences and all that with the help of the World Health Organization, WHO. Doctors have been warned and informed on local levels, and most of them are prepared to deal with it. But despite all the information, people have stopped eating pork, and the number of flu victims is increasing internationally, adding one dead in USA and twelve in Mexico.

When I wrote that people have stopped buying pork meat, I was not joking. Actually the US Government, joined by Russia, China and another fifteen countries, have imposed restrictions on pork products imports from Mexico – I suppose you never know what a well made pork chop might give you. The best of all was when American Vice President Joe Biden said in a televised interview that he would not let his family fly by plane or be in an enclosed public place, like a cinema, while this thing is still going on. Biden’s interview was broadcast in the news all around the world. I saw them in Finland, and especially these comments gave the message that if the American vice president prefers to keep his family indoors to protect them, I better not move from my room!

The swine flu, according to most scientists, is not lethal, and I trust they know what they are talking about. Its lethality depends on the prevention and treatment of suspected patients, as well as the patient’s immune system. But apart from babies and very young people, or if somebody has serious problems with their immune system, swine flu is not the only enemy. So here we have, once again, misinformation and mishandled situations, from the very people that are obliged to protect us from exactly these situations, leading us to widespread panic!

Because how is anybody supposed to react to Biden’s comments and the American administration’s restrictions on import of pork products from Mexico, if not with panic?

The Mexican government correctly demands explanations from the governments of the states that put on these restrictions. The Mexicans are demanding explanations based on a scientific basis, highlighting the fact that consumers are not likely to check the origin of the pork steak or pork sausage they buy from the supermarket – they will just quit buying any pork product! Amazing! The EU on the other hand, tries to be clever by using marketing tricks and changing the name of the flu from swine flu to …a novel flu virus! Wow, that will definitely solve all the problems! Personally I have to admit that I have never seen a sausage or a pork steak sneeze at me, and if I ever see that I will definitely start believing that aliens have taken over the main governments and that together with Hoover they are all responsible for J.F. Kennedy’s assassination!

What the World Health Organization has failed to protect us from is the flu of misinformation and hypocrisy!

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The Article Nobody Wants To Read

An article from Ovi magazine by Alexandra Pereira

I know that I can be crucified for this article. But I don’t really care. It is my opinion, I have been thinking like that (and about that) for a long time. I think we should all consider it seriously and try to develop serious efforts in this sense. This is really about our balance as societies and individuals, and the prevalence of constructive and positive bonds over deception and global destruction.

We human beings know instinctively and through our life experiences that there are human beings among us who have moral holes, a moral vacuum, lack of empathy, extreme and destructive hate inside them, very cunning manipulative skills – all these characteristics harm both other individuals and the society, mining its long-term goals, destroying solidarity, spreading unseen or not witnessed crime and persecution, destroying bonds, potentials, dreams and lives. We cannot live deluded in wonderland saying to ourselves that such humans don’t exist. On the other hand, once we admit that such humans do exist, our knowledge brings responsibility with it: we have to recognize how harmful are the consequences of their actions and take serious measures to prevent those from happening.

Anybody who studied a bit of psychology or the functioning of the human mind knows that we can differentiate clearly several types of human personalities, and while many are constructive or innocuous, a few of them are extremely toxic, destructive by nature, cruel, unchangeable, extremely manipulative and harming to others. We know this is true, and the harm and pain that these personalities provoke in others, the destruction they leave behind them as well as their impunity, cannot be collectively ignored. It would be extremely irresponsible to do so.

Most people commit mistakes, are occasionally selfish, have flaws, have feelings, have guilt, have reparation needs, have dreams, have doubts, have occasional conflicts (and not extremely unsurpassable ones, as they also have a sense of negotiation, flexibility and empathy), mostly try to build positive relationships and bonds, they can lie occasionally about minor things with no greatly harming consequences, above all they love truth and its priceless outcomes for their lives, they have empathy, have feelings, have a sense of the right and wrong, have affective resonance and sensibility, have problems and dilemmas, suffer, have sense of humor, have creativity, have a sense of fidelity, a sense of community and a sense of responsibility, and a need to trust and bond in spite of anything.

We do know that the level of negative impact of the most harming personalities is profoundly and qualitatively different: they don’t feel guilt (but are experts in taking advantage of guilty feelings of others), they don’t have a sense of right and wrong (which allows any behaviour to be “legitimate”), they don’t feel or hardly feel anything (but can mimic human emotions masterfully), don’t have empathy and can’t feel true sadness, are unscrupulous, they hurt compulsively, emotionally blood-suck others, and have a deep love for lies and deception, a fatal attraction to power, they attack other humans’ self-esteem, self-confidence and reality perception in several ways, are sadistic, manipulate and cheat, and are driven by destruction impulses and death desires. They represent the dark side of humanity, where we don’t want to look in. And we know all those things about them also scientifically – it is not hard to understand, as it is part of everyone’s common experience.

Most people are in fact qualitatively different from psychopaths, sociopaths and narcissists – and that is what allows the latter to so drastically harm, manipulate and influence others, because they know it too (and are masters of using it for their own purposes, which logics often escapes most humans). We know scientifically that common people have relatively few defences against this. This is proven and felt by many. And this is something we can’t ignore once we know it. It is extremely urgent that we develop clear diagnosis methods for such personalities.

We have personality tests but we know that such individuals usually lie/deceive during both interviews and tests. We have polygraphs (which are expensive, not easily accessible instruments and not 100% reliable) based on merely physiological signs, but we know that especially these harming individuals can cheat the polygraphs. We know that we just have to try a little bit harder, and such instruments can be available… if we want to! The answer will probably come from both genetics and neurosciences’ research. We have detected the structures in our brain responsible for empathy and morality that took us a little bit closer. We also know the typical brain patterns of common people when they are depressed, and we know that the most harmful personalities can’t get depressed (although they can mimic cry at times, specially to manipulate others into doing, feeling or thinking something “useful” for them).

We know that we will be able to find at least specific brain functioning patterns (areas of brain activation, electrical patterns) in given situations, specific of these individuals, and the genetic characteristics of these personalities (genetic proof would probably be found faster and more unmistakably). We’re just this close, and we just need a push! Above all, we need will! Once we can do it, it will have profound effects on the way we see ourselves and the ones surrounding us. Once we can do it, there’s no return – thank God – to the illusory innocence of perverse masks and deceiving realities, but there will be abundant space and protection for the kind at heart, and for goodness and solidarity and constructive goals to grow both socially and inside our homes.

The key seems to be not in “perfecting” human races’ phenotype through genetics, like the Nazis wanted to, but in identifying the genotype of the most harmful human beings. We have to have objective ways of identifying the most harming and deceiving personalities. It is a matter of protecting citizens, but also a matter of survival of our societies at large. These individuals can commit personal crimes, social crimes and crimes against humanity. More than that: it would lead to deep social changes. That is why it demands political courage and determination, not only research, to do this. We wouldn’t have paradise on earth, but we would surely have more pleasant and safe societies. States would save billions in expenses. Nonetheless, some State members wouldn’t feel safe, as they could be subjected to such instruments too. This can be one of the obstacles to the development of these instruments.

Let’s be clear. I am not talking here about many teenager delinquents who act out. I’m not even referring to people who live in extremely poor social conditions and are forced to steal food or do something which is not completely legal because otherwise they won’t survive. I am not talking about them simply because many of these people don’t have such personalities. I am talking about deeply democratic and truthful instruments. These instruments do not serve law and political control; they serve humans and the goals and dreams of our collective societies (making them more liveable) and our individuals.

Because I am talking about the most harming, dangerous and deceiving personalities among us – the ones justice cannot prove or does not find enough evidence of their crimes, and personality tests cannot clarify while interviews don’t work because of manipulation and incredible acting skills by these individuals. Because they are qualitatively different and unchangeable, I truly believe there is a genetic basis for these personalities. Brain patterns and functioning (especially when asked certain questions) would prove the activity of such genetic traits, its characteristics and answers to the surrounding environment. Human justice is based on facts. Facts always demand a more or less high level of concreteness or scientific certainty. There’s no way around it.

Of course we could always turn to God’s mercy and justice. But this not only isn’t satisfactory, as it allows fellow humans to keep suffering at the hands of other humans. Giving a recent example: I’m sure that many people asked God to have mercy (and apply divine justice) of all the Nazis, including Mengele. Human justice was not applied. The results we are starting to uncover reveal that Mengele, for example, continued to harm other human beings at least 20-35 years after the Holocaust – this included medical and genetic crimes against others, with consequences at all human levels, at least for the inhabitants of an entire city, the city of Cândido Godoi, in Brazil. And certainly his actions included more details we don’t even know about yet.

Mengele was one of these personalities, as was Hitler, but we can find them in everyday bastards who harm and lie compulsively, serial killers, domestic abusers, white-collar criminals, paedophiles, rapists, extremely manipulative personalities, harmful narcissists and many people who… did not commit their crimes yet. We should think about it and demand something – something fair which we can achieve scientifically, which can avoid a great slice of human suffering, spiritual hindering and the jeopardizing of social well-being at all levels. If we can identify such individuals, our justice can be much more effective, our prevention capabilities can be much more efficient, first of all.

The priority should be identifying the ones who seem healthy but are extremely poisonous. Many traditionally considered “mentally hill” people hardly represent any serious danger for others or the society – we keep them away because we don’t want to see them. But the most harmful personalities are often among us and apparently “over-adapted”, while surreptitiously or progressively provoking depression, anger, anxiety, pain, devastation, grief and desperation in others. And only after identifying them should we start thinking if science can bring empathy to individuals who don’t have empathy and remorse to someone who has no remorse. I have no doubts that this is much more pressing than finding a cure for schizophrenia.

Musharraf’s end game

An article from the Ovi magazine

The first one has gone and it was about time. Pakistan’s dictator Pervez Musharraf resigned under the pressure of facing charges. Obviously he proved to have a bit of brain and just like Pinochet a few years ago he chose to leave power graciously with all the necessary compromises rather than in handcuffs.

I’m sure there was a drama in the White House when they found out and an even bigger one in CIA headquarters, but this is it, life is hard for the …allies!!! But was Musharraf an ally or just an opportunist that based his survival into the hands of Washington? I think the Pakistan desk in Washington has a lot to answer to both the president of USA and the conspiracy bosses in Langley, most likely they overestimated his power and they also underestimated his will to survive, perhaps his desperate will to survive.

Pakistan was never the perfect ally for the USA and in general the western world, and that has long and old roots. The truth is that the majority of the people are conservative religious Muslims to the limits of the Taleban, after all that was exactly what motivated them half a century ago to force split with India and nearly have a war between them. That’s exactly what separates them from the Indians despite their common battles they gave against the colonials. And the Pakistani were always suspicious towards even their own leaders when they were western educated and trained. Even towards Bhutto they were suspicious; don’t look now that Bhutto became a martyr in the fight against Musharraf’s dictatorship.

The Americans were too keen to find an ally in South East Asia, India despite the fact that it is the real super power in the area was not a trustworthy ally, too confident, too independent and often with one eye on Russia. Pakistan was the only alternative, a local power bordering with Iran and Afghanistan, not far from China, a perfect airplane carrier and the same time the perfect field for all the spy masters. And then along came Musharraf and his military coup.

No strong foundations and in need of support, strong support and he found it in the west, especially in George W. Bush, after all, their time in power started nearly at the same time. After 9-11 George W. Bush needed a good ally in the area and Musharraf looked perfect, so good that he was even invited on the ranch, called our best friend forgetting that the man had no real differences with Saddam.

When the Americans and, to an extent, the Europeans found out that the saying too good to be real worked with Musharraf it was too late. Musharraf had no real control in Pakistan, not that the people have, they are the victims but Musharraf had control only to his surroundings. The Pakistani security forces, strong elements of the state in Pakistan are shared, some of them even support the Taleban after all how can Bin Laden survive for so long if he didn’t have Pakistani help and the Americans due to their best friend Pervez might not like to admit it but the strongest cells of Bin Laden’s network work and settle in Pakistan. Most of them trained and armed from the Pakistani security forces in the same way Bin Laden himself was trained and armed by CIA.

The future of Pakistan now is a mystery, there are too many forces, a lot of them extreme that fight for power there and even Iran’s clerics dictators would like to have a bit of the country with the nuclear bombs and I have no doubts that this very moment they are having big meetings studying their next moves. But then again Musharraf was part of the problem and his presence as the head of the state made things much worse, at least now most of them will have to take off the masks and present their real faces.

Another side effect from the war in Iraq, the Americans moved all their interest to the invasion and occupation there – whatever is the name they might use now – and left the real problem in Afghanistan in the hands of a small NATO army and their hopes in Musharraf! And of course the Taleban are returning strong and with the support of the people this time! So the Americans are the next who definitely lost now with the fall of Musharraf and all their allies involved with the invasion in Iraq or not. If the Americans remember their European allies, the old Europe had often warned that we are losing focus; the war on terror is in the mountains of Afghanistan and not on the oil platforms of Iraq!!!

The only one who won in the end is again Musharraf himself because the last years the only thing in his agenda is how to avoid the court and the jail, how to come out of it gracefully and to my opinion he managed well. The reason I would like to see him in court is not revenge but justice. Because the next Musharraf must know that the will of the people and justice work in Pakistan and one way or another in the end they will have to deal with both of them. But he seems to escape at the moment and the only thing I can hope to see is for others to follow his example, like Zimbabwe’s Mugabe! As far Musharraf, his bosses might offer him a job in USA, you never know for as long he worked in Pakistan he served them well!

Torturing Aristotle

An article from the Ovi magazine

Is there any way to identify the meaning of the word ‘torture’? I grew up through a dictatorship and I heard unbelievable stories about torturing and methods of torturing, then after the dictatorship and all the cases came to the courts we saw pictures of the victims and their bodies, we heard detailed descriptions and we saw it in their eyes. I even have a friend who went through that during those dark days.

torture01_400But then I have another friend whose father used to beat his mother and lock him sometimes for a whole a day inside a dark closet. My friend in his early fifties and he still has nightmares of that time and when he left home at sixteen he never returned, he never spoke to his father again and, according to him, the best day of his life was when his mother left his father. Isn’t this torture? What’s the difference or what’s the distance between the two cases? I know I have too many questions but honestly I don’t know the answers. For me is just inhumane!

I have seen with my own eyes what torture means in Sudan and Sierra Leone, I saw torturing in South Africa and I saw victims of torturing in Chile. One night a very good friend of mine, a lecturer in the University of Buenos Aires, who was a political prisoner during the dictatorship, opened her heart after a few drinks and started telling me what she had gone through. In the beginning there were tears but after a bit the tears became sobs and then when she started telling me about the rapes the sobs became silence. Then I was in tears. Her words were torture for me who was just listening, who never went through the same things.

When I was fourteen the dictatorship’s police arrested me as a suspect – you see on top of everything I had long hair something that didn’t go down too well with the ethics of a dictatorship – for two hours I lost every sense of where I was and what was happening to me and the only sensation I had left was the taste of blood in my mouth. My crime? I was walking in a street at the wrong time! I’m serious, that was my crime and straight away I became a suspect, that’s how dictators think and until my family found out and until they come to save me I had two broken bones and a face you could hardly recognize that it was mine. And I was just …fourteen! That’s how dictatorships think!

torture02_400For years a family friend lived in real hell with a husband who never touched her in the sense beating her but living in constant sentimental blackmails that reached her life and the life of her own kids. The worst part was that she could never talk about them, just having to live her hell, full of threats and mental violence. Is that torturing? I don’t know and the longer I’m thinking more and more cases coming to my mind. I can only sense that torturing is not only the visual but there are many kinds even the sentimental or the blackmail, it’s all torture and it’s all inhumane and painful.

Oddly 2,500 years ago Aristotle pointed that any confession coming through torturing should not stand in any court, 2,500 years ago and in 1987 the United Nations signed a treaty against torturing to get a confession. In the year 2008 we have Guantanamo!!! We obviously learned nothing! And did they use torture all through history? The states did, the kings and the lords did, the bandits did and criminals did, dictators and warlords, even the churches did. The Inquisition, they made torturing science. In a museum in Spain I saw for the first time an iron maiden, not the rock group, and only the sight of it was enough to scare you so much to confess just anything not going through that.

And there are states that still practice torturing, George W. Bush’s administration has even legalized them in Guantanamo, I’m not joking, the water torture is consider a normal practice to make terrorism suspects to confess. Aristotle didn’t know anything about George W. Bush back then, he only knew about democracy, poor chap! What remains? For me to apologize to my ancient compatriot, if he was still alive most likely he would be victim of torturing as well!

Mugabe must go

An article from the Ovi magazine

Zimbabwe’s opposition leader, Morgan Tsvangirai announced that his party is pulling out from the elections stating that this election will not be fair and free, yet he automatically hands victory to the Africa’s unbelievable Hitler caricature, Robert Mugabe!

What else could he have done? I have no idea, but others including the UN and South Africa leaders as I have often pointed in the past, could have done many things. Disappointment? No, there was no way out of what was going on in this poor country and her people, with the other option was to go for an election with a predefined result, humiliation and the risk of the lives of his followers. That’s Mugabe’s Zimbabwe, and that’s what has become international responsibility.

International responsibility, instinctly and while I was writing this I was smiling. Think of what happened before the invasion to Iraq. The American president and the British prime minister spent hours and hours telling us that a vicious dictator had to end and it was the responsibility of the whole world to do that. It was international responsibility to save the people of Iraq from the dictator and gone far enough to call the sceptics of this invasion cowards and talk about the old and tired Europe. Should we expect now the same people do something similar? Should we expect this time the United Nations to join? After all it is for a humanitarian cause! Or this little element that missing from Zimbabwe and Iraq had will not let them move their ass? Of course you guessed right, I’m talking about oil!

There is no oil in Zimbabwe; there are no diamonds or uranium! There are beautiful valleys and farms, a lot of farms and most of all there poor people, really poor people and who gives a damn for the poor people but when it comes to oil tycoons, sheiks and caliphs they ready to ignore even the UN! But we should know, it has happened before and it was with Iraq all again. When Iraq invaded Kuwait all the world was ready within hours and at least for me it is a question why they didn’t finished the job but when Turkey invaded Cyprus apparently using exactly the same excuses nobody moved but again Cyprus might be a beautiful island for holidays but it doesn’t have any oil! So we won’t bother with Zimbabwe!

Mugabe’s Zimbabwe is hell on earth with gigantic inflation and the people with opinion either in prison or dead. For Mugabe there is only one reality ‘my way or the graveyard!’ – what’s then the reality for the alliance against evil? If you have oil we can save you if you don’t just …die? By the way George W. Bush has another six months to prove that everything said about Saddam didn’t stop there but it can apply to Mugabe as well. There is no difference between those two even though to my opinion Africa’s caricature Hitler is worst!

The final cut for Morgan Tsvangirai was what happened last weekend in Harare where his party had organized a rally in a central stadium and followers or better accomplices in crimes against humanity of Robert Mugabe gathered with a lot of help from the army, the police and Mugabe’s paramilitary groups; all armed ready for a warm welcome. So it is not anymore a case of democratic dialogue, is not a case of talking is a case of gang of murderers ready to do everything just to keep their seats and it is simple as that. Is just like gangster protecting their territories.

Mugabe must go and it is the turn of the international community to do something about it, increase the pressure and stop inviting Mugabe for dinner like stupidly Barroso did a few weeks ago. Mbeki, the president of South Africa and Ki-moon the General Secretary if the United Nations must increase radically the pressure, Mugabe must go!

Latest news from Zimbabwe: Morgan Tsvangirai has spent a second night in the Dutch embassy while Ki-moon and Mbeki decided to get actively involved with the situation

The challenge

An article from the Ovi magazine

Living in the EU I have seen refugees for decades coming not only for a better future but for the simple reason to save their and their children’s lives and the bitter truth is that in the beginning of the twenty-first century the refugee reality becomes more and more challenging for all the world.

refugees01At this very moment more than forty million people all around the world have become refugees escaping from their homes, roots and countries because of violence and persecution and this doesn’t include a lot more millions that were forced to immigrate due to economic reasons. In contrast with the economic immigrants who are aiming the industrial west, refugees are often forced to escape anywhere as long they can survive away from their home violence and most of time anywhere is better than home.

refugees02_400And it is not only a civil war, warlords or a dictatorship the only reasoning, homosexuality is punished with death in most of the Middle East and Arab countries with Iran championing. And it doesn’t stop in the dark dictatorships, in Turkey to say anything about a Kurdish state or against the army means imprisonment, in Zimbabwe if you don’t agree with Mugabe you are an English spy and you endanger your life, in the ‘secure’ Iraq people sleep with a gun under their pillow.

People nowadays due to expanding information are more aware of their rights and rightfully they demand them, often having to face with a hard and injustice state. So you find people asking for the refugee’s status from the most surprising countries. The same time waves of refuges have to deal with local xenophobia and sometimes racism with latest example the embarrassing events in Soutrefugees03h Africa. The role of the hosting states becomes increasingly serious as well having except provide shelter and protection but to advocate and help to build a new life and this is were all the challenges start.

The role of the UN and the Refugee Agency is critical since they are oblige to make reality all the above, lead and help the host countries and most of all put a blueprint for all the government to secure health, education and protection for the refugees.

What we have to understand is that these people didn’t have a choice; the alternative to their fleeing would have been their life. And I have no idea how bold to make that for everybody to understand it, to tell you imagine living the circumstances that led them to their action is nothing to the reality they lived. Just think that 30,000 kids die every single day with the majority of them victims of wars and conflicts; just think what thousands of other kids have seen while our kids were playing in the park or at the seaside.

I don’t know if there is anything else to say but give a chance to these people who had none in their own homes.

Perhaps a cancer in Europe

An article from the Ovi magazine

There is something that I have often emphasized, that Africa or south-east Asia are very far away in our minds, much more than they are in reality, and we have connected the embarrassing acts of our times, like human and drug trafficking, with these corners of the earth. The connection is not entirely unfair since a lot happens and there are states like the dictatorship of Myanmar that champion human and drugs trafficking; actually, the dictators of Myanmar hold the record in both ‘sports.’

There is a saying that the camel can see the other camel’s back better than hers and somehow I have the feeling that the same comes to Europeans, we can see the ‘camel’s back’ with the African countries but we cannot see it when it happens with a country inside the European borders, a country that has been accused more and more from NGOs and organizations for human trafficking, women and children and an uncontrollable drugs trafficking. The accusations go as far as the prime minister and his inner circle, or better, say his family, since governing and family has become the same thing in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. Actually, more and more countries talk openly nowadays for the situation in this country and what will happen after Kosovo will be recognized as a new democracy.

FYROM has a lot of open issues with Kosovo whether they like or not and the whole dispute with Greece, while they know that they are wrong it has nothing to do with the reality that their state is in serious dangerous to fall in non-existence in the next ten years. The borders with Kosovo are not very clear and the Albanians have dreams about the land – lands that don’t include the name FYROM. Does Nicola Gruevski, FYROM’s prime minister know all that?

Of course he does and what happened during the elections between the Albanians in FYROM was enough to make him worry, that’s why he has turned to blind nationalism, that’s why he threatens all around. But the thing is for how long this policy of self-delusion is going to continue and not to forget the other element of the equalization that keeps him in place of the Bush administration. You see, I was really careful not to use the Americans because with the end of George W. Bush administration a lot of the mysterious plans in the Balkans are going to be terminated. The word ‘mysterious’ was accurate since nobody knows what this temporary, yet best in size, American army base is doing in the area.

Suspicions? A lot! After all, the American secret services have proved often in the past that they can cooperate even with the devil himself if that serves their interests. Perhaps between Kosovo and FYROM is based the alternative, even darker Guantanamo. Perhaps the American secret services can pretend to be blind when women and children are sold like slaves and drugs change routes. Perhaps it serves when the responsible traffic policeman behind all this is accidentally the prime minister’s favorite cousin and head of the secret police. Perhaps in exchange he turns a blind eye for all that happen with the rumored planes that land with prisoners. Perhaps all the talking in the Albanian villages in FORUM is not lies! Perhaps this country is doomed by its own actions and choices.

That would explain Gruevski’s rush for FYROM to become a member of NATO and that would explain Bush’s support, CIA interest and Rice’s hysterics. When Greece vetoed this membership I’m sure it had no idea of what would soon come out, perhaps there were rumors but now these rumors have expanded into reports that increasingly become more chilling and the way Gruevski practiced democratic elections last month reminded more of a dictatorship and one of the worst kinds.

The dramatic thing is that this all happens in Europe not Africa, not in south Asia and the hypocrisy of the whole thing is that Gruevski will dare the coming December to apply for an EU membership. EU was pretty sensitive when Austria elected for chancellor somebody known for his extreme-right opinions, now is time to practice this sensitivity with FYROM showing to Mr. Gruevski that there is no place for his kind in Europe and all the human and drugs trafficking is a total embarrassment for the EU and must stop yesterday, this cancer that has grown in Europe must be terminated now!

Japan’s environmental worries

An article from the Ovi magazine

Whatever logic I use I cannot understand it when countries like Japan seriously announce that they are going to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 60 to 80% but all that by the year 2050! This is two generations from now and I presume my grandkids will be adults and me …well long dead!

I’m not trying to be dramatic, after all if you spend a couple of hours in the internet searching environmental issues it is enough to scare the shit out of you and start planning a shelter for you and your family, or better start praying to whatever you might believe. I think the truth is not exactly there but it is not half way either. I believe that we still have time to do something; we just need to listen to the experts and follow their advice without any hysterics and neurotic reactions. There is a problem and the last five years it has been obvious even to the nonbelievers that it’s a fact. There is responsibility for all the environmental problems we have and this responsibility is collective to all of us, from the single house hold and the way we treat our immediate environment to governments and of course international economic interests. That’s another fact!

Solution; well, this is the part I don’t feel so sure and the main reason is that the scientists haven’t manage to analyze the exact damage and calculate the timing. When the tsunami hit south Asia we were all shocked and we all pointed the responsibility of the human factor to the event. That didn’t mean that it was the first time we had a tsunami, I think Lisbon is one of the European cities that has met the catastrophic effects of a tsunami. What changed everything was the unbelievable loss of human lives. Tsunamis happened before and they will probably happen again, the thing is that in the beginning of the 21st century the loss of tens of thousands of lives is unexpected and unexcused. What caused this loss of life it was not the tsunami itself, it was the lack of natural defenses and this is a fact. It was not the lack of natural defenses but the lack of artificial ones as well. The local governments instead of protecting their own people gave license to open more and more hotels destroying an environment that was able to defend itself under any circumstances and it has done before.

Look what happens in the rain forest in South America. Cutting the forest doesn’t destroy the environment, destroys first of all the lungs of the earth regarding filtering the air – it is funny but this is one of the things we learn from our very first years at school, trees filter the air – but these rainforest do something far more important, they are natural defenders before natural catastrophes. Or better natural catastrophes are the result of lacking natural defenses. New Orleans is the best example, don’t tell me that the biggest scientific and material power in the world didn’t have the right warning and the right equipment to prevent the catastrophe, they were just ignoring that with every new meter of concrete they destroy a meter of natural defenses.

What I’m trying to say is that our responsibility as humanity for the destruction of the environment and the coast of thousands and thousands of lives is huge and the sooner we realize it the better. We are not causing tsunamis and earthquakes but with our actions we are responsible of the human loses. And who is the best to put some rules, who is more than any other responsible to put the blueprint so we can prevent these catastrophes and this loss, the state, even better the international community represented from the UN.

Now the state has a dual role, to listen and decide which means experts advising and experts decide, politics have no room in these decisions. Actually politics was what led to those wrong decisions, politics was what made states give license for cutting the rainforest, politics was what let all this uncontrolled building areas that should be protected, politics and in extent greed was what build all these factories without any care for the damage they bring in long term. The destruction of the ozone layer is another example of this, nobody took an axe destroying the ozone layer on the earth sky, what we did it was destroying its defenses and now we are called to repair the damage. And we can do that as I said without hysterics and with a program. But this demands an active support and leading role of the states especially the ones who have the activist role in this destruction.

Don’t worry I’m not going to blame all to the industrial west, all the states have their responsibilities. Is not the industrial Europe responsible for the destruction of the rain forest it is mainly the local governments leading the Brazilian government that even now with the populist Silva sells out the last defenses of the earth to the big forest companies for just a few dollars more. The African governments have their share when they became the backyard of the nuclear waste for all the industrial countries all around the world and that …for a few dollars more. The Asian government that decided in one night to compete the industrial west using humans as slaves and ignoring any security warnings. And yes, the industrial west that seen the results of their action inside their countries they are still thinking how to react.

Japan is a beautiful and overpopulated country; I know, I lived there for a period and I learn to love this country. But in the name of the industrial revolution a country without materials, that has to import nearly everything stormed in the industrial area conquering everything but with what cost? They ignored the environment including the humans as big element of this environment. They tighten their future and their survival with the economic growth and their industry and now they have no way to escape from this path. Changing route will mean changing a way of life that has become their nature the last century. Amazingly a nation that loves so much nature, apparently worships nature has become so depending from artificial surroundings. That’s a nation that totally lost their path and they need to find their way back.

The new Japanese Prime Minister Yasho Fukuda shows that he misses the point as well. I’m not sure if that’s because of politics or because he really has forgotten and the tragic thing with the Japanese politicians is that they all stand on the need of return to traditions while they fly further and further away from the traditions that created the Japanese nation and the nature they love so much to give names from the nature to all their women.

Next month the G8 meet again and this time environment is the main agenda. The Japanese prime minister tried to show that Japan is there strong and ready to do her part. After failing the Kyoto protocol I think that this is hypocrisy and the year 2050 without any hysterics seems too far away and I’m afraid that the same way the Japanese prime minister forgot how it was to enjoy the clean nature it will be the same for my grandkids who will think that a picnic in the fields and living without an asthma mask is something ancients used to do!

Ovi today!

Let My Children Go: World Efforts to Eliminate the Worst Forms of Child Labour by Rene Wadlow
June 12 is World Day Against Child Labour. It marks the arrival of hundreds of children in Geneva, part of the Global March against Child Labour that had crossed 100 countries to present their plight to the International Labour Organization.

Japan’s environmental worries by Thanos Kalamidas
I cannot understand it when countries like Japan seriously announce that they are going to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 60 to 80% but all that by the year 2050! This is two generations from now and I presume my grandkids will be adults.

An Ethiopian Strongman Meets The Minnnesota Anuak by Doug McGill
The burning question in the days before the tense meeting held here last Saturday was: How would the traumatized survivors of an accused mass killer greet the very person who had planned their doom?

Medien in der Friedensbildung und Konfliktvermeidung Bericht über Global Media Forum by Leila Dregger
Was können Medien und Journalisten tun, um Friedensbildung weltweit zu unterstützen? Die Deutsche Welle lud zu dieser Frage zu einem weiteren “Global Media Forum” ein, und fast 900 internationale Medienschaffende…

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!