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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Security Measures of Summit Compromises Free Speech and Open Borders to EU citizens

April 1, 2008

NATO’s Bucharest Summit

As I have written elsewhere, the NATO Summit in Bucharest will determine the future of NATO for many years to come. Some (mostly harmless) questions in my mind:

Will European members rediscover a common will regarding redefined global goals and strategy of the alliance?

Will NATO come to represent something more than an American heavy hand in the European pie or merely as a gate keeper for nations seeking membership in the European Union?

Since the Cold War is over, how will NATO assure Russia that NATO plays a new role in international politics – a role that supports common economic interests including reasonable Russian interests?

Related to the NATO Summit in Bucharest, but more immediately interesting than the NATO specific questions on my mind is… recent authoritarian moves of the Romanian government to prevent dissenting opinion and protest about NATO in the Romanian public square.

Background music for your reading: Marilyn Manson, Nobodies

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Why Romania is important

Why is Romania so important to the US and NATO?

I’m not talking about the Romanian hotties- though there is much to be said about that subject. Some local hot shots are even grumbling that all the working girls are booked solid for the Summit. Rumors have it that the Italian and French diplomats may have arrived a bit in advance of the Summit to log some quality fly time.
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moby and me: Easter Pilgrimage To Bucovina (part one)

March 28, 2008

Below, a little background music: moby, One of These Mornings:

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Easter Vigil in Bucovina

After an eight hour drive, I arrived at St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church in Cacica (Kaczyka in Polish) just as the Easter Vigil service was getting started. Having fasted, I was looking forward to the late night supper waiting for me at Casa Antonio’s hostel-pension in Solca: ciorba radeautian– a traditional Northern Romanian soup. And since it was so cold (3 degrees Celsius), I hoped to find a warm bed too.

Yes, there is a website for the church in Romanian, Italian and Polish. Go here– if you can read any of these languages.

altar in st. mary's catholic church

Preparation of Holy Communion during the Easter Vigil Mass at St. Mary’s in Cacica Read the rest of this entry »


Geert Wilders, Bigotry and Human Conflict

March 4, 2008

Notes from a Patsak (before the release of Wilder’s film):

Geert Wilders is just a noisy bigot whose pastey face barely escapes his neck. Why would anyone take him seriously? Regardless of the controversy, we must remember that bigotry and conflict only serve those who oppose the transparency and self-examination that is generally demanded of government and politics in times of peace and progress.

Relevant to this discussion is an interesting video from moby that you may have not have understood.

Now, here’s the hints: the old dude is Uncle Sam, the chicken factory is the Middle East, the factory workers represent Masad and CIA operatives, the store is Europe and the store employee is an Asian immigrant. The chicken (protagonist) represents Hamas, the slaughtered chickens are Palestinians, and Uncle Sam’s body guard, obviously, Homeland and FBI. Democracy and freedom are represented by the female vocalist. The knife used to kill Uncle Sam is a metaphor for Israeli lobbyists and the Media. And the barbeque sauce is sweet crude.

The babes and cash are what they are, babes and cash. This is what it’s all about. The bottomline, baby!

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Note: The views reflected in the above interpretation of moby’s video, Disco Lies, are represented here for the purpose of humorous relief from a European perspective; such interpretations are not meant to be taken as truth or suggestions.
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