Romania: Authoritarians Trample On Constitution, Civil Rights

April 6, 2008

Treading fearlessly…

Sounds and images from Kazakhstan (wink) for your reading background music (below)

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In preparation for the NATO summit and during the period of the NATO Summit in Bucharest, the Romanian state and Bucharest city government may have violated all or more than the following Romanian Constitutional articles:

1. Article 21 Access to Justice
2. Article 23 Individual Freedom
3. Article 24 Right to legal counsel
4. Article 25 Freedom of movement
5. Article 29 Freedom of conscience
6. Article 30 Freedom of expression
7. Article 39 Freedom of assembly
8. Article 40 Right of association

In consideration of these abuses of national and local government powers, a Romanian civil liberties group has filed an official complaint with the Romanian Public Ministry – the same institution which may be responsible for said violations. Some Romanians, however, believe that complaints should be taken to the EU Courts for Human Rights in Brussels. They argue that the Romanian Public Ministry is unlikely to condemn itself or those officials within the institution which continuously demonstrates its contempt for the Romanian Constitution.

The most cynical of Romanian critics believe this civil liberties group is conspiring with the Romanian government to take the heat off by allowing such questions to be handled by the foremost guilty party and, as soon as possible, to be swept under the carpet and forgotten. Interestingly, this is no serious story about this in the mainstream Media (Television, Print or Radio).
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NATO Summit in Bucharest may have been too big for Romania

April 2, 2008

02 April

NATO Summit in Bucharest

As the minutes tick closer to the start of today’s NATO Summit in Bucharest, some Romanian bloggers question the zeal of their leaders in ensuring there is neither public protest nor questions to the value of NATO for Romania or other European states- neither in Bucharest nor Romania in general. Although an outspoken and public critic of the flagging commitment of other NATO members, Romanian President Traian Basescu believes that NATO remains a national priority for Romania.

Yesterday’s press conference on the arrival of President Bush and the upcoming NATO Summit in the clip below:

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Recently, Basescu challenged Russia’s opposition to NATO, telling Russia that its time now to work with NATO- and not against it. Among the public items on Basescu’s agenda: an anti-ballistic missile shield for Romania provided by the US or NATO, renewal and enlargement of Romanian troop commitment in Afghanistan, security policy regarding energy, and NATO acceptance of requests to be considered in the enlargement of NATO. Included in these requests are those from Albania, Georgia, Macedonia, and Ukraine.
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Meditations on Bucuresti: haiku, reflections and observations

March 15, 2008

When I first visited Romania in 2000, I began writing haiku to capture my reflections and observations of Romania, Romanian life and the Romanian people. I continue to do so. Below is a small, assorted sampler from my growing collection of haiku, tentatively titled Meditations on Bucuresti.

I do not know why I ultimately stayed with the haiku form for this personal project. In fact, I would have preferred the Shakespearean sonnet- it would permit me more words. Perhaps, I believed the haiku would help me develop a sense of pith. If you have read my posts, however, you’ll have the impression that I still need to work on this.

And I would share the same conclusion with you.

Honestly, I don’t believe my haiku are masterful- nothing like a flash of lightning in a summer cloud. I consider myself a shabby apprentice of the art, producing uninspiring mediocrity. However, I aspire to become a master of both haiku and haiga (where haiku and visual art come together). This takes time and practice. And, maybe, many years.

Beyond the formal sound count (not syllablic) structure of 5-7-5, good haiku is forceful. Good Haiku puts you there in the moment – and in the feeling. Perhaps, in the image. Haiku by the Japanese master, Basho, is often considered a forceful and popular example of haiku at its finest. Some of his haiku was joined with visual decoration (Bashon comes to mind) and represent some of the most beautiful haiga out there.

Hopefully, I will improve my art in time and, perhaps, you will join me in this journey, putting up with my mediocre work in progress. If, on the other hand, you can’t stand it, rate it poorly in the Buzzfuse widget and tell me to stop in the Buzzfuse comments. If I can’t take a hint, tell me in a direct and straight-forward manner and, theoretically, I shall relieve you of your suffering. [sheepish smile]

Below, a little Romanian folk Christmas Carol to cleanse the palette.

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inexplicable irony, 2007

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Beauty, truth, goodness

smiling on kissable lips.

Nothing in the kiss.

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The Great Divorce: The chest drops out of a Patsak

February 25, 2008

Yesterday, I attended the second hearing in our divorce proceedings. Again, she did not show up for the hearing. Anyway, she gets everything- so to speak. There was no necessity for any kind of court room drama.

It is almost done.

Like evil waiting upon the results, ready to count the casualties and measure the precise pitch and degree of devastation, confusion and chaos.

And when this evil is accomplished, still divorce remains a difficulty, an enigma and a paradox to me and my highest hopes. The future just hangs there.

I wait for answers. Patience now…

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It feels like evil. Perhaps, because it may be, in fact, evil. All of our good will could neither prevail nor prevent this sudden termination of the most beautiful… promises, oaths and legal obligations. On the other hand, beautiful things can be as fleeting as the beauty of a lifeless, cut flower-  when these things are not meant and only made from convenience.

And yet – even if evil – this does not preclude a distant happy ending, only unhappy results and a heart-felt penitence that must be conducted and managed with even greater responsibility, better decision and more noble action than evidenced in our practice and commitment in marriage.

Beyond Good and Evil, there is a breakdown (a la Heidegger) in myself, my destiny, and my eternal integrity.

Everything seems changed.

Love, marriage, and me are no longer what they seemed to be. Yes, I am changed, changing, and becoming something else — not without heart aching and unbid tears.

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How to evaluate the value of an online business in Romania

August 10, 2007

Through the Interactive Advertising Bureau Romania (IAB Romania), I have received several queries about how to evaluate the value of an online business in Romania. The answer is an interesting problematic. However, I shall endeavor to provide my honest opinion of the current situation. But I’m not quite sure how my colleagues in Bucharest will feel about my candor.

Below, something relevant from Bob Dylan to set the tone of my honest opinion.

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