Need to better understand how attractive cultural environments lay the foundations for economic prosperity

As Culture Makes All The Difference: Reclaiming the Culture of Economics

We need to better understand how attractive cultural environments lay the foundations for economic prosperity. We need to establish more firmly the link between cultural diversity and economic creativity. We need in-depth analysis of what is really happening when cultural activity kick starts economic regeneration. We need to open our minds to the freedom to engage in cultural activity as a necessary counterpart to the economic (and political) freedoms which we rightly prize – and, it might be added, which are worth more than money. We need more examples of how the arts as much as politics can bring about economic change.
In a globalised economy we also need to be alert to how the arts and culture can provide a way of thinking about ourselves as a country and the challenges of adapting to a rapidly changing world.In short, we need to devise better ways of bridging the divide between culture and the economy. Only then will we be in a position to understand those dimensions of culture that affect economic success.

In “Still Hope though Power generating long train of abuses” I also lay the link to the culture of citizens and the influence of their aspirations and expectations of actions to be taken by their governments.

Please continue reading:

  1. Still Hope though Power generating long train of abuses
  2. Culture Makes All The Difference: Reclaiming the Culture of Economics
  3. Doomthinking or a real problem for Europe
  4. Left behind for economical emigration
  5. The Free Market (and all that) did not bring down the Berlin Wall


  • America Drops Out of the Top 10 Economically Freest Countries (
    If you live in Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia or Switzerland, the answer is yes. If you live in Zimbabwe, Cuba or North Korea, then no. And if you live in the United States, your economic freedom is slipping away—with dire consequences.This, at least, is the warning sounded by Terry Miller, director of the Center for International Trade and Economics at the Heritage Foundation, which has teamed up with The Wall Street Journal to produce the “2014 Index of Economic Freedom.” The Index evaluates the commitment to free enterprise using 10 categories, including fiscal soundness, government size and property rights.

    “Countries achieving higher levels of economic freedom consistently and measurably outperform others in economic growth, long-term prosperity and social progress,” Miller writes. “Those losing freedom, on the other hand, risk economic stagnation, high unemployment and deteriorating social conditions.”

    According to the Index, the United States has dropped out of the Top 10 economically freest countries and now occupies 12th place, below Mauritius, Ireland and Denmark. “The Obama administration continues to shackle entire sectors of the economy with regulation, including health care, finance and energy,” Miller asserts. “The intervention impedes both personal freedom and national prosperity.”

  • American Ranking Plummets in Global Index of ‘Personal Freedoms’ (
    Nation’s handling of civil liberties, freedom of choice, tolerance of ethnic minorities, and tolerance of immigrants sends it from 9th to 21st place worldwide
  • Obama and Xi in Beijing summit (

    China and the US have unveiled new pledges on greenhouse gas emissions, as the leaders of the two countries met for talks in Beijing.

    US President Barack Obama said the move was “historic”, as he set a new goal of reducing US levels between 26%-28% by 2025, compared with 2005 levels.

    China did not set a specific target, but said emissions would peak by 2030.

    The two countries also agreed to reduce the possibility of military accidents in the air and sea.

  • Gloomy Thoughts About the Effects of the Cyclical Downturn on Entrepreneurship, Enterprise, and Growth (
    • Real GDP fell relative to potential output by 8% in 2008-2009…
    • Real has stayed 8% below its previous growth path ever since…
    • The CBO is now forecasting that real GDP will return to potential output as of the end of 2017…
    • The CBO is now forecasting that, come the end of 2017, the economy’s full-employment productive potential will be 8% below what CBO was forecasting in 2007…
  • American Ranking Plummets In Global Index Of ‘Personal Freedoms’ (
    According to the Legatum researchers, “evidence suggests that the greater the level of freedom in society the greater the satisfaction with life.” However, they note that of the types of freedom tested for, “economic freedom is most important for life satisfaction and wellbeing across a range of countries.”
  • American Ranking Plummets in Global Index of ‘Personal Freedoms’ (
    In an age of expanding national security powers, increasing surveillance state, and rolled-back civil liberties protections, Americans’ perception of their own personal freedoms is plummeting, according to the annual ranking by the Legatum Institute in London.In Washington D.C. this week to promote their findings, researchers with the Legatum Institute measure a nation’s prosperity on a number of factors including health, safety, education, economy, opportunity, social capital, governance and personal freedoms.
  • 3 most-free states income about 20% higher than 3 least-free (
    This year’s Economic Freedom of North America 2014 (EFNA) report shows that, once again, while we are the United States, our states have bigger differences than climate, seasons and terrain. The levels of economic freedom, and thus economic opportunity, vary widely across the 50 states, as do the levels of economic prosperity.
  • Rights Advocates, Pioneers Honored by Presidential Medals ( (video)
    Even as the United States continues to struggle with civil rights and racial equality, several civil rights pioneers were honored with the highest U.S. civilian awards on Monday. President Barack Obama presented Medals of Freedom to 19 civilians who have made significant contributions to make the United States a more just, secure and culturally diverse country. Zlatica Hoke reports.
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The Free Market (and all that) did not bring down the Berlin Wall

Marcus Ampe:

When we think about the collapse of communism do we really can celebrate the attractiveness of a social market economy, because what about free enterprise, regulated competition and a commitment to social equality and a safety net, that were incorporated into the law establishing the economic and monetary union of West and East Germany.

Juggling on the Berlin Wall on 16. November 19...

Juggling on the Berlin Wall on 16. November 1989. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Did in the ideological competition between free enterprise and communism, the social market won the Cold War?

The fall of the Berlin Wall on November 9, 1989, was just one of many interrelated events that led to the end of the system of Soviet client states in Eastern Europe, and the end of the Soviet Union itself, in December of 1991. {, The Economics Behind the Fall of the Berlin Wall}

Not only President Bush when he first heard news of developments in Berlin was cautious. All West Europe was cautious not to fall in a set up trap to let the communist regime look in their cards. For many families the occasion was a way to have a new breath and new hopes to get back in touch with their families living at the other site.

Democrats, too, misread the fall of the Berlin Wall. They agreed that the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union discredited the role of government and demonstrated the superiority of free markets. They embraced open trade and globalization, the North American Free Trade Act and the World Trade Organization.

East and West Germans converge at the newly cr...

East and West Germans converge at the newly created opening in the Berlin Wall after a crane removed a section of the structure beside the Brandenburg Gate. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

To take in mind:

The end of the Wall, the collapse of the Russian economy, and the dissolution of the Soviet Union finalized the embrace of neoliberal economic policies by both sides of American politics.

Some people are afraid we are again on the brink of a new Cold War. Europe has taken the opportunity with Ukraine to bring attention away form the lamentable state of the internal financial state of many European countries. Plus it shows to the rest of the world the individual states are not so willing to co-operate with each other and share the burdens of each state, with the willingness to contribute to make them lighter. the selfishness of each country has weakened the European Union like the selfishness of the individuals made it impossible to have a real communist system to develop the good way.

As in the past Gorbachev showed he has a good nose for political analysis. He is right in saying the West had exploited Russia’s weakness after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.

“Euphoria and triumphalism went to the heads of Western leaders,”

said the ex General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and continued

“Taking advantage of Russia’s weakening and the lack of a counterweight, they claimed monopoly leadership and domination of the world, refusing to heed words of caution from many of those present here.”


Find also to read:

  1. Still Hope though Power generating long train of abuses
  2. Doomthinking or a real problem for Europe
  3. Left behind for economical emigration
  4. The Free Market (and all that) did not bring down the Berlin Wall


  • Video: Gorbachev in ‘new Cold War’ warning (
    The world is on the brink of a new Cold War, and trust should be restored by dialogue with Russia, former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev has said.
    He expressed alarm about recent Middle Eastern and European conflicts at an event to mark the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.
  • Editorial: 25 years since the Berlin Wall fell (
    “General Secretary Gorbachev, if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and eastern Europe, if you seek liberalization, come her to this gate,” said Mr. Reagan. “Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate. Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall.”
  • Is The West About To Use The Oil Weapon Against Russia? (
    , it wasn’t political ideology, the failure of Mr Gorbachev’s so called “Perestroika” reforms, or the desire of most people behind the iron curtain to own a pair of Levi’s jeans and listen to pop music that saw the Kremlin’s power crumble.
    It was the collapse in oil prices engineered by Saudi Arabia, which literally bankrupted the old Soviet Union and ripped up the post-war map of Eastern Europe that had been brutally created in the aftermath of Adolf Hitler’s downfall by the equally ruthless Stalin.
  • Gwynne Dyer: Don’t fret about a new Cold War (
    Nothing could have saved the old Soviet Union. It was the last of the European empires to fall, mainly because it was land-based rather than sea-based, but only half its population was Russian. When it finally dissolved, 15 nations emerged from the wreckage, and its collapse was no greater a loss to civilization than the fall of the British or French empires.
    And the main reason you can’t have a new Cold War is precisely because the “evil empire” (as Ronald Reagan famously called the Soviet Union) no longer exists. There is only Russia, a largely deindustrialised country that is run by a kleptocratic elite and makes its living by exporting oil and gas.
    Russia has 140 million people (less than half the United States, less than a third of the European Union), and its armies are no longer based around Berlin and all through Eastern Europe. They are 500 miles further east, guarding Russia’s own frontiers. They occasionally grab a bit of territory that isn’t covered by a NATO guarantee (Abkhazia, South Ossetia, Transnistria, Crimea, Luhansk, Donestk), but they dare not go any further.
  • See the 25th Anniversary of the Berlin Wall’s Fall (
    The 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall was marked by the release of 8,000 helium balloons over the German capital.
    Twenty-five years ago, the Berlin Wall opened — suddenly, joyously, peacefully. On this important anniversary, the world press is once again full of images of this astounding, unexpected development. These images remind readers, viewers and listeners of the excitement of that time.
    One of the most interesting aspects of autumn 1989 is the way that the world press not only covered the dramatic events but actually helped to cause them as well. There were three particularly crucial times when members of the media actually help to drive the events that they were covering — moments when the news reports made the news.
  • May God bless and damn you, Ukraine (
    … the Russian army is poised to invade and annex and unknown portion of your southern territories. Part of the most blatant bid for imperial conquest since the fall of the Cold War, the advance of Putin the ersatz-Czar, is truly frightening for the peoples of Eastern Europe as a whole. As a democrat and a firm believer in the right of the self-determination of nations, I wish you the best of luck in stopping the invader. But as a Jew, I cannot help but feel torn about a land with such a history.Bogdan Khmelnytsky is your national hero, the leader of the uprising against Polish rule and domination. You dedicate statues and currency to the Hetman. For my people, he is nothing more than a butcher, a monster second only to Adolf Hitler whom we hold responsible for one of the worst slaughters of Jews in the pre-Modern era. You remember 1648 as a glorious year of revolt; we remember it as the year of the evil decree. Similarly, what you remember as your struggle against the Reds in 1919, my people remembers as 1648 redux.
  • Despite the Berlin Wall, Believers Persist In Faith (
    The fall of the Berlin Wall 25 years ago brought great hopes of a new birth of spiritual and political freedom, not only in the communist orbit but around the world.
    In many ways, those hopes were realized. Old tyrannies began to crumble. The Cold War ended after more than a generation of East-West conflict. Churches and believers long imprisoned by persecution and fear were released into the sunlight of liberty.The collapse of the Soviet Union followed the glorious opening in Berlin. Waves of Christian workers from the West flooded into Eastern Europe and the former Soviet republics to assist their brothers and sisters in the faith. An exciting era of evangelism and church planting began.
    That era continues, despite the turmoil that has followed Soviet communism’s demise.

    “The wall was an outward symbol of an inward reality,” Mark Edworthy, IMB strategy leader for Europe, told IMB writer Nicole Lee.

    “Communism had erected a spiritual barrier with its incessant denial of God’s existence and its cycle of cruelty. Spiritually, we eagerly took up a hammer and chisel to work against that greater barrier.” A quarter-century later, “we can see greater trophies than stone and mortar as the Lord has continued to build His church throughout the former Soviet sphere.”

    But believers are working with urgency in Eastern Europe, Lee reported, “because no one knows how long the door to some of these countries will remain open. The ongoing war in Ukraine highlights the fact that, although the Cold War is over, communism and other secular philosophies are still at work.”

  • Gorbachev Warns World Is on Brink of ‘New Cold War’ ( (Video)
    Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev warned in a speech in Berlin on Saturday that East-West tensions over the Ukraine crisis were threatening to push the world into a new Cold War, 25 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Gorbachev, who is credited with forging a rapprochement with the West that led to the demise of communist regimes across Eastern Europe, accused the West, and the United States in particular, of not fulfilling their promises after 1989.


Originally posted on Mostly Economics:

There are certain narratives which are never questioned. One such narrative is rise of free market thinking in the last 30 years or so. Now, this itself was not new as before great depression we had similar thinking. But then you know our memories are short and most of us are ignorant of history.

After fall of Berlin Wall (stunning picture here) we are lectured through numerous articles and books that how that phase signalled the end of communism and rise of American brand of capitalism.In 25 years of celebrating Berlin Wall we continue to do the same. Some experts by force point whether certain leaders have learnt the free market lessons from the fall, least bothered whether  the leader knows anything about the event. They actually even add that yes these lessons have been learnt!

The reality seems to be lot different. This FP piece explains what really happened. What was…

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This Week Twenty-Five Years Ago: The Velvet Revolution Succeeds, December 1989

Marcus Ampe:

Much too often people do forget what they can do when they all want to share the same goal.
Having had approximately 500,000 troops attacking Czechoslovakia, it may be called a miracle that only approximately 500 Czechs and Slovaks were wounded and only 108 killed in the invasion
It was a shame the Brezhnev Doctrine got her way and that time the people did not manage to come to more freedom, but somehow the citizens reaction to the reform attempt by Dubček to grant additional rights to the citizens of Czechoslovakia in an act of partial decentralization of the economy and democratization got her seed planted in the soil.
Today we still bear treasures from that period when the Prague Spring inspired music and literature such as the work of Václav Havel, Karel Husa, Karel Kryl, and Milan Kundera‘s novel The Unbearable Lightness of Being


To remember:

  • sometimes liberty advances with extraordinary speed
  • Prague 17 November, 1989, student rally in Wenceslas Square > anti-government protest
  • protesters > demand free elections >umbrella opposition organisation formed: Civic Forum
  • citizens cheering their  leader Alexander Dubcek, who had led the Prague Spring reform movement of 1968
  • emergency Communist Party central committee meeting, the General Secretary and the entire Politburo resigned, realising = no hope of Soviet assistance =>new party hierarchy elected.
  • dissident Charter 77 playwright Vaclav Havel, released from house arrest, denounced party re-shuffle as a trick, an attempt to cling to power
  • demand democratic elections
  • a two-hour general strike as proof of solidarity, bringing entire country to a standstill
  • overwhelming people power => government gave way => abandoning leading role of  Communist Party + opening border with Austria.
  • new coalition government formed with majority of non-Communists
  • Round Table principle, following the Polish example. The session discussed the make-up of the new Federal government. Jan Urban was sitting with several Forum people in the basement of the Magic Lantern Theatre when the government rang to ask it to name its candidate for the presidency within twenty-four hours. Soon after, the government’s position worsened, and another call came asking for the name within an hour. No-one had had time to consider this in advance, so Urban said:
  • = Velvet Revolution
  • Dubcek elected Speaker of the Federal Assembly + opposition leader Havel made President


  • [Opinion] Remembering Havel’s dream (
    Twenty five years ago on this day (17 November), violent repression of a student protest spurred a series of events in the then Czechoslovakia that we call the Velvet Revolution.

    The sclerotic authoritarian regime, tired of perpetuating the lie of life in “real socialism”, crumbled under the pressure of people ringing their keys to make clear the “period” was over.

    The crisis of politics that is taking place in the Czech Republic – of elites that do not inspire, of institutions that are not seen as true societal articulations, of the basic social compact determining shared political norms – is not exceptional.

    The Czechs are back in Europe. But since that now means living through Europe’s political crisis, it is not exactly the kind of return they had been expecting.

    Havel’s vision was cosmopolitan. His was a utopia of people united by what Czech philosopher Jan Patocka called, with reference to the global wars of the twentieth century, the “solidarity of the shaken”.

    It was a vision of assumed global responsibility that did not consist merely of a human rights agenda, but also, for example, environmental issues that concern of all humankind.

    In a small prison cell in the communist Czechoslovakia, a cosmopolitan dream was born that nonetheless could come true with the recognition of the simple fact that we all are responsible for the world, and that through this responsibility we relate to the “absolute horizon of being”.

    On days like this, when we celebrate the historic change that took place 25 years ago but also ponder the current political situation, it is worth remembering Havel’s dream. And then perhaps choosing, with the freedom we have as human beings, to make it true.

  • Czechs Mark 25th Anniversary of Communism’s Fall (
    Monday’s celebrations included protests against the country’s current political leadership under President Milos Zeman, whom some believe to be overly pro-Russian.
  • Hard News: Prague (
    There are always candles at the memorial to Jan Palach and Jan Zajic, who immolated themselves in protest at the forcible ending of the Prague Spring in 1968, but there were more there than usual last Thursday when I walked to see it.
    Prague has been at the centre of a Czech state for more than a thousand years. It has been home to a university for more than 650 years. We stopped for a beer at a 170 year-old bar whose beer garden is bordered by the Church of Our Lady of the Snows, which was originally a carmelite monastery begun in 1347 but never finished (again, the story in is in what’s not there).
  • The Havel Bust, In The Sculptor’s Own Words (
    On Wednesday, House leaders dedicated a bust of Václav Havel, the Czech playwright who led the Velvet Revolution and became president of his country after three stays in prison.  At the ceremony, Speaker Boehner paid tribute to Havel’s humility and “the great things ordinary people can achieve.”
  • Velvet Revolution at 25 (
    It is fair to say that the Velvet Revolution would not have been possible were it not for the dramatic developments unfolding in the other communist bloc countries. In particular, the fall of the Berlin Wall on 9 November in neighbouring East Germany gave many Czechoslovaks hope of possible change in their own country.But despite the wave of reform that was already sweeping through Europe, many feared a repeat of the dramatic events of 1968 when, on the night of 20-21 August, Warsaw Pact troops led by the Soviet Union invaded Czechoslovakia to halt political liberalisation, also known as the “Prague Spring”.
  • Czechoslovakia’s Velvet Revolution: 25 Years Later (
    The Velvet Revolution, a victory of the people, a victory of the individual, took place on November 17, 1989 when a relatively small group of people in Czechoslovakia put events in motion that could not be stopped. They brought an end to communist rule of their lands, and by the end of the year, a dissident — Vaclav Havel — imprisoned many times by the regime would sit in Prague Castle. At the same time, a beloved reformer — Alexander Dubcek — long ago chased from power by the Soviets, and relegated literally to the backwoods of Bratislava, would be chairman of the federal legislature. Many small victories for the people continue to take place every day in the lives of millions of Slovaks and Czechs as they exert their wills freely over their own individual lives.
  • FSN: Czechoslovakia’s Velvet Revolution: 25 Years Later ( + > Czechoslovakia’s Velvet Revolution: 25 Years Later
    The disruptive and burdensome attitude that anyone who did not steal from the state was stealing from their own family eventually became commonplace. The economy was largely forced into the incapable hands of the state as many reasonable and entrepreneurial people took to one of the only methods of social advancement — pilfering — in order to provide for the family. This system became an even greater drain on the economy.
    each day statists and individuals do battle in this place where East meets West, and overwhelmingly, it is the spirit of 1989 and not the spirit of 1948 that wins the battle. From the West (sadly) and from the East (as can be expected) these people face regular encouragement to backslide into their statist past. Many, however, maintain a firm resolve. The most simple village farmer in this part of the world understands how a central bank works better than many economics students in the West, and the least of the economics students of this land understand the breadth of free market economics seemingly better than the handpicked central bankers of the West. The spirit of ’89 was alive and well here long before 1989 and remains to this day.
  • Raising important questions (

    Bengali theatre continues to raise probing political questions — its hallmark since Nildarpan. It finds an ally in the dramatic canon of eastern Europe, whose long exposure to authoritarian regimes triggered many excellent dissident works. Chandan Sen’s rediscovery of Vaclav Havel, Czech author and post-Communist president, could not have come at a more opportune moment. His Spardhabarna, for Samstab, expands one of Havel’s “Vanek” trilogy of half-hour plays, Protest (1978), to suit our own circumstances.

    In the original, Vanek, released after imprisonment for subversive activities, asks his friend, now a respected writer, to sign an anti-government petition because his stature would lend weight to it. But the friend, already disillusioned by the failure of an earlier revolution, fears that he may lose his job or go to jail if he does so. Havel thus points out that regulating free speech undermines integrity and encourages compromise, for which all of society suffers. May I recommend that Bengali adapters also take up Havel’s masterpieces from the 1980s: Largo Desolato, Temptation and Urban Renewal?

  • Is Washington losing central Europe – or throwing it away? (
    As a new generation of central European leaders strives to balance the demands of Brussels and Washington with their vulnerability to Moscow, commentators and officials in the United States are expressing their concerns about losing the central region to Russian influence.
  • No More Bricks in the Wall by Doug Bandow (
    For decades, the Berlin Wall imprisoned a people — then something amazing happened.

    It’s easy to be pessimistic about the future of freedom. At home, government grows ever larger. The expansion may occasionally slow, but it never stops. Abroad, the state is even more oppressive in such countries as China, Russia, Venezuela, and North Korea.


    In 1989, Hungary led the way. The man who betrayed the revolution three decades before, Janos Kadar, had been deposed. The Communist Party split over the reburial of revolutionary leader Imre Nagy. Soon, plans were made for multiparty elections. The Communist Party dissolved.

    Most important, the new leadership tore down Hungary’s wall with the West. The Iron Curtain had a huge hole.

    Poland’s communist-military regime made a deal with a revived Solidarity Union. Warsaw even organized elections, in which the communist candidates were overwhelmed. But officials accepted the result.

    The liberal tide rose in Czechoslovakia, sweeping away the hard-line leadership installed to squelch the Prague Spring of 1968. Playwright and dissident Vaclav Havel became president in the “Velvet Revolution.”

    The East German regime sought to remain tough. But a visiting Gorbachev made clear that the Soviet soldiers would remain in their barracks this time. Frustrated East Germans began flooding into Prague, where they filled the grounds of the West German embassy, demanding passage to the West. Others went out through Hungary, with its open border.

Originally posted on hungarywolf:


In Prague on 17 November, 1989, a student rally in Wenceslas Square turned into an anti-government protest and was fired on by nervous policemen. Inspired by events in Germany and infuriated by the attempted crackdown, protesters came out onto the streets in greater numbers to demand free elections. An umbrella opposition organisation was formed, called Civic Forum. On 20 November, two hundred thousand marched; two days later it was two hundred and fifty thousand. Tens of thousands cheered Alexander Dubcek, who had led the Prague Spring reform movement of 1968. He made his first public appearance in more than two decades in Bratislava. On 24 November, 350,000 marched through Prague. That night, at an emergency Communist Party central committee meeting, the General Secretary and the entire Politburo resigned, realising that, this time, there was no hope of Soviet assistance. A new party hierarchy was elected.


The dissident Charter 77 playwright…

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Precious Time

Marcus Ampe:

At the schools we see lots of parents so busy with other things than with being there for their children, they often do not recognise dangerous situations, children having to run to them instead of they collecting the children personally.


To remember:

  • right after school = learn the most about their day.
  • precious few minutes being gone.
  • end your call +take those few minutes to listen => be thankful for your time with your children.
  • learn things => save a lot of heartache
  • enjoy your time with your special ones.
  • Before you know your children will be grown up and leaving the house


Originally posted on Phonics By Spelling's Blog:

Precious Time (The first few minutes after school.)

The first minutes when you see your child right after school are the time when you will learn the most about their day.  With our mobile phones, it is easy to be on the phone when picking up children or when they walk in the door resulting in those precious few minutes being gone. 

If you end your call and take those few minutes to listen, you will always be thankful for your time with your children.  You will learn things that will save a lot of heartache. 

Enjoy your time with your special ones.

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Left behind for economical emigration

Few years ago parents fled the Ceaușescu regime in Romania.

Teodora Ana Mihai spends several months in the life of one such family where the kids are being left behind because of economic migration, as hundreds of thousands of citizens leave the country annually to work abroad.

In Mihai’s new award-winning social chronicle film,Waiting for August we see in a new form of neo-realism the puber Georgiana Halmac who turns 15 in that winter. She lives with her six brothers and sisters in a social housing condo on the outskirts of Bacau, Romania. Their mother Liliana was forced to leave her family behind to go to Turin, Italy, to earn money. She won’t be back before summer. During their mother’s absence, Georgiana has been catapulted into the role of head of the family, responsible for her siblings. Her adolescence is cut brutally short.

Caught between puberty and responsibility, Georgiana moves ahead, improvising as she goes. Phone conversations with her mom are her only guidelines. Intimate scenes from the daily life of the seven siblings show us – in an uncensored, fly-on-the-wall style – how real events are experienced and interpreted with great imagination by the children.

Man in front of the Tank Czechoslovakia 1968.jpg

20 August 1968 – 20 September 1968: the Soviet Union and its main allies in the Warsaw Pact — Bulgaria, Hungary, East Germany, and Poland; Romania notably refused to participate — invaded the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic in order to halt Alexander Dubček’s Prague Spring political liberalisation reforms

We all remember how in the 1970s Rumania had a uniquely cordial relationship with the West. Ceasescu‘s first years of authority were good for the country and people believed he was a bright ruler. He promoted closer relations with the People’s Republic of China and with the West, as well as industrial and agricultural development. When he boycotted the Soviet Union’s 1968 invasion of Czechoslovakia, he won international support. When he began to impose his version of the ideal Communist society on the Romanians the citizens were put under pressure. Rapid industrialization in the manner of Stalin, pursuit of Puritanism concerning individual and family life, and systematization, which included destroying churches and housing the population in concrete high-rise buildings, made that more people had not choice where and how to live. His domestic rule was marked by frequently disastrous economic schemes and became increasingly repressive and corrupt.

Ceasescu’s actions were especially harsh in Bucharest, whose history was bulldozed to make way for Ceausescu’s ideal city. In keeping with his luxurious lifestyle, Ceausescu began constructing the largest building in the world, “The People’s Palace.”

Palatul Parlamentului, Palace of Parliament or “The People’s Palace”, Bucharest, Romania.  A multi-purpose building containing both chambers of the Romanian Parliament. According to the World Records Academy, the Palace is the world's largest civilian building with an administrative function, most expensive administrative building and heaviest building.

Palatul Parlamentului, Palace of Parliament or “The People’s Palace”, Bucharest, Romania. A multi-purpose building containing both chambers of the Romanian Parliament. According to the World Records Academy, the Palace is the world’s largest civilian building with an administrative function, most expensive administrative building and heaviest building.

All the while, life was crumbling for the average Romanian, many of whom had to survive without heat or electricity. In December, 1989, the Romanian people revolted, and killed both Ceausescu and his wife.

Jimmy Carter and Nicolae Ceausescu of Romania ...

Jimmy Carter and Nicolae Ceausescu of Romania sign a Joint Declaration of Cooperation. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Rumania under Ceausescu is not merely isolated; it is regarded with almost universal hostility. Its leader, Nicolae Ceausescu, attended five summit meetings with several U.S. Presidents and obtained most favored nation status for his country. In the 1980s, however, that special relationship ended. Rumania lost its trade preferences and became a pariah to the West it has come to occupy a similar position in Eastern Europe. Rumania is unique among Warsaw Pact countries in resisting absolutely any kind of political reform.

Teodora Ana Mihai was born in Bucharest, Romania, in April 1981 under Nicolae Ceausescu’s dictatorship. In 1989 she came to Belgium and was reunited with her parents, who had fled the year before.

In junior high, the opportunity arose to study in California, where her aunt’s family had emigrated. Teodora completed the last two years of high school at the French American International High School in San Francisco. Soon, inspired by her father’s previous passion for photography and the artistic environment of San Francisco she found what she wanted: to tell stories through images and sounds. It all started with film and video workshops geared toward teenagers, which led to a true passion for the seventh art.

Teodora Ana Mihai says:

My parents fled Romania in 1988 and were granted political asylum in Belgium. I stayed behind as a guarantee for the secret services that my mom and dad would return: it was the only way for them to flee the country. In the absence of prospects, parents sometimes take risks whose consequences are difficult to calculate in advance. In the end I was lucky: about a year later, after some diplomatic interventions, I was able to leave Romania too and was reunited with my parents. But that one-year absence during my childhood left a significant mark on me.

She remained in close contact with her country of birth, intrigued and preoccupied by its current fate. It’s this connection with Romania that made her realize that, in a way, history is repeating itself there. The difference is that children are no longer left behind for political reasons, but for economic ones. The impact on the child though, remains the same.

The economic migrants are occasionally given a voice by the media, but we hardly ever hear from the young ones left behind. That is why I wanted to tell their story – the story behind the story.

The cineast tries to tell the delicate story of children who are left behind by their parents and looks at the taboo in practically all cultures, as no one is proud of ending up in such circumstances.

It was not an easy task to find a family who were not only expressive enough, but who also agreed to be filmed in an open, uncensored way.

Luckily, after many months of searching and numerous interviews, she finally met the Halmacs, who agreed to share their everyday life with her and with the broader public.Their story particularly touched the young lady.

the Halmac kids literally claimed my empathy. Every single one of them is a real ‘character’, with a fascinating and well-defined personality that I just wanted to get to know better.

Despite her age Georgiana, who was about to turn 15 when they started filming, having taken over the parental responsibilities, was the new point of reference for the rest of the siblings. She did possess the realization that she — like the rest of her siblings — should have the right to a normal, more protected childhood.

That is what the cinematographer tried to make clear in the pictures that has been awarded the prize for Best International Documentary at the Hot Springs International Documentary Festival in Arkansas, USA. The film also screened in Australia at the Antenna Documentary Festival, where it was similarly honoured as Best International Documentary.

International praise has kept on coming for Waiting for August since it first made its appearance at the prestigious Hot Docs film festival in April. The film won the International Feature Award there, after which it travelled on to win awards in Karlovy Vary, at Kosovo’s Dokufest, and at the international film festivals of Budapest (Hungary), Bergen (Norway), Astra (Romania), Valdivia (Chile) and Reykjavik (Iceland). Waiting for August has also had theatrical runs in New York and Los Angeles.

The Antenna Documentary Festival (14-19 October) in Sydney, Australia, screens the best documentaries from around the world. This year, its line-up included 35 feature-length documentaries from over 20 countries, with Waiting for August grabbing the fest’s SBS Award for Best International Documentary.

At the Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival (10-19 October) in Arkansas, Mihai’s portrait of a Romanian teenager in charge of her six siblings also touched a nerve, receiving the award for Best International Documentary.

Bruno Vanobbergen presented his office’s annual report, coincidentally on the eve of the 25th anniversary of the signing of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Today too many children and young people today collide on social exclusion. Of all the issues raised in the some 1,000 complaints made to the Flemish children’s rights commissioner in the last year, the most repeated concerns the lack of time given to children, Bruno Vanobbergen told the Flemish Parliament.
Too many children and young people experience not enough attention from their parents. Lots of parents are much more busy by earning money than with parenting. According to the
founding decree of the Flemish children’s rights commission it is their mission to address this. The children’s commissioner should acts as the interpreter of the rights, interests and needs of the child.

The annual report of the commissioner brings together many stories of children and young people, their parents or other relatives and a host of committed professionals.
On all these questions, they give a unique answer. That is their daily mission.

We inform and advise. We mediate. Whether we conduct a complaints investigation resulting in a number of  recommendations.

Children need to be given time to be heard, Vanobbergen said, whether by parents, teachers or other adults who have control over their lives.

“It seems to me logical that we should integrate their perspective into our discussions about important social themes,”

he said.

When we look at the situation of the mothers and fathers, they have nearly no choice to stay at home to take care of the kids. they simply cannot afford to have one parent staying at home to take care of the children. the young parents are obliged to go out working both, to be able to pay rent and utilities. Government does try to provide possibilities for companies to give their employees extra time for the children, but companies are not willing enough to provide means for their workforce, nor are willing to make the wages better, complaining that in Belgium they are already of the highest in Europe (because of the taxes).

“Think, for example, about flexible working hours or time credits. Until now, we’ve only heard the point of view of adults, of employers.”

For many people it may look logical that we should integrate the children’s their perspective into our discussions about important social themes, but not enough attention or value is given to the position of the not commercially valuable child.

for the commercial market those children are only good to sell their products and to blind them with all sorts of unnecessary gadgets. to get parents having valuable quality time with their children is not of enough interest. More time devoted to the child would help in working towards a solution: in the case of asylum seekers, where children and young people are often not asked for their point of view; in cases of school discipline, where the frequent use of “time-outs” could be precisely the opposite of what is best for the child.

Those in child-care and the educational system, teachers, child carers, have no say in bringing up the children. They are not allowed to educate on social and ethic matter. That is why we see so many of the last generations being spoiled and not having any ethic education, because often their parents had no time spend for that. The report recognises that the adults in such situations often simply do not have the time to give.

“One of the explanations for that is the growth of ‘management logic’ in care and in education,”

Vanobbergen said.

“Teachers and caregivers are under pressure to reach targets within very limited time-spans.”

Not everything seems to be bad. Some initiatives have already been taken in the right direction, including the Family Tribunal, which came into operation in September this year and offers children over the age of 12 a voice in family matters such as divorce. Much too long the children had not say and much too often the father was put in the corner, left out to have the least family time with his kids.

The Commissariat-General for Refugees and Stateless Persons, meanwhile, has been carrying out an experimental project looking at how children’s voices can he heard during asylum procedures.

“We are happy with these initiatives,”

said the commissioner,

“but we would ask the government to invest even more, so important is the voice of children and young people”.

It is time we get to respect those little voices much more and listen to what is on their heart and mind.




Additional reading:

  1. Ceausescu’s Rumania: Stalinism with an Iron Fist
  2. Nicolae Ceausescu and Dictator’s Wife Exhumed in Romania. Why?
  3. Return of the Ceausescus; Ten Years Ago on Christmas Day, the Execution of…
  4. 4 Months, 3 Weeks, and 2 Days (2007)/If I Want to Whistle, I Whistle…
  5. Ceausescu’s Rumania: Stalinism with an Iron Fist
  6. Dictator Ceausescu Paid ‘Carlos the Jackal’ Millions to Kill Opponents
  7. Dreaming in Romanian – despite Potholes and Smog ; A Decade after Ceausescu’s…
  8. Don’t Lead like Ceausescu – or like Mike Ashley; as We near the New School…
  9. Dictator’s ‘Junk’ for Sale: Moon Rock to a Goya 14,000 ‘Dreadful’ Items Given…
  10. Report from Romania: Ceausescu’s Legacies


  • Son of Romanian ex-dissident ends hunger strike (
    The son of an ex-dissident who was killed in jail during Romania’s communist era has ended a hunger strike after 17 days.

    Andrei Ursu says he called it off Thursday afternoon after prosecutors told him they would reopen an investigation into the death of Gheorghe Ursu, who was killed in prison in 1985 on the orders of the former Securitate secret police.

  • Romania to seek EU-IMF permission to boost defence budget (
    Romania will seek permission from the International Monetary Fund and the European Union to increase its defence budget next year in view of the separatist rebellion in neighbouring Ukraine, the finance minister said Monday.

    “It is very important to step up military spending, and one of the items of discussion with the IMF and the EU will concern an extension by 0.3 perent of gross domestic product for the army,” Ioana Petrescu told reporters on the eve of a visit by the lenders to Bucharest.

    “We will try to get the 0.3 percent added to the deficit” of 1.4 percent of GDP that Bucharest has committed to for 2015, she added.

    Petrescu said the hike was needed “in view of the situation in Ukraine, which entails more spending, and Romania’s commitments to NATO”, notably to host a regional command centre for the alliance.

Posted in Culture, Economy, History, News and Politics, Poverty, Upbringing and Education, Video, Welfare and Health | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Many present American citizens do not want to recognise their Land of hope and glory

English: Painting of Sir Edward Elgar, O.M.

Painting of Sir Edward Elgar, O.M. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The title probably brings in your mind, like it does for me, the great British patriotic song, with music by Edward Elgar and lyrics by A. C. Benson, written in 1902. In the 70s this song was alternatively played at public occasions in England, where we were offered the national hymn before a performance in the theatre and cinema and all stood up straight, feeling some pride.

The Pomp and Circumstance March No. 1 is the background music for telling us that hope is crowned and hopes that God will make it mightier.The king his kingdom might be strong but only when

Freedom gained, by Truth maintained,

In a state people should maintain the truth to be able to keep their freedom. Today lots of governing people have forgotten that though wider still and wider shall its bounds be set, this is only possible because there is a much Higher Supreme Being that allows it to happen.

God, who made thee mighty, make thee mightier yet,

goes the song.

Thy fame is ancient as the days,
As Ocean large and wide:
A pride that dares, and heeds not praise,
A stern and silent pride;
Not that false joy that dreams content
With what our sires have won;
The blood a hero sire hath spent
Still nerves a hero son.

The reference to the extension of the British Empire‘s boundaries may reflect the Boer War, Tweede Boerenoorlog or Tweede Vryheidsoorlog, recently won at the time of writing, in which Britain gained further territory, endowed with considerable mineral wealth. The war ended in victory for Britain and the annexation of the South African Republic (Transvaal Republic) and the Orange Free State. So it was not such a nice venture to be honoured. Though in the end, having both be incorporated into the Union of South Africa in 1910 it worked out not so badly.

The defending Dutch forces at the Battle of Blaauwberg (1806) were defeated and the many Boers who were dissatisfied with aspects of British administration, in particular with Britain’s abolition of slavery on 1 December 1834, elected to migrate away from British rule in what became known as the Great Trek.

Centuries later we could see an opposite Great Trek in the world. People wanting to flee slavery of systems who oppress them. They are looking for a land of “hope and glory”. They are not interested in expansionist ideas of a country, but are looking for a land that has more to offer than their own birth place.

Across the ocean to the West, there are many people living now who forget they have ancestors who also tried to find more freedom and a better way to live than here in Europe. Those ancestors wanted to get rid of those who wanted political, social, and economic control over their lives and also at one point wanted a single unified state where they could prosper and have their family growing up in peace and wealth.

Today their grand-grandchildren have forgotten those dreams their over-grandparents had. Or they have become so selfish they do not want to give others the same chances their family had.

Today America’s immigration system is broken. Good to see the President is taking executive action to fix what he can to help build a system that lives up to their heritage as a nation of laws and a nation of immigrants. The United States of America is only what it is today because of those ancestors who came form all over Europe to build up something of which they dreamed. they were willing to leave everything behind what they had to go to unknown places where they could construct a new life, build on their dreams and aspirations. There are no stories that bring home the hope and optimism of immigration reform more than the stories of “Dreamers.” They are productive members of society, brought to the New World as young children, who grew up in the ‘American’ communities and became ‘American’ in every way, for a long time in all way but the last few years not any more in all ways, because the older immigrants resisted to give them the “paper” to accept them as co-citizens. The grandchildren of the first immigrants got refusing other immigrants to have the same dreams as their own ancestors and as themselves, wanting to live in a free world where every person would be able to build his own life.

Generals Dwight D. Eisenhower and Omar Bradley...

Generals Dwight D. Eisenhower and Omar Bradley talk with a young member of the French resistance in the American sector during the liberation of Lower Normandy in the summer of 1944. ID: p013328 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Those children of the early immigrants have forgotten that throughout the American history, immigration to this land has contributed greatly to the strength and character of their Republic. Dwight D. Eisenhower could still say

Over the years we have provided for such immigration because it has been to our own national interest that we do so. It is no less to our national interest that we do so under laws that operate equitably.”

Today many North Americans have forgotten the National interest and are more concerned about their own privilege, their own interest in having nobody else who could take their job, nobody else who could come to live near to them. They all want the space for themselves and do not want to share the multitude with others.

They clearly have forgotten that even today the contribution of immigrants still could be  seen in every aspect of their national life.

We see it in religion, in business, in the arts, in education, even in athletics and in entertainment. There is no part of our nation that has not been touched by our immigrant background.”

said (in 1959) the greatest president of the nation (John F. Kennedy) who energized the United States by projecting idealism, youth, and vigour.

Lyndon B. Johnson added to that on October 2, 1965:

“Our beautiful America was built by a nation of strangers. From a hundred different places or more they have poured forth into an empty land, joining and blending in one mighty and irresistible tide. The land flourished because it was fed from so many sources — because it was nourished by so many cultures and traditions and peoples.”

To keep it young and twirling the North Americans should remember that and aim for a continuous refreshing new breath, allowing the rich mosaic of many cultures and traditions, to continue to be strong in its diversity.

In the past each new immigrant has added another piece to the mosaic of American life — a fresh perspective and a fresh appreciation of what it means to be an American. This for sure has been the lung of that State. It has been the breathing force of that ‘generation’.

The New World could face many waves.

Gerald Ford December 2, 1974 also recognised this and said:

“Each new wave of pioneers and immigrants had to build a place for themselves and add their individual contributions to this new life. ”

The present generation of North Americans seem to have forgotten how they have become not a melting pot but a beautiful mosaic, because their ancestors allowed others with dreams to come and build their new world in that mighty space where there is a plenty-fold of grounds, beautiful pastures and very wide planes providing enough space for many people. Different people, different beliefs, different yearnings, different hopes, different dreams.

The actor and president Ronald Reagan on July 20, 1981 said:

“Our nation is a nation of immigrants. More than any other country, our strength comes from our own immigrant heritage and our capacity to welcome those from other lands. No free and prosperous nation can by itself accommodate all those who seek a better life or flee persecution.”

When we do hear the reactions against the measures the first black president of the United States took, you would think most of those who call themselves now “American” and consider the Indian country as theirs, have forgotten their own immigrant heritage. It is as if they are denying what their ancestors had to fight for. Though they are on the first line to shout about their rights and about the ‘first amendments’. They are not willing any more to be reminded of those battles fought to get some ground, to get some foot somewhere in that great country. They do not want to bear any more the different memories, honouring different heritages. It looks like they have forgotten how they have strengthened the economy of what is now a thriving state. It also looks like they have forgotten that their enriched  culture got only there because of those who put their hope in the continuously renewed  promise of freedom and opportunity for all. Only by all those people who wanted to leave what they had in the other place in the world, bringing their hopes, talent and hard work and love of freedom to that New World, have helped make America the leader of the world.

Should they not consider it special, and should they not be proud, knowing that people around the world are willing to leave their homes and leave their families and risk everything to come to America?

Should today’s generation of North Americans not ensure that America remains a beacon of liberty and the most hopeful society this world has ever known?

Barack Obama on January 29, 2013 said:

“We define ourselves as a nation of immigrants. That’s who we are — in our bones. The promise we see in those who come here from every corner of the globe, that’s always been one of our greatest strengths. It keeps our workforce young. It keeps our country on the cutting edge. And it’s helped build the greatest economic engine the world has ever known.”

In this week’s address, the President laid out the steps he took this past week to fix the broken immigration system. Enacted within his legal authority, the President’s plan focuses on cracking down on illegal immigration at the border; deporting felons, not families; and accountability through criminal background checks and taxes.

President Obama cares deeply about those who had many dreams for a better life. Have a look for what he had to say about it. Watch for yourself here.

Come to see and understand why President Obama’s action on immigration offered many the chance to give back — to do right by the law, and contribute to what they also wanted to be their country that has given them so much. And his actions last week will give that opportunity to so many people who are Americans in their hearts, but not on paper.



As a kid, I dreamed of graduating from college, and hugging my parents with my diploma in hand.

There was just one problem: I found out that I am not a citizen. My parents brought me to America when I was just four years old.

This country is the only place I’ve ever called home. It means everything to me. And when I learned that I was undocumented, it shattered my life.

The citizens who consider themselves the only ones who can be American should remember their families past and rethink about what attitude they want to take to others who only do the same as what their ancestors did. Their contemporary president who wants to open his heart to all Americans talks about bringing undocumented immigrants like so many out of the shadows, so that they too can do right by the law and play by the rules. That’s why President Obama is taking these steps — but as he said on Friday, Congress needs to pass a comprehensive solution to fully solve this problem.

Because my brother is a citizen, my parents will have a chance to stay here and keep our family together. So for me, this is personal. But I’m not the only one: So many families will benefit.

See what the President announced last week, and please share this message with your friends and family:


  • The Constitution of the United States of America, 19th Amendment (
    The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.
  • We the People (
    My question today, which I’ve been mulling over for the past few months, is what the hell happened to “We the People?” Because I’m looking down the barrel of my 60th birthday coming up I’ve been looking back over my life from a freedom and privacy perspective. My rights, personal freedom and privacy, have eroded drastically over the decades. Women’s rights are moving backwards at an alarming rate.
  • How Churchill helped Dismantle the Empire (

    One of the facts of history is that one time the sun never set on the British Empire. In 1939 England was all powerful with a colony encompassing half the globe. How come that within a span of 8 years the British Empire collapsed like a pack of cards. There were many factors and one of them was Winston Churchill.

    Churchill’s tryst with power began in 1911 when he entered the inner cabinet as First Lord. At that time England controlled the greatest empire in world history, greater than any even Genghis Khan or Aurangzeb or the Roman Empire. When Churchill left in 1945, Britain was a poor island. He was a Great Man, yet he presided over the demise of the greatness of England.

    The fact is Churchill lusted for war and his decision to bomb defeated Germany’s population from January to May 1945, when more than a hundred thousand died was a criminal act without parallel. During his rise to greatness saw England fight two world wars that sounded the death knell of the Empire.

  • Now pupils can study 2,000 years of immigration for GCSE: Pupils will learn about reasons and impact on the country in new history exam (

    Teenagers will be able to study 2,000 years of immigration to Britain as part of plans for a new history GCSE.

    Those studying the module will learn about the reasons for immigration, the experience of migrants and their impact on the country.

    The OCR exam board, which has drawn up the proposals, said pupils would discover parallels to the modern day.
    Mike Goddard, OCR’s head of history, said: ‘Migration is an ideal history topic for GCSE students to study, allowing them to consider fundamental historical concepts such as continuity, change and significance, rooted in the major events of England’s history.

  • We Love the USA (
    Jordan and Mary participated in the fourth grade performance of We Love the U.S.A in honor of Veteran’s Day. They sang several patriotic songs along with historic sayings and quotes. Jordan is also in the Show Choir so he sang more songs and had a bit more choreography along with a big part singing Lee Greenwood’s  “God Bless the USA”. Mary also had a part singing “Let Freedom Ring”. In all the class sang 16 songs as a tribute to our country.
  • 15 Inspirational Quotes About Change in Life (
    If we are to live fully, we are to live with change. But change isn’t always easy. We’ve compiled some quotes about change to inspire it’s waaaarm embrace. Whether it’s new obstacles at work, new demands in school or changes in the family – major transitions are a part of life. Let’s not run from change, let’s dance with it.
  • Classical music: Today is Veterans Day in the U.S. and this week brings Remembrance Day in the Commonwealth nations including Great Britain, Canada and Australian. To honor veterans – – both military and civilian – The Ear plays the “Nimrod” section from S (
  • The Complete History of Banks in the United States (
    When the United States became an independent nation, it did not have a central bank. This was a legacy of the colonial era. During this time, each colony followed its own practices relating to money. The differences among the colonies were the result of British regulations and a shortage in the money supply. The British never allowed the colonists to make currency, but they also failed to provide the colonists with enough coins. Many colonists turned to bartering and using items like tobacco as currency, while others used French, Spanish, and Portuguese coins that had found their way into North America from the West Indies. Paper “bills of credit” were also popular in some areas, but the use of these led to price increases. By the time the American colonies won freedom from Britain, the absence of a common currency and a central banking system were a larger problem than ever. America’s early leaders realized that unless they found a way to bring all of the states together under a single financial system, the nation could fail as a whole. The United States needed a single line of currency to finance its war debts, and creating a central bank to supervise and issue that currency was an excellent way to make sure that those debts were paid. Having a central bank would also help the new nation remain united against other countries in the event of another war. In addition, having a standard American currency and a central bank could help improve trade, which was suffering greatly in the wake of the American Revolution. The history of banks in the United States is a rather long one. The country experimented with several different banking systems until the twentieth century, when it created the Federal Reserve system that remains in place today.
  • Second World War And Axis Victory (
    What do you think the results would have been if the USSR and Nazi Germany had maintained the peace/nonaggression pact?Do you think that war could have been brought to the United States door step? I certainly think that the UK mainland would have been in trouble. I don’t know if mainland America could have been invaded. And maybe the soviets would have used their resources in the east?
  • Obama’s new measures on immigration system (

    The United States of America’s immigration system has been broken for decades, which was why President Barack Obama announced new steps  to address as much of the problem as he can using his executive authority, TRADE NEWSWIRE reports.

    According to a statement obtained by The White House, that is why he’ll continue to work with Congress to pass comprehensive reform.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Did the picture change for Working dads

“It’s 2014, and the Picture Has Changed for Working Dads. Here’s How:”

the message told:

It’s not 1960: Being a dad looks different now

It also wanted to give the impression it was better than 1960. In Belgium in any case in 1960 it probably was much better than now. For the family life in any case it was much, much, better. Dads and moms knew their place and those who wanted to stay at home to be their for their kids could help those children grow up in a healthy family.

the United states Government is well aware that our families — and workforce — look different than they have before. They say:

That means being a dad looks different than it ever has before.

Then they point to a big problem of our society today.

Just like moms, many dads don’t have access to paid leave or flexible workplaces, making it harder to balance work and family.

Where in the past the husband could get a reasonable income to support the family, his wife, children and his parents and parents in law (the older ones), today youngsters may find it already difficult, not to say impossible, with one wage to pay for the rent and have enough over to provide for food, electricity, gas and water. Extra educational and entertainment or social activities became to costly to afford with only one person in the household working.

The golden sixties in which we had a ‘marvellous life’, could eat lots of things, could buy lots of things, indulge ourselves with going to the theatre, concerts, places in the own country, have got the clouds of the capitalist world having made it an illusion with even more illusionist dreams of worlds created by the many lifestyle and paparazzi magazines.

In West Europe, like in America, I believe, we have seen a shift from the social family life, where the kids could take care of their parents, to a life where the older folks are not any more considered to be old and needy to be taken care of by their children. Parents when getting older and grandparents being much older than in the previous mid-20° century generation, are now considered by many as an uselessness and as futilities are put away in homes. But the prises of those ‘put away houses’ have become to costly for the younger generation, so they consider it a burden to further take care of that ‘non-pofit sort of people’.

For many parents the children are already a nuisance. The elders for many are a pain in the neck, and if we are not careful the danger is looming that those who are not productive any more shall be treated with an injection to stop them being part of this world.

We have seen with the years an increase in the tax burden and other expectations for life have redetermined social life and even worse, family life.

Instead of getting more freedom and privacy perspective in many countries people, with reason, have become afraid to air their opinion, and in many countries workers have become afraid to say something about unjust working conditions, afraid to loose their job.
In the capitalist countries the rights, personal freedom and privacy of the common people have largely decreased. They have eroded drastically over the decades. Women’s rights, workers’ rights are moving backwards at an alarming rate. When we look at the situation in Belgium in a few years time we could be facing again the times of pastor Daens, having his contributions to the growing social awareness among Catholics in Belgium, and his major role in the history of Belgian trade unions, becoming something of the past.

Today a couple has to go to work both, to be able to have a comfortable living. Many families got broken by the impossibility to put water in the wine and to come to terms with each other. We can find many new composite families, were there are kids who have to cope with each other facing two, three or even more ‘dads’ coming along the house. The amalgamated households made it that socially the kids did not learn a good way of going with others and sharing in love. Often they did not have good examples from their parents how to share in love, with love, which makes it more difficult for them to have good social contacts or to build a good founded family themselves.

We shall have to make work not getting more father-only or mother-only families, and to stop the divorce rate which is much too high.

We also should look at the roles we want to take in society and should re-train the community looking more openly to the changing social roles people want to take up, getting also mothers working out of the house and fathers working in the house. Plus having more shared tasks in the house as in the community.

In the United States of America, a country where so many Europeans want to look up, 63 percent of families with children, all parents work. 32 percent of families with children are single-parent families. And yet, most moms and dads don’t have access to paid leave or flexible workplaces. On average, women are still earning 77 cents to every dollar a man doing the same work earns.

It’s time for workplace policies that give all workers the best chance to succeed at work and at home.

On June 23, the American government hosted a national conversation about how they can build 21st-century workplaces that help the modern American family succeed. Visit to learn more.

Take a look at what that looks like, and then share this if you learned something new.

workingdadsWomen workers are contributing more and more to their family’s earnings, but the wage gap between men and women hasn’t gone away.

womanworkforce 2014

By age 65, the average working woman will lose $431,000 due to the wage gap. (Share this graphic if you agree this isn’t fair.)

By age 65, the average working woman will lose $431,000 due to the wage gap. (Share this graphic if you agree this isn’t fair.)

Every man and woman should be treated equally on all levels. - By age 65, the average working woman will lose $431,000 due to the wage gap. (Share this graphic if you agree this isn’t fair.)

Every man and woman should be treated equally on all levels. – By age 65, the average working woman will lose $431,000 due to the wage gap. (Share this graphic if you agree this isn’t fair.)

  • How Is the Cost of Health Care Going To Change For Everyone under Obamacare? (
    For some insight into the reason for the high cost of healthcare, check out John Green’s video:
  • Obama’s amnesty lawlessness catapulted with Associated Press bias and mind games (
    “Obama is expected to take executive action to protect many of the estimated 11 million people in the country illegally from deportation after Congress failed to pass an immigration overhaul,” wrote AP writers Russell Contreras and Laura Wides-Munoz in a Yahoo News story.
  • We the People (
    When I was in grade school we had a civics class. In the class we learned about how the branches of government are supposed to work. We had to memorize the preamble to the constitution and recite in class. We studied the Bill of Rights in great detail including how they came to be.Today, our 20 and 30 somethings have the right to vote but have no education on how our government was intended by our forefathers, who created our nation, to work. Think about it for a second: People have to take a test to operate a motor vehicle, but no knowledge is required to go to the polls and decide on actions that could affect our lives for generations to come. Instead being taught common sense and courtesy they are taught that whatever they want is how it should be. If you don’t like something get a law passed. Pay no never mind that the law may infringe on your neighbors rights.
  • More than 4.12 Million Records Released (
    In September 2009, the President announced that — for the first time in history — White House visitor records would be made available to the public on an ongoing basis. Today, the White House releases visitor records that were generated in August 2014. This release brings the total number of records made public by this White House to more than 4.12 million—all of which can be viewed in our Disclosures section.
  • What The White House Called These Terrorists Will Enrage You (
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Posted in Economy, History, News and Politics, Upbringing and Education, Welfare and Health | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


Marcus Ampe:

Ideologically capitalism may be an economic system which manages the process of production and distribution of the goods and services, but in reality man is been taken by all the products being created and has fallen victim of its own greed.


To remember:

  • Capitalism = institutionalized system > started in Europe 16th century to the 19th century
  • group of individuals and groups can act as a specific entity that can have a trade or private property
  • free market where prices are determined by supply and demand, for the sake of making a profit > status protected by the state through ownership rights and obedience to laws of the state or to those who are bound by a contract
  • source of wealth > money or material that we need to make a profit
  • mode of production > capital and its various forms = major tool in the production
  • economical activity which intended to the markets and endorsed in order to generate the earnings from the commuting market.
  • economic system which manages the process of production and distribution of the goods and services.


To take note:

Capitalism brought perhaps bigger portions of the means of production and material owned by the individual, who takes more than he really needs. This results in voracity and a figurative and literal bulimia.

Normally goods and services should be traded competitively in the free market but we notice that certain groups gain such power that they push out all competitors and get monopolies (often under the form of sub-companies, so that people do not notice it).

The owners of small capital (smallholders) are just not able to compete against the owners of capital and big concerns or multinationals.

The writer says the advantage of capitalism is “Improved quality of goods”, but we clearly can see, and in Europe it is proven that many companies lowered the quality of their products or the life-age, so that they can sell more. Quality has been left aside to gain quantity.

The writer of the article also finds it an advantage that “products are more varied”, but today we have less variety of choice than 40 years ago. The companies press and present that what they want to sell and the consumer just has to follow. Today it is impossible to find in the shops the same maps as you used for your filing cabinet 2 or more years ago.

Today we can see enough proof how capitalism  fooled the people and how much it brought failure to the creation. Animals and plants have become the greatest victims of human greed and search for a capitalist world, where they can not share any more.

Unless we “embrace radical change ourselves” very soon we shall drown ourselves, taking many with us.

Perhaps more people would consider the words spoken by the new Pope Francis:

“If we destroy Creation, Creation will destroy us!”


Originally posted on Muhammad Haykal :

99% of population have only 1% of country's property,while 1% of population get 99% of country's property.

99% of population have only 1% of country’s property,while 1% of population get 99% of country’s property.

In my opinion, Capitalism is an institutionalized system that started in Europe in the 16th century to the 19th century, the time when the development of commercial banking in Europe. In Capitalism, a group of individuals and groups can act as a specific entity that can have a trade or private property, especially capital goods such as land and human labor, in a free market where prices are determined by supply and demand, for the sake of making a profit in which its status is protected by the state through the ownership rights and obedience to the laws of the state or to those who are bound by a contract that has been arranged in a clear way, either explicit or implicit obligations and are not solely depend on the obligations and protections…

View original 333 more words

Posted in Economy, Environment and Ecology, News and Politics, Thoughts of others, Welfare and Health, World | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Dissolution of Bijbelvorsers (Bible scholars), Association for Bible study

In our life we may try to do a lot of things. We learn by trying, succeeding or failing,  falling and standing up again.

In my life I tried a few things and those things I tried to do were not always easy to achieve. First there was my will to become a servant of God, but not a priest, because I did not like celibacy, even when I was only six. Secondly I also wanted to become a musical star. But when I mentioned to my parents that I would love to study theatre I felt and heard it so much they could hear it thundering in Cologne.

Working hard and figuratively and literally ‘fighting’ for what I wanted to become, a performer, I gave my soul for about 45 years to the art of dance. Having enjoyed it and not wanting to miss it, at last I had to make a cross over my dance career and found me in a position where I could devote much more time to the work for God.

But having grown up in a the Old Roman Catholic Church and having done some church shopping before I became a non-trinitarian, religiously my life was also not without thorns. Choosing for the least loved side of Christianity it was not the place to have much friends. In the Roman Catholic country of the 1980s this was felt much more than in England.

I tried to associate with Vrije Christenen or Free Christians, but coming from non-trinitarian Baptists, the leaders of the group, an ex-Jehovah Witness and an ex-Pentecostal pastor, were at first very worried before taking my up in their group. Strangely the JW man became later a Muslim and the pastor became an atheist. When they got so much problems with their own faith, the group resolved.

I tried to bring interested non-trinitarians and real searchers for the truth together and get them searching in the Bible, but they all wandered about in the darkness.

I tried to reconcile people and those actually interested in the Bible, the Word of God to bring them together, but did not succeed. From 1993 I was trying to find people who were fascinated by the Holy Scriptures who would like to like to investigate that Word of God.

On April 10, 2004 I started an MSN Group which was later taken over by Multiply. In my first writing for Bijbelonderzoekers (Bible researchers) or Bible Students I wrote:

Believers, non-believers, seekers and convinced in one or the other,

This platform will hopefully be a meeting place for those who are serious about biblical texts, Bible translations, Bible distribution and the like to come to an exchange of ideas.

It would be the most beautiful when all the visitors could exceed their denominations and with each other, in imitation of Jesus Christ, to pursue the true Christian charity and go together on the way to discover the essence of the Word of God.

Het allereerste artikel voor de Bijbelonderzoekers voor de MSN Groepen en Multiply - Very first article of the Bibleonderzoekers (Bible researchers) or Bible Students for MSN Groups and Multiply. - 2004 April 10

Het allereerste artikel voor de Bijbelonderzoekers voor de MSN Groepen en Multiply – Very first article of the Bijbelonderzoekers (Bible researchers) or Bible Students for MSN Groups and Multiply. – 2004 April 10

Though for the people it seemed very difficult to get over their denominational doctrines and to come closer to other Christians. Lots of turbulence was to be found in the many churches. People did not know where to go or where to look at, but at the same time they did seem to be afraid to come into contact with other denominations.

For the “Christian charity” it seemed very difficult to get our aid material to the countries (Chechnya and India) and we did not receive, not to say none, financial help to do our aid  and our day to day research and preaching work.

Not many wanted to step in the footsteps of the one man which gave the name (according to them) to their religion. Being a man of peace, a pacifist and communist avant la lettre, Jesus called everyone to come together under his wings, to be part of his body. Man does not want to see the variety and necessity of the different parts of such a body.

I wrote further:

Exciting and enriching it can be when one does not shy away from the theological issues, but dares to openly expose them in a modestly peaceable way, not for the debate or confrontation itself, but really to enrich themselves and the others continually for a better understanding.

By daring to go deeper on individual thinking we will be able to understand each other better, and shall be able to access each-other more easily.

My sincere hope was

That respect for each other’s vision will be strengthened and that several people here can find their way to the church of which Jesus Christ is the cornerstone. The ecclesia” that transcends state beyond labelling and all forms of human populations.

You are kindly invited to partake in the great family that looks to the Kingdom of God.

In 2010 I tried to go ahead for setting up an association that would bring together the various scholars on Bible and religious matters. I did hope to get several interested Bible Students, scholars and archaeologists together with Bijbelvorsers, Vereniging voor Bijbelstudie, or Bible Scholars, Association for Bible studyI created the Bijbelvorsers Webs website in the Summer of 2010.

Openingswoord voor Bijbelvorsers, Vereniging voor Bijbelstudie - zomer 2010 - Opening Remarks for Bijbelvorsers (Bible scholars), Association for Bible study - Summer 2010

Openingswoord voor Bijbelvorsers, Vereniging voor Bijbelstudie – zomer 2010 – Opening Remarks for Bijbelvorsers (Bible scholars), Association for Bible study – Summer 2010

Not many people joined. Like my call for writers on Stepping Toes and From Guestwriters I did not get many replies. I can tell them on one hand. At the peak we got 62 members but it were always the same persons doing all the work and trying to come to a consensus by debates. Last academic year I tried to bring the many different Bible Students groups and Christadelphians to co-operate with each other and to exchange ideas and information about their services. This turned out to be a disastrous move, creating even more division and leaving me in the cold, even more isolated than before.

As a result I consider the discontinuance of the association for Bible study. Before the adjournment of the website I shall give some time to have the few articles replaced on other sites.

The annulment of the association is a burden I do not want to take any more. The time is not ripe for bringing more people with different ideas, together in peace. From my efforts to create an open Christian lifestyle magazine I also have to come to the conclusion that in our capitalist system people have become such egoists and greedy persons who do not want to share with others for free, that my utopian ideas shall not come into fulfilment easy. Therefore I want to concentrate me more on the preaching of the Word of God and not loosing so much energy in getting consolidation between several groups.

I’ll brush off my clothes and continue my way, in the hope that in time, some, even be it a few would not mind to join me on my voyage to bring a message of peace, positiveness and hope.

Time4Peace Batch


Find also:

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Posted in Announcement, B4Peace, Ballet + Dance/Dans, Dagboek = Diary, History, Religion | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Denken aan het ontbinden van de Vereniging voor Bijbelstudie: Bijbelvorsers

Prille begin

Als kleine pagadder had ik al twee gedachten in mijn krullenbol hoofd voor wat ik wenste te worden. Het eerste wat ik voorop zag leek toen niet haalbaar, omdat het zou inhouden dat ik niet zou mogen trouwen en al was ik nog maar zes jaar leek dat toch niet zo prettig om geen vriendin te mogen hebben. Het andere idee bracht zulk een oorveeg op en commentaar dat ik het stilzwijgend toch maar bleek hopen om het eens waar te maken een musical ster te zijn.

Zeer hard heb ik er voor moeten vechten om mijn dromen waar te maken. Heel wat onprettige momenten doorkruisten mijn leven door mijn keuze tegen de zin van mijn ouders. Ook lichamelijk ondervond ik heel wat tegenstand en ongelukken. Maar uiteindelijk mocht ik na enkele decennia terugblikken op een 45 jaar in de kunstwereld en mocht ik toch ook niet klagen van hoe ik het er vanaf gebracht had. Heerlijke dagen op de scène blijven mij bij en kunnen niet meer af gepakt worden. (Zalig!)

Beroepsbezigheden voorop

Al tijdens mijn dansloopbaan bleef mijn interesse voor de religie en bleef ik op zoek naar de Waarheid. Uiteindelijk, vreemd genoeg, na twee bijna doodservaringen, werd het hoge tijd voor mij om mij veel ernstiger bezig te houden met dat ‘Geloof”. en zo kwam ik in zekere zin ook terug op mijn eerste kinderwens om God te dienen. Al eerdere jaren was ik tot het bewustzijn gekomen dat de Kerk waar ik in opgegroeid was niet de ware kerk was. Het geloof van de Oud Romaans Katholieke Kerk kwam via een zoektocht langs de Charismatische Katholieke Kerk over de Charismatische Protestantse Kerk en een kijk in verscheidene andere protestantse kerken tot ik vaste voet vond bij de niet-trinitarische Doopsgezinde Gemeenschap der Baptisten.

Tijdens mijn beroepsloopbaan hield ik mij niet zo sterk met het kerkgebeuren in, alhoewel dat ik de kerkdiensten niet trachtte te verwaarlozen. Steeds bleef ik mijn geloof niet onder stoelen of banken steken en naargelang de jaren vorderden zag ik ook meer en meer het belang van het predikingswerk in.

Zoeken naar alternatief

In de jaren 90 bood ik mij aan bij de Vrije Christenen, in mijn zoektocht naar een alternatief voor de meer en meer trinitarisch wordende Baptisten Gemeenschap. De Vrije Christenen keken raar op naar mij die als een van de weinige niet Jehovah Getuige uit het niet-trinitarisch kamp kwam en twijfelden wel aan mijn geloof, terwijl die twee leiders nu beiden van het Christelijk geloof zijn afgestapt, de hoofdleider en stichter van de beweging is Islamiet geworden en de ander is totaal ongelovig geworden. De beweging, ontstaan uit ex-Jehovah Getuigen en misnoegde Christenen van hoofdzakelijk de Pinksterbeweging en verder natuurlijk de standaard staatskerk voor België: de Rooms Katholieke Kerk.

Voor Brabant wisten wij een huiskerk in Zaventem op te richten, die dan ook regelmatig dienst had. Maar toen de leider van de beweging zijn weg niet vond, en grotendeels in verwarring was gebracht geworden door de vele ex-Pinksterbeweging leden, liep de groepering aan de grond bij het afhaken van deze leider. Mijn niet-trinitarische gedachte was te sterk afschrikkend voor de meeste leden en zo viel de hele beweging, die op een bepaald ogenblik meer dan 2220 leden had, uiteen. Met het verdwijnen van de MSN Groepen (2009) bleef er dan ook niets meer over.

Poging tot verzoening en bijeenbrengen

Ik probeerde mensen te verzoenen en diegenen die werkelijk in de Bijbel, het Woord van God  geïnteresseerd waren bijeen te brengen, maar slaagde er niet in. Vanaf 1993 probeerde ik zo mensen te vinden die geboeid werden door de Heilige Schrift en graag dat Woord van God onderzochten.

Op 10 april 2004 maakte ik op Multiply het platform Bijbelonderzoekers waar ik schreef:

Het allereerste artikel voor de Bijbelonderzoekers voor de MSN Groepen en Multiply - Very first article of the Bibleonderzoekers (Bible researchers) or Bible Students for MSN Groups and Multiply. - 2004 April 10

Het allereerste artikel voor de Bijbelonderzoekers voor de MSN Groepen en Multiply – Very first article of the Bijbelonderzoekers (Bible researchers) or Bible Students for MSN Groups and Multiply. – 2004 April 10

Dat overschrijden van de eigen denominatie blijkt in België een van de moeilijkste zaken. Ook de genegenheid voor andersdenkenden is in dit land zeer moeilijk te vinden, maar ook op het net bleek er in het Nederlandstalig gebied daar geen echte plaats voor.

Verzoek tot Verenigen

In 2010 probeerde ik dan verder te gaan en een Vereniging op te richten die de verscheidene Bijbelvorsers of Bijbelonderzoekers bijeen zou brengen. Bijbelvorsers, Vereniging voor Bijbelstudie werd een feit en verscheen op Webs.

Openingswoord voor Bijbelvorsers, Vereniging voor Bijbelstudie - zomer 2010 - Opening Remarks for Bijbelvorsers (Bible scholars), Association for Bible study - Summer 2010

Openingswoord voor Bijbelvorsers, Vereniging voor Bijbelstudie – zomer 2010 – Opening Remarks for Bijbelvorsers (Bible scholars), Association for Bible study – Summer 2010

Uiteindelijk leken er toch niet veel mensen geïnteresseerd om deel uit te maken van zulks een groepering. Met een man en een paardenkop trachtte ik een verenigde zoektocht aan te vatten, maar al gauw bleek het dat het dezelfde mensen waren die al het werk deden en de ‘rest’ passief bleef.

Groot probleem omtrent ons geloof in slechts één God maakte dat verscheidene wetenschappers zich niet bij ons wensten aan te sluiten of niet wensten geassocieerd te worden met niet-trinitariers, omdat hun broodheren trinitariers waren. Dit liet ons in de koude. Het maximum zogenaamde leden dat wij behaalden was 62, waarvan een groot deel niet echt welgemeend met ons betrokken wenste te zijn, maar ons voor andere doeleinden gebruikte.

Uiteindelijk denk ik nu geen tijd, noch geld nog verder te investeren in iets wat klaarblijkelijk toch niet lijkt te werken. Ik denk er dan ook stellig aan om mijn energie verder aan het predikingswerk te besteden en verenigingsmogelijkheden te laten voor wat zij kunnen of mogen zijn. Voor het afsluiten van de Webs website laat ik nog wat tijd zo dat de weinige teksten die er nog op staan op de individuele of andere websites kunnen geplaatst worden.

Ook voor andere sites, zoals Stepping Toes en From Guestwriters blijkt duidelijk hoe de tijd hier¨nog niet rijp is om te samen de hoofden bijeen te steken en gedachten te willen delen zonder daar een vergoeding voor in de plaats te willen krijgen.Velen heb ik wel aangeschreven , maar weinig of geen antwoorden gekregen om hun geschriften op het internet te willen delen met anderen.

Dit vind ik een spijtige zaak, maar toont duidelijk aan hoe onze kapitalistische maatschappij geëvolueerd is naar een zeer egoïstische hebberige maatschappij.

Mijn en andere hun schrijven voor de Vereniging voor Bijbelstudie zal u in de nabije toekomst terug kunnen vinden op op de meer succesrijke WordPress sites: Stepping Toes, Bijbel Studenten en het gelijknamige Bijbelvorsers.


Geïnteresseerd in Mijn geloof?: Wat, hoe en wie Christadelphians.

Zoeken naar waarheid, studiemateriaal, Jehovah Getuigen, ex-Jehovah Getuigen en anderen

Laatste dagen voor MSN groepen in 2009


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Posted in Ballet + Dance/Dans, Dagboek = Diary, Geschiedenis, Religie, Verantwoording | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment