Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Italy

Clowns without Borders on the borders of Italy and Slovenia

#balkans March 5th 2018:

Yesterday we were performing for Pakistani refugees staying at the borders of Italy and Slovenia!

They don’t know what will happen to them, will they be deported? will they be able to stay? Some have been waiting for two years now, they just don’t know yet!

In the afternoon, and just like that, we crossed the border from Italy to Slovenia and performed in Ljubljana for Roma, Serbian Bosnian and Iraqi refugees.

On the train today, passport control! I was the only one asked to empty my bag so they can search it… and search me! Making sure I am not a threat !

And it happened that I was reading “ Charlotte” a book by David Foenkinos, following the life of a German Jewish painter growing up in the times of Nazis, the deportation, the atrocities, the inhumane behaviors, and finding refuge that ended up with death!

Brunner who said “ all of those deserve to die, they were sent by the devil and they’re the garbage of humans”!

Here we are, years later, same thing happening to many other populations and in many different forms!

There’s always someone who thinks that someone else is the garbage of humans deserving to die and there’s some of the oppressed nations/ groups who’ve become even worse oppressors now, while brand new oppressors have also appeared!

And We, humans, we’re mostly watching and nodding ! (The same silent majority, tacitly siding with the state positions)

On the train from Slovenia to Serbia, everything around is white, temperature is between -2 and 5 degrees! on my way to Clown around for people who have been hiding in forests for more than 2 years now and I’m so angry and so sad !
Clowns Without Borders USA Justin Therrien Bekah Smith – Juggler

March 6th – Sombor – Serbia

Long empty far roads covered with white white snow! We drove for about 2 hours to get to a camp in the middle of nowhere in Serbia! we were welcomed by kids and adults who came running and laughing loudly when they saw us.

One little 11 year old kid shouted : ” hey you, I know you. I saw you last year in Sid” ( a camp where he was at – and where Clay Mazing and myself performed.)

Always warms my heart to hear such a thing. We played, we blew bubbles, we laughed and the following day we decided to go back and play some more with the kids and their families. They, apparently, have never had clowns passing by this camp not far from the Croatian border.

Now I am on a mission!

While chatting with two teenage girls, one recounted about her best friend Aya who’s now moved with her parents to a different camp ( 3 hours away from this one) – She and her had locked two swings together with a beautiful ribbon as token of their friendship.

Here’s another friend whom I lost and won’t probably see again- this is pretty much what’s been happening to all my friendships” this 14 year old girl said.

She took a picture with me and asked me to go to this camp, perform and look for Aya and show her the pic and tell her that her friend there, in the middle of nowhere, misses her everyday…

Fact is: we were denied access to this specific camp and I am thinking, it might be time to think about an undercover clown costume? hmmm….

Clowns Without Borders USA #balkan route Bekah Hammond Justin Therrien Molly Rose Jeroen Wils photos by: Ali Dalloul

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Liquidity is meant for the Internal market. Competitiveness is for External market?

Should the level of “Life-Style” be the same among the competitive and the challenged productive states within a Union?

This is not a fair condition to impose on States that managed to sacrifice and work hard for better life conditions.

States in financial crisis must have ready lists of 4 categories of enterprises:

1. The public institutions that are critical in the smooth transmission of liquidity to the various economic sectors

2. The mixed State/Private entities that have locations in many regions of the State and employ many citizens

3. The nationwide private companies

4. The medium and small productive companies that serve their local provinces

It is well know that medium and small productive companies constitute 70% of State production that cater for the internal market needs.

Any shortage in liquidity in these small private companies  and employment hit the roof and the citizens experience shortages in most commodities.

Giving priority to the local economies in the distribution (infusion) of liquidity is the first step in preventing mass unemployment.

There are public economic sectors that cater to the general public needs, such as energy, water and transportation… and the stabilization of these functional sectors in matter of maintenance is another urgent priority.

Before the internal market is reinvigorated and underway, it is of no use planning for the export sections to external markets in order to get the influx of “hard currencies”

Stability and security are the basis for a shift toward State development.

Having the autonomy to print money in period of liquidity shortage is the key for stabilizing the internal market.

The disadvantage resides in the society structure that favor the oligarchy and wealth disparity that eliminate the benefit of printing more money.

The crisis in Greece, Ireland, Portugal, Spain and Italy have demonstrated that it is a priority that a State has to reform its public service institutions to discard redundant and politically influenced service appointments.

Without a drastic realization that the political structure should be reformed, and for actually feel the pain associated with uneven equal rights to jobs and opportunities in the institutions, all the remaining reforms will be within the “patching” process.

The crisis in Greece was deep rooted because it lacked the two preconditions: Lousy political structure and not having the right to print money.

Ireland, Portugal, Spain and Italy had political structures that could remedy to the “unfairly” political conditions and to reform the system within the single Euro currency.

The EU has learned the lesson:

1. First, the State that asks to join the union zone must demonstrate that it is serious to undertake political reforms and the structure be designed to react in timely manners to situations of political reforms.

Many States have been included based on historical and ideological “myths” that didn’t match their current unstable realities.

The EU dominant responsibility is to gradually transform the States who applied to join the union into politically viable structure.

The States in waiting must acknowledge that it takes time to achieve stable and valid political structure.

How a poor and unstable State can become competitive in the external market? This is an impossible condition to withhold liquidity infusion that is meant to support local companies.

The “productively challenged States” in the Euro zone should not expect the same level of life-style as the most competitive among them.

And equal rights in life-style is not an equitable and sustainable demand on State basis.

 

The Euro of the European Union (EU) currency is witnessing healthy devaluation compared to the dollar and needs to be lower to arond 1.1 to the dollar.  The increasing difficulties experienced by many States in the EU result from initial weaker economies that could not compete efficiently in the European common market and then were buffeted by the US financial crisis.  The European and international financial and political medias are breaking the taboo of discussing whether maintaining the Euro is a viable alternative in the short term.

The arguments of the group that staunchly defends the Euro is mostly based on political reasons: To them it is becoming a matter of safeguarding dignity and sovereignty.  It beieves that the Euro is the major factor in the reconstruction of the European market and for the political stability and the cohesion of the European market.  This group would like you to believe that without the Euro there would be no EU.

The taboo breaker group believes that the EU is in dire difficulty because it prematurly created a common currency before ironing out and strengthening common politics.  Germany and its satellites States in the northern hemisphere benefited most from the Euro since their currencies were highly overvalued “stronger” than the Euro and thus, they managed to compete better and export more to the European common market. 

The other States in the Union could not deal with a Euro that was much overvalued compared to their national currencies and thus, had to suffer in market competition. The financial and economic commotions in Greece, Ireland, Portugal, and Spain are symptoms of the financial and economic imbalance with respect to the vaster and stronger economies in Germany, France, and Italy.  This group believes that the EU is heading toward a deflationary period within a couple of years if no structural institutions are installed.

The main source of imbalance is that the original six States in the Union had firmir and better tested administrative and political instituions that could apply regulations agreed on and the capability to supervise and monitor laws and regulations governing the union members.  The weaker States are at great disadvantage: The main powerful States in the union have no confidence in the resilient determination of the weaker States to effectively executing the agreed upon regulations and second,  the weaker States are prohibited to issuing (printing money) to satisfy liquidity in their internal trade and commerce.

It is not the Euro that created the common European market: the EU was already instituted and functioning well before the common currency was created on political grounds.  The Euro was mainly to be the material “symbol” of the Union and this symbol degenerated into a calamity at the first major problem.  The EU could have imagined much less costly symbols for its unification until political coherence was firmly established, tested, and thoroughly evaluated.

The Maastricht treaty set limits to budget deficit below 3% and public deficit below 60%.  Currently, only Spain has kept its public debt at 54% and Germany its budget debt at 3.3%.  The remaining States in the Euro have doubled and even tripled both limits. Joblessness is very bad all over the Euro zone averaging 10%; Spain has 20% and Ireland and Greece about 14%.

It seems to me that the Euro has encourage many mafia type “economies” to expand simply because it became much easier to transfer a unique currency and circumventing further money exchange regulations and constraints.

The financial institutions and the medias are sending waves of terrors claiming that there is lack of confidence in the Euro; they claim that this confidence is so low that investors are shirking the Euro zone States.  I believe that the Euro should stay but be restricted to the main large economies such as Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Holland, Danmark, and Norway where the same homogeneous spirit for taking seriously the application of financial and economic regulations among the member States.

The other weaker States should have an alternative common currency, far devalued from the Euro and backed by the Euro until political coherence and institutions are equalized in efficiency and modernity.  The weaker States should enjoy the privilege of pre-empting slow internal trade by issuing liquidity in the newer common currency within limits.

Currently, this Teutonic vital space of Germany is at work from an economical perspective after the fall of the Berlin Wall.  Germany export is mostly oriented toward the eastern vast States that recaptured their independence from the Soviet Union in 1990.  Germany would have rather have its own European Union formed of Holland, Danmark, Sweden, Poland, Tchekoslovakia, Austria, and Ukraine. The western European States and Greece are just added burden that Germany feels it was pressured to supporting.  Probably, the European Union might adopt a second currency (alongside the Euro) just for internal trade purposes among the European States.  The internal trade currency could be labelled “Euro E” referring to the eastern European States so that the current Euro, implicitely a “Euro W” referring to the western European States, be mainly used for external trades outside the EU boundries.

The European Union (EU): Modern Europe leading human rights; (Nov. 10, 2009)

 

The previous post “European Union (EU) describes Modern Europe” covered a few statistics and then a short description of the EU administrative and legislative institutions. This follow up post will cover what is working, then analyzing what need to be ironed out, and then how the world community is expecting modern Europe to lead.

The 27 European States forming the EU counts 6 States among the twenty leading economy in the world.  By deceasing rank we have USA, China, Japan, India, Germany, Russia, Britain, France, Brazil, Italy, Mexico, Spain, South Korea, Canada, Indonesia, Turkey, Iran, Australia, Taiwan, and the Netherlands. Actually, those six European economies constitute about 90% of the EU in economy and in populations.

As a block, the economy of the EU may surpass the USA with a twist: the three largest industrial multinationals in every sector are US.  For example, in aeronautics we have United Technology, Boeing, and Lockheed Martin; in medical materials we have Medtronic, United Health, and Alcon; in Medias we have Walt Disney, News Corporation, and Comcast; in pharmaceutical/biotechnology we have Johnson & Johnson, and Pfizer; in informatics we have Microsoft, IBM, and Google.  Besides, the US is the first military power in technology, Navy, Bombers, and aircraft carriers.  The EU is totally dependent on oil and gas energies imported from Russia and elsewhere.  France has adopted a policy of being sufficient in electricity via nuclear energy (60% of the total of France production of energy).  Denmark is 25% sufficient in Aeolian technology and Germany about 15%.

The EU is facing problems. First, the “community vision” is eroding: the decade after the fall of the Berlin Wall and disintegration of the Soviet Union sent the wrong message of jumping in the band wagon of US globalization; thus, the well to do citizens wanted to get rich fast by emulating liberal capitalism. Individualism overshadowed the need to resume a common culture of developing institutions that are trained to work toward the common interest and be reformed to keeping the EU spirit intact in human rights and human dignity.

Second, the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 took Europe by surprise.  The euphoric undertaking of uniting East Germany quickly exhausted West Germany with the multitude of social, economic and political problems of this unification and captured most of Germany’s resources and time and prevented it to ponder on the EU necessities.  The opportunity to deepen European consciousness for reformed institutions to expanding eastward was missed.

Third, the EU was discussing the two possibilities: either the strengthening the current union for the longer term expansion or hastily absorbing the many eastern European newly independent States.  The political decision was to go ahead and allowing these tiny states to adhere to the union.  I think that this was the appropriate decision because new States had to root their future into a tangible alliance or fall back into past habit, inclinations, and culture; thus, forming close alliances with Russia. The EU was the appropriate framework for ethnic communication and more democratic realization of social aspirations.  The problem is that these tiny States feel that they should aspire to the same standard of living in no times.  The latest financial crash has left al these States in bankrupt conditions and it is up to the rich EU States to salvage this predicament.  Maybe this fact should remind the EU that not all States should enjoy the same rights until they can show the same capability to shouldering responsibilities.

 

The actual challenges are many. First, there is a political space to reconstruct:  The budget of the EU institutions is merely 1% of the gross GNP while States allocate over 30% to re-distribute to collectivities, social protection, and welfare. The richer States are not that inclined to contribute heavily to the social stability of the poorer EU State members. Second, the EU has unified its currency (it overcame the States’ monopolies to issuing paper money) but is lacking a unified economic government.  For example, the EU lacks common public spaces, no political party or organization has been created or formed to focus on specific EU interests, and the EU Parliament has no power to raise taxes to finance common policies.  So far, the government chiefs are wary of relinquishing their interstates legitimacy and power.

As a block, the EU is still unable to challenge the US on crimes against humanity committed by the US and Israel;  it is fully cooperating with the US on taking Israel off the hook in the UN for daily crimes against human dignity, rights, and apartheid policies in the West bank and Gaza. There are a few States in the EU that are showing trends to opposing Israel’s apartheid practices and boycotting its products grown and manufactured in the occupied West Bank; it is the people in these States who have set the stage for human rights and dignity reversal toward the Palestinian endemic plight since 1948.

 

The world community is on its toes: will the EU refresh its initial objective of “community vision” or will it relapse in petty interstates interest of monopolies and idiosyncrasies?  We need the EU to be the caldron of community communication among ethnicities, languages, and cultures. We need the EU to be the social and political testing ground for viable alternatives in vision, institutions, ecological human survival, human rights and dignity. We need the EU to invent new reasons to living together and reducing man inequality.

The European Union is the most striking political and social achievement in the 20th century.  The backbones of most of the UN peace keeping forces around the world are European contingents; the EU is the highest contributor in humanitarian budgets and for reforming obsolete public institutions in the under-developed States. The EU needs a refresher community vision and the world community should raise its voices and aid Europe in its endeavors.

100 years old RLM and she is kicking (April 25, 2009)

 

            Rita Levi-Montalcini (RLM) received Nobel Prize in 1986 for discovering “Nerve Growth Factor, NGF”.  RLM is 100 years old and still coming to work and running the non-profit neuroscience research center called the European Brain Research Institute (EBRI) in Rome. The Italian President Ciampi named her Senator for life in 2001.

            In 2001, RLM had wondered “In what scientific domain has Italy always been the best?” Galvani and Volta discovered animal electricity; Golgi invented cell nerve coloring; Vittorio Erspamer isolated serotonin and other neurotransmitters; Giuseppe Levi (her professor) was among the first to experiment with in-vitro culture.  Consequently, RLM research center would be dedicated to neurosciences.

            RLM is writing another book; she had published “Praise to Imperfection” and “The Ancestors”.  In “Ancestors” RLM described 70 bright women thinkers.  She likes to remind the new generation that human brain is of two parts: the tiny archaic or limbic brain that is 3 millions years old in evolution and that is identical to mammals and which control our emotions (positive and negative) and the newer cognitive brain, the neocortex, which has been in development for only 150,000 years as man invented language. The old brain saved man from the ferocious animals when he descended from trees but then it will destroy man by using the mass destructive weapons.  She believes that the end of humanity is soon because the old brain will activate the lethal weapons.

            RLM hires mostly brilliant women researchers because women were denied education for centuries.  She said: “Only hungry people enjoy eating”.  There are no genetic differences between man and women; there are voluntary epigenetic (development) differences exercised by patriarchal cultures.  RLM distributed 6,700 educational grants in Africa since 2001 because she wants to tend to analphabetism, a disease far worst than leper, cholera, and tuberculosis combined.  Her hero feminine scientist and thinker is Hypatia.  Hypatia lived in Alexandria in the 4th century AC; she invented the astrolabe, the planisphere and taught philosophy in the street. Bishop Cyril got jealous of her intellectual fame and harangued zealot Christians to tear her to pieces; Hypatia flesh was burned afterward in the public square.

            RLM has demonstrated that NGF is present in the ovocyte and the sperm and it can cure Alzheimer, Parkinson, and lateral sclerosis amyotrophic patients.  Her eyesight and hearing are almost gone but she claims that her thinking is much more active than when she was 20 years old.  RLM only vanity is luxury dresses.

            RLM has the attitude of turning catastrophes into opportunities.  When the Mussolini regime issued laws in 1938 that restricted RLM horizons she installed a laboratory in her apartment and then moved on to doing research at the University of Washington in Saint Louis in 1960.  After the Israeli massacres in the Palestinian camps of Sabra and Chatila in Beirut (Lebanon) in 1982, RLM lead a demonstration to Israel’s Embassy in Rome and carrying the banner that read: “Sabra and Chatila are part of our struggle” for human dignity and defending human rights.

Bi-Weekly Report (#15) on Lebanon and the Near East (April 2, 2009)

 

There are a few good news. First, The Italian government finally delivered a scientifically equipped ship to the Lebanese Council for Scientific Research in order to study the Lebanese 200 km of coastal water characteristics.  This ship named Qana-CNRS was 18 months in the making and Italy will send marine scientists and technologists to train the Lebanese counterparts. Lebanon has signed international agreements to investigate and remedy maritime ecosystems.

 

Second, the Academic Scientists of Lebanon has met for another opening ceremony in the Princeton Club in New York.  I was under the impression that this council was already functional and active and has gone beyond media opening ceremonies a year ago. It finally got a license in the USA. This scientific council was in the organization stage since late Rafic Hariri PM. It will hold a discussion group this autumn in Lebanon.  Four more members from Lebanon proper are contemplated to be included.  The goal of this academy is to stand tall against the Israeli academy in the Middle East.

Professor Edgar Chouweiry is heading this council; he is a head director at Princeton University for physical research. The council members include Michael Attiyeh, director of mathematics at Cambridge University; Jean-Francois Bach, Professor of immunology at Necker Hospital in Paris; George Bahr, Professor of virology at the Balamand University in Lebanon; Andre Cabron, ex-Professor of immunology at the Pasteur Institute; Michel Dercour, professor at Piere and Mary Curie University; Mohammad Al Hassan, head of the African academy of sciences; Joan Nasr Allah, Professor of plants at Cornel University; Mouna Nemer, head director of cells at the Ottawa University; Eve Kirie, head at the French Politecnique University; Edward Simon, astrophysist at Villanova University; Professor Samir Zard, director of biology in France; Professor Hussein Zabeeb,  mechanics of material at Washington State University; and Professor Charles Elachy, director at Jet propulsion laboratory in Passadena.

Among the attendees at the ceremony were many scientists, entrepreneurs, and surgeons such as: biochemist Wadih Jreidiny, Jack Merheb, Ray Debbany, Wael Shehab, Salah Selman, Cesar Shedyac, George Lotfy, George Fares, Nichola Khoury, Edgar El Shaar, Nada Aneed, George Younane, Ghasan Abu 3Alfa, and Nabil Housami.

 

The third good news is that President Suleiman offered Lebanon to be the liaison among the Arab States and the South American States for economic development and cooperation since the Lebanon emigrants enjoys large presence in South America. More probably, the liaison will be jointly undertaken by Syria and Lebanon since Syria has as many emigrants as Lebanon there.

 

The fourth good news is that the South American head of States met with the Arab head of States in Qatar and the process is being formalized on regular basis.

Syria has appointed an ambassador to Lebanon Ali something Ali.

General Aoun is confident that he would gather 35 deputies in the next election on June 7; the interviewer was skeptic.

Geaja slept over in Zahle to drum up supporters; Amine Gemayel joined him: he would like to share recognition for any kind of leadership.

A US Intelligence report predicts that the State of Israel will cease to exist within 20 years.  It seems that there are over 2 millions Israelites with at least US residency status and most of them will be heading to the USA as the world economy stabilizes. There are also over 2 millions Israelites with European citizenships and they too will be residing in their States of origin and Europe in general.  The level-headed Israeli Jews have finally realized that the Zionist ideology never contemplated a peaceful and stable state with its neighboring States. All the successive Israeli governments’ policies and actions never offered any willingness to co-exist with the Near Eastern populations.


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