Monday, July 27, 2015

INTERNATIONAL CAPACITY DEVELOPMENT




Foreign aid is taking money from the poor people of a rich country and giving it to the rich people of a poor country. Barroso had the terrible habit of junketing foreign countries and distributing foreign aid, showing off he is a big shot, and being treated like a Messiah. It’s not yours to give!  Squandering the taxpayers’ hard-earned money must stop right now. Throwing money to misery brings more misery.

For many years, Jim Armstrong has been at the forefront in challenging the commonly held view that international best practices provide an effective solution to capacity development in developing countries.  He has been particularly concerned that many projects aimed at reforming public administration in poor countries fall short of their objectives, fail to sustain benefits after the project is complete and, by passively importing foreign practices, prevent the development of indigenous solutions. 

In a recently published book, Armstrong reflects on the limitations of this standard approach to capacity development, considers why success is often elusive, and articulates a new approach founded on local success rather than imported prescriptions. His ideas should be of interest to academics, practitioners, beneficiaries and promoters of capacity development everywhere. They are relevant for practitioners working in the field of public financial management.

The book presents the fruits of Armstrong’s many years of field experience at the helm of The Governance Network as well as his independent research. It illustrates key points with extensive examples from diverse parts of the world including Afghanistan, the United Kingdom, Nepal, Somalia, Vietnam, Guyana and the Semiahmoo Indian Reserve in Canada. Further insight is provided by a detailed case study based on his central role in Trinidad & Tobago’s Ministerial Performance Management Framework (MPMF) program.

The book begins by noting the high failure rate associated with attempts to implement best practices that have been developed in rich, successful donor countries in highly dissimilar states, in different regions, with different cultures and at different stages of development. It notes that the standard model of employing external experts to mechanistically apply a rational scientific approach to assess, plan, implement and evaluate progress towards a pre-determined ideal often does not result in sustainable capacity.

The notion that best practices should be presented in a context-sensitive way with the support of domestic buy-in is no longer a new one. Academics such as Matt Andrews of the Harvard Kennedy School have developed very similar ideas. Nevertheless, success continues to be elusive. Dr. Armstrong suggests that this reflects the nature of “capacity” – a complex, ambiguous, abstract concept – and the fact that capacity-building challenges are intractable, messy, interconnected, and often contradictory. He describes these challenges as wicked problems that are not amenable to pre-defined technical solutions. A better approach is likely to be adaptive, novel and risky, and less certain to reach a definite end-point at which a single best outcome is definitively achieved. Put another way, public policy complexity is unlikely to be satisfactorily addressed by engineering-type solutions.

Armstrong espouses replacing the standard capacity building model with its assumption of linear relationships and simple causality, and actors that are passive and reactive, with a new paradigm that is more robust in the face of societal realities that integrate multiple visions and expectations. His solution is an assertively collaborative approach, with the change agent retreating from the role of expert (i.e., the dominant provider of solutions) and adopting the mantle of coach, guiding the process through which the recipient actors apply their own deep knowledge of local situations, power relationships, and expectations. The book explores a new approach to building capacity that embeds collaboration throughout a non-linear process that combines co-diagnosing, co-learning, co-designing and co-acting to achieve results that are meaningful in the local context.

A key insight in this book is the application of the collaborative method to identifying and adopting positive deviations – the anomalous instances of good outcomes (the “bright spots” referred to in the title of the book) among generally negative circumstances. The book presents a striking example of this approach from Vietnam where the development of capacity to provide better child nutrition did not lean on standard external prescriptions. Instead, reformers sought out examples of local children who were well-nourished despite local conditions, identified how this came to be and looked for ways to propagate these observed behaviors to the general population. It is evident that this approach leans heavily on intense local engagement to discover what is already working in the community, and places the external change agent outside the realm of technical expert and into a position of facilitation (a much different and seemingly less common skill set). The end result is less a solution to a technical problem (although that is significant) and more the development of a collective understanding of the issues, in which local actors work together to find a solution to local challenges. This in turn generates confidence among the actors in their problem-solving abilities – a key aspect of true capacity.

Armstrong recognizes that the implications for changing how projects are defined and subsequently evaluated are profound. There are significant challenges that can only be accommodated by upsetting much of the development profession’s current orthodoxy, which will be no small task. At the beginning of the book Armstrong poses the question: “are there new, emerging approaches to building the capacity of developing country public sector institutions that show more promise than what has been tried in the past?” In answering this question positively, Armstrong presents cause for optimism that an approach founded on guiding the acquisition of practical wisdom (rather than applying normative solutions), together with identifying and building on “bright spots”, can truly develop capacity where it is most needed. 

Squandering the taxpayers’ hard-earned money on Third World is ridiculous.  It’s not yours to give!  There are many reasons for the failure of foreign aid. Foreign aid has a widespread record of waste, fraud, and abuse.  Aid programs have built tennis courts in Rwanda, sent sewing machines to areas without electricity, and constructed hospitals in cities where a dozen similar facilities already sat half empty. 


IT’S NOT YOURS TO GIVE!

Frequently, the aid is stolen by corrupt foreign leaders. The Agency for International Development admitted that much of the investment financed by AID has disappeared without a trace.  Most euros sent to Palestine end up in the secret offshore accounts of Palestinian kleptocrats.  The rest of it ends up in buying guns and supporting terrorists.  Arafat’s wife inherited one billion euros!   EU robs at VAT gunpoint a poor Greek woman who cannot feed her children, in order to support Hamas terrorists!   Davy Crockett says: It’s not yours to give! 

Even when aid reaches its intended beneficiaries, the results are often counterproductive. Just as domestic welfare prevents citizens from becoming self-sufficient, foreign aid keeps entire nations dependent. According to one internal AID audit long-term feeding programs have great potential for creating disincentives for food production.

Specific examples of counterproductive aid policies are easy to come by. For example, following a devastating earthquake in Guatemala, farmers trying to sell their surplus grain found the market flooded by the Food for Peace program. As a result, food aid stood in the way of development.  Aid to Somalia aggravated the country's famine, disrupted local agriculture, and turned nomadic tribesmen into relief junkies.

Moreover, foreign aid has often been used to prop up failing socialist economies, preventing countries from moving to free-market economic policies. Yet, an examination of world economies clearly shows that those countries with free markets experience the greatest economic prosperity.  Foreign aid is structurally bad because it undermines the incentive to take responsibility. The more aid a country receives, the less the government of that country has to answer to the people. 

We saw how unwise policies had an impact. Some policies that countries enacted with the hope of mitigating the crisis, such as export bans on rice, only made matters worse. They spurred panic buying and hoarding, which made rice unaffordable from East Asia to West Africa to the Caribbean. They also undermined countries’ broader food security by discouraging farmers from increasing production. Rising food prices can have a positive effect if they send a signal to farmers to grow and sell more. But that can only happen if there is transparency in markets and stocks so signals about prices and supply are accurately received.

Now, there are few easy answers to the problems facing rural farmers, the majority of whom are women around the world, or those problems facing hungry people everywhere. And many of the new investments in agricultural development will not be evident for years. But we cannot let the complexity inhibit us. We cannot let the timeline of change deter us. We can’t keep falling back on providing emergency aid just to put the bandaid on to keep moving forward to try to mitigate the damage insofar as possible.  

EUROZONE NEEDS A STRONGER COLLECTIVE PUSH




Eurozone is in congested area, and it needs a stronger collective push to strengthen the economy and make the monetary union more resilient. . Among the large economies, Germany continues to grow slightly above 1½ percent, while Spain is rebounding strongly. Italy is emerging from three years of recession, and activity in France picked up at the beginning of this year. The recovery is supported by cheaper oil, monetary easing, and a weaker euro, with growth in euro area economies expected to rise modestly to 1.5 percent this year and 1.7 percent in 2016.

Medium-term prospects are less bright. Several factors cloud the outlook for growth over the next five years. These include high unemployment, especially among the youth; large corporate debt; and, rising non-performing loans (NPLs) in the banking system. Slow progress on structural reforms has also dampened the business climate and reduced growth potential. As a result, the euro area remains vulnerable to shocks. A moderate shock to confidence—whether from lower expected future growth or heightened geopolitical tensions—could tip the block into prolonged stagnation.

To counter the risks of stagnation, economists call for a stronger collective push to strengthen the recovery and make the monetary union more resilient. Staying the course on the expanded asset purchase program, or quantitative easing (QE) is essential. While quantitative easing has already improved financial conditions and raised inflation expectations, international experience suggests that its impact on the real economy will take more time. But strengthening bank and corporate balance sheets could significantly amplify the impact of quantitative easing via more bank lending to revive credit growth. While there are currently few signs of scarcity in sovereign bond markets, the ECB should develop a common securities lending framework to increase the availability of collateral for market participants. Macro-prudential policies should serve as the first line of defense against potential financial stability risks.

On fiscal policy, countries must adhere to their commitments under the Stability and Growth Pact. Countries with limited budget space (such as France and Portugal) should save interest windfalls from quantitative easing to pay down debt. Others (such as Germany and the Netherlands) should use them to support investment and structural reforms. Doing this now in a period of low interest rates, can have a powerful growth impact. There is a further call to expedite the centralized investment initiative Juncker Plan to support demand, especially in countries with limited fiscal room.

The ECB’s 2014 Comprehensive Assessment of European banks enhanced transparency and strengthened capital positions. The report, however, notes NPLs have continued to rise and are dangerously high in some economies—eroding bank profitability and locking up capital that could otherwise support new lending. Expeditiously reducing NPLs could generate significant capacity for new lending, particularly in countries with high bad loans.

Three complementary actions to remove bad loans from bank balance sheets quickly include: strengthening prudential supervision; undertaking insolvency reforms to accelerate court procedures and facilitate out-of-court settlements; and developing a market for bad loans to help corporate restructuring. Asset management companies (AMCs), for example, could help banks to work with investors to offload bad loans. In some cases, public sector involvement in AMCs may be beneficial, subject to EU State aid rules.

Authorities should leverage the opportunity provided by the cyclical upturn and monetary accommodation to accelerate structural reforms. At the national level, priorities include reforms to make hiring and firing easier; improve the business climate; and promote competition. At the regional level, the priorities are to implement swiftly the Services Directive to eliminate long-held national barriers; enhance insolvency regimes; and push more strongly for a single market in capital, transport, energy and the digital economy.

A stronger and simpler governance framework should support such efforts. Important components of this framework would include: benchmarking reforms against outcomes (that are clearly observable and measurable), stronger EU oversight with less discretion in applying existing rules, and better financial incentives for reforms. A capital markets union would help diversify funding sources for small- and medium-sized enterprises, reduce reliance on bank lending, and promote more cross-border finance.

The fiscal framework has become more complex following successive reforms over the past years. To make it more effective, it should be simplified by focusing on two main pillars: a single fiscal anchor (public debt-to-GDP) and a single operational target (an expenditure growth rule) linked to the anchor. 

In a seven-year itch of depression, Brussels is now facing secession winds. Will its system manage the storm and can its unity be protected?  I consider the European Union null and void confederation, because Europeans did not vote for any constitutional treaty!  Eurokleptocrats pulled off the biggest powergrab in history by imposing a camouflaged constitution, bypassing all nonos. The Nazi dream for Europe was finally fullfilled - ein Volk, ein Reich, ein Fuehrer - one people, one empire, one leader. 

The Lisbon Treaty is Eurokleptocracy's Pyrrhic victory. It created a confederation, Fourth Reich, without a popular foundation. EU lacks legitimacy among Europeans. Eurokleptocrats created a situation where the citizens of slave States live their lives with a resigned feeling that the EU project is not their own. 

Fourth Reich is an illegal confederation that has no voted constitution, a flag no one salutes, an anthem no one sings, a Fuehrer no one can name, a parliament of prostitutes, a capital of huge bureaucracy no one controls, a currency that soon will not exist, rules of fiscal behavior that no member has been penalized for ignoring, a commission which is the Eldorado of corruption, brutal cybercops, and kleptocrats galore! 

The EU system is so fundamentally flawed and corrupt that it is doubtful whether it can be reformed in any meaningful way. Corruption and a chronic lack of accountability are not flaws in the system; they are there by design. The EU oligarchs have proven themselves very adept at exploiting crises to further more federal integration. This even goes for problems they have themselves created.

The entire EU system since the days of Jean Monnet has been built on creating a European superstate through deceiving the European public by presenting it as merely an elaborate free trade zone. Lies and deceit have become part of the structural DNA of the European Union.

The EU has essentially bribed the political class throughout much of the European continent, and bought their personal loyalty and support. If they become a part of the EU system, they receive well paid jobs. Moreover, they don’t have to answer to the average citizen for what they do, or how they use or abuse their power. It is easy to see why some people find this combination alluring.

The EU elites have a strong vested interest in keeping up a system that provides them with money, power and prestige. For this reason, any attempts at “reform” are likely to be purely cosmetic and designed to appease the masses. The EU has become a bureaucratic colossus. Just like all bureaucratic systems, it has a natural tendency to try to expand its reach.

Whenever the European Commission (EC) does something very stupid, it calls it smart.  Smart has become a European euphemism for very stupid!  EC declares the Cohesion Fund is smart.  But Cohesion Fund is taking money from the poor people of a rich EU country and giving it to the rich people of a poor EU country! 

EC considers spending smart!  But growth cannot come from government spending, but only from elimination of VAT and drastic reduction of taxes, regulation, licensure, bureaucracy, and political corruption.  Whenever EC squanders money, it calls it investment.  Investing is now an EC euphemism for squandering!

The main problem of Fourth Reich is the European economic and social system that spreads the cancer of socialism. The European Soziale Marktwirtschaft prefers social policy based on income redistribution to productive work. It prefers free-time and long holidays to hard work. It prefers consumption to investments, debts to savings, security to risk-taking.  

All of it is part of a broader civilizational and cultural problem, deeply rooted in the European continent or in most of its countries. It can't be exterminated overnight, it can't be changed as a result of one or another EU summit, it can't be changed by painless cosmetic changes. It requires a deep systemic change.  Most Europeans are disappointed in Fourth Reich. 

Most Europeans are disappointed in Fourth Reich.  European commissioners have become bumptious bugaboos who offer no real service, but propaganda and obstacles. They make huge incomes for brainwashing us, giving us hard time, and boycotting our efforts for a free and happy life.  Laissez-nous faire, Let us do!  The European Commission is just an extra layer of government, an extra layer of oppression, an extra layer of bureaucracy, and extra layer of inertia.  Who needs that?

Though commissioners are supposed to do different things, they all do one single thing, spinning EU propaganda.  So in reality, Fourth Reich has 28 commissioners of propaganda, 28 Goebbelses!   Like Joseph Goebbels of Third Reich, they frequently deliver speeches on the benefits of Fourth Reich, but never about the costs.  Their disgusting daily propaganda costs many billions of euros, and it adds insult to injury.

The libertarians of eurozone wait for Scarlet Pimpernel to save them from the banking union, financial transactions tax, the huge taxation, the huge regulation, the 23% VAT, kleptocracy, antitrust armageddon, and the cancer of socialism. The League of the Scarlet Pimpernel, a secret libertarian society, rescues eurozone libertarians from the daily executions of the reign of socialistic terror. Legendary Scarlet Pimpernel took his nickname from the drawing of a small red flower with which he signs his messages.  Scarlet Pimpernel helps corporations move out of eurozone.  

Fourth Reich was not initiated on March 25, 1957 in Rome, but on August 10, 1944 in Strasbourg!  Fourth Reich originates from the Red House Report, a detailed account of a secret meeting at the Maison Rouge Hotel in Strasbourg, a couple of blocks from today's Eldorado of Prostitutes (EP), on August 10, 1944. There, Nazi officials instructed an elite group of German industrialists to plan for Germany's post-war recovery, prepare for the Nazis' return to power, and work for a strong Fourth Reich.

The three-page, closely typed report, marked Secret, copied by British spies and sent to the US Secretary of State, detailed how the industrialists were to work with the Nazi Party to rebuild Germany's economy by sending money through Switzerland. They would set up a network of secret front companies abroad, wait until conditions were right, and then grab power with various hoodwinking treaties.

Jean Monnet, founding father of Fourth Reich, says in a letter to a friend on April 13, 1952: Europe's nations should be guided towards the super-state without their people understanding what is happening. This can be accomplished by successive steps, each disguised as having an economic purpose, but which will eventually and irreversibly lead to federation.

You remember this quip from former Obama Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel during the financial crisis: You never want a serious crisis to go to waste.  What matters to statists is that they see an opportunity in a pseudocrisis to shape public perception and manipulate public opinion. The financial crisis yielded a government takeover of the financial sector. The healthcare pseudocrisis yielded a government takeover of the healthcare system.  What do you think Eurokleptocrats are going to do with the crisis of PIGS?   They’d be happy to transform the confederation of Fourth Reich to a federation.  You should take the blood libel seriously.

There are events in history known as false flag events. These are staged by a government usually to distress the public, so the government can do something that the public would otherwise disapprove.  The name is derived from the military concept of flying false colors; that is flying the flag of a country other than one's own. Lyndon Johnson’s phony Gulf of Tonkin pseudoevent started the Viet Nam War in 1964. This was deemed necessary to begin a full scale war with public approval and is now well documented as a false flag event. It never happened.  Now PIGS are the false flag to transform the confederation of Fourth Reich to a federation.

Fourthreichian fiscal union is the Trojan Horse for overall harmonization of economic rules, policies, and laws in Fourth Reich.  Any Eurozone problem is interpreted as a consequence of the lack of harmonization and leads to another wave of a creeping harmonization.  Fuehrer Merkollande frequently declares that coordinating tax policies and labor laws is not just about currency issues but also about political cooperation, which has to be deepened.  In other words, more enslavement to Brussels, transforming the confederation to a federation!

The current centralization of power to Brussels is based on an irrational but very easily embraced story that nation-states are responsible for wars. This is what the children are taught at schools. This is what Eurokleptocrats repeat when they run out of arguments. It is much worse than we assume, they probably even believe in it! We must patiently argue that the only guarantee for peace is democracy, freedom, and prosperity, not global governance.

In good economic weather, even morons could function. When bad weather came in, all the weaknesses, inefficiencies, discrepancies, imbalances and disequilibria became evident and the monetary union ceased to properly function. This can´t be considered a surprise. Eurokleptocrats did not want to take this into consideration. Their way of thinking was evidently based on a communist type of reasoning: economic laws do not exist, politics may dictate economics.

The most imminent issue which asks for being addressed now is the eurozone sovereign debt crisis. This crisis is the tip of a much bigger iceberg. The crisis in Europe goes much deeper. Crisis is a process of creative destruction. Not everything can be saved and maintained. Something must be destroyed or left behind in this process, especially the wrong ideas.  PIGS might have to be slaughtered.


We should get rid of utopian dreams, of irrational economic activities and of their promotion by European governments. Part of this implies that even some states must be left to fail, such as PIGS. Eurokleptocrats keep saying that such a solution would be costly. It is not true, the prolongation of the current muddling through is more costly. We have to explain to Eurokleptocrats that the costs they are afraid of are already here, the costs they have in mind are sunk costs already.

EU might deteriorate to the miserable level of extremely corrupt Greece. Your government is your #1 enemy.  Brutal police and kangaroo courts are tools to enslave you to your government.  But badges and benches do not grant extra rights. It’s your duty as a citizen to become a popopaparazzo, recording misconduct of police, prosecutors, and politicians. Use your smartphone to unmask cops and kleptocrats. 

The political philosopher Edmund Burke once remarked that all that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good folks to do nothing. A glaring example is my persecution by the government of Greece, which grossly violates my civil rights.

Martin Niemöller said:  First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out, because I was not a Socialist.  Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out, because I was not a Trade Unionist.  Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out, because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me, and there was no one left to speak for me!

EU practices double standards on civil rights.  It’s freakish for EU to interfere in the civil rights of foreigners, but condone the abuse of my civil rights, a citizen of EU!  EU should get its own house in order before lecturing others. EU should rein in barbaric Greece, the most corrupt country of Europe with prisoners of conscience, testilying police, malevolent prosecutors, perjurers, and stupidest jurists.  

Greece is an uncivil nation with kangaroo justice, overcriminalization, brutal police, huge political corruption, persecution of dissident bloggers, huge bureaucracy, huge taxation, and 23% VAT.  Freakish Graecokleptocrats use the kangaroo justice as a political tool to gag political opponents.  The cybercrimes unit (CCU) of the Greek police is the most disgusting cybercriminal organization, stealing computers, jailing bloggers, and spreading huge lies to the media.

Every year, Graecokleptocrats receive myriad bribes and kickbacks. Many trains bought from Germany do not fit the rails, but they were bought just to generate bribes!   In 2009, investigators of the Munich Prosecution Department uncovered a corruption affair, in which MAN has given huge bribes to Greek politicians to get large orders for overpriced trolleys.  A streetcar named desire!  These trolleys with huge markups are named bribes!  But Greek prosecutors have started investigating this scandal just in September of 2012!   One of those investigated is Mariliza Xenogiannakopoulou, the minister who destroyed my life.  Xenogiannakopoulou also served as general secretary of Pasok, the most corrupt political party on Earth!

I accuse the government of Greece for:

·        Persecuting me for five years

·        Stealing my life

·        Stealing my computer and files

·        Spreading lies about me on all Greek media

·        Using the kangaroo justice as a political tool

·        Postponing my trial nine times

·        Locking me in jail without toilet and pillow for a night

·        Taking away my hypertension pills

·        Making me urinate in a bottle

·        Humiliating me with handcuffs, fingerprints, and mug shots


On October 18, 2010, a gang of six brutal cops of the violent Greek CyberCrimes Unit (CCU), a real godzilla, supervised by a dishonest prosecutor, a pathologic liar, a disgusting rat, raided my home in Athens and stole my computer, software, files, documents, and personal data. The brutal policemen locked me in jail for a night, they humiliated me with handcuffs, fingerprints, mug shots, and lies, leaked false information to the media parrots, and the corrupt Greek government initiated sham court proceedings for a stack of freakish trumped-up defamation charges! There was neither pillow nor toilet facility in my jail cell. I had to urinate in a bottle!  I, a seventy-years-old man with high blood pressure, was not allowed to keep my hypertension pills with me. There was neither toilet paper nor soap in the whole CCU jail.



JAILBIRD FOR A NIGHT

Big brother checks the internet
For things you criticize
To shut your mouth on the net
To blow minds in the sky.

Cops busted my home
And stole my computer
Hard disk on their comb
blogger to the shooter.

They threw me in jail
For speaking my mind
My words are out of jail
Revolting as a kind.

This jail is awful
Without pillow alone
Urinating in a bottle
And the girl next cell begins to moan.

Screaming in the dark of jail
Guards pretending they are deaf
She is a girl, she is frail
She is missing her Jeff.

I can smile at the old days
I was a handsome then
Those were real happy days
Happy memory lives again.

Lesmiserables in jail
Kleptocrats out of jail
This is hell on Earth
It's shame and pain.

Time for a real revolt
To bring a real change
To bring the looting to a halt
Kleptocrats should not escape.

Kleptocrats must be laughing
Premier must be happy
This is stupid and disgusting
Government has a party.

Harmglads sleeping before dawn
Silence cut with a cry
Jailbird could be reborn
Coming back to a happy life.

My memory leads me
Finding strength within
People really love me
A new life should begin.

Waiting for the sunrise
Thinking of a new life
I mustn't give in
A new day will begin.


It’s been five years since the government of Greece stole my life, my computer, and my files.  I have done absolutely nothing, and I am being persecuted by the Greek government without any real reason.  My ordeal is against all rules of civil society and treaties that Greece has signed.  Greece, a corrupt country without a functioning justice system, has gone bananas.  Graecokleptocrats use the kangaroo justice as a political tool to gag political opponents.   Graecokleptocrats think the laws exist to give them whatever they want!   This is psoriasis of democracy, pure and simple.

Mariliza Xenogiannakopoulou, Alternate Minister of Foreign Affairs, sued me, and she wouldn’t show up in court!  As a result, my trial has been postponed nine times so far.  Xenogiannakopoulou, marilxen@otenet.gr or marilxen@gmail.com, continues to destroy my life without reason whatsoever.  I could understand her vengeance, if I did something wrong.  But I did absolutely nothing, and vindictive Xenogiannakopoulou barks at the wrong tree. If this is not kangaroo justice, what is it?  Has a harmglad sadist minister the right to destroy an innocent citizen in cold blood?  For God’s sake what kind of harmjoy is this tragedy anyhow?  Basil Venitis, venitis@gmail.com, http://venitism.blogspot.com


Please email appeals to

gensecretary@justice.gov.gr, grammateia@justice.gov.gr, primeminister@primeminister.gr, ypourgos@justice.gov.gr, allusers@justice.gov.gr, a.tsipras@parliament.gr, at@syn.gr, ydragasakis@parliament.gr, info@primeminister.gr, pressoffice@primeminister.gr, gge@ggk.gr, info@nchr.gr, lawdep@ggk.gr, nikostrantas@ggk.gr, oiea@ggk.gr, olgagerovasili@gmail.com, allusers@parliament.gr  


·        Calling for the immediate stop of the persecution of Basil Venitis.

·        Stating that you believe these trumped-up defamation charges to be politically motivated and intended to prevent him exercising his right to freedom of expression against political corruption.

·        Seeking assurances that the civil rights of Basil Venitis will always be respected.


ALL RELIGIONS ARE CHILDISH SUPERSTITIONS




Less than 24 hours after registration opened for next year's World Youth Day (WYD), 45,000 people had already signed up. The first to register was Pope Francis himself who had previously announced that the theme of the meeting would revolve around mercy. According to the website's managers, thus far there are 250 “macrogroups” and 300 volunteers signed up. The countdown to the event is already surrounded by great enthusiasm. In exactly one year — from 26 to 31 July 2016 — young people will meet in Krakow for the 31st WYD. 


Sigmund Freud said: God is a projection of childish father-figure preoccupations. Prayer and religious ritual are obsessive-compulsive. Religion is a universal neurosis. Religion's doctrines carry with them the stamp of the times in which they originated, the ignorant childhood days of the human race. Its consolations deserve no trust.  Religion is comparable to a childhood neurosis.

Twenty five years after its start, WYD will return to Poland, the land of the Pontiff who created it. Even if Pope Wojtyła loved to say that “it was the young people themselves who invented WYD”. In 1991 in Częstochowa, a strong wind of faith was announced to the young people and from them the faith blew beyond the iron curtain. The young Christians of eastern and western Europe experienced the first large-scale encounter after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Pope Wojtyła returned to his homeland for WYD which saw the participation of more than one million people.


Albert Einstein said: The word God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honorable, but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish. No interpretation, no matter how subtle, can for me change this.  For me the Jewish religion like all other religions is an incarnation of the most childish superstitions. And the Jewish people to whom I gladly belong and with whose mentality I have a deep affinity have no different quality for me than all other people. As far as my experience goes, they are also no better than other human groups, although they are protected from the worst cancers by a lack of power. Otherwise I cannot see anything chosen about them.

A true jubilee of young people will be celebrated on a global level. Pope Francis recalled this at the Angelus and Cardinal Stanisław Ryłko, President of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, also underlined it in a message published on the dicastery's website. The theme of WYD is “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy” is part of the extraordinary holy year which will begin on 8 December. WYD in Krakow will complete a three part series of themes dedicated to the Beatitudes. The theme in Rio in 2014 was “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven”. This year's theme for the 30th WYD on the diocesan level is “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God”.

Abrahamic religions are inherently violent, because of an exclusivism that inevitably fosters violence against those that are considered outsiders.  Abrahamic legacy is actually genocidal in nature.  Abrahamic freaks have turned the world to a bloodbath.  Islam and Christianity, shitscum of planet Earth, must be thrown to the dustbin of history.   Abrahamic religions are the most disgusting bullshit. 

Terrorism is a tactic, not a religious tenet. As a tactic, terrorism has been used by religions. But the reality is that terrorism has been used by most human communities at one time or another, communities defined by religion, politics, class, race and gender. You name the organizing principle, at one point or another, that community used tactics that we define today as terrorist.

Muslims, Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, and all other religious communities have engaged in brutal and ruthless aggression: massacres, cruel torture and many other types of violent carnage.  All religions have vectors of religious thinking that justify extreme violence against people defined as threatening, just as they all have vectors stressing peaceful reconciliation and harmony with adversaries. We can find sacred texts, creedal statements and other authoritative sources in all our traditions to justify both standpoints.


It was the late Bishop of Sweden, Krister Stendahl, who noted that believers, like members of any human group, have the tendency to see themselves in reference to the "other" by comparing the best of one's own community with the worst of the other community.

Polish Cardinal Stanislaw Rylko, President of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, has sent a message looking ahead to the next World Youth Day which will take place in Krakow from July 26th to 31st 2016. Pope Francis is scheduled to attend the event that will be focused on the theme from the Beatitudes: ‘Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy’. 

We do not know what happens when we die, but we do know that all religions are dead wrong.  The probability of afterlife is infinitesimal, but the stupidity of religions is infinite.  Religion is just a tool to enslave the stupid people to kleptocrats and the drones of society.  There is no person called God.  Yes, there is no God!

Taking place in the context of the Jubilee Year of Mercy which begins on December 8th this year, the Krakow event follows on from the last World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro where Pope Francis told young people to read the Beatitudes because, he said, it “will do you good”. In his message Cardinal Rylko notes that the Pope has made the theme of mercy a priority of his pontificate and that the Krakow meeting will mark an international Jubilee of Young People dedicated to this theme.


Religion, a medieval form of unreason, when combined with modern weaponry becomes a real threat to our freedoms. This religious totalitarianism has caused a deadly mutation in the heart of Islam and we saw the tragic consequences in Paris. We all stand with Charlie Hebdo to defend the art of satire, which has always been a force for liberty and against tyranny, dishonesty, and stupidity. Respect for religion has become a code phrase meaning fear of religion. Religions, like all other ideas, deserve criticism, satire, and, our fearless disrespect.

It’s the second time that World Youth Day has been held in Poland – the first such event took place in 1991 at the Marian shrine of Czestochowa with Pope John Paul II. The Polish pontiff will also be spiritually present at the 2016 event as young participants visit the tomb of St Faustina Kowalska at the Divine Mercy shrine, inaugurated by Pope John Paul during his last visit to his homeland in 2002. There, they will be able to take part in a programme of meditations and recitation of the Divine Mercy chapelet.


Meme is a cultural invention that passes from one mind to another and thrives, or declines, like a gene.  Memetics explores the concepts and transmission of memes in a similar fashion to genetics.  A meme's success is due to its contribution to the effectiveness of its host.  Memeplex, like the genetic code, is a set of ideas that reinforce each other. Religion is a memeplex.  

Numerous confessionals will also be set up and Pope Francis himself is likely to offer the sacrament of reconciliation to a number of young men and women attending the celebration. A symbolic Holy Door will also be built at the shrine, through which the Pope will process at the start of the prayer vigil and Eucharistic Adoration on Saturday July 30th. Following the final Mass on Sunday 31st, Pope Francis will give lighted lamps to five young couples from the five continents to symbolically send all the participants out as missionaries of God’s mercy throughout the world. 

Jesus was a gay, but a loving husband and father.  Jesus was married to Magdalene, a fag hag, but he also had an open affair with John.  Magdalene was neither jealous nor possessive.  Yes, Jesus was an open ac-dc!  Homosexuality is in the DNA of Christianity.  Peter and Paul, founders of Christianity, were the most celebrated gay couple.

Jesus is a legend, but Christ is a myth!  Dodecatheos of ancient Greece is a much better religion than the Tritheos of Christianity. Tritheos destroyed Dodecatheos and the Graecoroman civilization. If Tritheos was not invented by Paul, we would have been on the Moon one millennium before! Jesus is a legend, born in Nazaret in April of 6 BC, whereas Christ is a myth, born in Bethlehem in December!

Jesus was a lower-class bisexual preacher from Galilee, who, in hysterical apocalyptic fashion, proclaimed that the end of history as he knew it was going to come to a crashing end, within his own generation. God was soon to intervene in the course of worldly affairs to overthrow the forces of evil and set up a utopian kingdom on earth. It didn't happen. Instead of being involved with the destruction of God's enemies, Jesus was unceremoniously crushed by them: arrested, tried, humiliated, tortured, and publicly executed.

Jesus never said he was the only son of God, but we are all children of God. Jesus was the founder of Nazarene Judaism, not Christianity. Resurrection is the biggest lie of Christianity. Misogynist Paul, Peter's boyfriend, is the founder of Christianity! Thomas Jefferson wrote that Paul was the first corrupter of the doctrines of Jesus.


If Jesus had never been declared God, our form of civilization would have been unalterably and indescribably different.  If Jesus had never been pronounced a divine being, his followers would have remained a sect within Judaism, a small group of Jews who thought that Jesus had delivered the correct interpretation of the Jewish law. Gentiles would not have converted to follow Jesus any more than they converted to any other form of Judaism. If the religion had not become predominantly Gentile it would not have seen such a steady and remarkable growth, almost entirely with Gentile converts, over the next three hundred years, when it came to encompass something like five per cent of the Empire. If Christianity were not a large and viable religion by the beginning of the fourth century, the emperor Constantine would almost certainly not have converted to it. 

In June 326, Great Constantine had his eldest son Crispus, by Minervina, poisoned to death. In July, Constantine had his wife, the Empress Fausta, killed at the behest of his mother, Helena. Fausta was left to die in an overheated bath. Nevertheless, Constantine and Helen, the most sinister apes of planet Earth, are the most popular saints of Christianity, because they forced the dogma of Trinity on all citizens of the Roman Empire.

If Constantine had not converted, masses of former pagans would not have accepted the faith in his wake. The empire would not have become predominantly Christian. The Christian religion would not have been made the official religion of the state. The Christian church would never have become the dominant religious, cultural, social, political, and economic force of the West. We never would have had the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, the Reformation, or Modernity as we know it. And most of us would still be pagans.

Jesus did not spend his preaching ministry in Galilee proclaiming that he was the second member of the Trinity. The followers of Jesus had no inkling that he was divine until after his death. What changed their views was the belief, which blind-sided them at first, that Jesus had been raised from the dead. And why did they come to believe that? It had nothing to do with the discovery of an empty tomb three days after his death. The disciples probably didn't discover an empty tomb. There probably wasn't a tomb.

The resurrection myth is based on the meme of a dying-and-rising god, a generic category for deities found within agrarian societies who are the focus of myths and rituals representing the annual death and rebirth of the deity. All myths are echoes of rituals, and all rituals have as their primordial purpose the manipulation of natural phenomena by means of sympathetic magic.  Resurrection is part of the transpersonal symbolism of the collective unconscious.

The Vatican is where the seat of power to the Catholic Church is. It’s also home to the Pope, the head of the Catholic faith. One would think that this place would be the apex in Christian beliefs and principles, but one would be completely wrong. Over the centuries, the Vatican was witness to some of the most lascivious and vulgar orgies Medieval Europe had ever seen.

Among the most depraved Popes that have ruled over the Western Church, we count Pope Sergius III who came to power in 904 AD. He was under the influence of Theodora, the wife of Theofilactus, a Roman Consul. She used her 15 year old daughter Morazia, as the Pope’s concubine in order to control him. Together they had a son, who later became Pope John XI (the only illegitimate son of a Pope to become one himself).  His successor, Pope John XII transformed the Basilica of Rome into a brothel.


Later in the 14th and 15th centuries, other Popes like Alexander VI and Leo X were also notorious for their unchristian behavior. As part of the Borgia and De Medici families respectively, they were of great importance in increasing their families’ wealth and influence. During their reigns many orgies took place at the Vatican, not to mention incest and pedophilia.