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Saturday, December 13, 2008

Globalization - Part 4

The Globalization of Organized Violence
  • War, military force and organized violence have been central to the globalization of human affairs for much of history, especially in the modern epoch and more recently in the Cold War era.
  • By comparison with previous epochs, contemporary military globalization is remarkably extensive and intensive (measured , for instance, in terms of military diplomatic links, arms sales and global military production) for an era distinguished by the absence of empires, great power conflict and interstate war.
  • Since the end of the Cold War there has been a continuing institutionalisation and (albeit uneven) regionalization of military and security affairs to the extent that a majority of states are now enmeshed in multilateral arrangements or multilateral fora for military or security matters, and neutrality no longer appears a credible defence posture.
  • In comparison with previous epochs, there has been over the course of the last fifty years a rapid world-wide proliferation of unprecedented military capability and the capacity to project military power across increasing distances, including the capacity to produce and utilise weapons of mass destruction, which is both transforming the pattern of stratification in the world military order and creating new global and regional risks which require multilateral action.
  • Even though the end of the Cold War has undermined the logic of the global arms dynamic, the Cold War itself ensured the accelerated diffusion of military-technological innovation across the world's major regions such that, for instance, whereas it took two centuries for the gunpowder revolution to reach Europe from China in the middle ages, it took less than five decades for India to acquire its existing nuclear capability.
  • In comparison with earlier periods there has been a significant shift in the organization of defence production in the direction of more extensive and intensive transnationalization through licensing, co-production agreements, joint ventures, corporate alliances, sub-contracting, etc. Few countries today, including the US, can claim to have an autonomous military production capacity.
  • The same infrastructures which facilitate global flows of goods, people and capital have generated new potential security threats for states, in the form of cyber-war, international terrorism, eco-terrorism and transnational organized crime, which are no longer primarily external or military in character and which require a combination of multilateral and domestic policy responses.
  • Despite the ending of the Cold War, global arms sales (in real terms) have remained above the level of the 1960s and since the mid 1990s have continued to increase, whilst the number of countries manufacturing arms (40) or purchasing arms (100) is probably greater than at any time since the 1930s, an era of regional and global crises.
  • In the post Cold War period all major arms producers have become increasingly reliant upon export markets; the imperatives driving defence industrial restructuring have intensified to the extent that regional and transregional production arrangements are being strengthened. Few states can realistically continue to aspire, as in previous periods, to an autonomous defence industrial base. This is especially so as key civil technologies, such as electronics, which are vital to advanced weapons system production, are themselves the products of highly globalized industries.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

What is Globalization? - part 3

The Territorial State and Global Politics
  • Conventional maps of the political world disclose a very particular conception of the geography of political power. With their clear-cut boundary lines and unambiguous colour patches, they demarcate territorial areas within which there is assumed to be an indivisible, illimitable and exclusive sovereign state with internationally recognized borders. At the beginning of the second millennium, this cartography would have appeared practically incomprehensible; even the most well-travelled civilisations would have been able to make little sense of the details of the known world today.
  • Two fundamental transformations have affected the shape and form of modern politics. The first of these involved the development of territorially based political communities. The second has led to an era of emerging multilayered regional and global governance.
  • The first transformation was marked by the growing centralization of political power within Europe, the sedimentation of political rule into state structures, the territorialization of politics, the spread of the interstate order, the development of forms of accountability within certain states and, at the same time, the denial of such accountability to others through colonial expansion, the creation of empires and war.
  • The second transformation by no means replaced the first in all respects, although it was correlated with the final demise of empires. It has involved the spread of layers of governance both within and across political boundaries. It has been marked by the internationalization and transnationalization of politics, the deterritorialization of aspects of political decision-making, the development of regional and global organizations and institutions, the emergence of regional and global law and a multilayered system of global governance, formal and informal.
  • This second transformation can be illustrated by a number of developments including the rapid emergence of international agencies and organizations. New forms of multilateral and global politics have been established involving governments, intergovernmental organizations (IGOs) and a wide variety of transnational pressure groups and international non-governmental organizations (INGOs). In 1909 there were 37 IGOs and 176 INGOs, while in 1996 there were nearly 260 IGOs and nearly five and a half thousand INGOs. In addition, there has been an explosive development in the number of international treaties in force, as well as in the number of international regimes, such as the Nuclear Non-Proliferation regime.
  • To this pattern of extensive political interconnectedness can be added the dense web of activity of the key international policy-making fora, including the UN, G7, IMF, WTO, EU, APEC, ARF and MERCOUSUR summits and many other official and unofficial meetings. In the middle of the nineteenth century there were two or three interstate conferences or congresses per annum; today the number totals over four thousand annually. National government is increasingly locked into an array of global, regional and multilayered systems of governance - and can barely monitor it all, let alone stay in command.
  • The substantial growth of major global and regional institutions should be highlighted. In the context of state history the latter are remarkable political innovations. While the UN remains a creature of the interstate system, it has, despite all its limitations, developed an innovative system of global governance which delivers significant international public goods - from air traffic control and the management of telecommunications to the control of contagious diseases, humanitarian relief for refugees and some protection of the environmental commons.
  • At the regional level the EU, in remarkably little time, has taken Europe from the disarray of the post Second World War era to a world in which sovereignty is pooled across a growing number of areas of common concern. Despite its contested nature, the EU represents a highly innovative form of governance which creates a framework of collaboration for addressing transborder issues. There has also been an acceleration in regional relations beyond Europe: in the Americas, Asia-Pacific and, to a lesser degree, in Africa. While the form taken by this type of regionalism is very different from the model of the EU, it has nonetheless had significant consequences for political power, particularly in the Asia-Pacific (ASEAN, APEC, ARF, PBEC, and many other groupings). Furthermore, there has been a growth in interregional diplomacy as old and new regional groupings seek to consolidate their relationships with each other. In this respect, regionalism has not been a barrier to changing forms of political globalization - involving the shifting reach of political power, authority and forms of rule - but, on the contrary, has been compatible with it.
  • There has, moreover, been an important change in the scope and content of international law. Twentieth century forms of international law - from the law governing war, to that concerning crimes against humanity, environmental issues and human rights - have created the basis of what can be thought of as an emerging framework of 'cosmopolitan law', law which circumscribes and delimits the political power of individual states. In principle, states are no longer able to treat their citizens as they think fit. Although, in practice, many states still violate these standards, nearly all now accept general duties of protection and provision, as well as of restraint, in their own practices and procedures.
  • Global politics today is anchored not just in traditional geopolitical concerns, but also in a large diversity of economic, social and ecological questions. Pollution, drugs, terrorism, human rights are amongst an increasing number of transnational policy issues which cut across territorial jurisdictions and existing political alignments. These require, and will continue to require, international cooperation for their effective resolution.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

What is Globalization? - part 2

People on the Move
  • Human beings have been migrating, journeying and travelling for millennia, across great distances. It is only in this millennium that New Zealand and many Pacific Islands were finally reached by humans.
  • For most of recorded history migrations have taken three main forms. Elite migrations from the core of empires to their periphery in acts of conquest and conversion followed by settlers; elite and mass migrations to imperial cores and cities from the hinterlands and the countryside in search of work; the expansion and contraction of nomadic societies. Most of these have been regional in scope, though the early Islamic and later Mongol Empires had a global reach.
  • From the sixteenth century onwards the shape of global migration was transformed by the European conquest of the Americas and then Oceania as well as more tentative colonial expansion in Africa and Asia.
  • The first great wave of early modern migrations involved the forced movements of the transatlantic slave trade which shifted around 9-12 million people by the mid-nineteenth century. By comparison, the more regional Arabic slave trades and the early modern European emigration to the New World were minor.
  • From the mid nineteenth century onwards, the slave trade was dwarfed in extent by an extraordinary outpouring of Europe's poor to the New World, overwhelmingly the USA. This was accompanied, beginning in the last quarter of the nineteenth century, by a series of Asian migrations (predominantly of indentured labourers) to the USA, Canada and European colonies. Over 40 million people moved in this way in the quarter century before the First World War.
  • During the First World War, international migration plummeted. Although the war triggered some forced migrations, of Armenians and Greeks from Turkey for example, international migrations within Europe almost ceased. North America closed its borders, creating the first set of systematic border controls and immigration legislation in the modern era.
  • The bitter struggles and ethnic violence of the Second World war led to unprecedented levels of forced migrations, refugee and asylum movements. Ethnic Germans fled the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, Jews headed for Israel, Pakistan and India exchanged millions and Koreans flooded south.
  • Economic migration and the rebirth of Western European economies in the 1950s and 1960s drove a renewed epoch of global migration. Despite the oil shocks of the 1970s and the closure of many European immigration programmes, Western Europe's foreign population and ethnic mix have grown as family reunions, unpoliceable borders and sheer demand for labour have driven migration from the European peripheries (Turkey, North Africa ) as well as the most distant outposts of old European empires (Southern Asia, East and West Africa etc.) to the continent.
  • In the 1970s these waves of migration were accompanied by a take-off in legal and illegal migration to the USA and Australasia, enormous flows to the oil-rich and labour-scarce Middle East and new patterns of regional migration within Africa, Latin America, Oceania and East Asia. In the late 1990s, the USA in particular has been experiencing levels of migration that are comparable to the great transatlantic push of the late nineteenth century.
  • Moreover, recent economic migration has been accompanied by an astronomical rise in asylum seeking, displaced persons and refugees from wars of state formation (and disintegration) in the developing world.
  • For OECD states, the current era is characterised by high levels of global and regional migration, borders that are difficult to police, a range of migrations and travellers that are hard to control and in Europe, in particular, unprecedented levels of ethnic diversity. Over 10% of Swedes are foreign born for example.
  • Attempts at international regulation of migratory flows have met with limited success. Many states find it very difficult to mobilise internal support for tracking illegal migrants and are in some cases highly dependent economically on their labour. Simultaneously, all states are having to reassess the meaning and practice of national citizenship in an era of increasing heterogeneity. Dual nationality is on the rise.

The Fate of National Cultures

  • The globalization of culture has a long history. The formation and expansion of the great world religions are one of the best examples of the capacity of ideas and beliefs to cross great distances with decisive social impacts. No less important are the great pre-modern empires which, in the absence of direct military and political control, held their domains together through a shared and extensive ruling class culture.
  • For most of human history these extensive ruling cultures passed through a fragmented mosaic of local cultures and particularisms - little stood between the court and the village. It was only with the emergence of nation-states and national cultures that a form of cultural identity coalesced between these two extremes.
  • With the rise of nation-states and nationalist projects, the globalization of culture was truncated. Nation-states took control of educational practices, linguistic policies, postal and telephonic systems, etc. However, from the eighteenth century onwards as European empires began to entrench themselves and as a series of technological innovations came on stream (regularised mechanical transport and the telegraph most notably), new forms of cultural globalization emerged. These were accompanied by new private international institutions like publishing houses and news agencies, but their impact on more local and national cultures remained limited.
  • The most important ideas and arguments to emerge out of the West in the era of its expansion were science, liberalism and socialism. Each of these modes of thought and the practices that came with them transformed the ruling cultures of almost every society on the planet. They have certainly had a more considerable impact on national and local cultures than contemporary popular cultures.
  • In the period since the Second World War, however, the extensity, intensity, speed and sheer volume of cultural communication at a global level are unsurpassed. The global diffusion of radio, television, the Internet, satellite and digital technologies, and so on, has made instantaneous communication possible, rendered many border checks and controls over information ineffective, and exposed an enormous constituency to diverse cultural outputs and values. While linguistic differences continue to be a barrier to these processes, the global dominance of English provides a linguistic infrastructure that parallels the technological infrastructures of the era. In contrast to earlier periods in which states and theocracies have been central to cultural globalisation, the current era is one in which corporations are the central producers and distributors of cultural products.
  • The vast majority of these cultural products originate within the USA and certain key Western societies. However, the evidence available in support of a crude thesis of 'cultural imperialism' is thin. National and local cultures remain robust, national institutions continue in many states to have a central impact on public life, foreign products are constantly read and reinterpreted in novel ways by national audiences.
  • Those states which seek to pursue rigid closed-door policies on information and culture are certainly under threat from these new communication processes and technologies, and it is likely that the conduct of economic life everywhere will be transformed by them as well.
  • Cultural flows are transforming the politics of national identity and the politics of identity more generally.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Sand Art - Sand Sculptures


By piling, digging, carving and hollowing out this common element, turning it into mythical scenes and fairytale figures, sand sculptors have turned the art of carving in sand into a new trend in many big cities.

Known as a modern art for only 20 years, sand sculpting is a popular and recreational art capable of drawing widespread attention from the public. Sand sculptures can create new tourist programmes wherever they go, bringing in considerable commercial profits. From this point of view, the art is the result of the perfect combination of modern art and modern commerce and is closely linked with tourism. For the last 20 years, this symbiosis has greatly promoted the development of sand sculptures around the world.

Sand sculptures can now be found in more than 100 countries and regions, especially in popular coastal cities. Sand sculptures have become one of the most popular itineraries during sea visits. Meanwhile, the art has also spread to the inland cities.

Over the past few years, the art has aroused widespread interest in Asia -- with Japan, Singapore and China as hosts to various sand sculpture contests. With the launch of the International Colored Sand Sculpture Festival in Yunnan Province , China, the art is also becoming richer in content.


Instant-Disintegrating Art

Sand and seawater are the basic materials for sand sculptures, which are molded into various patterns by digging, carving and hollowing out sand. Sand sculptures contain no chemical adhesives. Once a piece of the sculpture is completed, a special glue-water solution is sprayed over the surface to set the sculpture. Normally, the sculpture can be preserved for several months. Since it is not easy to preserve sand sculptures, which disintegrate over a period of time, the art form is also known as "instant-disintegrating art".


Sand sculpting is also a kind of land art that blends with nature and without emitting any pollutants. Sand sculptures, unlike most traditional sculptures, are admired for their large scale.

Sand sculpting is also a marginal art -- an amalgamation of the elements of sculpting, painting, construction and outdoor recreation. Requiring no professional training, the art can be taken up by anyone. Sand sculpting is known as a fashionable, healthy and exciting programme for leisure and entertainment purposes.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

What is Globalization?

First of all before I start with the topic I would like to appologize from my readers for not updating my blog recently.Last 1,5 month was very busy and important for me as I needed to pass some exams in order to become a MA student,which I became finally :).So I couldnt work properly on my blog.Unfortunatelly I cant update very often now my blog but I will do my best so you can enjoy your reading and get some new and interesting information.Hope you will understand me. :)

I guess many of you heard this term more than once.But how many of you exactly know what is globalization and what place it takes in our life.As now I am more involved in all these topics as a MA student of interntional relations and diplomacy I would like to put some information about globalization.
Here is some info that interpret us the meaning of globalization.


Introduction


Globalization - the 'big idea' of the late twentieth century - lacks precise definition. More than this, it is in danger of becoming, if it has not already become, the cliché of our times.

Nonetheless, the term globalization captures elements of a widespread perception that there is a broadening, deepening and speeding up of world-wide interconnectedness in all aspects of life, from the cultural to the criminal, the financial to the environmental. At issue appears to be 'a global shift'; that is, a world being moulded, by economic and technological forces, into a shared economic and political arena.

Behind the rhetoric of globalization - rhetoric found in public as well as academic debate - lie three broad accounts of the nature and meaning of globalization today, referred to here as the hyperglobalist, the sceptical, and the transformationalist views.

- Hyperglobalists argue that we live in an increasingly global world in which states are being subject to massive economic and political processes of change. These are eroding and fragmenting nation-states and diminishing the power of politicians. In these circumstances, states are increasingly the 'decision- takers' and not the 'decision-makers'.

- The sceptics strongly resist this view and believe that contemporary global circumstances are not unprecedented. In their account, while there has been an intensification of international and social activity in recent times, this has reinforced and enhanced state powers in many domains.

- The transformationalists argue that globalization is creating new economic, political and social circumstances which, however unevenly, are serving to transform state powers and the context in which states operate. They do not predict the outcome - indeed, they believe it is uncertain - but argue that politics is no longer, and can no longer simply be, based on nation-states.

What is to be made of these different positions? Are we, or are we not, on the edge of a global shift with massive political, economic and cultural implications?

What is Globalization?

- Globalization can usefully be conceived as a process (or set of processes) which embodies a transformation in the spatial organization of social relations and transactions, generating transcontinental or interregional flows and networks of activity, interaction and power.

- It is characterized by four types of change:

1- First, it involves a stretching of social, political and economic activities across political frontiers, regions and continents.
2- Second, it suggests the intensification, or the growing magnitude, of interconnectedness and flows of trade, investment, finance, migration, culture, etc.
3- Third, the growing extensity and intensity of global interconnectedness can be linked to a speeding up of global interactions and processes, as the evolution of world-wide systems of transport and communication increases the velocity of the diffusion of ideas, goods, information, capital, and people.
4- Fourth, the growing extensity, intensity and velocity of global interactions can be associated with their deepening impact such that the effects of distant events can be highly significant elsewhere and even the most local developments may come to have enormous global consequences. In this sense, the boundaries between domestic matters and global affairs can become increasingly blurred.

In sum, globalization can be thought of as the widening, intensifying, speeding up, and growing impact of world-wide interconnectedness. By conceiving of globalization in this way, it becomes possible to map empirically patterns of world-wide links and relations across all key domains of human activity, from the military to the cultural.

- From the pre-modern, through to the early modern (1500-1800), modern (19th to early 20th century), to the contemporary period, distinctive patterns of globalization can be identified in respect of their different systemic and organizational features - uneven as they often are. These patterns constitute distinctive historical forms of globalization. By comparing and contrasting these changing historical forms, it is possible to identify more precisely what is novel about the present epoch.

- Accordingly, to advance an account of globalization it is necessary to turn from a general concern with its conceptualization to an examination of the key domains of activity and interaction in and through which global processes evolve.

This is just the part of it.Later on I will put some more information and some facts about what is going on in our world.I guess each of us should know about it as it is effecting our life directly.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Cappadocia - Turkey


Cappadocia which is unique in the world and is a miraculous nature wonder is the common name of the field covered by the provinces of Aksaray, Nevsehir, Nigde, Kayseri and Kirsehir in the Middle Anatolian region.

In the upper Myosen period in the Cappadocia region as a result of the vulcanic eruptions occurred in Erciyes, Hasandag and Gulludag, in the region was formed a large tableland from the vulcanic tufas and together with the erosion of the Kizilirmak river and wind over ten thausands of years there appeared the chimney rocks which are a wonder of the nature. In the old Bronze Age the Cappadocia which was the population zone of the Assyrian civilization later has hosted the Hittite, Frig, Pers, Byzantine, Seljuk and Ottoman civilizations. The first Christians escaped from the persecution of the Roman Empire in the 2nd century B.C. came to the Cappadocia over the Antakya and Kayseri and they have settled here. The first Christians finding the underground cities from Cappadocia have been hidden in these underground cities which gates were made in such way in which they couldn't be easily observed and they have escaped from the persecution of the Roman soldiers. Due that they had live in the underground cities for long duration without being able to go out they have developed these underground cities by making provisions rooms, ventilation chimneys, wine production places, churches, abbeys, water wells, toilets and meeting rooms.



In the prehistoric periods the first human settlements have begun and the humans have constructed the underground cities in the volcanic rocks in form of tufa due to protect themselves from the wild animals and they lived for long times in these underground cities.



In these cities made in form of rooms connected to each others some of the rooms were connected to each other only with the tunnels tight and permitting passing of just a person. At the access gates of these tunnels there were huge stone rollers used for closing the tunnels for security reasons.


The first populations of the region of Cappadocia were Hatties, Luvies and Hittites. In the 3000-2000 years B.C. the Assyrians have established trade colonies in this region. The Cappaddocian tables with cuneiform in Assyrian language founded at Kanes which are lighting the social and politic life of the period and were in the same time the trade and economical agreements are the firs written tablets of Anatolia. According to these documents in that period in Anatolia were founded small local kingdoms non-depending from a central authority. These had in generally in their hands a little area and were living in peace. The region creating the core of the Hittite Empire later has go under the domination of Phrigia and Pers. The Pers civilization has called this region Katpatuka and its center was Mazaka. When Datames the Satrab (Starab: little district administrator at Pers) of Cappadocia has bear arms against the biggest king of Pers, the other Anatolian Satrabs have been supported him but the revolt has been raided. In 33 b.c. the Big Alexander has captured a big part of Cappadocia. In 188 B.C. The Cappadocia which entered under the Roman domination has been captured in 100 B.C. by the Mithridatesd the king of Pontus but in 63 B.C. Pompeius has defeated Mithridates and took again the Cappadocia under the domination of Rome. In the period of Tiberius the Cappadocia gainded the status of Roman district.



Cappadocia was one of the most important places in the spreading periods of the Christian religion. The first christians trying to escape from the Roman soldiers who wanted to avoid the spreading of the Christian religion have settled in the region of Cappadocia which was so suitable for hiding and so they were able to continue their natures and to spread their religions. Saint Basileious from Kaisera and Saint Gregorios from Nyssa had settled in Cappadocia. In 647 A.C. together with occupation of Kayseri by Muaviye Cappadocia has met with the Arabian invasions. Cappadocia which went under the domination of the Seljuks in 1072 has been added to the lands of Ottoman Empire in 1399 by the Ottoman Sultan Yildirim Beyazit

Cappadocia which is in our days one of the most important tourism centers of Turkey is visited every year by hundred thousands of tourists coming from every part of the world.


Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Wine - The Drink of Gods

Wine is one of the oldest drinks known to mankind. Although historians may not be entirely sure that this is how the fermentation of wine started, an overview of the history of wine is full of interesting tidbits.

Made of fermented grape juice, wine is an alcoholic beverage that is both made and drunk in many parts of the world. The history of wine starts over 5000 years ago. It was said to have been discovered when grapes were left for too long in amphorae or earthenware jugs. These grapes somehow became tainted with wild yeast, which caused the grapes to ferment. Some courageous individual took a drink and realized the fermentation process had produced something that would be come known as wine.

There are several different basic types of wine. The most basic breakdown is red wine and white wine. When the grapes that make these varieties of wine are combined, a rose or blush wine can be created. If the wine is allowed to ferment in a way that produces carbon dioxide bubbles, it becomes a sparkling wine. If the sparkling wine comes from a particular region in France called Champagne, it is known as Champagne. There are also fortified wines – these wines are also fermented from grapes, but additional amounts of alcohol from other sources are added to the wine to raise its alcohol content. An example of a fortified wine is brandy.

Making wine is not an easy process – the fermentation of a really good wine may take years or even decades to complete. The type of oak barrel that wine is typically fermented in is also the result of a difficult process. Out of the 400 species of oak that grow on Earth, only 20 species are used in oak barrels for winemaking. Of those 20 species, only 5 percent of the wood taken from these trees is deemed good enough to be made into wine barrels.

The amount of grapes needed to produce quality wine is another of the many mind boggling wine tidbits known. Generally, it takes four clusters or 300 grapes to produce just one bottle of wine. Since there are only about 40 clusters of grapes produced on a grapevine per year, this means that each vine is only capable of making 10 bottles of wine. Given this fact, it is pretty amazing that wine is as cheap as we find it.

As you can see, wine is a not a simple fermentation process. The next time you drink a glass of your favorite chardonnay, think about the difficult journey that it made from grape to bottle.

by Xavier Moldini




General Cheese and Wine Pairing

The possibilities of pairing cheese and wine are endless. There are so many wines and so many cheeses. Below are some of them:

Young, mild, and milky cheeses such as fresh goat cheese with light, fruity delicate wines such as Sauvignon Blanc and Beaujolais

Assertive, strong-flavored cheeses such as Provolone with young, robust red wines such as and Chianti and Syrah

Aged mellow cheeses such as Parmigiano and Gouda with older, robust wines such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel

Strong, pungent cheeses such as Pont l'Eveque or Taleggio with young, full-bodied wine such as Merlot or sweet dessert wines such as late-harvest Reislings and Sauternes

Soft-ripened cheeses like Brie and Camembert with full-flavored Chardonnays or Champagne

Tangy strong goat cheeses such as Crottin di Chavignol with Burgundies

Blue cheeses such as Roquefort and Stilton with sweet dessert wines like Port or Sauternes

Soft, rich cheeses without overpowering flavors are best with fine, older wines.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Parable of the Day

The pastor entered his donkey in a race and it won.
The pastor was so pleased with the donkey that he
entered in another race and it won again.
The local paper read:

PASTOR'S ASS OUT FRONT.

The Bishop was so upset with this kind of publicity
that he ordered the pastor not to enter the donkey in
any more races.
The next day the local paper headline read:

BISHOP SCRATCHES THE PASTOR'S ASS.

This was too much for the Bishop, so he ordered the
pastor to get rid of the donkey. The pastor decided to
give it to a nun in a nearby convent.
The local paper, hearing of the news, posted the
following headline:

NUN HAS THE BEST ASS IN TOWN .

The Bishop fainted.
He informed the nun that she would have to get rid of
the donkey so she sold it to a farmer for $10.
The next day the headlines read:

NUN SELLS ASS FOR $10.

This was too much for the Bishop, so he ordered the
nun to buy back the donkey and lead it to the high
plains where it could run free.
The next day the headlines read :

NUN ANNOUNCES HER ASS IS WILD AND FREE.

Alas... The Bishop was buried the next day.

MORAL OF THE STORY !!!!

Being concerned about public opinion can bring you
much grief and misery and even shorten your life. So,
be yourself and enjoy life. Stop worrying about everyone else's ass and you'll live longer.

Rilski Monastery - Bulgaria

Today I would love to give some information about one of the amazing places of my country. Though Bulgaria is a small country, it is full of beatiful places where you can enjoy the beauty of the nature and the masterpieces of human beings.

This is the biggest Bulgarian architectural monument and the biggest religious center in Bulgaria. It’s situated in the northwest part of Rila Mountains and stands 1150 meters above sea level. It’s built near the mountain rivulets of Rilska and Drushlyavitsa and is 120 km away from Sofia.
It is traditionally thought that the monastery was founded by the hermit St. John of Rila (Ivan Rilski), whose name it bears, during the rule of Tsar Peter I (927-968). The hermit actually lived in a cave not far from the monastery's location, while the complex was built by his students, who came to the mountains to receive their education.

Ever since its creation, the Rila Monastery has been supported and respected by the Bulgarian rulers. Large donations were made by almost every tsar of the Second Bulgarian Empire up until the Ottoman Conquest, making the monastery a cultural and spiritual centre of Bulgarian national consciousness that reached its apogee from the 12th to the 14th century.


The Rila Monastery was reerected at its present place by a local feudal lord named Hrelyu Dragovola during the 14th century. The oldest buildings in the complex date from this period were—the Tower of Hrelyu (1334–1335) and a small church just next to it (1343). The bishop's throne and the rich-engraved gates of the monastery also belong to the time. However, the arrival of the Ottomans in the end of the 14th century was followed by numerous raids and a destruction of the monastery in the middle of the 15th century.

Thanks to donations by the Russian Orthodox Church and more precisely the Rossikon monastery of Mount Athos, the Rila Monastery was rebuilt in the end of the 15th century by three brothers from the region of Kyustendil, who moved John of Rila's relics into the complex.

The complex acted as a depository of Bulgarian language and culture in the ages of foreign rule. During the time of the Bulgarian National Revival (18th-19th century), it was destroyed by fire in 1833 and then reconstructed between 1834 and 1862 with the help of wealthy Bulgarians from the whole country, under the famous architect Alexi Rilets. The erection of the residential buildings began in 1816, while a belfry was added to the Tower of Hrelyu in 1844. Neofit Rilski founded a school in the monastery during the period.

The monastery complex, regarded as one of the foremost masterpieces of Bulgarian National Revival architecture, was declared a national historical monument in 1976 and became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983. Since 1991 it has been entirely subordinate to the Holy Synod of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church.
On 25 May 2002, Pope John Paul II, the Slavic Pope visited Rila monastery during his pilgrimage to Bulgaria. He was greeted by the Monastery's igumen, Bishop Ioan, who had been an observer at the Second Vatican Council.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Georgia Violated UN Charter – UN Assembly Chief


Georgia commited an act of aggression and violated the UN charter by invading South Ossetia, the incoming President of the UN General Assembly said at the opening of its 63rd session.

Miguel D’Escoto Brockmann, a former foreign minister of Nicaragua, pledged in his opening address to the session to dedicate his year as president to representing the interests of “the dispossessed of the world” and fostering solidarity between peoples and member states.

Miguel D'Escoto Brockmann

"Georgia was the one who invaded Ossetia. Look at the situation, look at how the whole thing began. I think that Georgia did commit agression against South Ossetia," said Brockmann.
Apart from Russia, Brockmann's native Nicaragua is the only country to so far formally recognise the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

Brockmann's election to the rotating presidency, as well as Nicaragua's recognition of the new republics has lately catapulted the South American country to the world stage.

Russia's ambassador to the UN Vitaly Churkin said Tbilisi has been asking international organisations not to offer humanitarian aid to South Ossetia if it doesn't become part of Georgia again.

"We mourn for the innocent deaths of everyone, regardless of their ethnic origin - peaceful Ossetians, Georgians and other people of that multi-national land," Churkin said.

Churkin called for the United States to issue visas to officials from South Ossetia and Abkhazia so they can attend a Security Council meeting in early October.

The mandate of the UN observer mission in the Caucasus expires next month, and Russia has insisted its extension is impossible without hearing from all parties in the conflict.

RT documentary screened at UN
A special report by RT's Oksana Boyko entitled 'A City of Desolate Mothers', which investigates the aftermath of the war, was shown to the audience at a commemoration event.

An audience of more than 100 watched the Russian-sponsored screening. Representatives of European Union member states, however, did not show up to the viewing despite receiving two separate invitations.

"I leave very angered that this has happened and the coverage has been so one-sided and distorted. When I read the New York Times it always speaks of Georgian suffering, very little coverage of South Ossetians," said Carla Stea, a New York based journalist.

International relations expert Mathew Russell Lee said he thought the documentary lacked balance, it presented facts he was unaware of.

"There's a piece of footage I've never seen before which was women in South Ossetia saying to Bernard Kouchner, the French Foreign Minister, laying it on strong, saying, 'They're killing us for no reason.' I wasn't aware that he went there. And I wasn't aware that he heard that. And he certainly hasn't said much about that," Russell said.

News from Russia Today

Monday, September 15, 2008

A Blog Award From Life as Experienced

Thank you Jeff for this award !

They all are charmed with the blogs, where in the majority of its aims are to show the marvels and to do friendship; there are persons who are not interested when we give them a prize and then they help to cut these bows; do we want that they are cut or that they propagate? Then let’s try to give more attention to them! So with this prize we must deliver it to 8 bloggers that in turn must make the same thing and put this text.

In my turn I would like to pass this award on to eight blogger friends: Fanny , Ale , Innocent Eyes , MarlyMS , Cinzia , Beck , ShAshi DhaR and Jack .

A carrot, an egg and a cup of coffee !...

You will never look at a cup of coffee the same way again.
A young woman went to her mother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her.
She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up.
She was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed as one problem was solved, a new one arose.
Her mother took her to the kitchen.
She filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Soon the pots came to boil.
In the first she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and in the last she placed ground coffee beans.
She let them sit and boil, without saying a word.In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners.
She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl.
She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl.
Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl.

Turning to her daughter, she asked :
- "Tell me, what do you see ?"
- "Carrots, eggs and coffee" she replied.

Her mother brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft.
The mother then asked the daughter to take an egg and break it.
After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard boiled egg.

Finally, the mother asked the daughter to sip the coffee. The daughter smiled as she tasted its rich aroma.

The daughter then asked :
- "What does it mean, mother ?"

Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity ... boiling water.
Each reacted differently.

The carrot went in strong, hard and unrelenting.However, after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak. The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior, but after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened.

The ground coffee beans were unique, however.
After they were in the boilingwater, they had changed the water.

- "Which are you ?" she asked her daughter.
- "When adversity knocks on your door how do you respond ? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean ?"

Think of this :
Which am I ?...

- Am I the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity do I wilt and become soft and lose my strength ?

- Am I the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat ?

- Did I have a fluid spirit, but after a death, a breakup, a financial hardship or some other trial, have I become hardened and stiff ?

- Does my shell look the same, but on the inside am I bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and hardened heart ?

- Or, am I like the coffee bean ? The bean actually changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain.

When the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavor.

If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and change the situation around you.
When the hour is the darkest and trials are their greatest, do you elevate yourself to another level ?
How do you handle adversity ?

Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean ?

May you have enough happiness to make you sweet, enough trials to make you strong, enough sorrow to keep you human and enough hope to make you happy.

The happiest of people don't necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the most of everything that comes along their way.The brightest future will always be based on a forgotten past ; you can't go forward in life until you let go of your past failures and heartaches.When you were born, you were crying and everyone around you was smiling.Live your life so at the end, you're the one who is smiling and everyone around you is crying.

To those who have touched your life in one way or another ; to those who make you smile when you really need it.To those who make you see the brighter side of things when you are really down; to those whose friendship you appreciate.To those who are meaningful in your life.

Keep your heart in peace...

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Zero: An Investigation Into 9-11 - part 1

ZERO: An Investigation into 9/11, has one central thesis - that the official version of the events surrounding the attacks on 9/11 can not be true. This brand new feature documentary from Italian production company Telemaco explores the latest scientific evidence and reveals dramatic new witness testimony, which directly conflicts with the US Government's account.

Featuring presentations from intellectual heavy weights; Gore Vidal, and Noble Prize winner Dario Fo, the film challenges assumptions surrounding the attacks. In the words of the Italian daily newspaper, Il Corriere de da Sera, "What results is a sequence of contradictions, gaps, and omissions of stunning gravity."

The importance of this film can not be overstated. If its thesis is correct, the justification for going to war in Iraq is built on a series of outrageous lies.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

History of Tattoos

The word tattoo is said to has two major derivations- from the polynesian word ‘ta’ which means striking something and the tahitian word ‘tatau’ which means ‘to mark something’.

The history of tattoo began over 5000 years ago and is as diverse as the people who wear them.

Tattoos are created by inserting colored materials beneath the skins surface. The first tattoos probably were created by accident. someone had a small wound, and rubbed it with a hand that was dirty with soot and ashes from the fire. Once the wound had healed, they saw that a mark stayed permanently.

Despite the social sciences' growing fascination with tattooing,and the immense popularity of tattoos themselves,the practice has not left much of a historical record.

Bronze Age
In 1991, a five thousand year old tattooed man ‘√∂tzi the ice man’ made the headlines of newspapers all over the world when his frozen body was discovered on a mountain between austria and italy. This is the best preserved corpse of that period ever found. The skin bears 57 tattoos: a cross on the inside of the left knee, six straight lines 15 centimeters long above the kidneys and numerous parallel lines on the ankles. The position of the tattoo marks suggests that they were probably applied for therapeutic reasons (treatment of arthritis).


Pazyryk Culture

In 1948, 120 miles north of the border between russia and china, russian archeologist Sergei Rudenko began excavating a group of tombs, or Kurgans, in the high Altai mountains of western and southern Siberia. Mummies were found that date from around 2400 years ago. The tattoos on their bodies represent a variety of animals. The griffins and monsters are thought to have a magical significance but some elements are believed to be purely decorative. Altogether the tattoos are believed to reflect the status of the individual.

samoan tattoo


Egypt

Written records, physical remains, and works of art relevant to egyptian tattoo have virtually been ignored by earlier egyptologists influenced by prevailing social attitudes toward the medium. Today however, we know that there have been bodies recovered dating to as early XI dynasty exhibiting the art form of tattoo. In 1891, archaeologists discovered the mummified remains of Amunet, a priestess of the goddess Hathor, at Thebes who lived some time between 2160 BC and 1994 BC. This female mummy displayed several lines and dots tattooed about her body - grouping dots and/or dashes were aligned into abstract geometric patterns. This art form was restricted to women only, and usually these women were associated with ritualistic practice.The Egyptians spread the practice of tattooing throughout the world. The pyramid-building third and fourth dynasties of egypt developed international nations with Crete, Greece, Persia, and Arabia. by 2,000 BC the art of tattooing had stretched out all the way to southeast asia . The Ainu (western asian nomads) then brought it with them as they moved to Japan.

Maori man with a distinctive moko of New Zealand, William Hodges, 1771, drawn during James Cook's second voyage


Japan

The earliest evidence of tattooing in Japan is found in the form of clay figurines which have faces painted or engraved to represent tattoo marks. The oldest figurines of this kind have been recovered from tombs dated 3,000 BC or older, and many other such figurines have been found in tombs dating from the second and third millennia BC. These figurines served as stand-ins for living individuals who symbolically accompanied the dead on their journey into the unknown, and it is believed that the tattoo marks had religious or magical significance. The first written record of Japanese tattooing is found in a Chinese dynastic history compiled in 297 AD. The Japanese were interested in the art mostly for its decorative attributes, as opposed to magical ones. The Horis - the Japanese tattoo artists - were the undisputed masters. Their use of colors, perspective, and imaginative designs gave the practice a whole new angle. The classic Japanese tattoo, is a full body suit.


Maori Chiefs, circa 1910


japanese tattoo

Polynesia

In pacific cultures tattooing has a huge historic significance. Polynesian tattooing is considered the most intricate and skillful tattooing of the ancient world. Polynesian peoples, believe that a person's mana, their spiritual power or life force, is displayed through their tattoo.The vast majority of what we know today about these ancient arts has been passed down through legends, songs, and ritual ceremonies. Elaborate geometrical designs which were often added to, renewed, and embellished throughout the life of the individual until they covered the entire body.

In Samoa, the tradition of applying tattoo, or ‘tatau’, by hand,has long been defined by rank and title, with chiefs and their assistants, descending from notable families in the proper birth order. The tattooing ceremonies for young chiefs, typically conducted at the onset of puberty, were elaborate affairs and were a key part of their ascendance to a leadership role.

The permanent marks left by the tattoo artists would forever celebrate their endurance and dedication to cultural traditions.The first europeans who set foot on Samoan soil were members of a 1787 French expedition. They got a closer look at the natives and reported that ‘the men have their thighs painted or tattooed in such a way that one would think them clothed, although they are almost naked’. The mythological origins of Samoan tattooing and the extraordinary cross-cultural history of tatau has been transported to the migrant communities of New Zealand, and later disseminated into various international subcultures from Auckland to the Netherlands.

The Hawaiian people had their traditional tattoo art, known as ‘kakau’. It served them not only for ornamentation and distinction, but to guard their health and spiritual well-being. Intricate patterns, mimicking woven reeds or other natural forms, graced men's arms, legs, torso and face. Women were generally tattooed on the hand, fingers, wrists and sometimes on their tongue.

The arrival of western missionaries forced this unique art form into decline as tattooing has been discouraged or forbidden by most christian churches throughout history.


New Zealand

The Maori of New Zealand had created one of the most impressive cultures of all Polynesia. Their tattoo, called ‘moko’, reflected their refined artistry - using their woodcarving skills to carve skin. The full-face moko was a mark of distinction, which communicated their status, lines of descent and tribal affiliations. it recalled their wearer's exploits in war and other great events of their life.

India / Thailand

Hanuman in India was a popular symbol of strength on arms and legs. The mythical monk is still today one of the most popular creations in Thailand and Myanmar. They are put on the human body by monks who incorporate magical powers to the design while tattooing.Women are excluded because monks are not allowed to be touched by them and because thais believe women do not need the extra boost as they are already strong enough on their own.

German circus, tattoo woman


Africa

In Africa, where people have dark skin, it is difficult to make coloured tattoos as we know them. But they want to be tattooed anyway, so they have developed another technique - they make scarifications (this is not really tattooing, but it is related to tattooing). Made by lifting the skin a little, and making a cut with a knife or some other sharp thingspecial sands or ashes were rubbed in to make raised scarsin patterns on the body, it can be felt like braille lettering...These patterns often follow local traditions.

Ancient Greece and Rome

The Greeks learnt tattooing from the Persians. Their woman were fascinated by the idea of tattoos as exotic beauty marks.The Romans adopted tattooing from the greeks.Roman writers such as Virgil, Seneca, and Galenus reported that many slaves and criminals were tattooed.A legal inscription from Ephesus indicates that during the early Roman Empire all slaves exported to Asia were tattooed with the words ‘tax paid’.

Greeks and Romans also used tattooing as a punishment. Early in the fourth century, when constantine became Roman emperor and rescinded the prohibition on christianity, he also banned tattooing on face, which was common for convicts, soldiers, and gladiators. Constantine believed that the human face was a representation of the image of god and should not be disfigured or defiled.


The Celts

They were a tribal people who moved across western Europe in times around 1200 and 700 B.C. They reached the British Isles around 400 B.C. and most of what has survived from their culture is in the areas now known as Ireland, Wales and Scotland. Celtic culture was full of body art. Permanent body painting was done with woad, which left a blue design on the skin. Spirals are very common, and they can be single, doubled or tripled. Knotwork is probably the most recognized form of celtic art, with lines forming complex braids which then weave across themselves. These symbolise the connection of all life. Step or key patterns, like those found in early labyrinth designs, are seen both in simple borders and full complex mazes. Much in the way that labyrinths are walked, these designs are symbolic of the various paths that life’s journey can take.




Central and South America

In Peru, tattooed Inca mummies dating to the 11th century have been found. 16th century Spanish accounts of Mayan tattooing in Mexico and central America reveal tattoos to be a sign of courage. When Cortez and his conquistadors arrived on the coast of mexicoin 1519 they were horrified to discover that the natives not only worshipped devils in the form of statues and idols, but had somehow managed to imprint indelible images of these idols on their skin. The Spaniards, who had never heard of tattooing, recognized it at once as the work of satan. The sixteenth century Spanish historians who chronicled the adventures of Cortez and his conquistadors reported that tattooing was widely practiced by the natives of central America.

North America

Early Jesuit accounts testify to the widespread practice of tattooing among native Americans. Among the Chickasaw, outstanding warriors were recognised by their tattoos. Among the Ontario Iroquoians, elaboratetattoos reflected high status. in north-west America, Inuit women's chins were tattooed to indicate marital status and group identity. The first permanent tattoo shop in new york city was settled up in 1846 and began a tradition by tattooing military servicemen from both sides of the civil war. Samuel O'reilly invented the electric tattooing machine in 1891.

Middle-East

During the time of the old testament, much of the pagan world was practicing the art of tattooing as a means of deity worship. A passage in leviticus reads: ‘ye shall not make any cuttings on your flesh for the dead nor print any marks upon you’. (19:28) This has been cited as biblical authority to support the church's position. Biblical scholar M.W. Thomson suggests, however, that Moses favored tattoos. Moses introduced tattoos as a way to commemorate the deliverance of the jews from slavery in Egypt.


England

Explorers returned home with tattooed Polynesians to exhibit at fairs, in lecture halls and in dime museums, to demonstrate the height of european civilization compared to the ‘primitive natives’. After Captain Cook returned from his voyage to Polynesia tattooing became a tradition in the British Navy.By the middle of the 18th century most British ports had at least one professional tattoo artist in residence.In 1862, the prince of Wales, later to become King Edward VII, received his first tattoo - a jerusalem cross - on his arm. He started a tattoo fad among the aristocracy when he was tattooed before ascending to the throne. In 1882, his sons, the duke of Clarence and the duke of York were tattooed by the Japanese master tattooist, Hori Chiyo.


the german Annie Frank 1911, postcard

coca cola advert, 1944, life magazine

Monday, September 8, 2008

Brainwashing


"Just as most soldiers believe bullets will hit only others, not themselves, most citizens like to think that their own minds and thought processes are invulnerable. 'Other people can be manipulated, but not me,' they declare." -- Margaret Singer, Ph.D.

Have you ever thought that every day we are exposed to brainwashing? No? Daily either by commercials,tv shows,propagandas or any other mass media tools our brains are deformed. Things that you think you want actually are imposed on you without your consciousness.
How you choose your toothpaste? Which brand butter you buy? Why you vote for that particular person? What is the reason you buy things that sometimes you even dont use? If you think a little bit on these questions and answer then you will understand why I am asking .
You dont have to be in a jail or a member of a cult to be brainwashed.Now it is much easier to become zombi with the help of Mass Media.
So be aware of what is going on.The thing what you do,is it imposed on your will or not?


Brainwashing (mind control) is the successful control of the thoughts and actions of another without his or her consent. Generally, the term implies that the victim has given up some basic political, social, or religious beliefs and attitudes, and has been made to accept contrasting ideas. 'Brainwashing' is often used loosely to refer to being persuaded by propaganda.

The Technology of Thought and Behavior Control:

The long evolution of developing procedures to control human behavior all came to a head in the modern world with Pavlov, a Russian scientist. In the early years of the twentieth century, Pavlov made the discovery that you can condition a dog to salivate on command simply by associating food with the ringing of a bell. Once that association is fixed in the dog's mind, the food can be removed and the dog will salivate merely when it hears the bell.

Pavlov carried out the identical experiments on human beings with the same results. Those principles have been adapted to television and motion pictures and can now make people salivate in response to a wide array of bells and whistles. We can call it phase one in the evolution of human behavior control.

Phase two was accomplished by the same Russian scientist, Pavlov. Very few people know of this part of his research. During a particularly severe storm in Russia, heavy rains continued for days and Pavlov's laboratories were flooded. Pavlov and his research assistants were able to return to the laboratory only after the flood waters had receded days later. Upon returning, Pavlov discovered something truly remarkable. Before the flood, many of the dogs had been conditioned to respond to various stimuli. Lo and behold, all traces of the conditioning in the dogs had disappeared! Bells, food, nothing could induce the former salivation response that had been so carefully implanted in the dogs' nervous systems.

What mysterious influence could account for this remarkable turn of events, Pavlov wondered. So, being a good scientist, he studied carefully what had transpired while he was away from the dogs. They had been left without food or warmth. They had been isolated for days; some of them had drowned. They had been subjected to extreme stress, never knowing if they would live or die. These were the factors that had produced the washing away of the previous conditioning from the dogs' brains - brain-washing.

Pavlov and other Russians followed up this line of research, but it was the Chinese communists in the 1950s who first saw its real potential for use with human beings. They employed these very principles in brainwashing American and other Allied prisoners of war during the Korean conflict. Isolation, periodic denial of food or water, cold and exposure, extreme stress associated with uncertainty of life or death--these conditions, together with a continual barrage of indoctrination produced the erasing of previous beliefs and behavior patterns in American soldiers in particular. Thus brainwashing became phase two in the evolution of human behavior control.

Wag the Dog...

Why does a dog wag its tail? Because a dog is smarter than its tail. If the tail were smarter, the tail would wag the dog.

Wag the Dog (1997) was produced and directed by Barry Levinson. Hilary Henkin and David Mamet co-wrote the screenplay. The film is based on the novel American Hero by Larry Beinhart. The book, however, differs greatly from the picture. In the book the president is specifically George Herbert Walker Bush (in the movie he is unnamed) and the fake war operation is explicitly Desert Storm.

The film explores serious themes, such as the manipulation of the mass media and public opinion, with a comedic sensibility. The film drew attention at the time for similarities to the Clinton sex scandal, although the movie also makes reference to the Persian Gulf War as an example of war used as an electoral tactic. The idea of war as a creation of the media is not, of course, original to the movie.

Great movie!


Sunday, September 7, 2008

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Some Things Cost More Than You Realise

Georgia begins life without Russia

Russia has closed its embassy in the Georgian capital, Tbilisi, and recalled its diplomats. It's the first time in post-Soviet history that Russia has cut ties with any nation.

When governments cut relations, it's part of a political game. But for ordinary people, such measures can often have serious consequences. Georgian residents have been queuing at the Russian embassy in Tbilisi. Each one has a personal connection to Russia.
For some it's relatives, for others it's business. But for every one of them the question is how to continue in this new reality.

"I was a Georgian citizen but today I decided I want to give back my Georgian passport. I came here to ask for a Russian passport. I want to live in Kaliningrad. My parents still live in Georgia, but after what happened I cannot stay here anymore and I decided I want to live in Russia," said Anastasia Valozhaikina, an applicant for a Russian passport applicant.
Since Wednesday all diplomatic links between Russia and Georgia have been cut.
For years Georgia was part of the Russian empire. Then it was one of the wealthiest states of the Soviet Union. The ancient ties between the two peoples are deep and exist on many levels.

The Shana family mixes the blood of four different peoples - Georgian, Ossetian, Russian and Jewish. And like most Georgian families, President Mikhail Saakashvili's decision tears them apart.

"Because of my profession, I have always received lots of offers to work in the States. It would have meant a better financial situation. But I always refused because I believe family must be together. But today it's different, because a big part of my family lives in Russia and to see them is going to be much more difficult," Viktor Shana said.

Until now, Saakashvilli could do what he wanted without criticism. The martial law he imposed at the beginning of the war gave him almost total power. But the parliament's decision to annul it means he has to deal with the local backlash.

"Now that martial law is lifted, there are a lot of questions that will be put on the table about Saakashvili's behaviour. We will speak loudly about him and I personally have some questions to ask him about the situation today. I am going to ask parliament to push for the resignation of Saakashvili's government. I think parliament has to act to create a new government," said opposition MP Professor Paata Davitaya.

And when the smoke of the war clears, Georgians will have to learn how to live without diplomatic ties with their largest neighbour for the first time in hundreds of years.

News from Russia Today

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Back to Roots...


Each day brings into our life new experiences,new happiness or disappointments.Each thing which enters our life changes us,sometimes for better sometimes not.We grow up and usually during this process we forget about one thing, thing which is very important and need to be protect.The Child in us,in that innermost where usually we dont like to look at,the sacred place of our being, where the darkest and the brightest things are kept.While we are afraid to look there not to see the darkest parts we at the same time ignore that Child too, the brightest thing in our existance.This child is keeping us pure and gives us all the good behaviours.

In life we face many things and they can be very cruel, rude and can discourage us.Even if we start with good intentions at the end we can give up or at that crucial stage we can start changing even without noticing it. We can become just like one of others.I call them "zombies" or "clones" for their identical behaviours.People that we were complaining about, that they are rude, selfish, cruel etc are not anymore different from us as we are day by day getting more like them.

To my opinion money is the biggest reason of all this evil and the worst thing is that we bring up our children with this idea of our cruel world and pollute their bright and pure minds and deprive them from having a real childhood.

Try it at least for once, remember your childhood, where there were no worries about money and all that material things. Go out into the nature, be one with it, explore it anew. Walk under the rain, enjoy the sun rays sparkling on your hair, watch children playing, listen to their laughter, have some adventure with nature. Look around, I am sure before because of the the rush of the daily life and financial worries you didnt notice many things, many beautiful things around and you can enjoy them for free!

Don't let the Child inside to die.It is like a flower and neeeds to be watered and cared with love.Love is the only thing that can keep it alive.Don't let life to make you indifferent to it.

Let's go back to our roots inside.Let's remember the good things.Think about how good life can be.If everybody makes some effort that's not that difficult.

by Sveta


Monday, September 1, 2008

Medvedev exclusive: We’re not afraid of Cold War

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev


News from Russia Today

Medvedev exclusive: We’re not afraid of Cold War

With the Russian parliament backing the independence of the breakaway republics of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, President Dmitry Medvedev gives his views on the issue in an exclusive interview with RT.

RT: Immediately after Kosovo’s independence was recognised, Moscow said this could become a precedent for South Ossetia and Abkhazia. Today, you made a decision to support these republics’ independence. Why did Russia do it? Does this square with international law?

Medvedev: I'll start with your second question. This is fully in line with international law. When the case of Kosovo arose, my colleagues said this was a special case, or, as experts in international affairs say, casus sui generis. Well, each case of such recognition is a special case. The situation in Kosovo was special, and the situation in South Ossetia and Abkhazia is special as well.

In our situation, it is quite obvious that we made this decision in order to prevent genocide and annihilation of these peoples, and to help them to come to their feet. These unrecognised republics have been struggling for their independence for seventeen years now. Despite all attempts by the international community, no progress was made during this time. Until just recently, we tried to help restore the state unite of Georgia. However, it didn’t work.

The decision to launch an aggression buried all hopes of achieving an agreement. Thus, under current circumstances, the only way to preserve these peoples is to recognise them as subjects of international law, to recognize their state independence.

That is why our decision is fully in line with international law, the UN Charter, Helsinki declarations and other international documents.

RT: Is Russia prepared for a long and tough confrontation with leading world powers that the decision it made today may lead to? And, in general, aren’t we afraid of the prospect to enter another Cold War?

Medvedev: We are not afraid of anything, the prospect of another Cold War included. Of course, we don't want that. In this situation, everything depends on the stand of our partners in the world community, our partners in the West. If they want to preserve good relations with Russia, they will understand the reason for making such a decision, and the situation will be calm. But if they choose a confrontational scenario, well, we‘ve been through all kinds of situations, and we’ll survive.

RT: You have signed the six-point agreement. One of the points says Russia should pull its troops out of Georgia. Nevertheless, Russia is still being accused of not meeting this obligation. Is this true? Are there Russian troops left in Georgia?

Medvedev: That's not true. Russia has fully met its obligations stemming from the six principles of the so-called Medvedev-Sarkozy agreement. Our troops have been withdrawn from Georgia, except for the so-called security corridor.

RT: The presidential campaign is underway in the US. Both candidates have spoken more than once on Russia’s actions in Georgia. Don’t you think this situation is being used as an instrument for the political struggle inside the US?

Medvedev: Well, as far as I know, usually during the elections in the United States of America, voters are quite indifferent to what is happening abroad. But if one of the candidates managed to use this question, well, godspeed him. The main thing is that it should not lead to international tensions. I have no doubt that both candidates will try to spin this situation for his purposes. But such are the rules of the election campaign.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Stop Ruining The Earth!

Would you do any damage to the place where you live in? Would you put on fire or do something that can destroy your home, your house? You wouldnt! Why should you if you are living in it and if it is the only place where you belong to. Then why people destroy, do harm to our planet which is our home, the place which gives us life? Our planet is writhing with pain and if we dont stop ruining it, soon there will be no place that we can call it "home".