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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Episcopi ai Bucovinei: 1823-1834 Isaia Băloșescu



A fost al treilea episcop al Bucovinei, urmându-i lui Daniil Vlahovici. S-a născut în 1765 la Putna, în familia unui preot, A învăţat la Academia duhovnicească dela Mânăstirea Putna, sub îndrumarea unui vestit pedagog al vremii, arhimandritul Vartolomei Măzăreanul. În 1778 a intrat în cinul călugăresc. După absolvirea Academiei este adus la Cernăuţi, la Consistoriul episcopal unde lucrează între 1789-1792 ca protodiacon şi cancelist. În 1793 devine egumenul Mânăstirii Dragomirna, şi după scurt timp trece la Mânăstirea Putna, unde este egumen între 1793-1795. Revine apoi la Cernăuţi ca asesor la Consistoriul episcopal (între 1795-1807). Între 1807-1808 este vicar general al Episcopiei Bucovinei, devine apoi arhimandrit, mai întâi la Mânăstirea Putna şi apoi arhimandrit diecezan.

În 1823 este sfinţit Episcop al Bucovinei (ceremonia de consacrare având loc la Catedrala Metropolitană Sârbească dela Karlowitz). Ca episcop s-a luptat pentru drepturile românilor. A susţinut înfiinţarea de şcoli teologice cu limba de predare română, a redeschis Academia duhovnicească dela Mânăstirea Putna (care fusese închisă de episcopul dinaintea lui, Daniil Vlahovici), a ridicat şcoala clericală dela Cernăuţi la gradul de institut teologic cu trei ani de studii, adăugându-i in 1828 şi un seminar-internat pentru 50 bursieri, şi a trimis tineri teologi români pentru specializare la Viena. În fine, a iniţiat salarizarea preoţilor bucovineni din veniturile Fondului religionar Greco-Oriental al Bucovinei.

Episcopul Isaia  Băloșescu a încetat din viaţă în 1834. Este înmormântat la Mânăstirea Putna, chiar lângă biserică, în sudul altarului.


(Bucovina)

Greg Gandy: Mark Lane Alley

Greg Gandy: Mark Lane Alley
oil on painting
on view at Principle Gallery
(https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=614490321961715)
no copyright infringement intended

There is a universe here, of red and chestnut, of stools and tables, of bricks, and the sidewalk, and the lady in the distance, and the announcements on display on the wall of the restaurant. Each of them has a function: some to give comfort to this universe, the others to show its relativity.

(Principle Gallery)

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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Aracataca

The house in Aracataca where Gabo was born
(El Espectador; with thanks to Sean Dolan)
(http://www.themodernword.com/gabo/gabo_images_house.html)
no copyright infringement intended





Aracataca, Saturday, December 6th, 2008
(video by Dorin Tudoran)




(Gabriel García Márquez)

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Gabriel García Márquez

Gabriel García Márquez
1927-2014
(Colombian Travel, Both Magic and Real)
no copyright infringement intended





(A Life in Books)

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Monday, April 21, 2014

Anti-Piketty (Robert J. Samuelson Speaking)

(http://www.struckout.co.uk/page/2/)
no copyright infringement intended

Today a new op-ed questioning Piketty's Capital in the Twenty-First Century. It's in Washington Post. This time the critics come from Robert J. Samuelson. The fact that two respected conservative columnists write about the book of Piketty, questioning its conclusions, is a clear sign that the book is actually very important and must be read.

The article of Mr. Samuelson begins with a tough question: Is Class Warfare Justified? It presents the book of Piketty, and its context and concludes that though the present concentration of income and wealth instinctively feels excessive, and it understandably stirs resentment, so we’d be better off if the rich were less so and other Americans were more so, however it’s doubtful that political action to force this transformation would be similarly beneficial, because class warfare would degrade the confidence needed for a stronger recovery.

So, Is Class Warfare Justified? My humble opinion: the book of Piketty is not about class warfare - it's about math.

Here is the article of Robert J. Samuelson:




(Thomas Piketty)

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Sunday, April 20, 2014

Anti-Piketty (Ross Douthat Speaking)

I Told Ya I Was Right
(De Leporibus et Ranis)
no copyright infringement intended


I've read in today's NY Times an op-ed questioning Piketty's Capital in the Twenty-First Century. Somehow paradoxically it called in my mind Anti-Dühring, the famous (some would say infamous, it's up 2 u) book of Engels. Should I call the op-ed of Ross Douthat as Anti-Piketty? Making such an association would make my leftist friends get insane (or make them consider me insane, whichever comes first). Of course, Anti-Dühring is a very solid book covering philosophy, political economy and socialism  (you could read it onLine by clicking here), while the op-ed of Ross Douthat is just an op-ed. Toutes proportions gardées.

The title of the op-ed is Marx Rises Again (which sounds kind of polemic, to put it mildly). For Mr. Douthat, the recent book of Piketty offers no more no less than the narrative for the 21th century Marxian revival, its point being that the so-called free markets, by their nature, tend to enrich the owners of capital at the expense of people who own less of it: the enrichment of the one percent on the expense of the ninety-none percent.

Mr. Douthat, disagrees with Piketty's theory. For him, even as the rich have gotten much, much richer, the 99 percent have shared in growing prosperity in real, measurable ways. And also, even if what happens today might prove the Marxian idea of everything solid melting into air, actually what’s felt to be evaporating could turn out to be cultural identity — family and faith, sovereignty and community — much more than economic security.

And Mr. Douthat concludes, somewhere in this pattern, perhaps, lies the beginnings of a  more ideologically complicated critique of modern capitalism — one that draws on cultural critics like Daniel Bell and Christopher Lasch rather than just looking to material concerns, and considers the possibility that our system’s greatest problem might not be the fact that it lets the rich claim more money than everyone else. Rather, it might be that both capitalism and the welfare state tend to weaken forms of solidarity that give meaning to life for many people, while offering nothing but money in their place.

It smells like social conservatism, you'd say, and you could be right. Anyway Ross Douthat doesn't make a secret of his conservative convictions.  However, the importance of the cultural dimension is not the monopoly of the rightist thinkers. Think at Gramsci.

I will come back to the book of Piketty, Capital in the Twenty-First Century. For now, I invite you to read the article of Mr Douthat:





(Thomas Piketty)

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Saturday, April 19, 2014

Slaviansk (excerpts from the blog of Mircea Barbu)

Slaviansk, unde oamenii sărbătoresc Paştele printre patrule
(Slavyansk, where people celebrate the Easter among patrols)
(source: blog Mircea barbu din Adevărul)
no copyright infringement intended

(I tried an English translation, that follows the Romanian text)

Printre numeroasele filtre militare, de-a lungul drumului spre Slaviansk, în huruit de elicoptere ce survolează regiunea, populaţia civilă se pregăteşte să sărbătorească Paştele. Magazinele funcţionează doar câteva ore pe zi, băncile sunt închise de câteva zile şi doar câteva bancomate eliberează bani. Clădirea primăriei rămâne în continuare ocupată de militari proruşi înarmaţi. La fel şi sediul poliţiei locale şi alte câteva puncte strategice.

În drum spre centrul oraşului, cei câţiva trecători care se încumetă să iasă au păreri diferite cu privire la evenimentele recente. Cei mai mulţi oameni nu sunt de acord. Aş spune că undeva la 30% sprijină trupele proruse. Problema e că noi, ceilalţi, nu protestăm. Ne e frică. Avem familii, copii...

Nu de aceeaşi părere sunt şi oamenii adunaţi în faţa secţiei de poliţie. Aceştia gătesc sau aduc mâncare constant pentru soldaţii baricadaţi în sediul forţelor de ordine. Sunt vizibili deranjaţi faptul că se pune prea mare accent pe suportul Moscovei. Nu suntem ruşi. Suntem localnici, din banii noştri sprijinim aceşti soldaţi, spune Ielizaveta, o tânără de 22 de ani.

......

(source: blog Mircea Barbu din Adevărul)
no copyright infringement intended


Among the military filters along the road to Slavyansk, in the rumble of helicopters flying over the region, the civilians are preparing themselves to celebrate Easter. The stores are open just a few hours daily, the banks have been closed for several days, and only a few ATMs can be used. The town hall is still occupied by armed pro-Russian forces. Also the local police headquarters and several other strategic points .

On the way downtown, the few people that dare to get out have different opinions on the recent events. Most people do not agree. I'd say that the support for the pro-Russian forces lays somewhere in the 30%. The problem is that the rest of us do not protest . We 're scared . We have families, children ...

Not the same with the people gathered outside the police station. They cook or bring food constantly for the guys barricaded inside. And they visibly are not content that too much emphasis is put on the support from Moscow. We are not Russians, just local people, and we are supporting these forces with our own money, says Yelizaveta, a young woman of 22.

.....


(Mircea Barbu)

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Mariupol (excerpts from the blog of Mircea Barbu)

Mariupol: patrule de poliţie, şi foarte puţini oameni pe străzi
(Mariupol: police patrols, and very few people on the streets)
(source: blog Mircea Barbu din Adevărul)
no copyright infringement intended

(I tried an English translation, that follows the Romanian text)

Mariupol, estul Ucrainei. Centrul oraşului arată ca după un asediu. Patrule de poliţie şi foarte puţini oameni pe străzile unui oraş aflat în pragul sărbătorilor pascale.

Cu două nopţi în urmă, baza militară ucraineană, aflată la câteva minute de clădirea primăriei, a fost luată cu asalt de circa 500 de protestatari, fluturând steagul Rusiei. Incidentul s-a soldat cu cel puţin o persoană decedată din partea demonstranţilor şi câteva zeci rănite sau arestate. În ciuda declaraţiilor de la Geneva, unde minştrii de externe ai Statelor Unite şi Rusiei şi Ucrainei au decis dezarmarea tuturor miliţiilor paramilitare, clădirile principale din Mariupol erau şi în această dimineaţă ocupate de protestatari.

Clădirea primăriei adăposteşte centrul de comandă al acestei ocupaţii. Înăuntru, într-o atmosferă relativ calmă, printre saci de dormit şi saltele, mai mulţi activşti organizează conferinţele de presă, asigură paza, gătesc în cantina ocupată şi plănuiesc următorii paşi.

La câţiva paşi de centrul de comandă al ocupaţiei se află o bază militară ucraineană. În curtea unităţii, câţiva soldaţi repară cu sârg un camion. Au fost cele mai lungi zile din viaţa mea. Nu mi-a fost frică de protestatari, ci de faptul că vor muri oameni nevinovaţi, a declarat un soldat ucrainean ce nu a dorit să fie numit. Urmele de gloanţe pe clădirile vecine confirmă spusele militarului.

Prima dată a venit o delegaţie de femei, localnice. Au cerut să ne predăm şi să ne alaturăm lor. Evident am refuzat. Apoi au sosit indivizi înarmaţi, ce au incendiat clădirea de la intrare şi au reuşit să dărâme poarta principală. Iniţial am tras focuri de avertisment dar apoi am primit ordin să deschidem focul, a declarat acelaşi soldat.

Cu o populaţie de circa jumătate de milion, Mariupol este unul din cele mai importante centre industriale din oblastul Doneţk. Populaţia, deşi vorbitoare de rusă, râmâne oarecum divizată şi egal împărţită în acest conflict. Un oraş de la malul Mării Azov, la doar câţiva zeci de kilometri de graniţa cu Federaţia Rusă.
no copyright infringement intended


Mariupol, eastern Ukraine . The downtown looks like after a siege. Police patrols, and very few people on the streets of a city on the verge of Easter.

Two nights ago, the Ukrainian military base, located minutes from the town hall, was stormed by about 500 protesters waving Russian flags. The incident left at least one person dead and several dozen demonstrators injured or arrested . Despite Geneva statements, where foreign ministers of the United States, Russia, and Ukraine have decided the disarmament of all paramilitary militia, this morning the main buildings of Mariupol were still occupied by protesters.

The town hall is housing the command center of the protesters. Inside, in a relatively calm atmosphere, among sleeping bags and mattresses, several activists are organizing press conferences, assure the security of the building, do the cooking, and plan the next steps.

A few steps away it's an Ukrainian military base. In the yard, a few soldiers are busy fixing a truck. These were the longest days of my life. I was not afraid of the protesters , rather at the thought that innocent people would die, said an Ukrainian private who did not wish to be named . Bullet holes on neighboring buildings confirm his words.

Firstly came a delegation of local women. They asked us to surrender and join them . Obviously we refused. Then came armed individuals that burned the building entrance and managed to tear down the gate. We initially fired warning shots but then we were ordered to open fire, the private said.

With a population of about half a million, Mariupol is one of the most important industrial centers in the Donetsk oblast. The population, although Russian speaking, remains somewhat divided and equally shared in this conflict. A city by the Azov Sea, just a few dozen kilometers from the border with the Russian Federation.


(Mircea Barbu)

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Portrait of Lotte

(The Independent Saturday)
no copyright infringement intended


A father filmed her daughter every week from birth up until she turned 14 years old. A time lapse in four minutes.





(Blogosphere)

Friday, April 18, 2014

Thomas Piketty


Thomas Piketty is a French economist who specializes in the study of economic inequality.

He was born in 1971 in Clichy into a family with strong leftist convictions (his parents were in the Lutte Ouvrière). At the age of 22 Piketty got his PhD with a thesis on the subject of wealth redistribution. After that he taught economics at MIT from 1993 to 1995, then he joined CNRS as a researcher, and in 2000 he became director of studies at EHESS.

Piketty created the Paris School of Economics and in 2006 he became its first head. He left this position (that supposed political neutrality) to join the French Socialist Party. Piketty remained Associate Chair at the economic school he had created. His Capital in the Twenty-First Century is a seminal work.



(A Life in Books)

(Zoon Politikon)

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