FOR THE RENAISSANCE IN US
/ Divine Comedy @en / The Divine Comedy

The Divine Comedy

Dante Divine Comedy

Around the World
half along our life’s path. Lost in a dark wood. Unable to find the right way…

Paradiso

Dear Beatrice…

 

[three_column]

CANTO I

Thomas Minder is the Swiss businessman turned politician who managed to get the support of Swiss voters on a referendum to impose controls on executive pay.
Business groups argued that the proposals would damage Swiss competitiveness. But the final results showed that all twenty-six Swiss cantons backed the proposal. Some 1.6 million voters said yes, against 762,000 who rejected plans to give shareholders a veto on compensation and ban big payouts for new and departing managers. The “fat cat initiative”, as it has been called, will be written into the Swiss constitution and apply to all Swiss companies listed on Switzerland’s stock exchange. Brigitte Moser Harder, one of the organisers of the referendum, told the BBC she thought the Swiss people agreed with the proposals because the gap between rich and poor had become wider. Meanwhile, under an EU deal agreed to last week by the bloc’s twenty-seven nations, bonuses will be capped at a year’s salary, but can rise to two year’s pay if there is explicit approval from shareholders. The UK argued that the EU bonus rules would drive away talent and restrict growth in the financial sector. That’s why HSBC could afford to pay more than a million pounds each to seventy-eight of its London staff, despite being hit by a record fine of $1.2 billion by the US authorities for helping Mexican drug barons launder money. I guess money can still talk after all in the UK, but not for much longer, I hope.
[/three_column]

[three_column]

CANTO II

Born a German Jew and naturalised as a Frenchman as a boy, Stéphane Hessel refused to participate in Marshal Pétain’s collaborationist Vichy Regime after the fall of France in 1940. He escaped to join De Gaulle’s Free French in London and fought in the Resistance. He was captured and survived being an inmate at both the Buchenwald and Dora concentration camps. While being transferred from Dora to Bergen Belsen he escaped and linked up with US troops. After the war he began a lifelong career as a diplomat. One minor accomplishment along the way: he helped co-author and edit the Universal Declaration for
Human Rights in 1948. Two years ago, at the age of 93, he wrote a pamphlet entitled “Time for Outrage” which was both a memoir of his time in the Resistance and a call to action against the repressive regimes and financial structures of our contemporary age. The pamphlet sold millions of copies around the world and is widely credited for having helped inspire both the Arab Spring and the Occupy Wall Street Movement. He died on February 23 at the age of 95.
A great humanist light has gone out but what conversations Stéphane must be having with Jesus, Buddha, Mohammed, Martin Luther King and Gandhi. Jean Gabin must be very happy to see him again. His example shall live on. Stéphane is dead. Long live Stéphane.
[/three_column]

[three_column_last]

CANTO III

A baby girl from the US state of Mississippi, born with HIV, has apparently been cured after early treatment with standard drug therapy. The child is now two-and-a-half years old and has been off HIV drugs for about a year with no signs of infection. Dr Deborah Persaud, a virologist at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore , presenting the case at the Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections Conference in Atlanta, said this is proof that HIV can be potentially curable in infants.
More testing needs to be done to see if the treatment will have the same effect on other children, but the case could change the way high-risk babies are treated and possibly lead to a cure for children with HIV, the virus which causes AIDS.

Dear Beatrice, we want to salute this amazing, elegant woman, not only for her brain, but for her dignity and strength, with one of her quotes. “Above all, don’t fear difficult moments. The best comes from them.” And that should be her best legacy to all of us.

[/three_column_last]

Purgatorio

Virgil what can be said of …


[three_column]

CANTO I

…. . The Marie Antoinettes of Italian politics. The saga continues.
Trying to make sense of the last Italian election results can be quite difficult to an outsider, but the results of the Five Star movement led by Beppe Grillo gives a perfect idea of how dissatisfied Italians are with their old-time politicians. What with Berlusconi gaining a surprising come-back score, it may be too easy to make unfortunate comments, like Peer Steinbrueck (the German Social Democrat who will take on Chancellor Angela Merkel next September) did about “two clowns being elected”. Nevertheless the truth of the matter is Italians are fed up with that old-style blame-game the two major parties have played for the last 25 years, and in a very civilised way they voted for a movement that promised to change that. Populist, popular call it what you will! While the media around the globe sees this as doom and gloom for Italy and Europe, if you believe in and respect the democratic principle, then this is the only proper way to send a clear signal to the two major parties. Although the broken record “who’s blaming who” has started again, the time is up for both players. They either put together a serious plan to reform the country or should a political impasse take the country back to the polls in a couple of months, the Italian electorate will wipe them out, big time.
“We respect, and naturally we demand respect, for our country,” said Italian president Giorgio Napolitano, cancelling the dinner scheduled with the big German mouth. But please, Mr. President teach your lesson to the Italian Parliament fast or heads will be rolling soon. The party is definitely over.
[/three_column]

[three_column]

CANTO II

Justin Bieber has apologised to his tearful fans after he left them waiting for almost two hours for his concert at London’s O2 Arena. The Canadian pop star sensation, who reputedly earns $1 million a week was due to be on stage at 8:30pm and turned up at 10:24pm, blaming the delay on some technical issue. He vowed on Twitter to turn up on time in future after many parents criticised his behaviour. We might not be the right demographics to judge but isn’t it sad that kids have to learn the hard way about how much their idols care about them beyond them being consumers for over-merchandised products? Shouldn’t parents wise up, to avoid further disappointment to their kids? And witness the nineteen year-old idol’s meltdown?
[/three_column]

[three_column_last]

CANTO III

Britain is launching a campiagn to stamp out female genital mutilation (FGM) around the world. Lynne Featherstone, the international development minister responsible for women’s issues, said she believes FGM can be reduced by 30% in five years and abolished within a generation. She said FGM has been a highly neglected area within international development, considered too taboo and too difficult to tackle. She added “the same girl who undergoes FGM is the same girl who is taken out of school early to marry and the same girl who dies before she reaches age 20 while giving birth to her third child.” FMG is estimated to affect 140 million women worldwide and is banned in Britain, but up to 24,000 girls – largely of African and Middle Eastern origins – under the age of 15 are thought to be at risk of being forced abroad for the operation. The offence carries a prison sentence of up to 14 years but so far there has not been a single prosecution. About 90% of women in Somalia, Sudan and parts of Egypt are forced to undergo the procedure, which involves the surgical removal of a girl’s external genitalia. It can result in health problems including fatal haemorrhaging, infection and scarring. I wonder if they’ll take on male circumcision next.

Dear Beatrice, we want to salute this amazing, elegant woman, not only for her brain, but for her dignity and strength, with one of her quotes. “Above all, don’t fear difficult moments. The best comes from them.” And that should be her best legacy to all of us.

[/three_column_last]


Inferno


[three_column]

CANTO I

At long last Efrain Rios Montt, blood-soaked Guatemalan Army general, born-again Christian Evangelist, and dictator par extraordinaire is facing trial for war crimes perpetrated during his nation’s long Dirty War against its own people. Guatemala’s is the most murderous of all the modern Central American civil wars and claimed 200,000 lives. Montt faces official charges of genocide, for ordering the Guatemalan military, police and militias to massacre indigenous Mayan Indians in their thousands. Montt’s mere seventeen months in power as Guatemala’s de facto head of state constitutes the worst period of state-sanctioned violence and extra-judicial killing in the whole of the conflict. It is a landmark case in Guatemala’s legal history. the country’s judiciary is weak, just as its civilian institutions in a fragile democracy must still keep a wary eye on the armed forces, who remain largely a power unto themselves, closely allied to the tiny upper class and landed aristocracy who have always held sway. Former military officers have already made threats “to fight again if necessary.” One hopes justice will prevail, though there can be no expectation that Montt’s trial will also see indictments emerge against officials of the bygone US Reagan administration and Argentine and Israeli military advisers who provided such critical support in funding, training and arming Guatemala’s death squads.
[/three_column]

[three_column]

CANTO II

A breakthrough study by scholars at the US Holocaust Museum has determined, after a lengthy examination of Nazi documents, that the scale of the Holocaust both in terms of the apparatus of genocide and its casualties was far larger than believed. Investigators and historians had previously believed roughly that 12,000,000 people had been killed, among them 6,000,000 Jews and collectively 6,000,000 further victims, including Roma, POW’s, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Communists, other secular or religious dissidents of all stripes across Europe, members of the resistance, gays and lesbians and mentally handicapped victims. The new figure for the collective death toll now stands at 20 million.
Whereas before some 7,000 death camps, slave labour camps, POW camps and other forms of prisons such as forced sex slavery camps were thought to exist, researchers now believe that some 42,000 of these different kinds of camps existed throughout Nazi-held Europe. Holocaust Revisionists will have an even more difficult time telling their big lie.
[/three_column]

[three_column_last]

CANTO III

Looking for an early grave? Eat processed food. That will help. A study from the University of Zurich in Switzerland has found that eating processed meats in pastry, sausages and ready-made meals can increase a person’s chance of premature death by up to 44%. The research involved a study of 500,000 people. Heart disease is the most likely killer as a result of high consumption with a 72% hike in risk with cancer rates rising by 11%. Professor Sabine Rohrmann, leader of the study, said “Risks of dying earlier from cancer and cardiovascular disease increase with the amount of processed meat eaten. Overall we estimate 3% of premature deaths each year could be prevented if people ate less than 20g of processed meat per day.” The reserchers concluded that as processed meat consumption is a modifiable risk factor, health promotion programmes must include specific advice on actively reducing daily amounts. Or, maybe, giving precise information as to the amount of horse meat in products will be the best deterrent…

To what other terraces of doom and pain, dear Virgil, will you accompany me… next time…

[/three_column_last]


0 POST COMMENT
Rate this article

Send Us A Message Here

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *