Monday, November 23, 2009

The (Ig)Nobel Peace Prize

When Capello, after the game against Belarus, was asked whether he thought Beckham deserved the title of "best man of the match" after having played for only 30 minutes he promptly replied: “I thought that giving Beckham the man of the match award was like giving Barack Obama the Nobel Peace Prize". Perhaps we should nominate Capello as “best observer of the year” and I don’t mean about football. Awarding Obama with the Nobel Peace Prize has set a new record whereby nowadays, promises and smooth talking matter more than facts and real achievements.

Since Obama was made US president, ten months ago, we have been promised many changes but seen very little. In fact, the Bush administration’s legacy in foreign affairs is stronger than ever and has turned out to be the blueprint for all Obama's strategies.
The day after Obama took office he told the world that one of his priorities was to close the prison in Guantanamo Bay within his first 100 days. Ten months later the prison is still very much operative and there are still no signs of closing it down. Obama's spokesman has recently told the press that this is not an issue which the US Government intends to deal with so soon. In the meantime, there are hundred of rendering prisons around the world that are used to illegally torture prisoners. America is renowned for preferring to wash their dirty linen in foreign soil.

The mess that the allied forces (mainly Americans and British) have left behind in Iraq - the forgotten war – is probably beyond repair. Having handed over the country to the control of Iraqi security forces is far from being a victory. In Iraq, many civilians are killed by suicide bombers and many are forced to flee their homes on a daily basis. There is shortage of drinking water and infrastructures are almost non-existent.

In Afghanistan, where the Taliban war lords have slowly regained control over much of the territory, the Obama administration has given the go ahead for yet more American troops to be deployed. In the meantime, the traffic of opium has scored an all-time record.

The peace talks between Israeli and Palestinians are deadlocked. Jewish settlers keep moving in the occupied territories whilst Palestinians are surrounded and (in effect) held prisoners in their own home towns. Every day, Israeli bulldozers run Palestinian houses to the ground to make space for new beautiful Israeli homes.

Obama's intention to reach out to the Arab world has yet to be seen. On the other hand, both the President and the Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, have recently given an ultimatum to Iran over its "nuclear weapon program", conveniently ignoring the fact that both, America and Israel, have increased the number of their nuclear heads over the last few months.

President Obama is effectively in charge of nearly 1000 American military bases scattered around the world. Recently, his administration has signed a deal with the Colombian government to establish some military bases on its territory in exchange of resources to fight the traffic of drugs. The real US goal is to use Colombia as a base from where they can easily infiltrate Venezuela and other countries that are trying to break free from American control.

Not a bad curriculum for Mr Nice Guy whose reassuring smile and clever words have won so many hearts (and minds) all over the world. He must have impressed the jury of the (Ig)Nobel Peace Prize. And who cares if data show that (Ig)Nobel Prizes are mainly awarded to American or Jewish (or both of them) people. It’s all too good to be true. Well, guess what? It is.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Verso la Meta

“Un falco volava nel cielo al mattino,
ricordo quel tempo quand’ero bambino.
Io lo seguivo nel rosso tramonto,
dall’alto di un monte scoprivo il suo mondo…”

Angoscia ,volendo, paura del vuoto.
Di ali tremanti che trillano al moto.
Di code sbattute tra magre stagioni,
planando sull’onda di arcaiche tensioni.

La terra promessa infondo al migrare
intrisa di luce che abbaglia, che assale.
Lo stormo si รจ perso nel lungo travaglio.
Partire, lasciare. Non vedo lo sbaglio.

“E allora eha, eha, eha , eha, eha
e allora eha, eha, eha, eha, eha….”

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Ten things (+1) you can do to stop climate change

  1. Choose sustainable transport: walk, cycle or use public transport such as buses or trains to reduce carbon emissions.
  2. Eat better food: grow your own food or buy locally grown products; avoid buying out-of-season products as they have to be imported from far away places - i.e. burn energy and produce more carbon dioxide.
  3. Dispose responsibly and recycle: buy products with minimum or no packaging and recycle your waste.
  4. Inflate your tyres: check your car regularly to make sure that your tyres are fully inflated as fully inflated tyres consum less petrol and reduce carbon emissions.
  5. Insulate your home: make sure your home is properly insulated so that it keeps the heat in during the winter and stays cool during the summer.
  6. Choose energy-saving heating systems: underfloor heating and energy saving boilers are more efficient and reduce carbon emissions; furthermore, the quality of the air is improved.
  7. Buy renewable energy: install solar panels or buy energy from suppliers that produce energy from alternative sources.
  8. Save energy: use compact fluorescent light bulbs and unplug your appliances when not in use.
  9. Buy less, use more: consumerism doesn't make us happy so try to buy fewer things and reuse them whenever possible.
  10. Exploit technology: use internet or new available technologies to avoid commuting (e.g. conference calls instead of meetings); if you can, work from home.
  11. Use less water: have a shower instead of a bath; collect rain water in your garden to use for irrigation (water treatments used to produce drinking water require a lot of energy) and wash your car or your courtyard as little as possible.

Monday, January 05, 2009