Omogenia.com is the ultimate Internet resource for Hellenes all around the world. It is our home away from home.
You are currently viewing our boards as a guest which gives you limited access to view some of the discussion areas of our community. By joining our community for free will have access to more forums and be able to view messages left by other members and reply or compose your own!!
Although registration is free you will be required to sign up with a valid email address. The discussion forum software will email you an activation link which you will need to click to be fully registered. The email activation codes are emailed from the address firstname.lastname@example.org, so make sure that you have your spam filter set up in such a way that it accepts emails from this address (at least temporarily)
Welcome once more and hope to hear from you in our forums!
Haiyan Exposes the Philippines' Vulnerability to Yearly Typhoons
As soon as the killer storm exited the Philippine islands, people around the world familiarized themselves with the word Haiyan or Yolanda as code-named by the Philippines. We learned more details on what a typhoon us. Its devastating effects to communities living along its path and its aftermath as it opened the debate on what probable measures must be taken to protect ourselves and minimize the damage from future storms.
Geographically, the 7,100 islands comprising the Philippines archipelago are located on the path of typhoons, with the majority of the population living along coastal areas in houses constructed with light materials which expose them to high risks when typhoons strike. Any of the dozens of typhoons passing the Philippines yearly, hardly go without leaving casualties behind yet until now nothing has been done to provide even minimum protection against the next typhoon.
Thanks to the extensive reporting from the devastated regions by international and local media organizations, we were able to see the poor infrastructure and lack of safe evacuation centers with basic medical facilities for cases of such emergencies.
The concerned global community must understand that (the pattern of) visiting the devastated areas after the calamity must not be limited only to distributing temporary aid to the affected communities but to implement meaningful solution which will protect the people again future calamities. Temporary aid is equivalent to trying to stop leakages from a dilapidated roof by using band-aid.
Though the Philippines is located in the warm tropical zone and many believe that strong houses are not needed for protection of cold weather, the killer typhoon exposed the urgent need to relocated from shorelines the residential settlements to selected safer elevated grounds and build stronger structures to help minimize the damage of future typhoons. This initiative requires decisiveness and hard work but it is the only way to show proof of seriousness and "genuine" concern.
Certainly it's hard to prepare for storms of unpredictable strengths because there is no shield against nature, this calamity must become the turning point for establishing strict building standards and ban completely the construction of residential houses with light and substandard materials.
It is unthinkable in the era of internet, social media, blogs, news-online etc to abandon fellow human beings at the mercy of natural calamities trying to fend off killer typhoons inside unsafe houses build with few pieces of wood, tree leaves or thatches of dry grass, World NGO's must team up immediately with Philippines communities to conduct a nationwide survey to identify and declare unsafe residential houses and design new building standards for new homes to be constructed in the selected safe locations.
Even the nation's capital, Metro Manila experiences frequent calamities including many fires of entire neighborhoods due to lack of safety standards. Many of residential houses of Metro Manila probably do not meet safety standards for human use.
Many might argue that the people are poor and cannot afford to build strong safe houses but such arguments will only lead us to in effect say "abandon these poor people and who ever survives the next typhoon fine, those who will perish we just say sorry for your bad luck". Certainly this is not an option. The world community must contribute ideas and resources to the solution of this case a success story which can be duplicated in other problematic areas of the world.
Poor people do not demand mansions but at least basic strong concrete structures which they can fence with red-brick walls and have better protection from future natural calamities.
With a small budget, the communities can acquire emergency generators for basic electricity requirements to avoid total darkness for several weeks or months before the damaged power plants and transmission lines are repaired. Same applies to the road network in rural areas.
Building very expensive cemented or asphalted roads to connect rural communities is equivalent to giving a Rolls Royce car to a farmer to bring his harvested vegetables to the market while he only needs a simple low cost truck to do this job. Even developed countries don't build such luxury rural roads. Instead, they are constructing low cost roads by using various soil stabilizers and less expensive road-sealing materials which enables them to connect fast more rural communities with farm-to-market-roads. Such roads in cases of natural disasters can be repaired very fast and at very low cost.
Needless to mention the abundance of the Filipino skilled labor force which is building important infrastructure projects in every part of the world and which can be utilized to build strong houses for their own families. Typhoon Haiyan revealed that old types of infrastructure must be revised with more efficient and economical ones to help more communities.
Construction of residential units must not be allowed to be built with light materials. In every part of the Philippines there is an abundance of clay type of soils which with the use of simple technology such as a brick-making machine red bricks can be produced as a replacement to the expensive and not easily accessible sources of hollow cement blocks.
As the problem in the Philippines is of emergency status, instant decisions are needed by all those who are expressing sincere concerns for today's as well as for tomorrow's victims. While prayers and words of consolation can act as temporary emotional pain relievers, action is needed NOW! The religious groups too must come out with real contribution to help the victims and not feel comfortable by merely asking the public to contribute. This is equivalent to telling the people contribute to help yourselves. This is equivalent to telling the people to contribute to help themselves.
Failure to grab the momentum and act now to help the survivors, we must be prepared to accept responsibility for letting the future victims waiting like sitting ducks for the next killer typhoon to hit them.
Amphibious car leaves Estonia on land and water trip around the globe
An Estonian on Saturday began a trip around the world in a Toyota Land Cruiser that he turned into an amphibious vehicle that will cross land, oceans and rivers on a 60,000 kilometre journey.
Mait Nilson waves out of his amphibious car rebuilt from a Toyota Land Cruiser on November 2, 2013 in Tallinn, Estonia, as he starts his trip around the globe
Mait Nilson, 44, a mechanical engineer who worked on the project for the past seven years, waved goodbye to friends and fans as he set off from Taillin on a journey he estimates will take nine months.
"This has been my dream since I was a 10-year-old boy and spent summers at our cottage near lake Peipsi in East Estonia," Nilson told AFP before his departure in the vehicle dubbed Amphibear.
Photos on his website www.amphibear.com depict a vehicle that looks much like a typical 4x4, aside from large attachments surrounding it which allow it to metamorphose into a 10 metre boat.
It sports an anchor, hydraulic pump and portable toilet. A stove is built into the back door.
"The first sea crossing will be the Strait of Gibraltar, the first river crossing is in Senegal, and the first ocean crossing is the Atlantic," Nilson told AFP.
He will be joined by several co-pilots on different legs of the journey.
"Amphibear can cover 120 nautical miles in a day in ideal conditions. Most legs last less than 5 days and can be covered when the weather forecast is good. On land the car-boat can drive at speeds of up to 110 km/h," Nilson said.
The vehicle will cover 60,000 kilometres (37,000 miles) through Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Italy, France, Spain, Morocco, Mauritania, Senegal, Cape Verde, Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Peru, Colombia, Panama, Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala, Mexico, USA, Canada and Russia.
"So far I have spent around 200 hours at sea with my amphibious car," Nilson added.
"As an amphibious vehicle, Amphibear has some disadvantages when compared to a catamaran or a boat. It has a higher centre of gravity, less room for crew and equipment.
"Its big advantage is low wind drag, meaning less risk to capsize due to wind than sailing catamarans," Nilson said.
Ekatsa xtes to vrady kai eida tin proini ekpompi tou AYTIA sto skai mono kai mono gia na akousw ta peri forologias sta spitia oikopeda xwrafia dromous kai pezodromia stin Ellada.
Elega mpa mamakies tha elege alla dystyxws to epivevewse kai o Paradias alla kai o Adonis Georgiadis.
Foroi loipon apo edw kai bros se osous exon stin katoxi tous ena spitaki mexri kai mia epavli.
Malista O Kyrios Georgiadis eipe oti sta kapitalistika krati opws USA oi exontes spiti plirwnoun se foroun se 10 xroniatin aksia tous spitou toys. Alithia einai ........ ela omws re kothonia pou den eipate kati allo.
Nai stin USA plironoume forous analoga me tin perioxi pou afto mas lei oti kai ta sxoleia einai kalytera kai oi dromoi einai ftiagmenoi kai ta parka kai H Astynomia kai ta prwtwn voitjiwn kai kai kai kai .
Ekei oi foroi pou tha pane? na kseplirwsoun ta lerwmena taplyta? Entksei eixa pei prin merika xronia pws h Ellada htan mia mikri Ameriki.
Prin merika xronia, protou ton olethro. Episis pws sygrineis mia yperdynami me tin psorokostena?
Me pious misthous kanate tin analogia?
Alo lozani kai allo kozani.
Teleftea exw dei arketous kainourgious apo Ellada sta meri mou, mipws thelete na tous dioksete olous? peite to.......
Τεκμήρια τέλος για σπίτια και ΙΧ – έρχεται το περιουσιολόγιο – Ποιοι θα κερδίσουν
Βαθιά ανάσα για εκατοντάδες χιλιάδες Έλληνες που πλήττονται από την κρίση και τη μείωση των εισοδημάτων τους, θα δώσει η επικείμενη κατάργηση των τεκμηρίων διαβίωσης. Την εξαγγελία έκανε χθες ο υπουργός Οικονομικών Γιάννης Στουρνάρας μιλώντας για αντικατάσταση των τεκμηρίων από το περιουσιολόγιο.
Το περιουσιολόγιο έχει τελείως διαφορετική φορολογική λογική από τα τεκμήρια διαβίωσης. Ποια είναι αυτή; Οι φορολογικές αρχές παρακολουθούν τη μεταβολή της περιουσιακής κατάστασης το καθενός (αγορές ακινήτων, αυξήσεις καταθέσεων κλπ) και παρεμβαίνουν αν εντοπίσουν ότι οι μεταβολές αυτές δεν δικαιολογούνται με βάση τα δηλωθέντα εισοδήματα. Για παράδειγμα, δεν μπορεί ένας φορολογούμενος να εμφανίσει αύξηση καταθέσεων της τάξεως των 50.000 ευρώ χωρίς να προκύπτει από τη δήλωση που βρέθηκαν τα χρήματα. Έγινε δωρεά από συγγενικό πρόσωπο; Πώληση περιουσιακού στοιχείου; Είσπραξη αποζημίωσης; Όλοι αυτοί οι λόγοι πρέπει να προκύπτουν.
Τα τεκμήρια είναι τελείως διαφορετικά. Η εφορία, χωρίς να έχει στοιχεία στη διάθεσή της, υποθέτει ότι ο φορολογούμενος έχει εισοδήματα για να συντηρεί αυτοκίνητα, σπίτια και εξοχικά. Έχουν φτάσει μάλιστα σε τόσο εξωφρενικά επίπεδα τα τεκμήρια, ώστε ουσιαστικά να τιμωρείται η κατοχή περιουσιακών στοιχείων που αποκτήθηκαν σε διαφορετικές χρονικές περιόδους και υπό διαφορετικές οικονομικές συνθήκες.
Κατάργηση τεκμηρίων θα βοηθήσει και την κτηματαγορά και την αγορά των αυτοκινήτων. Οι οδηγοί θα μπορούν να επαναφέρουν τις πινακίδες στα αυτοκίνητά τους και να τα χρησιμοποιούν όσο αντέχει η τσέπη τους. Αν μάλιστα, προχωρήσει η ιδέα της καταβολής τελών κυκλοφορίας με τον μήνα (πράγμα μάλλον απίθανο καθώς το υπουργείο Οικονομικών δεν διαθέτει ελεγκτικό μηχανισμό για να διαπιστώνει ποιοι πληρώνουν τέλη κυκλοφορίας για έναν μήνα και χρησιμοποιούν το αυτοκίνητο και για δεύτερο), η αγορά θα τονωθεί σημαντικά. Αντίστοιχα, και στην κτηματαγορά θα φύγει από τη μέση ένα ισχυρό αντικίνητρο. Αρκεί βεβαίως, η νέα φορολογική πολιτική να μην έχει διάρκεια ζωής έξι μήνες όπως όλες οι προηγούμενες…
Do we really understand the depth of this government shutdown and what exactly means for the ordinary citizens?
Here are some pointers which must serve as eye openers and make all of us rethink about the quality of democracy practiced in America and some other modern democracies.
In the 2008 American presidential elections, Barack Obama emerged a clear winner with a large margin. Among other laws he introduced a new health care law which was debated then passed by congress. After being fought by the opponents and brought before the Supreme Court, it was upheld. The Republican Party lost that fight and decided to blackmail the government until they finally shut it down!
This time last year that same opposition party was fiercely campaigning to elect Mitt Romney as president. Among other central issues, the repealing of the health care law was in the forefront of priorities however, the American electorate rejected the issues of the opposition re-elected Barack Obama. In effect, they reconfirmed their vote supporting the new health care law.
Evidently the opponents of Obama who hate this new health care law were given the chance to fight that law. They lost it democratically and instead of going on with other business in congress, they made that fight as their main purpose of being in congress.
If we take time out from partisan politics and look from a neutral point of view, it will not take long to see that our politicians and political parties are totally disunited with each other. They are fighting fiercely to protect their party's interests to the point of not hesitating to shutdown a Federal Government which denies basic services to several sectors of the 330 million taxpayers!
This action raise some very disturbing questions related to the credibility of our politicians who are demonstrating more loyalty to their political parties and less respect to democratic process which includes the people who elect them and pay the bills of the government (including congress).
With such unacceptable behaviors, it shall not be considered an exaggeration to state that the political parties are nothing more than political corporations. Corporations composed of senators and congressmen as members who are sourcing finances from sponsors (vested interests) and return such favors (return of investment) once the party (corporation) wins the election (management tender) to rule the country for one, two, or more terms depending on their marketing strategy.
To perpetuate themselves in power for several decades, these long serving politicians, (some of them probably do not remember the date they entered politics) they designed the laws in such a way to insure almost permanent re-election by legalizing the practice of vested interests to finance their re-election campaigns.
Adding to this undemocratic practice is the hiring of Public Relations image-makers who coach the politician to behave not on his natural manner but on how his constituents would like him to look or act and we end up having a perfect "artificial political leader" who is elected by campaign financiers (with vested interests of so called sponsors and PR firms).
In short we have elected a "fabricated" politician and the results speak of themselves. A shuttered economy, high unemployment rates, high cost of living, prohibitive health care costs, shutdown government, lack of wisdom to resolve disputes peacefully and incapable to solve problems for the country and keep fighting only to protect the interests of their political "corporate-like" parties.
Unfortunately, our mass media organizations instead of sounding the alarms and give strong emphasis to the low quality of politics which are affecting everybody's life, they converted themselves into a safe harbor for our fabricated politicians and avoiding to expose the lack of qualifications of our "Honorable" political leaders. We are witnessing politicians and government officials lie in interviews or press releases, evading answering properly to questions of vital importance and the media doesn't seem to be bothered about demanding meaningful answers.
Ironically, the tax paying public which pays the bills of government, salaries plus benefits of politicians, consumes the goods or services produced by the vested interests, supports the services of the media and they end up victims and big losers without proper political, economical, employment and other basic services.
Evidently, we are ruled by non-qualified politicians and since we hold the voting power of choosing, it is time for the citizens to reject the corporate politics by voting out corporate political parties, stop condoning campaign financing of candidates by vested corporate interests and severely penalize whoever engages in soliciting even ONE dollar to be elected/re-elected in public office and impose term limit similar to that of the president to de-institutionalize long serving politicians including their "corporate like" political parties.
It might look difficult to effect such changes in our faulty politics but we must not miss the point that all our problems are the product of human errors and we are the human beings to correct them with man made solutions. All it takes is, strategic planning and strong will power. Our politicians are protecting their personal and party interests and we must protect our rights and benefits.