Nikolaos Gyzis The Spider

Nikolaos Gyzis The Spider

Introduction Greece is a country with a very rich history in civil strife and conflict, escalating to war. Today’s post is embedded in my attempt to dig deeper in the History of modern Greece (after 1821) in order to better understand the perils and challenges of today, and act accordingly. I am not a historian or a social scientist. My approach is therefore realistic, trying to focus on facts and reality. Interpretation by necessity takes the passenger seat. The burning of frigate Hellas in 1831 by Admiral Miaoulis is an act with multiple repercussions. But most of all it is the first serious internal conflict in the country that emerged from the War of Independence of 1821 and the formation of the Greek State.

Ioannis Kapodistrias – National Historical Museum, Athens

Ioannis Kapodistrias – Ιωαννης Καποδιστριας Only ten years after the beginning of the War of Greek Independence in 1821, the newly formed Greek State faced its first major challenge: Governor Kapodistrias was murdered.  This event marked the formation of the Greek State. There is no doubt that had Kapodistrias completed his program, the Greek State would have become something totally different from what it is today. On the 30th March 1827, the National Assempby of Troizina elected Ioannis Kapodistrias as Governor of the Greek State. Kapodistrias arrived in Nafplion on the 7th January 1828. On the 18th January 1828 the Parliament approves the suspension of the Constitution and Kapodistrias becomes the Absolute Ruler, assisted by the Panhellenion, an advisory body with 27 members.

The Greek State in 1830 and 1832

The Greek State in 1830 and 1832

In 1828, the territory of Greece was limited to the Peloponnese, a few islands and a small part of the mainland. The main features of the situation in Greece in 1828 were the following:

  • disorganized state
  • destroyed economy
  • contraband
  • lack of discipline in military units
  • non existent tax mechanism
  • many orphans and homeless people
  • bandits
  • piracy in the Aegean

Powerful groups of interests were fighting each other for the domination of the political and economic scene. Governor Kapodistrias set as his major goal the creation of a State, starting from nothing.

Hellenic Navy Seal

Hellenic Navy Seal

Frigate «Hellas» Frigate «Hellas» was built in the United States of America, and financed by the second loan to the Greek State, raised by the London Greek Committee. The shipbuilding order was issued in 1825. At the time, the Greek Navy consisted of ships owned mainly by the islanders of Hydra, Psara and Spetses. The small ships had no operational capability against the navy of the Ottoman Empire. «London Greek Committee  (act. 1823–1826) was created in March 1823 to support the cause of Greek independence from Ottoman rule by raising funds by subscription for a military expedition to Greece and by raising a major loan to stabilize the fledgling Greek government. The plan to raise the first Greek loan, which began in earnest when Ioannis Orlandos (c.1800–1852) and Louriottis arrived in London in January 1824 to begin negotiations, was more successful. The speculative bubble surrounding the South American loans was at its height, but was not to burst for another year. Nevertheless the terms of the loan were favourable to the lenders, with £800,000 to be borrowed at 5 per cent interest, and £100 of stock could be purchased for £59 payable in six monthly instalments from early March. Thus only £472,000 could be raised, but the return to lenders was enhanced considerably by the discounted price. Leading figures in the committee believed that they would make handsome profits. The first loan was followed by a second, negotiated directly by the Greek deputies with J. and S. Ricardo, the bankers, without the authorization of the committee but with the involvement of some of its key members, including Hobhouse, Burdett, and Edward Ellice  (1783–1863). It was thought that the funds from the second loan might be used to stabilize the first, but the funds were again squandered, this time in fitting out an expedition of steamboats (with machinery supplied by the London engineer Alexander Galloway), to have been led by the celebrated Lord Cochrane, which came to nothing, and the building and purchase of two expensive frigates in America when plenty of cheaper versions were available in Britain or on the continent.» (1)

Frigate Hellas and Steamship Karteria

Frigate Hellas and Steamship Karteria

But how did the purchase of the two frigates come to nothing? It is a long story. In summary, the ship builders raised their price while in the process of building the ships, and as a result the Greek State could not pay. Only one of the two ships, «Hope», that was renamed to «Hellas», was eventually purchsed. The other, the Liberator, had to be sold. «Binding arbitration was to solve this problem and the arbitrators were authorized to sell one frigate on a public action for the necessary funds. Their decision was 3 August 1826 that the financiers owned $ 894,908.62 for the building excluded another $ 34,246.55 for rigging, cables, extra spurs and shot which allowed a 3 years service. The arbitrators sold the Liberator to the American government. She was taken as the 44 guns frigate Hudson into the American Navy. Laid down at Smith&Dimon, New York 1825 and launched 1826. Due to this selling the Greek were able to pay for the second frigate they ordered. Her sister ship, originally named Hope, departed New York October 1826 and was taken into Greek service as the Hellas.» (2) On the 25th November 1826, the Greek frigate Hellas arrived in Nafplion to become the first flagship of the Hellenic Navy.

Andreas Miaoulis

Andreas Miaoulis

Andreas Miaoulis Andreas Miaoulis was a wealthy ship owner, ship master and merchant from the island of Hydra. He is reputed to have met Lord Admiral Nelson when in 1802 his ship was captured near Cadiz by the English fleet. Miaoulis was taken to Lord Nelson, who asked him why he was breaking the naval blockage of the English against the French. Miaoulis responded that it was in his interest to do so. «What would you do if you were in my position?» asked Nelson, and Miaoulis replied: «I would hang you!». After this exchange Lord Nelson freed Miaoulis. (3) Miaoulis got involed in the Greek War of Independence in the Summer of 1821 and his contribution was huge. In 1822 he was elected Admiral of the Fleet of Hydra. By 1825 he became the  Admiral of the Greek Fleet. Miaoulis belonged ot the «English» camp of Greece, while Kapodistrias allegedly belonged to the Russian camp. I must comment on this, as I think that the importance of the «camps» has been overstated at times. I believe that no matter how strong the interests of England, France and Russia were, the Greek interest groups were on the driving seat. As far as Kapodistrias’ allegiance to Russia goes, I do not think that there is any evidence that he compromised his performance as Governor of Greece in order to favor Russia. In spite of being in the English camp, in 1827 the National Assempby of Troizina nominated Admiral Cochrane as vice Admiral of the Greek Fleet. Miaoulis was displeased and withdrew from the admiralty, maintaining the command of frigate «Hellas». In any case, Cochrane stayed in Greece until early 1828. After Kapodistrias arrived in Nafplion, he placed Miaoulis in the Admiralty. The relationship of the two men became problematic in late 1830, when Miaoulis started opposing Kapodistrias’ policies regarding the remuneration of the shipowners of Hydra.

Hatzikiriakos-Ghikas “Big Scenery of Hydra” Oil in canvas,1938

Hatzikiriakos-Ghikas “Big Scenery of Hydra” Oil in canvas,1938

The rebellion of 1831   In 1831, Greece descended into anarchy with numerous areas, including Mani and Hydra, in revolt. Hydrians and other dissatisfied islanders from the Aegean sea, people of Poros, Mykenos, Syros, Naxos, Andros and Paros fought hard against Kapodistrias which led to rebellion against him. The big problem for the leaders of the island of Hydra was allegedly that Governor Kapodistrias was not accepting their demands for benefits and remuneration for their contribution to the War of Independence. But an equally important item on the agenda of all who rebelled was that Kapodistrias was sticking to his guns and was not letting the powermongers of Mani, Hydra, and other areas play their game unhindered. It was a power struggle, and it was going to cost Kapodistrias his life and destroy for good any chance of building a proper State in Greece. Kapodistrias was not going to yield to the demands of the rebels. He asked Konstantinos Kanaris, the commander of the Greek Fleet Base on the island of Poros to be prepared for operations. The overall plan was to impose a blockade on the port of Hydra, apply the law everywhere, and not allow the rebels to engage in any activity against the State. But the plans leaked and the rebels’ leader Mavrokordatos asked Andreas Miaoulis to take control of the Greek Fleet’s Base in Poros. Andrea Miaoulis acted promptly and on the 14th July 1831 he took control over frigate «Hellas» and other ships. Kapodistrias tried to mobilize the three powers, England, France, and Russia, to mediate in the conflict. England and France started dragging their feet, while declaring the need to find a solution. The Russians were more forthcoming, and this is what broke the camel’s back.

Andreas Miaoulis' Escape Boat

Andreas Miaoulis’ Escape Boat

On the pretence that the Russians were going to take over the Greek Navy, on the 1st of August 1831, at the port of Poros, Andreas Miaoulis destroyed the corvettes, «Hydra» and «Spetses» and the frigate «Hellas».   Miaoulis escaped from the scene on one of the lifeboats of «Hellas», which you can see on the photo above. Konstantinos Kanaris, in his letter to Kapodistrias wrote: ‘On the 1st August, at 1030 hours approaching noon, near the island of Poros, Miaoulis burned «Hellas» and «Hydra». May the name of the doer of this barbaric act be given to eternal damnation!» (3) The English Journal «Spectator» on 10th September 1831 published an article on the event. «The Government of Capo D’Istrias (sic) is drawing to a close. The secret probably is, that he has come to the end of his money ; while, at the same time, he is accused of keeping a full chest on board a Russian frigate, where he has a kind of head- quarters. The country seems to be breaking up into separate little independencies, as of old. Hydra takes the lead with the Islands ; Maina has already formed a local and independent government ; Roumelia is in insurrection ; and the want of money to pay volun- teers is the only circumstance which now, as well as at all pre- vious times, restrains the inhabitants of the remaining, districts from doing the same.» (Source: The Spectator Archive).

The Aftermath

Governor Kapodistrias, was murdered by George and Constantinos Mavromihalis on the 27th September 1831 at Nafplio. In 1832 Miaoulis was chosen by the Bavarian Court to be one of the Greeks that delivered the Crown to the first King of Greece, Otto of Bavaria.


I have created a timeline for the story, using the «myHistro» tool. You can find it here:″ width=»982″ height=»730″ frameborder=»0″ scrolling=»no»


1. London Greek Committee  (act. 1823–1826) by F. Rosen. Oxford University Press.

2. The Greek frigate Liberator never served in the Greek navy but became instead USS frigate Hudson. Warshipresearch.

3. Wikipedia. Andreas Miaoulis (in Greek)

Some time ago I wrote about a dish that is highly satisfying: peppers stuffed with rice.

Tomatoes and Peppers ready to be stuffed

Tomatoes and Peppers ready to be stuffed

Today I write about a variation of the dish: I added tomatoes to the peppers, and the filling is minced beef and diced pig’s skin.

Pig's Skin

Pig’s Skin

The magic ingredient of the filling is pig’s skin. It gives flavour and texture to the filling.

I fry it before I mix it with the meat.

Filling with minced beef, pig's skin and bulgur wheat

Filling with minced beef, pig’s skin and bulgur wheat

I add to the mix some bulgur wheat to absorb the moisture, dill weed, dry and fresh onions and parsely.

Ready to bake

Ready to bake

After stuffing the peppers and tomatoes, I bake in 220 C for 50 minutes.

Baked and ready to serve

Baked and ready to serve

This dish is never served hot. It needs to rest for at least one hour before serving.



Delicious homemade bread is a flavour and pleasure booster, so here it is.

Homemade bread

Homemade bread

And a nice improvised pudding to complete a good meal, and seal a good English-Greek get together.


Improvised Pudding

Asta la vista Compañeros!


Το παρον πονημα ειναι εθνικου και ηθικοπλασματικου χαρακτηρα, οσονουπω δε και απελευθερωτικον καθοσον καταγραφει μεθοδικα επιστημονικα και παντελως ουδετερα την πορειαν της κανναβεως εις την ημετεραν πατριδαν, με εμφασιν εις την κοινωνιαν και τον πολιτισμον. Το μεγιστο ερωτημα περι της διασυσχετισεως και αλληλοπροσδιορισμου αναμεσα και ενδιαμεσα πατριδος πολιτισμου και κοινωνιας δεν θα το πραγματευθω. Ας περιμενετε αγαπητοι αναγνωστες δια το προσεχες μελλον. Ειναι ομως και μουσικοχορευτικον το πονημα, καθοσον η πολλη δουλεια σκοτωνει τον αφεντη. Εχει λοιπον και τραγουδια και χορο, χωρις ομως να χανει εις τιποτις τον επιστημονικον χαρακτηρα του.


Η αυστηρωτατη ουδετεροτης και αντικειμενικοτης του πονηματος αφορα επισης και το μεγιστο ερωτημα του κατα ποσον το χασισακι ειναι εθιστικο ή οχι, κατα ποσον σκοτωνει ή οχι, κατα ποσον σε βαραει και σε ριχνει ή οχι. Ποιος ειμαι εγω σε τελευταια αναλυση να διαπραγματευθω τετοια τεραστια ερωτηματα; Οχι! Αγαπητη Αναγνωστρια, δεν θα το πραξω! Διοτι απλουστατα ομολογω οτι ειμαι αναρμοδιος. Και εις την αγαπητωτατην πατριδα μας οπου ειμεθα ο ενας πλεον αναρμοδιος του ετερου, θα αποφυγω το ολισθημα!

Οπως παντα σε τετοιες περιπτωσεις, οφειλω να προειδοποιησω τις ευπαθεις ομαδες να αποφυγουν την αναγνωση και την ακροαση καθοσον θα υποστουν βλαβην μεγαλην, ισως δε και ανηκεστον, με απροβλεπτους συνεπειας γενικως και ειδικως. Ενδεικτικως αναφερω και ζητω την αποφυγην και αποστροφην των: καθαρων, αγνων, φιλησυχων χιμπατζηδων, θρησκευτικων και ηθικοπλαστικων σωματειων, φιλοπροοδων οργανωσεων, αποστρατων αξιωματικων και πολιτικων, εξημερωμενων ταρανδων, αποτριχωμενων λεπιδοπτερων, φιλελευθερων διανοουμενων, και αλλων ων ουκ εστι αριθμος. Πρωτιστως ομως, ολων οσων δεν εκαπνισαν ουδεποπωτε εις τον βιον τους ενα τσιγαρακι.



Στιχοι και Μουσικη: Μιχαλη Δασκαλακη

Οταν πεθάνω θά(φ)ψτε με
σε μία γωνιά μονάχο
Και δίπλα το μπουζούκι μου – αμάν, αμάν
παρηγοριά μου να ‘χω.

Κανείς δε θέλω για να ‘ρθει – βρ’αμάν, αμάν
καντήλι να μ’ανάψει
ούτε κι αυτή που αγαπώ – αμάν, αμάν
για μένανε να κλάψει.

Βάλτε μου δύο καναβουριές – αμάν, αμάν
τον ίσχιο τους να ρίχνουν,
όταν φυσάει ο άνεμος – αμάν, αμάν
γλυκά να με δροσίζουν.

Βάλτε μου δύο καναβουριές
να κάνουν καναβούρια,
για να ‘ρχονται οι φίλοι μας – κι οι γκόμενες
να γίνονται μαστούρια.

Ειναι βαρειες οι καταβολες

(Απο εδω προεκυψε και η αλλαλαχη «ειναι βαρεια η φουντα του τσολια»).

Ενα από τα αρχαιότερα ιστορικά ευρήµατα, ένα αποµεινάρι της  ανθρώπινης υφαντουργίας,  είναι ένα κοµµάτι ύφασµα (καµβάς) φτιαγµένο από κάνναβη το οποίο χρονολογείται  -περίπου- από το 8000 π.Χ. Το παλαιότερο διασωθέν τεµάχιο από χαρτί κατασκευασµένο  πριν από 2.000 χρόνια στην  Κίνα φτιάχτηκε και αυτό από κάνναβη. Ακόµα παλαιότερα, τουλάχιστον 2.500 χρόνια πριν, οι τεχνίτες των Φαραώ χρησιµοποιούσαν την κάνναβη ως δοµικό συστατικό ανάµεσα στα άλλα υλικά για το χτίσιµο των πυραµίδων. (1)


Τα παλαιότερα αρχαιολογικά ευρήματα χρήσης της κάνναβης τα βρίσκουμε στην Ταϊβάν και στην Κίνα πριν από περίπου 6 χιλιάδες χρόνια, ενώ σπόροι κάνναβης βρέθηκαν και στη σημερινή Ρουμανία σε θρακικό τάφο που χρονολογείται στα 3000 π.Χ. Απ’ ό,τι φαίνεται, το «μαγικό φυτό» συνοδεύει τις μεταναστεύσεις των ινδοευρωπαϊκών φυλών και πιθανώς έφτασε στην Ευρώπη μέσω των Σκυθών. Ο Ηρόδοτος μας διηγείται ότι οι Σκύθες έριχναν σπόρους κάνναβης σε χάλκινα τρίποδα, και οι μεθυστικοί ατμοί που δημιουργούνταν συνόδευαν τις θρησκευτικές τελετουργίες και τις γιορτές τους, γεγονός που επιβεβαιώθηκε το 1940 από αρχαιολογικά ευρήματα σε σκυθικούς τάφους στα σύνορα μεταξύ Μογγολίας και Σιβηρίας. (6)

Η κάνναβη είναι ένα φυτό με τρία υποείδη: Cannabis indica (ινδική), Cannabis sativa (ήμερη, κλωστική) και Cannabis ruderalis, η άγρια εξαδέλφη τους που φυτρώνει εκεί που δεν τη σπέρνουν. Και ενώ στο εξωτερικό ο διαχωρισμός μεταξύ ινδικής και κλωστικής είναι σαφέστερος, αφού η πρώτη λέγεται Cannabis και η δεύτερη Hemp, στην Ελλάδα, αυτή η συνωνυμία έχει προκαλέσει στην κλωστική βιομηχανική πολλά… τραβήγματα με τον νόμο. Και ενώ η ίδια περιέχει σε πολύ μικρό ποσοστό τη δραστική ουσία του χασίς (0,2%, που είναι το επιτρεπτό όριο σύμφωνα με την ΕΕ), σε αντίθεση με τις ποικιλίες της ινδικής που την περιέχουν από 7% ως 25%, η σύγχυση παραμένει μεγάλη.(2)

Γαμησι, Χασισι, Επιστροφη στη Φυση

Γαμησι, Χασισι, Επιστροφη στη Φυση

Οι λεξεις (5)

Χασις: η ινδικη κανναβη. [Το ρητινώδες εκχύλισµα που εκκρίνεται από τους βλαστούς του ονοµάζεται «χασίς» και χρησιµοποιείται για κάπνισµα προκειµένου να αυξήσει την ενεργητικότητα και την ευχάριστη διάθεση. (1)]

Χασικλης: προσωπο που κανει συστηματικα χρηση χασις.

Μαυρη, Μαυρο: το χασις.

Φουντα: το χασις, ως ναρκωτικη ουσια.

Τεκες: καταγωγιο οπου γινεται χρηση ναρκωτικων, χασικληδικο. Η λεξη ειναι τουρκικης προελευσης (tekke), και σημαινει και μοναστηρι, οπου ασκουνται δερβισηδες.

Κανναβουρι: ο καρπος του φυτου της κανναβης, ο οποιος χρησιμοποιειται ως τροφη για ωδικα πτηνα.


Κανναβοσχ(κ)οινο: το σχοινι που ειναι κατασκευασμενο απο ινες κανναβης.

Κανναβατσο: το χοντρο υφασμα απο λιναρι, βαμβακι και κανναβη, που χρησιμοποιειται για την κατασκευη πανιων πλοιου, σακιων. κλπ.

Εκτός από τα πανιά (από εκεί βγαίνει και ο όρος κανναβάτσο), τα σχοινιά και τους σπάγκους, η κάνναβη είναι ιδανική και για την παραγωγή χαρτιού (με τετραπλάσιες ποσότητες ινών ανά στρέμμα απ’ ό,τι τα δέντρα και πολύ πιο φιλικά στο περιβάλλον από την τοξική κοπή), για την παραγωγή μονωτικών υλικών (για παράδειγμα, το καννάβι που χρησιμοποιεί ο υδραυλικός), όπως και για την παραγωγή ελαίων για σαπούνια, βερνίκια και καλλυντικά. Δεν είναι τυχαίο ότι τα υποαλλεργικά πάνινα παπούτσια και ρούχα κατασκευάζονται από ίνες κάνναβης, ενώ τα αμαξώματα των αυτοκινήτων αντικαθιστούν σταδιακά τις ίνες φάιμπεργκλας με εκείνες της κάνναβης. Αλλά και ως καύσιμο, η μεθανόλη και διάφορα άλλα είδη έχουν την ίδια καταγωγή. Θέλοντας να επιβραβεύσει όλες αυτές τις μαγικές επιδόσεις του παρεξηγημένου φυτού, η ΕΕ εξέδωσε ήδη από το 1990 την οδηγία 1308/1990, επιδοτώντας την καλλιέργεια κάνναβης. (2)

Η βιομηχανια: Καναβουργειο Εδεσσης


Το κανναβουργείο της Εδεσσας κατασκευαστηκε το 1908 από τον Αυστριακό μηχανικό Λεοπόλδο Αϊγλ και λειτούργησε από το 1913 μέχρι το 1967. Ηταν το πρώτο εργοστάσιο στην Ελλάδα που έφτιαχνε σπάγκους και καραβόσκοινα από ινδική κάνναβη, με ημερήσια παραγωγή που έφτανε τα 1.200 κιλά. Η διαδικασία κατεργασίας της πρώτης ύλης ήταν εξαιρετικά δύσκολη αλλά και μεθοδική. Στους χώρους που άλλοτε έσφυζε από ζωή σήμερα στέκουν βουβά τα εξαρτήματα, οι μηχανές, ο υδροστρόβιλος, οι άξονες μετάδοσης, η γεννήτρια, οι τροχοί και άλλα.

Τα φορεία που έχουν απομείνει στον χώρο του κανναβουργείου θυμίζουν τις δύσκολες εποχές με τα πολλά ατυχήματα από τους δεκάδες ιμάντες που χρησιμοποιούνταν για τη μετάδοση της κίνησης. Στο μπροστινό μέρος του κτιρίου λειτουργεί το καλαίσθητο εστιατόριο «Κανναβουργείο». Από τον χώρο του εστιατορίου μπορείτε να δείτε τους χώρους επεξεργασίας και παραγωγής σκοινιών, καθώς και τις παλιές μηχανές.



Στιχοι και Μουσικη: Μπαγιαντερας

(Το καταπληκτικον του ασματος αρχιζει απο τον τιτλο του. Ειναι στον πληθυντικο, ενω η πρωταγωνιστρια ειναι μια, η ομορφη καπνουλου. Πληρης συγχυση, και πληρης διαυγεια! Χαιρε Αρχαιο Ελληνικο Πνευμα!)

Βρε καπνουλού μου έμορφη σ’ αρέσει το ντουμάνι
κι εμένανε με παρατάς ρέστονε και χαρμάνη.

Όταν σχολάσεις γίνεσαι μια κούκλα πρώτη φίνα
και την πουλεύεις πονηρά στη Βούλα στη Ραφήνα.

Τους μάγκες πάντα προτιμάς κι όλους τους παραλήδες
μα ζούλα πάντα κυνηγάς τους έμορφους νταήδες.

Και στο φινάλε πας γλεντάς με μάγκες στους τεκέδες
γιατί σ’ αρέσει ο μπαγλαμάς μπουζούκια κι αργιλέδες

Παραβατικοτητα: Ακομη και ο Αγιος Κολαζεται

Με χασίσι μυρωδάτο φορτωμένος υπάλληλος της Εισαγγελίας Αθηνών , σε όχημα του υπουργείου ΔΙΚΑΙΟΣΥΝΗΣ!!!

Xas 1
«Αστυνομικοί του Τμήματος Δίωξης Ναρκωτικών Ηγουμενίτσας, σήμερα (23.02.2013) το πρωί στη Νέα Σελεύκεια Θεσπρωτίας, συνέλαβαν 48χρονο ημεδαπό, υπάλληλο του Υπουργείου Δικαιοσύνης, ο οποίος κατελήφθη να μεταφέρει με κρατικό αυτοκίνητο μεγάλη ποσότητα κάνναβης.
Πιο αναλυτικά, στο πλαίσιο οργανωμένης αστυνομικής επιχείρησης, εντοπίστηκε και ακινητοποιήθηκε το κρατικό αυτοκίνητο, το οποίο οδηγούσε ο δράστης και στον έλεγχο, που διενεργήθηκε στο εσωτερικό του, βρέθηκαν (137) συσκευασίες – δέματα κάνναβης, συνολικού βάρους (149.016) γραμμαρίων, τα οποία και κατασχέθηκαν.
  • Σε βάρος του συλληφθέντα σχηματίστηκε δικογραφία κακουργηματικού χαρακτήρα για τα αδικήματα της μεταφοράς και εμπορίας ναρκωτικών ουσιών.
Χαρακτηριστικό της μεθοδολογίας, του σχεδιασμού και του τρόπου δράσης του συλληφθέντα, αποτελεί το γεγονός ότι για την μεταφορά των ναρκωτικών χρησιμοποίησε υπηρεσιακό αυτοκίνητο,του Υπουργείου Δικαιοσύνης (φέρει εξωτερικά τις χαρακτηριστικές ενδείξεις οχήματος δημόσιας υπηρεσίας), με προφανή σκοπό να αποτρέψει ή/και να αποπροσανατολίσει τους ελέγχους των διωκτικών Αρχών.
Για τους ιδίους λόγους είχε αλλοιώσει την ημερομηνία και τα στοιχεία ταυτότητας στα συνοδευτικά έγγραφα του οχήματος(Διαταγή πορείας και Δελτίο κίνησης), τα οποία κατασχέθηκαν επίσης. Όπως προέκυψε από την αστυνομική έρευνα, τελικός προορισμός του φορτιού των ναρκωτικών, ήταν η Αθήνα…”


Στις 7 Ιανουαριου 1977 οι Αρχες στα Ισθμια της Κορινθιας απο καρφωτη πιανουν το μοτορσιπ «Γκλορια» με 11 τοννους χασισι. Ο Τσιτσανης γραφει λιγο μετα το θρυλικο παραβατικο τραγουδι που χαλαει κοσμο ακομη και σημερα  (περισσοτερα στον Γκρεκο).


Το βαπόρι απ’ την Περσία
πιάστηκε στην Κορινθία
Τόννοι έντεκα γεμάτο
με χασίσι μυρωδάτο

Τώρα κλαίν’ όλα τ’ αλάνια
που θα μείνουνε χαρμάνια

Βρε κουρνάζε μου τελώνη
τη ζημιά ποιος τη πληρώνει
Και σ’ αυτή την ιστορία
μπήκαν τα λιμεναρχεία

Τώρα κλαίν’ όλα τ’ αλάνια
που θα μείνουνε χαρμάνια

Ήταν προμελετημένοι
καρφωτοί και λαδωμένοι
Δυο μεμέτια, τα καημένα,
μεσ’ στο κόλπο ήταν μπλεγμένα

Τώρα κλαίν’ όλα τ’ αλάνια
που θα μείνουνε χαρμάνια

Η εκτελεση που ακολουθει ειναι με τον αειμνηστο Τσιτσανη. Που λεει το βαπορι παπορι. Ως εδει. Αλα τις!!!!

Ο τεκες και το μαυρο (7, σ. 110-111)

Ο Πειραιας τοτε ητανε γεματος τεκεδες. Ο πρωτος τεκες, εχω ακουσει, ητανε του Ζουανου του Καλοκαιρινου, τα λουτρα…

Μες στου Ζουανου την αυλη

σκοτωσαν ενα χασικλη


Ολοι οι τεκεδες ητανε ιδιοι. Ιδιοι κι απαραλλαχτοι. Μια καμαρα ητανε τεκες. Ενα σπιτακι ητανε τεκες. Ενα αλλο παραγκακι… Μολις φουμαρουνε οι χασικληδες, δεν τους ενδιαφερει αν ζουνε ή αν πεθαινουνε. Ειναι ησυχοτατοι, δεν πειραζουν ανθρωπο. Μονον να φαν θελουν οταν πεινασουν και τιποτε παραπανω, και να κοινηθουνε να βλεπουνε ονειρα. Δεν τους νοιαζει αν ο τεκες ειναι ενα παληοσπιτο.   Το ιδιο ητανε και του Μιχαλου, στα Χιωτικα.

Χαρμανης ειμαι απ’ το πρωι

και παω να φουμαρω

μες στον τεκε του Μιχαλου

ποχει το φινο μαυρο.


Κατω, αλλου ειχε χωμα, αλλου σανιδια αλλα περισσοτερο χωμα, γιατι καπου επεταζαμε και κανενα ζαφειρι. Ειχαμε δε εκει, μπροστα εκει στο λουλα, το μαγκαλι με τις φωτιες. Απο διαφορα καρβουνακια, απο καρυδια, απο αμυγδαλα, απο θυμαρια του βουνου. Ειχαμε και εναν ντενεκε, το οποιο εφτουσαμε ολοι μεσα. Την ωρα που επινες σ’ επιανε ο βηχας, ξερω γω τι, και για να βγαλεις, να καθαρισουν, ηταν μπροστα εκει ο ντενεκες με το νερο.


Στιχοι και Μουσικη: Γιωργος Μητσακης

Όταν καπνίζει ο λουλάς
εσύ δεν πρέπει να μιλάς.
Κοίταξε τριγύρω οι μάγκες
κάνουν όλοι, κάνουν τουμπεκί.

Άκου που παίζει ο μπαγλαμάς
και πάτα αργιλέ για μας.
Σα θα γίνουμε μαστούρια,
θα ‘μαστε πολύ προσεχτικοί.

Κανένα μάτι μη μας δει
και μας μπλοκάρουν δηλαδή.
Να μη βρούνε καμιάν αιτία
και μας πάνε όλους φυλακή.

Οι νομοι 

Σύμφωνα με το άρθρο 5 του ν.1681/1919 περί αλητείας και επαιτείας, τιμωρούνταν {όστις, άεργος ων ή αποδεδειγμένως διάγων άτακτον βίον, επιδίδεται καθ’ έξιν εις χασισοποτίαν, φοιτών προς τούτο εις τοιούτου είδους καταγώγια ή άλλα ενδιαιτήματα με ποινή φυλάκισης ενός έτους και σε περίπτωση υποτροπής μέχρι δύο έτη. Κατά παλαιότερη, προσφιλή τακτική του νομοθέτη, τιμωρείται εδώ όχι μια συγκεκριμένη πράξη, αλλά ένας αφηρημένος αντικοινωνικός τύπος ατόμου. (8)


Ακολούθησαν ο ν. 2107/1920 «περί απαγορεύσεως της καλλιέργειας, της εμπορίας και της καταναλώσεως ινδικής καννάβεως», ο νομοτεχνικά πληρέστερος ως προς την τυποποίηση των πράξεων διακίνησης και χρήσης ναρκωτικών ν.5539/1932 «περί μονοπωλίου των ναρκωτικών φαρμάκων και του ελέγχου αυτών», ο οποίος περιλάμβανε για πρώτη φορά και πίνακα των απαγορευμένων ναρκωτικών ουσιών, ο ν. 6025/1934, ο α.ν. 2430/1940 και το ν.δ. 3084/1954, «περί τιμωρίας των παραβατών ναρκωτικών και μεταχειρίσεως των τοξικομανών», όπου πλέον αυστηροποιούνται σημαντικά οι προβλεπόμενες ποινές για πράξεις διακίνησης (κάθειρξη μέχρι 10 χρόνια και χρηματική ποινή μέχρι 10.000.000 δραχμές). (9)

Στο Αρθρο 1, παραγραφος 3 του νομου 4139/2013 οριζεται οτι:

«Στις παραπάνω ουσίες (ναρκωτικα) δεν περιλαμβάνονται τα ακατέργαστα συγκομιζόμενα προϊόντα που προκύπτουν από την καλλιέργεια ποικιλιών κάνναβης του είδους Cannabis Sativa L χαμηλής περιεκτικότητας σε τετρα− ϋδροκανναβινόλη (THC) και συγκεκριμένα μέχρι 0,2%, σύμφωνα με τις εκάστοτε ισχύουσες διατάξεις της νομοθεσίας της Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης. Με κοινή απόφαση των Υπουργών Αγροτικής Ανάπτυξης και Τροφίμων και Δικαιοσύνης, Διαφάνειας και Ανθρωπίνων Δικαιωμάτων ορίζονται οι όροι και οι προϋποθέσεις καλλιέργειας των ποικιλιών κάνναβης του είδους Cannabis Sativa L, οι έλεγχοι τήρησης των όρων και προϋποθέσεων και κάθε σχετικό θέμα.


Τα κανναβοσκοινα

Οταν οι Πειραιωτες μαγκες χαρμανιαζανε, βγαινανε τσαρκα στο λιμανι για να βρουνε παλιους καβους. Μολις βρησκανε ενα, τον κοβανε ψιλα κομματια και τα τριβανε να φτιαξουνε χαρμανι. Το στεγνωνανε με προχειρο τροπο, και μετα το φουμαρανε. Αυτο μου το αφηγηθηκε φιλος Πειραιωτης που τα ακουγε στις γειτονιες οταν ητανε ητανε παιδι.


Ασχετος Επιλογος

Κλεινω αυτο το σεμνο αφιερωμα με ενα δημοτικο τραγουδι που βρηκα ολως τυχαιως (3). 

Επέθανε ο Γιάνναρος και έκανε διαθήκη,
Να μην τον θάψουν σ` εκκλησιά, ούτε σε μοναστήρι,
Να πάνε να τον χώσουνε σ` ένα σταυροδρόμι,
ν` αφήσουνε τον πούτσο του τρεις πιθαμές απάνω,
για να περνάει ο βασιλιάς να δένει τ` άλογό του.
Τ` ακούσαν τρεις καλόγριες και πα` να τον εβρούνε.
Η μια παίρνει το κερί κι η άλλη το λιβάνι
κι η τρίτη η χοντρόκωλη, πάει να κάτσει απάνω.


Η Επιστημη δεν εχει ορια, δεν εχει τερμα, δεν εχει πατο, δεν εχει ταβανι

Στη σελιδα «Πλινθοι και Κεραμοι«μπορεις αγαπητη αναγνωστρια να βρεις και αλλα αρθρα με επιστημονικο βαθος και συγκλονιστικη πρωτοτυπια.


1. Η Διαχρονικη Διαδρομη τηε Κανναβης. Ελευθερος Τυπος.

2. Η ελληνική πανσέληνος της κάνναβης. Το ΒΗΜΑ.

3. prkls

4. Τιποτα

5. Γ. Μπαμπινιωτη. Λεξικο της Νεας Ελληνικης Γλωσσας.

6. Η μαριχουανα του γιατρου μας ειναι η καλυτερη. Εφημεριδα των Συντακτων.

7. Μαρκος Βαμβακαρης. Αυτοβιογραφια. Εκδοσεις Παπαζηση. Αθηνα 1978.

8. Η πορεια της κανναβης και της απαγορευσης της. 

9. Ομιλία στο συνέδριο των ΥΠΕΞ – ΥΠ.ΥΓΕΙΑΣ – ΥΠ.ΔΙΚΑΙΟΣΥΝΗΣ (06/-3/2003)

A sculpture of Aphrodite, Pan and Eros, exhibited in the National Archaelogical Museum of Athens, in Greece, is the subject of this post.

The sculpture was made at about 100 BC of Parian marble, and was found on the island of Delos, in the House of the Poseidoniasts of Beirut. On the low base of the group an inscription is carved: ‘Dionysos, son of Zenon who was son Theodoros, from Beirut dedicated [this offering] to the ancestral gods for his own benefit and that of his children’.

Aphrodite, Pan and Eros; Parian marble  100 BC. National Archaelogical Museum of Athens, Greece.

Aphrodite, Pan and Eros; Parian marble 100 BC. National Archaelogical Museum of Athens, Greece.

A few introductory words about who is who are in order.

Aphrodite (Venus for the Romans) is the goddess of love and beauty. A victim of her own success and beauty, Aphrodite has never lost her sense of earthy pleasure.

Eros (Cupid for the Romans) is the god of love, son of Aphrodite. Somethies he is innocent, with rosy cheeks and beautiful smile, other times he is totally vicious, tormenting humans with his arrows.

Pan is the god of the Wild, half goat half man, and a very very notty old fart!

Aphrodite, Pan and Eros; Parian marble  100 BC. National Archaelogical Museum of Athens, Greece.

Aphrodite, Pan and Eros; Parian marble 100 BC. National Archaelogical Museum of Athens, Greece.

What is the story in the sculpture?

Aphrodite, is stark naked. She appears to be trying to fend off an overwhelming expression of affinity by Pan.

Aphrodite, Pan and Eros; Parian marble  100 BC. National Archaelogical Museum of Athens, Greece.

Aphrodite, Pan and Eros; Parian marble 100 BC. National Archaelogical Museum of Athens, Greece.

Her right hand is slightly raised and holds a sandal.

Is she ready to strike Pan?

It appears to be so.

Aphrodite, Pan and Eros; Parian marble  100 BC. National Archaelogical Museum of Athens, Greece.

Aphrodite, Pan and Eros; Parian marble 100 BC. National Archaelogical Museum of Athens, Greece.

But it isn’t.

For one, a closer look at ther muscles will show us that is very relaxed.

For another, her face is almost smiling. A veiled smile emerges. And the angle of her head is such that she is not directly looking at Pan.

The last unmistakable signal that Aphrodite sends to the observer of the scene is the position of her left hand. A woman under attack would almost by instinct try to cover her most exposed nudity, touching the puberty area using her palm. But Aphrodite is not doing that. Her palm is relaxed and at some distance from her flesh.

Aphrodite, Pan and Eros; Parian marble  100 BC. National Archaelogical Museum of Athens, Greece.

Aphrodite, Pan and Eros; Parian marble 100 BC. National Archaelogical Museum of Athens, Greece.

Pan is in a hopeless state. He cannot help himself and is totally at a loss.

He is trying to embrace Aphrodite in the most awkward of ways. Look at his right hand, how high it is in Aphrodite’s back. Not exactly a gesture of aggression. More a gesture of creeping affinity.

It is like he is lusting for her but at the same time he is shying away from expressing his lust.


Aphrodite, Pan and Eros; Parian marble 100 BC. National Archaelogical Museum of Athens, Greece.

Eros (I would have preferred to call him «Putto» like the Italians do, but being Greek I have to stick to my mother tongue) is a little devil in the middle of the two protagonists of this subdued ensemble action. His apparently tries to separate them, in a sense protecting Aphrodite.

But is he?

Aphrodite, Pan and Eros; Parian marble 100 BC. National Archaelogical Museum of Athens, Greece.

Aphrodite, Pan and Eros; Parian marble 100 BC. National Archaelogical Museum of Athens, Greece.

His smiling face, his posture (look at the angle of the head) is more like saying «I want to be part of this».

His bodily posture is a posture of palying. He pushes Pan’s right horn ever so gently, more touching than pushing, smiling all the time.

And the old boy returns the smile.

Aphrodite, Pan and Eros; Parian marble 100 BC. National Archaelogical Museum of Athens, Greece.

Aphrodite, Pan and Eros; Parian marble 100 BC. National Archaelogical Museum of Athens, Greece.

As a final observation before my conclusion, I offer the angle of Aphrodite’s left ankle. How gentle and relaxed and playful! Restrained and at the same time powerful, but not aggressive!

And this brings me to the supreme feature of the sculpture. Its ambivalence.

All three protagonists are doing something and at the same time they are not.

And in the process, being totally submerged into this ambivalence, they have a hell of a good time!

Ancient Greece at her best!

Restaurant «Thalassa mou», Alyki, Paros, Greece

Τρίτη, 8 Οκτωβρίου, 2013

During a short visit to Paros, I visited a restaurant for the first time.

It is a restaurant by the breaking wave on the edge of Aiyki, in the southwestern corner of the island.

By the breaking wave

By the breaking wave

The restaurant opened last year and operates during the – unfortunately short – tourist season of Paros, from late May to late September.

It is owned and operated by a couple.

The husband is a chef trained in France, and the wife runs the front of the house.

Appetizers presented as tapas

Appetizers presented as tapas

The menu is local food, prepared and presented in a beautiful and «modern» way.

It not only tastes good, it looks good as well!

Tuna carpaccio with avocado

Tuna carpaccio with avocado

They have a seven small dishes appetizer plate that is a must. Eggplant salad, marinated anchovies, chick peas, octopus in wine, fava bean salad, taramossalata (egg roe dip) and a delicious cold tomato soup.

The highlight of the appetizers is a small tuna carpaccio with avocado and mint.

Cheese fritters

Cheese fritters

The cheese fritters are made with local fresh cheese and are delicious!

Rabbit with lardon, and mushrooms, served with tagliatelle

Rabbit with lardons, and mushrooms, served with tagliatelle

I was curious how rabbit would taste in a hot day, and was justified in taking the dish. Absolutely delicious, juicy and gamey local rabbit, in a light sauce with lardons to die for, parmesan cheese and tagliatelle al dente.

One thing is for sure. I will visit them again!


Action against «Evil Acts»

Σάββατο, 14 Σεπτεμβρίου, 2013

Dachau Concentration Camp - The perimeter fence from the outside

Dachau Concentration Camp – The perimeter fence from the outside (Photo: panathinaeos)

«In the world in which we find ourselves, the possibilities of good are almost limitless, and the possibilities of evil no less so. Our present predicament is due more than anything else to the fact that we have learnt to understand and control to a terrifying extent the forces of nature outside us, but not those that are embodied in ourselves.»

Bertrand Russell (1)

«Among the moral results of this disaster (he refers to the plague of the 14th century in Europe) the most shameful was a series of attacks upon the Jewish population, who at Mainz and other German-speaking towns were burned in their hundreds or thousands by an infuriated mob in the belief that the plague was a malignant device of the Semitic race for the confusion of the Catholic creed. » 

H.A.L. Fisher (3)

Beginning on the day in 1975 when his guerrilla army marched silently into the capital, Phnom Penh, Pol Pot emptied the cities, pulled families apart,abolished religion and closed schools. Everyone was ordered to work, even children. The Khmer Rouge outlawed money and closed all markets. The Khmer Rouge especially persecuted members of minority ethnic groups — the Chinese, Muslim Chams, Vietnamese and Thais who had lived for generations in the country, and any other foreigners — in an attempt to make one »pure» Cambodia. Non-Cambodians were forbidden to speak their native languages or to exhibit any »foreign» traits. The pogrom against the Cham minority was the most devastating, killing more than half of that community.

The New York Times

Dachau Concentration Camp - Fences

Dachau Concentration Camp – Fences (Photo: panathinaeos)


Today I want to address the issue of taking action to deter, contain, and even prevent «Evil Acts».

I consider that it is not enough to condemn evil acts. Words of condemnation are not enough.

In my view one must also act against «evil acts».

It all began during a visit to the Dachau Concentration Camp, in the outskirts of Munich in Bavaria, Germany.

Dachau is a sleepy suburb. But once you get to the perimeter walls and the barbed wires, you start getting the bad vibrations.

At the end of my visit I was shocked.

More than after my visit to Auschwitz.

May be because Auschwitz is relatively isolated, whereas Dachau is right in the middle of the community.

Hundreds of thousands of people were tortured and lost their life in this and other camps in Nazi Germany.

More than six million Jews lost their lives during the Holocaust.

Some Germans of the time say that they did not know about it.

This is a frightening thought.

How could you live in Dachau and know nothing about the camp?

An even more frightening thought is that there is no guarantee that evil acts will not be committed again.

As H.A.L. Fisher wrote: «The fact of progress is written plain and large on the page of history; but progress is not a law of nature. The ground gained by one generation may be lost by the next. The thoughts of men may flow into the channels which lead to disaster and barbarism.» (3)

Dachau - The Entrance Gate

Dachau Concentration Camp – The Entrance Gate (Photo: panathinaeos)


I begin by giving some definitions of «evil acts».

My views address only acts and their implications. I do not refer to ideas, impressions, thoughts and other abstract entities.

Two more qualifications:

  • I do not refer to natural acts, like the 1755 earthquake that destroyed Lisbon. This is almost self-evident, but the clarification is needed.
  • In addition, I will exclude one person acts like Anders Behring Breivik’s  2011 sequential bombing and mass shooting in Norway.

To start with a definition, I will paraphrase Peter Dews’ definition:

«Evil acts are profound, far reaching desecrations of the human.»

Martha Nussbaum reminds us that Kant considered the human being as capable «under certain circumstances» to commit evil acts:

«Evil is radical, according to Kant, that is to say it goes to the root of our humanity, because human beings, prior to any experience, have a propensity to both good and evil, in the form of tendencies that are deeply rooted in our natures. We are such that we can follow the moral law, but there is also something about us that makes it virtually inevitable that under certain circumstances we will disregard it and behave badly.»

Philosopher Adi Ophir in his book «The Order of Evils» offers the main contention is that evil is neither a diabolical element residing in the hearts of men nor a meaningless absence of the good. Rather, it is the socially structured order of «superfluous evils.» Evils, like pain, suffering, loss, and humiliation, are superfluous when they could have been—but were not—prevented.

Dachau - Smoking is not permitted

Dachau – Smoking is not permitted (Photo: panathinaeos)

Who is the bearer of (good or) evil?

Bertrand Russell’s view (The Reith Lectures, Lecture 6, 1948) provides the answer to this key question:

«That is why the individual man is the bearer of good and evil, and not, on the one hand, any separate part of a man, or on the other hand, any collection of men. To believe that there can be good or evil in a collection of human beings, over and above the good or evil in the various individuals, is an error; moreover it is an error which leads straight to totalitarianism, and is therefore dangerous.» (1) 

Therefore it is one or more individuals who commit «evil acts» and are responsible for them.

One more word about those who claim that the agent behind evil acts may be an impersonal entity like the State. I quote Bertrand Russell again:

«When we think concretely, not abstractly, we find, in place of ‘the state’, certain people who have more power than falls to the share of most men. And so glorification of ‘the state’ turns out to be, in fact, glorification of a governing minority.» (1)

The argument applies to all other «impersonal» agents, like a «system» (e.g. capitalism, socialism) and so on.

Dachau - Where the barracks were (Photo: panathinaeos)

Dachau Concentration Camp – Where the barracks were (Photo: panathinaeos)

Why act against «evil acts»?

One may have many diverse motives for acting against «evil acts». The same of course applies to any other action.

One of the motives may be originating from a moral framework.

A moral framework can be prescriptive, and it is in this sense that I want to deploy it in this article.

Koertge (2) has identified the following building blocks of Popper’s Moral Philosophy:

  • self-emancipation through knowledge,
  • a dedication to communal problem solving,
  • honesty,
  • openness to criticism,
  • tolerance for other views,
  • a society that supports freedom of expression and
  • the imperatives to relieve suffering and avoid cruelty.

The moral framework explains the taking of the action and justifies its necessity.


Dachau Concentration Camp: The Administration Building – (Photo: panathinaeos)

Acting against «Evil Acts»

In the context of the moral framework above, all acts against «evil acts» need to conform with the values of the framework and not violate it.

Otherwise, in the name of the action against «evil acts», you end up committing evil acts. Which defeats the purpose of taking action against evil.

Acting against «evil acts» is a moral duty, if one wants to accept that there is one,

Of course as I have mentioned in a previous section, action may be taken for other reasons.

Acting against «evil acts» is not necessarily effective. This however applies to all actions. The fact that an action may not turn out to be an effective action does not imply anything against the action itself.

Taking action against evil acts is very risky.

It may kill you, or endanger you greatly to say the least.

It may be safely asserted that if evil acts are consistently deterred and contained, this will be the result of some people taking action.

Consistent outcomes cannot be the result of chance only.

Dachau Concentration Camp - A view from inside of the barracks to the outside

Dachau Concentration Camp – A view from inside of the barracks to the outside (Photo: panathinaeos)

Bad end, good end

Claus Philipp Maria Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg decided to act and attempt the assassination of Adolf Hitler and the removal of the Nazi Party from power.

He was not alone. He was one of the leaders not only of the plot against Hitler and the Nazis, but also of the German Resistance movement in the German Armed Forces (Wermacht).

Unfortunately the attempt failed and von Stauffenberg was executed in July 1944.

My maternal grandfather gave shelter in his house to a Jewish family for a period of over two years, during the German occupation of Athens.

Had he been caught, his whole family would have been killed, and the Jewish family would be sent to an extermination camp.

Luckily he was never caught, and the Jewish family found a safe way out to the Middle East.

Intention versus consequence

The French press magnate Jean Prouvost, who had collaborated with the German forces during the occupation of France, tried to redeem himself by writing a large check to the resistance when it became clear that the Germans were losing the war. After Liberation, the High Court (in France) granted him a non-lieu (a judgement that suspends, annuls, or withdraws a case without bringing it to trial). The reason he went free was probably that the resistance needed the money and later found itself obliged to keep the tacit promise of immunity that acceptance of the check implied. (4)    

This incident is worth noting because it opens up a discussion regarding the difference between intention and consequence.

The intention of the person in this case may be considered as having nothing to do with acting against evil. The act as far as intentions go appears to serve the person’s self-interest.

On the other hand, the consequences of the action may have been quite significant, judging by the immunity granted to the press magnate.

Dachai Concentration Camp - Guard Tower

Dachai Concentration Camp – Guard Tower (Photo: panathinaeos)

Deter, constrain, prevent?

Prevention is of course much better.

But is it possible?

I believe that no one can say that it is not possible, although there is no certainty regarding the outcome of preventive actions.

As an example, it is known that totalitarian regimes are more likely to commit evil acts than other regimes.

This implies that action against totalitarianism is in a way action that potentially prevents evil acts.

This can be generalized.

Once the circumstances under which evil acts are committed are established, all actions that go counter to these circumstances have the potential of preventing evil acts.

Once evil acts are committed, the issue becomes to what extent they will continue.

Action then needs to be taken to deter and contain evil acts.

However, taking action must not lead to committing of evil acts, while trying to deter and/or contain evil acts.

The Syrian Chemical Weapons issue is a good example.

Using chemical weapons is an evil act. There is no doubt about it.

Actions must be taken against the use of chemical weapons.

However, if this action prevents one of the two parties involved in the conflict to use the weapons, while it enables the other party to use them, the action will not be effective.

There is also another issue that needs to be addressed.

If we need to stop the use of chemical weapons, is it not also necessary to stop the production and trading of chemical weapons?

As I was writing this, I saw a brief from the Financial Times newspaper, announcing that «The US and Russia have agreed on a framework for Syria to destroy all of its chemical weapons by the middle of 2014. If President Bashar al-Assad fails to comply with the US-Russia agreement the issue is then to be referred to the United Nations Security Council.»

Dachau Concentration Camp - Extermination furnace

Dachau Concentration Camp – Extermination furnace (Photo: panathinaeos)

In place of a conclusion

Now that I read again what I wrote it appears to me that a generalization is in order.

I started out by asserting the necessity of action against «evil acts».

This is good, but not good enough.

There are far too many religious overtones in the word «evil».

It is fuzzy, blurred, unclear, and easily manipulated.

Almost everything that I wrote above stands if I replace «evil acts» with «human suffering».

«I believe that there is, from the ethical point of view, no symmetry between suffering and happiness, or between pain and pleasure. (…) human suffering makes a direct moral appeal for help, while there is no similar call to increase the happiness of a man who is doing well anyway.» (5)


(1) Bertrand Russell, The Reith Lectures, Lecture 6

(2) Noretta Koertge, The Moral Underpinnings of Popper’s Philosophy

(3) H.A.L. Fisher, A History of Europe

(4) Jon Elster, Explaining Social Behavior

(5) Karl Popper, The Open Society and its Enemies

I recently visited the Vassilenas restaurant in Piraeus, Greece.

It has been one of my father’s favorites.

The restaurant began its life as a grocery store back in 1920. The owner was also serving some «meze» dishes to the grocery’s customers.

When my father started visiting, the grocery store had transformed itself into a taverna.

But not any taverna.

My father’s reminiscences were almost ecstatic.

He would recall that after entering the taverna, the owner, «Vassilenas», would greet the customer and perform some sort of «assessment», on the basis of which he would start serving various dishes to the table. The customer was advised to «ride the wave». And it was a wave of gastronomic nirvana!

Today the taverna has been transformed into a restaurant, and is run by the son of the «Vassilenas» of my father’s days.

In my last visit I had the set menu.

Pumpkin soup

Pumpkin soup

It starts with a pumpkin soup, with cumin, nutmeg and curry.

I do not like soups. Especially in the Greek summer. But I tasted it. And I ate it every scoop of it. Delicious!


Anchovies a tomato marmalade slice of crispy bread and taramosalata (fish row dip) with Arabian bread

Next came marinated anchovies on a tomato marmalade slice of crispy bread and taramosalata (fish row dip) with Arabian bread. The anchovies were light in the salt and vinegar and tender, perfectly accompanied by the tomato marmalade. The fish roe dip creamy and light.

Sea bream

Sea bream

It was followed by sea bream on a bed of spinach and leeks, served with a cauliflower puree and a wild fennel sauce.

The fish was perfectly cooked, and the combination with the greens was delicious.

Duo of salmon

Duo of salmon

Next came a duo of salmon. Marinated in soy sauce and grilled in a crust of spices.

Duo of salmon - grilled salmon detail

Duo of salmon – grilled salmon detail

The grilled piece was cooked to perfection. You can see for yourself the photo above.

As I write this, I realize how exciting it has been to taste all these wonderful dishes, let alone relive the experience by writing about them!

This is a very good reason to write indeed!

Grilled calamari and fried cod

Grilled calamari and fried cod

In any case, grilled calamari and fried cod fillet came next.

The calamari was served on a bed of smoked eggplant.

I was overwhelmed by the cod, as it was perfectly fried, not oily at all, accompanied by heavenly aioli.

"Rice-shaped" pasta with mushrooms

«Rice-shaped» pasta with mushrooms

A «rice-shaped» pasta dish with mushrooms came next, It was cooked as a risotto, and wwas delicious, but I must confess I felt it was rather late in the menu for this type of dish. I am used to have pasta as a first dish, and could not really come around to tasting it as the penultimate dish.

Braised pig's cheeks

Slow cooked pig’s neck

The slow cooked pig’s neck concluded the savoury part of the menu. I loved it. It was served with quince marmalade, sweet potato puree, confit of onions and angel hair fried potatos.

Lemon tart

Lemon tart

All the dishes were exceptional, including the desert, a lemon tart I could kill for.

But I did not, thankfuly.

Instead I paid the bill and went home a happy man.


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