Thursday, October 28, 2010

Carl Fischer, Adverse Times.

Today, on the local university channel, they were playing Carl Fischer's "Adverse Times". It was quite similar to the rabiz music heard often in Armenian wedding ceremonies. Below is a live performance, the recorded album is different.

The world is a small place. I wonder how much more would our influence in this world be had we not been subject to a genocide.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Biden: Armenian President called me and said 'do not force this issue'.

Looks like Serjik has really been doing what we suspected all this time.

Question: "I'm Armenian, and I want to thank you for the work you did in the Senate. I have a question. I am very involved in the Armenian American community and you know..."

Vice-President Biden: "Oh, I know."

Question: "... we've been very, very burned. I want to know what is the message that should be given to our community?"

Vice-President Biden: "What you should be giving to your community is that we are not backing off. The Turks have to come to the realization of what the reality is. And what we got to do is, you know, this....the compromise that was going on and being worked at for a while... Tell them that it was the Armenian President that called me and said "Look, do not force this issue now while we are in negotiations. We passed. That's passed right now, so anyway, reality has a way of intruding."

Thursday, October 21, 2010

A good article for those interested in finance and economics.

Two years after the financial crisis, the U.S. economy has steered clear of total disaster, with the Dow Jones industrial average currently near its pre-crash level. But the theories that caused it all are still out there, lurking in the shadows.

Full article on Foreign Policy magazine.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Antisemitism rears its ugly head again.

via unzipped:

This is disgusting, and a reflection of leniency towards such hate groups in Armenia: neo-nazi, anti-semitic, homophobic...

Since its installation, this memorial has been repeatedly vandalised.

And this is happening in a country that suffered the 1st Genocide of the 20th century...

But let's not get too excited about this and start jumping to general conclusions.

Undoubtedly, there are racist people among Armenians who believe that they are the best ethnic group ever. Some call themselves Njdehakan, some call themselves Aryan, some are just ignorant people. Then there are conspiracy theorists that think that Masons and/or Jews control everything (they think that these are interchangeable categories and obviously have never met a Free Mason or a Jewish person).

To generalize and say that this kind of people are a representative of the Armenians is false.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Thursday, October 14, 2010

There goes the GDP growth 2.

The Russian FSB is investigating 32 Armenian citizens suspected of narco-trafficking, human trafficking and money laundering. Out of these 32, some are criminal figures operating in Russia, some are criminals in Armenia of whom some are high ranking Armenian officials. The list contains the names of such people as Sashik Sargsian (brother of the Serj Sargsian), Dodi Gago, Muk, Nemec Rubo and other members of the parliament.

There goes the GDP growth.

It's no secret that the Armenian economy is mostly an empty bubble and a major chunk of the Armenian GDP is comprised of money flowing in from abroad when the migrant workers transfer some of their earnings to relatives.

Yesterday the FBI busted a criminal gang of Armenians who had been scamming the federal government out of at least $35 million. This money, after living cost expenditures like mansions, expensive cars and hookers, eventually had ended up in Armenia. With this flow now cut, Armenian GDP growth will undoubtebly suffer.

[...] Officials say some of the proceeds from the operation were couriered back to Armenia in cash.[...]

Pzo in the news

Friday, October 08, 2010


Göran Lindblad
Head of Swedish Delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe
Co-Rapporteur on Armenia

To: Davit HARUTYUNYAN, Chairman of the Armenian delegation
Cc: Dick Marty, President of the Monitoring Committee
Mateo Sorinas, Secretary General of the PACE

Strasbourg, 6 October 2010


I find it extremely strange that a country claiming to be a democracy cannot find time on the margins of Council of Europe Forum for the Future of Democracy to arrange a few high-level meetings with the Monitoring committee’s co-rapporteurs. This seems to confirm my assumption that Armenia is not yet mature enough to host the Forum.

The visit of the co-rapporteurs was authorized by the Monitoring Committee on 22 June 2010 and has been postponed since: first because of the summer recess, then it was too early to have the visit in the first part of September. There appeared to be an agreement for the visit to take place on the sidelines of the Forum on 17 and 18 October, which however was declined by a letter from the Speaker of your Parliament.

To my knowledge, it is only during the period right after elections that monitoring visits are usually avoided in order to give new governments the chance to progress on their election promises. This is definitely not the case with Armenia.

I have a feeling that it is my person as such and my commitment to the values of human rights, democracy and the rule of law that makes the Armenian authorities try to postpone the visit of the co-rapporteurs, knowing that my imminent departure from the Assembly would open an opportunity to appoint a new - and less independent - rapporteur.

I have absolutely no personal prestige in this matter, but the act of seemingly obstructing the monitoring process is an insult to the Parliamentary Assembly as an institution and to the core values of the Council of Europe, which Armenia has voluntarily undertaken to defend. Part of this commitment is also doing everything possible to accommodate co-rapporteurs’ fact-finding visits to the country. It is the institution and not the monitors in person that matter.

I would therefore request you to reconsider my wish as co-rapporteur to meet with the relevant authorities on the day before or after the Forum.

Yours sincerely,

Göran Lindblad

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Do Negative Ads Work?

The mid-term election season is upon us and the times are quite exciting. There are tones of negative ads on TV that describe the opponent of the person or organization running the ad, as someone who has sold his/her constituents, is not fit for the job, is too liberal, is pro-tax, is pro-abortion and ready to kill babies, supported Obama, etc.

I think for some time the negative ads are useful. They provide information to the electorate and help them see how people have acted in the past. A lot of the times, these ads are actually very misleading and false. An intelligent person can see through the B.S. but the general electorate is not usually the brightest light bulb out there so they can be bamboozled.

There probably is a tipping point when the negative ads whip up support for the opponent by the base. I think we are seeing this with the Democrats now. True to their modus operandi of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, the Democrats have been demoralized lately. Major losses to the right-wingers like the spectacular collapse of grass roots movement ACORN has not helped. All the hopelessness and the resignation that they are going to see major losses because the GOP said so has started generating support from the base.

Let's see how things work out in a month.

Friday, October 01, 2010

Big whoop!

The Turkish nationalists have held a muslim religious ceremony in the Mother Church in the ancient Armenian city of Ani in retaliation for the Armenian religious ceremony held in the Akhtamar church last month.

While the analogy is not quite right, it's clear that this is a cheap trick to ain a couple of points among their ranks and hopefully piss off a few dashnaks to get more publicity.

But the general reaction, except for a handful of dashnaks has been 'Big Whoop'.