Apostolos\’ Daily Plate

Το νερό, νεράκι!

Posted in Παιδεία by asyropoulos on Ιουλίου 29, 2008

Κοντά στο σπίτι μου, ένα ερασιτεχνικό ποδοσφαιρικό σωματείο διατηρεί ένα χωράφι το οποίο ονομάζει γήπεδο. Ασχέτως καιρού, ο υπεύθυνος του γηπέδου το ποτίζει κάθε μέρα. Χθες ο καιρος ήταν βροχερός στην «όμορφη» πόλη μας . Όμως αυτό δεν εμπόδισε τον υπεύθυνο από το να ποτίσει το γήπεδο.

ποτίζοντας στη βροχή μ�ρος Α

Ποτίζοντας το γήπεδο με βροχή 1.

ποτίζοντας το χωράφι

Ποτίζοντας το γήπεδο με βροχή 2.

Το χειρότερο από όλα είναι ότι ποτίζει τόσο πολύ το γήπεδο, που όταν αυτό στραγγίζει, ο παρακείμενος δρόμος γεμίζει νερά. Ερώτηση Α: Έχουμε ή δεν έχουμε πρόβλημα με το νερό στην χώρα μας; Ερώτηση Β: Αν ναι, πώς γίνεται και ο καθένας να δαπανάει τόνους νερού για ανοησίες; Απάντηση: Βρε αδερφέ δε βαριέσαι;

On double standards

Posted in Πολιτικά by asyropoulos on Ιουλίου 28, 2008

All over FYROM one can see maps of a greater `Macedonia’ just like the one in the picture below

In this map, the Greek province of Macedonia is depicted as part of another state. However, American officials, who strongly support the admission of this country to NATO, find nothing wrong in this and similar maps. Interestingly, when the Swedish vodka Absolut launched an advertising campaign in Mexico using the following image

U.S. media complained about it to the vodka distillers, which, in the end, ceased the campaign. Clearly, this yet another proof of double standards in the U.S. foreign policy. Hopefully, the end of cowboy politics is near…

An American in Athens who shows only disrespect to her host country!

Posted in Πολιτικά by asyropoulos on Ιουλίου 27, 2008

Kat, an American in Athens, keeps a blog. In this blog she posts articles about things she finds interesting. So far so good. However, in a recent article she explained why in her opinion Greece is not a member of the U.S.A. visa waiver program. I responded to this article by saying that instead of «begging» the U.S.A. to enter the visa waiver program, Greece should work with its allies and friends in the EU to impose a visa to all U.S. citizens. Of course she did not agree with this idea, but she was rude enough to suggest that Greece does not have the organization to force something like this to the U.S.A. And then she went on to suggest that we Greeks should try to solve our problems and leave the centurions alone. Unfortunately for Kat, the EU has similar views to mine (what a coincidence!) and so she decided to modify her web page. And she did this twice! Fortunately, Google caches each web page its robots have visited. So you can read here her web page after the first editing. Interestingly, she complained once about some Greek authorities that have plagiarized her articles, something I strongly condemn, as I do condemn what she systematically does: to edit responses so as to suit her views.

Dear Kat, if you do not like Greece, if you think Greeks are too rude for your taste, and if you think that Greece is an uncivilized country, then you are very welcome to leave us alone. I can assure you, no one will miss you!

PS Now that Greece has been  officially excluded from the U.S. visa waiver program for political reasons, I would really like to read yet another silly justification of this action.

Βρετανικά πανεπιστήμια

Posted in Παιδεία by asyropoulos on Ιουλίου 19, 2008

Στην εκπομπή «Σαββατοκύρικο στη ΝΕΤ» του Σαββάτου 14 Ιουλίου 2008 ήταν προσκεκλημένοι ο Ιωάννης Πρωτονοτάριος, (επίκουρος) καθηγητής του Τμήματος Πολιτικών Μηχανικών του ΕΜΠ, ο Γιάννης Αλαβάνος, πρόεδρος του ΤΕΕ, και κάποιος εκπρόσωπος των κολλεγίων που συνεργάζονται με Βρετανικά πανεπιστήμια. Σε κάποιο σημείο ο κ. Πρωτονοτάριος θέλοντας να δείξει το επίπεδο των Βρετανικών πανεπιστημίων (!), ανέφερε πως οι απόφοιτοι που έρχονται να πάρουν αναγνώριση από το ΔΟΑΤΑΠ γράφουν πολύ χάλια στα μαθήματα. Άρα τα Βρετανικά πανεπιστήμια είναι χάλια και άρα τα κολλέγια που συνεργάζονται με αυτά δεν μπορεί να είναι σοβαρά. Βέβαια το γεγονός ότι στα εκατό καλύτερα πανεπιστήμια του κόσμου υπάρχουν πολλά Βρετανικά δεν λέει τίποτα. Το γεγονός ότι πολλά μέλη ΔΕΠ Ελληνικών «πανεπιστημίων» έχουν κάνει διδακτορικό στα χάλια Βρετανικά πανεπιστήμια και πάλι δεν λέει τίποτα. Όμως το γεγονός ότι ο κ. Πρωτονοτάριος έχει μόνο μια δημοσίευση και μία μόνο αναφορά στο έργο του λέει ότι θα τον είχαν διώξει από καιρ́ο από οποιοδήποτε Βρετανικό πανεπιστήμιο!

Απορώ που τους βρίσκουν αυτούς τους απαράδεκτους τύπους και μας του βγάζουν στα κανάλια. Χάθηκαν οι σοβαροί;

Are we Europeans serious?

Posted in Πολιτικά by asyropoulos on Ιουλίου 9, 2008

The US visa waiver program (VWP) «enables nationals of certain countries to travel to the United States for tourism or business for stays of 90 days or less without obtaining a visa.» Currently, not all EU countries are part of the VWP. Thus, there are many citizens of EU member states that need to apply for a visa in order to travel to the USA. Naturally, not all applications are accepted. On the other hand, U.S. citizens with a valid passport can enter and can stay in any EU country without a visa for tourism or business up to 90 days. Of course it does not matter whether a U.S. citizen has a criminal record, while this does matter for any citizens of a European country. In particular, citizens of VWP countries need to complete a written I-94W form providing basic biographical, travel, and eligibility information while en-route to the U.S.A. This document is checked by U.S. authorities that may deny entry to U.S.A. to certain travelers. In a nutshell, U.S. citizens can freely travel to Europe while European citizens do not travel freely.

As of January 12, 2009, all VWP travelers will be required to obtain an electronic travel authorization prior to
boarding a carrier to travel by air or sea to the U.S. under the VWP
. In other words, VWP travelers will have to apply for an electronic visa. The real question is: What on Earth is the EU commission planning to do anout this?

Citizens of member states outside the VWP need to pay a nonrefundable fee in order to apply for a visa. However, for reasons of reciprocity « [T]he United States strives to eliminate visa issuance fees whenever possible; however, when a foreign government imposes such fees on U.S. citizens for certain types of visas, the United States will impose a «reciprocal» fee to nationals of that country for similar-type of visas». But as noted all U.S. citizens are free to travel to any EU country. Clearly, the word reciprocity has got a new meaning! Again: What on Earth is the EU commission planning to do about this?

The U.S. Administration does everything possible to protect the interests of U.S. citizens and whether we like it or not, it is their right to impose any kind of restriction to foreigners willing to visit their country. But on the other hand, the EU must protect the rights of European citizens.

Europe should not behave as if it is some US protectorate.

PS Apparently, it seems that some EU officials have similar opinions to those expressed here.  In particular, the EU does not note progress on full visa reciprocity with the U.S.A.

The Lisbon Treaty

Posted in Πολιτικά by asyropoulos on Ιουλίου 1, 2008

Recently, the Czech president said Lisbon Treaty project is over (the Czech Republic joined the EU in the year 2004 and is traditionally one of the more Euro-skeptic of the EU’s 27 member states). Also, the Polish president refuses to ratify Lisbon Treaty as he considers it pointless. And of course, the Irish people have rejected the treaty with a referendum. Since the Czechs are so Euro-skeptics one wonders why the have joined the union in the first place. No one pushed them to enter the EU! And of course the same applies to Poland. It seems that if these nations do not want to see the EU move forward, then they should abandon the ship immediately. And of course, the Irish people are very welcome to join them!