Monday, August 29, 2005


Mass Grave found in Croatia

10 bodies exhumed from Croatia mass grave
ZAGREB, Croatia (AP) — Forensic experts Monday exhumed 10 bodies believed to be Croat civilians executed during the 1991 war with rebel minority Serbs.

The remains, including those of three women, were unearthed near a cemetery in the eastern town of Okucani, said Jadranka Kosor, minister of Family and Veterans Welfare.

It was the 141st mass grave found in Croatia since fighting ended in 1995. Kosor added that scores more bodies could be buried in the mass grave.

Kosor said recent tips indicated at least two more mass graves could be in the area, but exhumations cannot be carried out because the area not been cleared of mines.

More than 1,110 people remain unaccounted for since the war, which claimed the lives of more than 10,000 Croats.


yet another silly kviz! :)


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thanks to my son, mil gracias! hvala puno!

Right now, I have to borrow my son's laptop to post, please bear with the typos, I can' see easily at this machine as I'm really really really nearsighted. Expect not tho hear a lot rom me for the next few days until there is a new monitor here. I'm between quarters at school so I have to get the monitor either by borrowing it and paying for it later or waiting until I'm back at school and buying an new one then. this is a serious pain but then again I suppose it's better it happened now than right in the middle of a crucial test or something. Still it's been a run of real annoying bad luck around the issue of my computer!

Hey thanks to all of you who have been reading my blog and keeping things above the Slimy Molusc catagory, I kind of like Flippery Fish better!

Saturday, August 27, 2005


From Idajevo some thoughts for my conservative friends to ponder...

Friday, August 26, 2005
Quotes from when Clinton committed military force in former Yugoslavia:

"You can support the troops but not the president."
--Rep Tom Delay (R-TX)

"Well, I just think it's a bad idea. What's going to happen is they're going to be over there for 10, 15, maybe 20 years."
--Joe Scarborough (R-FL)

"Explain to the mothers and fathers of American servicemen that may come home in body bags why their son or daughter have to give up their life?"
--Sean Hannity, Fox News, 4/6/99

"[The] President . . . is once again releasing American military might on a foreign country with an ill-defined objective and no exit strategy. He has yet to tell the Congress how much this operation will cost. And he has not informed our nation's armed forces about how long they will be away from home. These strikes do not make for a sound foreign policy."
--Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA)

"American foreign policy is now one huge big mystery. Simply put, the administration is trying to lead the world with a feel-good foreign policy."
--Rep Tom Delay (R-TX)

"If we are going to commit American troops, we must be certain they have a clear mission, an achievable goal and an exit strategy."
--Karen Hughes, speaking on behalf of George W Bush

"I had doubts about the bombing campaign from the beginning . . I didn't
think we had done enough in the diplomatic area."
--Senator Trent Lott (R-MS)

"I cannot support a failed foreign policy. History teaches us that it is often easier to make war than peace. This administration is just learning that lesson right now. The President began this mission with very vague objectives and lots of unanswered questions. A month later, these questions are still unanswered. There are no clarified rules of engagement. There is no timetable. There is no legitimate definition of victory. There is no contingency plan for mission creep. There is no clear funding program. There is no agenda to bolster our over-extended military. There is no explanation defining what vital national interests are at stake. There was no strategic plan for war when the President started this thing, and there still is no plan today"
--Rep Tom Delay (R-TX)

"Victory means exit strategy, and it's important for the President to explain to us what the exit strategy is."
--Governor George W. Bush (R-TX)
Posted by: Skelly / 10:26 PM 0 comments

I have a number of conservative friends, I keep them because they keep me honest, I'm now returning the favor.... Thanks Skelly for gathering these quotes!


From G.R.

this is from my favorite Liberal, a guy totally in denial of his Balkans heritage! just kidding!

23rd QUALM

Bush is my shepherd; I dwell in want.
He maketh logs to be cut down in national forests.
He leadeth trucks into the still wilderness.
He restoreth my fears.
He leadeth me in the paths of international disgrace for his ego'sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of pollution and war, I will find no
exit, for thou art in office.
Thy tax cuts for the rich and thy media control, they discomfort me.
Thou preparest an agenda of deception in the presence of thy religion.
Thou anointest my head with foreign oil.
My health insurance runneth out.
Surely megalomania and false patriotism shall follow me all the days of thy
term, And my jobless child shall dwell in my basement forever.

That last line hit kind of close to home until recently. My grown child who lives at home does have a job, and in fact has just recieved a promotion. Still this was after a long period of joblessness.
I don't care for the false patriotism and religious extremist atmosphere.
Last night, I was looking for one of my lost links and came across this marvelous story by Aleksandar Hemon, and I felt like some of the things I've said for a long time now were validated in his story here.

The things he said in this funny, and very sad story really grabbed me, but the one that made me feel better was that he too found that since Sept. 11th the U.S. had taken on many features of life in the Balkans without takeing on anything pleasant from that life. We Balkanized in all the Wrong Ways. I've said that ever since.
'We got the bigotry, the attitdued problems, and the damn coffee is still too damn thin!'is what I told one friend when they asked me my take on things here since.

Friday, August 26, 2005


Interesting if true...

Zagreb. Five people were arrested on 3rd July in Zagreb with arms and explosives. They are allegedly involved with a terrorist network that planning attacks in Rome during the funeral of Pope Joan Paul II, reports the Italian “Corriere della Sera”. According to the publication that was found out during the joint investigation of the Italian and the Croatian secret services. The alleged five men were connected with the extremist network Gornia Maoka* in Eastern BiH.

*I remember reading something about a place with a similar sounding name. Basically a bunch of 'foreign fighters' had run all the Serbs out of this village in Eastern BiH and under Dayton they were supposed to leave. It was very difficult for the government to run them out. The local Muslims didn't really like these people because life got a LOT stricter too.
The thing about these foreigners is that because of the arms embargo, the Bosnians needed help and they took help from places they would rather not have, because they HAD to have help. The arms embargo ended up worsening the situation. It gave a foothold to people we'd rather not have in Europe.


The pressure for Karadzic to surrender is higher yet!

Serbian Orthodox church bishop urges Karadzic to surrender
Web posted at: 8/27/2005 2:1:26
Source ::: AFP

BELGRADE: A senior bishop in the influential Serbian Orthodox Church has called on fugitive Bosnian Serb wartime leader Radovan Karadzic to surrender to the Hague-based UN war crimes court that has charged him with genocide and crimes against humanity, radio B92 reported yesterday.

“If I were him, I would go to The Hague,” Bishop Amfilohije was quoted by the radio as saying in an interview to Austrian APA news agency.

Karadzic, the alleged architect of the Bosnian Serbs’ ethnic cleansing policies, has been charged with war crimes and genocide during the 43-month siege of the Bosnian capital Sarajevo in which some 10,000 civilians were killed, and the massacre of more than 7,000 Muslim males in the eastern town of Srebrenica in July 1995.

However, Radomir Nikcevic, the bishop’s chief of cabinet, denied Amfilohije had called on Karadzic to surrender to the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in The Hague.

“This is absolutely untrue because the bishop has clearly said that there are no grounds at all for him to call on Karadzic to surrender to the Tribunal,” Nikcevic told Tanjug news agency.

Nikcevic insisted that Karadzic has not been in hiding in Montenegro, adding that Bishop Amfilohije “did not say that Karadzic or any other suspect could hide in any churches or monasteries” of the Serbian Orthodox Church in Montenegro, Tanjug reported.

According to the APA news agency, quoted by local media here, the bishop, considered a hardliner in the Serbian Orthodox church and a staunch supporter of the Bosnian Serb leader, also said it was up to Karadzic to take the decision.

Radio B92 also broadcast parts of the bishop’s interview with BBC radio, including a reply to the question of what he would do if he met Karadzic: “I would maybe ask him what is more difficult: to hide here in some hole or simply to say let’s go to The Hague and finish this.”

OK firt Radovan Karadzic's wife wnts him to surrender, mainly because haveing hot and cold running raids is not pleasant at her stage of life, gotta admit I would not like it either! Now a high official from the Serbian Orthodox Church thinks it would be good if he surrendered. Given that there have always been rumors that Karadzic is hiding in monasteries and dressed as a monk, this is interesting.


What if I told you guys he was not going far enough?

Friday August 26, 06:45 PM

Wanted: completely perfect legs...

BUDAPEST (Reuters) - The mayor of one Budapest district wants female City Hall staff to wear miniskirts only if they have "completely perfect legs" and the skirts are no shorter than 2-3 centimetres (about 1 inch) above the knee.

Gabor Mitynan, a conservative who runs the wealthy 12th district, also wants male employees to wear blazers in summer, and told the Website ( the dress code was needed because he had seen staff dressed like beggars or vacationers.

Mitynan also dislikes crop tops -- popular in Budapest -- saying "few women have well-trained bellies worth showing to people" and wants the city to legislate on stocking thickness, proposing 5-10 denier for summer, 15 for spring and autumn and 20 for winter.

Mitynan is a rarity in Budapest's 23 mostly liberal and socialist districts, so his proposals stand almost no chance of being passed by the city assembly. Liberal Budapest Mayor Gabor Demszky described the proposals as "crass," according to the state news agency MTI.
From my point of view the Western manner of dress long ago departed from a Christian way of dress, this happened in the era of WWI.
Stockings btw are too hot for summer wear. Here's the dirty secret, if you wear a skirt that is cotton and goes to your ankles and wear a slip, you are both covered AND cooler because you don't need stockings, you just need underwear and the other plus is if it's a draw string skirt, minor weight losses and gains are less of a problem.
Actually I find myself wishing women would when they are immodest at least bother to make themselves pretty. So often they don't even bother to make it look good.
I hate those crop tops and mini skirts and short jeans that don't go up to the belly button the whole thing looks slutty. Then women wonder why men don't respect them! ooooooooj
And men don't have a huge job to look mildly dignified. Just wearing a decent shirt and pants that aren't too tight works and lately in America I've noticed some guys pants tend to slip when they bend giveing an unwholesome display of their behinds. That is really getting old. I don't want to see but cleavage in either sex. it's ugly. It's such an easy fix too, there's really no excuse.
It needent be expensive to look a little dignified and to be modest.
A lot of business attire for women these days really isn't that modest. I hate to see women's business attire it's so mannish and often has too short a skirt. If I had to wear business attire, I'd find a really good tailor and have him make me one wor two decent suits for work a year.
I'd make sure there was some sort of pockets too. I think the worst thing of all about women's business attire is no damn pockets. I have things down to the minimum, since I wear very little makeup and don't carry lots of odds and ends for doing my hair. My hair is long but it's in a simple braid or bun most of the time. Most of the extraneous things i need are in a money belt type thing.
Unless I'm traveling or at school or shopping, I go for a hands free look, no purses, no brief case.
I figure that one isn't really liberated as a woman if one is attracting pointless stares from all men, and one isn't liberated as a woman if one must always carry endles piles of stuff.
Backt to stockings, they are a terrible rip off, they run too easily. The best way around this, (I have a daughter who went through a mini skirts and stockings phase,)is to get those ice skateing tights, they come in colors similar to nylons, put them in the freezer 24 hours before first wearing them, and then they will hold up longer. They look good and give your legs some support too. In winter they are warmer. I still don't advise them for summer wear though.
I don't normally wear nylons as it's not needed when you wear long skirts, but in winter if I worked in an office I did, so as not to be too hot at work.
Unfortunately the store that sold them here left the region, except for a mail order office. That was Pennys.


Investigation of Organ Trafficking in BiH!

via Mario's Cyberspace Station:

BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA: Investigation on Human Organ Trafficking under Way

2005-08-26 17:19:11

The Prosecution Office of Bosnia and Herzegovina started an investigation for suspected human organs trafficking, after receiving information from hospital sources on alleged involvement of several doctors from Bihac in the crime.

The Prosecution found that in November 2004, a case of extraxting a kidney of a 21-year-old man from Velika Kladusa was reported in a Bihac's hospital, says the newspaper "Nezavisne Novine". The management of the hospital told the man's parents that their son's kidney has to be removed, since a tumorous tissue on the organ was diagnosed.

Several months after the removal, the investigative bodies could not trace "the deseased organ", and no records on the case existed in the hospital archives.

At the same time, the Pathology Department sent a notification, saying that they never received the kidney for analysis.

Hospital sources claim that similar occurences already took place in the region, and the doctor who extracted the man's kidney had ties with the biggest human organs trafficker in the Czech Republic.

A special working group of the Bosnian Interpol branch will join forces with Europol to set out an investigation on human organs trafficking in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

This goes beyond a little corruption. I do know that sometimes doctors expect small bribes from their patients, not just in BiH, but in Croatia. This is also contrary to medical ethics, but this is waaaay beyond the pale. It would not terribly outrage me if peasants with pitchforks and torches showed up and did what the Balkans is so famous for to this doctor and any like him.
I'm pretty much against transplant technology anyway. It strikes me as not right to lessen one person's over all health to either save the life of or improve the health of another. This incident only hardens my opinion against transplantation.
I don't hold this opinion out of religious conviction. To be honest I'm not all that religious. I hold this opinion more out of the concern that people not be abused as the poor young man and his parents were in this incident.
I am studying for a position in the health care field, the power of medical people is terrifying, and it is vital that medical people be of as high moral calibre as possible. It is a terrifying level of responsibility.
On the up side, it looks like in some ways the system worked. The guy was found out because there was a Pathology Department, and they said 'hey we didn't get the kidney.
As for this doctor and any friends of his, well I'm all for the death penalty in such situations!


Interfax link on Serbian War Criminal Arrested in Russia

o official confirmation of Bosnian Serb's arrest

MOSCOW. Aug 26 (Interfax) - The Russian Foreign Ministry has declined to comment on Western media reports which cited a senior police officer in Republika Srpska, part of Bosnia and Herzegovina, as saying the suspected Bosnian Serb war criminal, Dragan Zelenovic, was arrested in Russia on Thursday.

"Representatives of law enforcement agencies would be able to comment on information of this nature. We, for our part, would like to note that Russia is cooperating with the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia in full conformity with the Tribunal's Statute, which was approved by the UN Security Council," the ministry's Information and Press Department told Interfax.


For those of you with short memories, Interfax was an important news source when there was the attempt to oust Boris Yeltsin. I find it interesting to see this going on. It reminds me of the Soviet Era.

Thursday, August 25, 2005


Kuga u Kaliforniju

Via Mercury News, thanks Bok!
SACRAMENTO - Four house cats have tested positive for the plague, California health officials said, prompting a warning to cat owners to keep their pets away from wild rodents.

Three of the infected cats were found in Kern County and the fourth was in Placer County. One of the Kern County cats survived, but the rest were euthanized.

"People who handle or have close contact with an infected cat risk getting plague," said Dr. Howard Backer, the state's interim public health officer.

It is rare for humans to contract plague through exposure to cats, state health officials say. Since 1977, 23 human plague cases associated with infected house cats were reported in the United States - four in California.

Two California victims died - an El Dorado County resident in 1980 and a Kern County resident in 1984. The most recent California case was in August 1997, and that victim survived.

Plague is an infectious bacterial disease that is spread by fleas carried by wild rodents. Cats can become infected by hunting or consuming an animal that carries plague.

"The most important step pet owners can take to protect their cats and themselves from getting plague is to prevent their cats from hunting wild rodents," Backer said.

House cats should be kept indoors if possible and should be supervised or leashed when allowed outside, health officials said. Cats should also be monitored for plague symptoms, including fever, swollen lymph nodes or respiratory problems such as sneezing or coughing.

State health officials said there is no sign of an increase in plague infections. The fact that four infected cats from two widely separated counties were discovered in a brief period merited a warning.

Plague also has been detected in animals in nine other California counties this year - Alpine, Butte, Glenn, Lassen, Modoc, Monterey, Nevada, Plumas and Sierra - although none of those cases involved pets.

It used to be that only Marin County had an endemic plague area in California, there's in the area of Albuquerque some plague.
I now wonder if the very wet Spring they had upped the numbers of rodents sufficiently to cause this spread of plague?
Now I think I ought to check about New Mexico just out of curiosity. Oh for those of you in Rio Del, Kuga is the word in B/H/S for plague.


Top 10 What Have the Brits Ever Done for US?

Presented in the interests of Mind Improvement Thanks MetaFilter!


Medan Arrested in Mostar

ws Home | Story
Bosnian Serb held over massacre
From: Agence France-Presse
From correspondents in Sarajevo

August 25, 2005

A BOSNIAN Serb accused of taking part in the massacre of 8000 Muslim men and boys at Srebrenica in July 1995 has been arrested, the Bosnian war crimes court said today.
Branislav Medan "is suspected of having committed the crime of genocide as a member of a unit of the interior ministry of the Republika Srpska (RS, the Serbian entity in Bosnia) at Kravica" in eastern Bosnia, in the Srebenica region, the court said in a statement.

Under the Dayton agreement which ended the Bosnian war in 1995, the RS and the Croatian-Muslim federation make up present-day Bosnia-Hercegovina.

The court said the unit to which Medan belonged was responsible for the killing of a large number of Muslim prisoners at a depot at a cooperative farm at Kravica, two days after the Muslim enclave of Srebenica fell to the Bosnian Serbs.

Medan, 40, was arrested at his flat in Mostar in the south of the country. Appearing before a magistrate in the presence of his lawyer he did not deny the charges against him.

The massacre at Srebenica was the worst single atrocity in Europe since the end of World War II.

The former political and military leaders of the Bosnian Serbs, Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic, have been on the run since being charged with genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity by the main UN war crimes court in The Hague.
Thanks again Mario Profaca!


Really Excellent Discussion of Assasination on MetaFilter!

August 24, 2005
Modern history is replete with assassinations that have a dramatic impact on national and international politics: the killing of Alexander II by anarchists in 1881 unleashed repression and anti-semitism in the Russian empire; the shooting of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria in June 1914 in Sarajevo sparked the "great war" that drowned Europe in blood and inaugurated what Eric Hobsbawm calls "the short 20th century"; the assassination of the liberal Colombian politician Jorge Gaitan in 1948 (a day after he had met a Latin American youth delegation that included the 21-year-old Fidel Castro) helped spark a civil war – the violencia – that continues to this day and the shooting down on 6 April 1994 of the plane carrying Rwanda's and Burundi's presidents, Juvenal Habyarimana and Cyprien Ntaryamira precipitated the Rwandan genocide.

Political killing in the cold war [& thereafter] provides an outline of the aftereffects of assassinations, covert killings, state and judicial executions.
posted by y2karl at 4:42 PM PST (30 comments total)

Thanks for that, good article.

It seems that assassinations rarely lead to improved situations, either locally or globally, in either the short or long term.

It's interesting that I can't think of a single historical situation in which a killing has improved the world.

I wonder if there's some kind of moral to be drawn from that ... ?
posted by cleardawn at 5:13 PM PST on August 24

was last seen being bundled into a Volkswagen by revolutionary army officers in 1974: it is now known that his successor as head of state, Mengistu Haile-Mariam, had him killed in captivity and his body buried underneath the palace lavatory the military dictator used.

Oh yeah! Crap on your enemy for the remainder of your days. Brilliant.
posted by lundman at 5:31 PM PST on August 24

Stephanopoulos apparently advocated assassinating Saddam back in 1997.
posted by caddis at 5:42 PM PST on August 24

These assassinations are so onesey-twosey, so inefficient. I back the christian-neocon-mandated apocalypse so we can do away with humanity once and for all. Have a nice day!
posted by snsranch at 5:55 PM PST on August 24

I don't know, the Rapture Index isn't at its highest right now.
posted by caddis at 6:17 PM PST on August 24

(Bit of a derail) Interestingly, the back story of the assassination of Franz Ferdinand has some parallels to the complexities of the current geopolitical world order. The Hapsburgs ruled in Bosnia only after Serbian objections to that annexation were dropped in return for tacit approval for Serb troops and guerillas to flood into Macedonia, then controlled by the Ottoman Turks and contested by the (essentially Russian-controlled) Bulgarians and many others (eventually leading to the Balkan Wars). The Macedonian resistance (essentially the first modern organized resistance, you could go so far as to call it the blueprint on which modern insurgency/terrorism is based), which later developed into IMRO, which was essentially the model for Young Bosnia and Black Hand, the organizations responsible for the death of Ferdinand and Sophie.

Consider this passage:

IMRO spread rapidly in the 1890's, raising its money though bank robberies and kidnappings for ransom. By the turn of the century, Macedonia was a power vacuum of sectarian violence. The absence of a viable central government or a defining concept of nationhood permitted various outside powers - all soon to disappear as a result of what Macedonia would unleash - to play out their rivalries ... In Macedonia, Christian militias fought Muslim militias, and fought each other as well; bearded and bandoliered terrorists like Gotse Delchev planted bombs at cafes, open-air theatres, and railway stations; splinter groups murdered members of rival groups, conducted secret tribunals, executed civilians accused of collaboration with the "enemy" and took hostages [including American missionaries]. Macedonia was to become the original seedground not only of modern warfare and political conflict, but of modern terrorism and clerical fanaticism as well. (Kaplan)

And also the conflict from which Gavrilo Princip emerged, and the first world war started. Sound familiar?
posted by loquax at 6:23 PM PST on August 24

y2karl's link offers a compelling practical case against assassination, but I do think there's danger in asserting against Robertson a strict moral argument against assassination in general (like some knee-jerk lefties are probably doing right now). I'm inclined to believe the Stephanopoulos quote was more the product of a young pundit blustering to make a quick name for himself, but still, it's out there, and I'm willing to admit there may be *theoretical* cases, at least, where assassination would be a defensible moral option.

The key point in the Robertson flap, though, is that for all his faults, Chavez is nowhere *near* the kind of murdering, torturing butcher Saddam was, which makes it crystal clear that Robertson's call for murder is nothing but an attempt to avoid dealing humanely with economic and philosophical differences among world leaders. And *that's* disgusting no matter who says it.
posted by mediareport at 6:47 PM PST on August 24

Didn't you want this to be a comment in the Pat Robertson thread?
posted by spock at 6:49 PM PST on August 24

Now I'm confused: was somebody on Metafilter threatening to assassinate Pat Robertson?
posted by davy at 7:09 PM PST on August 24

No, they wanted to take him out, . . . for coffee.
posted by caddis at 8:26 PM PST on August 24

Wonder what would have happened if the planned assassination of Hitler worked.

(It was a biggassed door or something that saved him?)
posted by uncanny hengeman at 8:40 PM PST on August 24

(It was a biggassed door or something that saved him?)

It was a table.
posted by loquax at 9:00 PM PST on August 24

And it was bigassed.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 9:02 PM PST on August 24

It was a biggassed door or something that saved him?

A thick wooden table leg, if I recall correctly.

It's interesting that I can't think of a single historical situation in which a killing has improved the world.

Well, how would we know, really? It's hard to predict what would have happened if we'd done something we didn't do, or vice-versa. And it's hard to believe that things would have been worse if Hitler had been assassinated, for example. But who knows? Perhaps they would have been.

That said, I don't think that governments should condone or allow assassinations unless they're already in a state of open war against their target, and even then it should probably be avoided for practical if not moral reasons.

The key point in the Robertson flap, though, is that for all his faults, Chavez is nowhere *near* the kind of murdering, torturing butcher Saddam was ...

You know, even if Chavez were a world-class murdering, torturing butcher, would you expect a self-proclaimed "man of God" to recommend the use of lethal force? I mean, whatever happened to "thou shalt not kill?" What's next, the Pope's Swiss Guards become a hit squad? I'm really surprised no one in the mainstream religious community is calling this out more - or maybe they are, and I'm just not seeing it because I'm not in that community.

And thanks, y2karl, for posting this. Perfect timing!
posted by me & my monkey at 9:16 PM PST on August 24

The biggest I can imagine. Some quotes regarding assassination from the Widerstand.

I'm not sure that I agree with the word "assassination" (or political killing) in conjunction with some of the examples cited by the article. For example, Che Guevara was actively leading a rebellion attempting to overthrow the Bolivian government when he was captured and killed by the Bolivians with American support (or vice versa, either way). Presumably, had he not been "assassinated" or politically killed, he would have wiped out the Bolivian leadership, no? Is that really a political assassination? If Bin Laden or al-Zarqawi are killed in a battle with US troops hunting them, would that be considered a political killing?
posted by loquax at 9:29 PM PST on August 24

think cheney's had and thoughts run through his sick head?
posted by specialk420 at 9:56 PM PST on August 24

Wonder what would have happened if the planned assassination of Hitler worked.

(It was a biggassed door or something that saved him?)

Typo. Biggassed. Big gassed. Gassed. Hitler. Gassed. Geddit?

No pun intended, actually.

/sorry to shit on your thread, y2karl.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 10:24 PM PST on August 24

It's hard to predict what would have happened if we'd done something we didn't do, or vice-versa.

What m&mm said.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 10:25 PM PST on August 24

According to a Smithsonian article a few years back Gavrilo Princip spent the night previous to killing Ferdinand in a park trying to get lucky with his girlfriend. He was considered pretty unreliable by the other plotters and added only as they needed another person. Leaving the park the next day he wandered the streets morosely (and probably a bit sexually frustrated), he walked around corner and there was Ferdinand's car taking evasive action from an earlier attempt on the Duke's life. So... Princip was not where he was suppose to be, had pretty much forgotten about the whole assassination thing, but suddenly there he was, pulled the gun and shot.

I think the course of history is a mixture of inevitable and linchpin events. WWI in some form in my mind was inevitable by the time of the assassination, it was the result of many culminating events. WWII was more of a linchpin event (again IMO), arising out of the conditions put down at the end of WWI. Sure there where contributing factors, but I think the handling of the end of WWI was what precipitated the next one.

Some think that Hitler was actually pretty ineffective as a military strategist beyond the opening stage of the war, so his assassination might have allowed someone less batshitinsane and better at fighting a protracted war to take over *shrug* who knows. At the least it may have slowed down the holocaust. Pure speculation tho.
posted by edgeways at 10:34 PM PST on August 24

Didn't you want this to be a comment in the Pat Robertson thread?

If that's directed to me, then no, in my brain it fit perfectly here. Or did you not think y2 was referencing the current Robertson flap with this post? Seemed pretty direct a connection, but sorry if that wasn't the case and I leaped a few steps ahead without explaining.
posted by mediareport at 10:56 PM PST on August 24

A side-note: a huge difference between the Muslim world and the west at the moment seems to be different views toward political killing, 'assassination' if you wish to call it that. Muslims differ on whether or not it's a good thing to do in a particular case, but all of them understand what it would mean, even if they're the most peace-loving Sufi around and would never advocate such a thing. They understand why an angry young man would get a weapon and kill a political leader, or even a busload of civilians or something. To us, such an act isn't so much immoral or unconscionable as it is inconcievable. It would take an amount of balls that we simply can't really summon up, and therefore don't understand. Maybe that's a good thing; maybe that's what's called 'civilization,' this fear of political upheaval and personal harm. But it's still interesting to note that it really isn't scruples or some sort of moral high ground that keeps us from assassinating political leaders we disagree with-- the absolute lack of any moral high ground in our political culture proves that. It's simply that, paralyzed by our fear of the repercussions and our own selfishness, we cannot imagine what it would mean to kill someone else for an idea. Even when we mutter something about "doing this for FREEDOM and DEMOCRACY," we know that (in the best-case scenario) we're doing it to save our own asses and the asses of the people back home, and those 'abstract concepts' sort of become parodies of themselves.

I don't know if I want that to change; it wouldn't necessarily be nice if we all started growing the cojones it would take to off our political opponents. Like I said, I just find it interesting.
posted by koeselitz at 10:56 PM PST on August 24

Sorry, I feel like I should clarify just a little. This is a really good post, and a nice opportunity to think further about what assassination really means. My only point is this: there have been times and places when people would have been offended by someone saying, "yes, well, but killing Mr. Evil Dictator wouldn't produce concrete results." The reply would have been: "That's nice, but he's a monster, and he deserves to die for what he's done." So: whether or not assassinations work, although it's probably an important question for a cynical atheist like Pat Robertson, might not be the most important question in the long run. I don't know.
posted by koeselitz at 11:04 PM PST on August 24

Miles Hudson's Assassination looks at the history and political effectiveness of assassination.

(Cribbed from my comment in this earlier thread about the US attempts to assassinate Saddam Hussein at the beginning of the Iraq War.)
posted by kirkaracha at 11:55 PM PST on August 24

It's interesting that I can't think of a single historical situation in which a killing has improved the world.

Assassination of Archduke Ferdinand led to the peaceful Union of Europe. Eventually. That's not so bad.
posted by biffa at 4:02 AM PST on August 25

biffa: Perhaps if the Archduke (great title, the world needs more Archdukes) hadn't been killed, he might have negotiated a European cultural union WITHOUT the need for two world wars?

On the one hand, looking back at the past, it's fairly clear that every single event that has happened was absolutely necessary in order to get us here.

If anything different had happened at any point in history, then we wouldn't be us, and we wouldn't be here talking about it.

The path of History, in other words, is unique, from the present right back to the Big Bang.

The future, on the other hand, opens before each one of us as a forest of possibilities.

Each of us has many opportunities to kill or injure other people, should we wish to do so.

It seems to me that the best path for each of us to choose - the path leading to the most peaceful and happy world - is that path which involves the fewest possible killings and the minimum possible injuries.

Any injury or killing we commit (however we justify it) will tend to result in an unpredictably large number of "revenge" killings and injuries, escalating unfathomably into the future.

To me, that seems fairly clear; yet to many others, even professional "spiritual leaders" like Pat Robertson, it seems to be incomprehensible.

Truly, brothers and sisters, the stupidity of "leaders" can be almost as profound as the beauty of the sky.
posted by cleardawn at 4:38 AM PST on August 25

Here is Hitler's table in the aftermath. Ah, the goodness of the german table. . .
Our family used to have such a table, and a good, sturdy table it was. I'm sure it would have protected many families if there were ever any assisination attempts made against them. . .
posted by mk1gti at 5:57 AM PST on August 25

Is this why most of today's furnature is cheap chipboard with a thin oak veneer?
You never know how important buying quality can be.
posted by Balisong at 9:04 AM PST on August 25

I think my Ikea table would fold like wet cardboard....
posted by R. Mutt at 9:35 AM PST on August 25

Speaking of Pat Robertson:

Al-Sadr is a rebel whose breaking the law. He's a murderer, there's a warrant out for his arrest. He should be killed, it's just that simple. They should execute him and they should take care of those people. He's holding up the most powerful army on Earth and he's thumbing his nose at the authority of the new government, and it's time the forces took action against him and stop the play. I hope this news says they're going after him.The news yesterday said, well. he'd agreed to some kind of a deal, but he's a liar, he's not going to do a deal and it's time we move in and do it swiftly and get this sore out of the way.

Pat Robertson, 700 Club, Thursday, August 19, 2004


And this one REALLY is Scary!

Balkans may be bird flu gateway to wider Europe
Thu Aug 25, 2005 10:31 AM ET8
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(Page 1 of 2)

By Michael Winfrey

SOFIA (Reuters) - Birds heading south for the winter from Siberia may carry a deadly strain of avian flu to the Balkan peninsula and mingle with other flocks from northern Europe, experts said on Thursday.

Millions of birds migrate each year to Black Sea neighbors Romania and Bulgaria for the milder winter climate, making the area a potential gateway to central Europe for the bird flu virus, which has already swept into Russia from southeast Asia.

Samuel Jutzi, head of the United Nations agency in charge of monitoring and controlling the flu, said its quick spread indicated migratory birds may be able to carry it over long distances and that it could reach the Balkans in a few months.

"Knowing the flyways and the bird species that use them, there is a high likelihood that the virus will continue to spread as it has so far," Jutzi, Director of the Animal and Production and Health Division of the U.N.'s Food and Agriculture Organization, told Reuters.

"Particularly in the southeastern part of the Balkans, given that these flyways go down there ... It is quite probable in the future and is a major concern for us."

The European Commission has said there is a relatively low risk of migratory birds spreading the virus but has banned poultry products from Russia and Kazakhstan.

One strain of bird flu potentially dangerous to humans, H5N1, has decimated flocks of poultry in southeast Asia and has killed more than 50 people over the past two years.

H5N1 has been officially registered in six Russian regions in Siberia and the Urals, and has also been confirmed in neighboring Kazakhstan.

Experts fear the strain, which has killed around half of the people who contract it, could mutate into a variation easily spread among humans and spark a pandemic that could kill tens of millions of people.


Lakes and rivers along the Black Sea coast ranging from Ukraine to northern Turkey attract millions of birds each winter from an area stretching from northern Russia to Scandinavia. Continued ...

Europe's largest wetlands, Romania's Danube delta, and lakes in northern Bulgaria, are popular among flocks of red-breasted geese from Siberia as well as white-fronted geese from Scandinavia, Poland, and Germany.

"There is a risk of spreading the deadly strain of flu to local wildlife if any of them is infected," said Boris Barov, head of Bulgarian Society for Protection of Birds.

Jutzi said countries in southeast Europe may lack the capacity to detect and deal with a widespread outbreak.

Bulgaria and Romania are two of Europe's poorest countries.

"They are presumably less prepared to detect and react early and also to put into place the necessary movement controls on poultry to really reduce the virus's spread," Jutzi said. "That is of quite substantial concern to us."

Both countries have banned the import of wild and domestic birds from Russia and Kazakhastan. Bulgaria introduced a monitoring program for early detection of bird flu in 2002, and Romania carries out random testing in the Danube delta.

So far they have detected no cases.

"We are closely watching the situation and are in contact with neighboring countries and World Organization for Animal Health. We are ready to react," said Georgi Georgiev, a scientist with Bulgarian Veterinary Institute.

© Reuters 2005. All Rights Reserved.

Previous 1 | 2

Thanks Mario Profaca for all the three previous stories!


Kosovo Film does very well at Sarajevo Film Festival

Rare Kosovo film highlights province's problems
Thu Aug 25, 2005 3:49 PM BST10
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By Nedim Dervisbegovic

SARAJEVO (Reuters) - Kosovo's first film since the 1999 war tells the story of three mental patients let loose from an asylum after the collapse of Serb rule.

Kosovo Albanian director Isa Qosya, who has not made a film for 17 years, said "Kukumi" was his way of showing how years of ethnic conflict had dehumanised people in the region.

The film, shot entirely in Kosovo, received its world premiere late on Wednesday at the Sarajevo Film Festival.

"I felt uneasy during the first years of this whirlwind and felt a certain dehumanisation of people who did not understand and help each other," Qosya told a news conference.

"The whole movie is a metaphor. Freedom is when you help someone and when you understand the other person too," he added.

The three main characters are two men and a woman -- Kukumi, Hasan and Mara.

Despite coming from a mental institution, they often appear to cope better than others with life in postwar Kosovo, with its ethnic tensions, U.N. bureaucrats and the foreign troops who occupied the province.

But a misunderstanding with NATO forces raises the question of whether the characters were better off inside the asylum.

"The role of NATO troops in Kosovo has had positive but also some negative consequences," Qosya said. "I can't understand their role now; it has become totally undefined."


Qosya said the province's problems stemmed partly from uncertainty over the future.

Kosovo is still legally part of Serbia. The Serbian government and Kosovo's now-tiny Serbian minority hotly oppose the independence Kosovo Albanians want.

Talks over the final status of the province are expected to start this year or next, depending on progress on issues including human rights and democracy in one of Europe's poorest corners.

"Everything is undefined, and that is accompanied by a lack of character and principle among the people," Qosya said.

Through a simple plot and sparing dialogue, the director portrays the tensions between those people who left Kosovo during Serb rule and the war and those who stayed on throughout.

The main characters seem most at ease when left undisturbed in uninhabited settings, such as when they drive a railway car along deserted tracks, gaze at a lake in an abandoned quarry or convert a rundown stable into their home.

Qosya said he had difficulty raising funds for the movie in a region struggling to provide the population with basic services like health care. But eventually Kosovo's authorities agreed to foot the 600,000 euro bill.

Croatia's Jadran Film provided the equipment, and the all-Albanian cast and Qosya worked without pay. "Kukumi" is in the competition programme for the best regional movie award at the Sarajevo festival.

The concept of mental patients doing better in a chaotic situation than the sane has been done before, it's a little improbable but it makes a point.
The reality was that the mentally ill suffered very greatly in all the wars in the region. Mentally ill people were under institutional care unlike in the U.S. where most mentally ill people are on special drugs and are relatively free.I don't know that they coped any better. Still sounds like a good movie and I hope people outside the Balkans will have the chance to see it.


UN Exchumeing Mass Grave with Serb bodies

Experts in Kosovo Exhume Graves Believed to Be Missing Serbs
By VOA News
24 August 2005

United Nations forensics experts have begun exhuming 41 graves in a Serb cemetery in Pristina, where they believe remains of Serbs missing since the Kosovo conflict of the late 1990s are buried.

U.N. officials say they believe the victims are from a series of kidnappings and murders during the withdrawal of Serb forces and deployment of NATO peacekeepers there in 1999.

Officials say about 50 Serbs disappeared in the Pristina area before the peacekeepers were in place.

The International Committee of the Red Cross says nearly 3,000 people remain unaccounted for in Kosovo. Most of those who disappeared are ethnic Albanians, and around 400 are Serbs.

Some information for this report provided by Reuters and AFP.


Bosnian Serb War Criminal Arrested in Russia Mosnews Link

Russian Police Arrest Bosnian Serb War Criminal — Report

Created: 25.08.2005 17:58 MSK (GMT +3), Updated: 18:03 MSK, 3 hours 9 minutes ago


A Bosnian Serb accused of raping and torturing dozens of women during the 1992-95 Bosnian war has been arrested in Russia, Reuters reported Thursday quoting the Bosnian Serb news agency SRNA.

A spokesman for the Bosnian Serb Interior Ministry in Banja Luka said he had no immediate comment.

Dragan Zelenovic, 44, was taken into custody by Russian police on Wednesday, SNRA said, without specifying where his arrest was said to have taken place.

Zelenovic, an officer of the military police in the town of Foca during the war, is wanted by the U.N. war crimes tribunal in The Hague.

He was one of eight men still at large facing charges of atrocities in the wars triggered by the breakup of Yugoslavia in the 1990s, including the top two fugitives, Bosnian Serb military commander Ratko Mladic and former president Radovan Karadzic.

Serbia’s future ties with the West depend largely on bringing war crimes suspects to justice.

A dozen suspects have surrendered to the Hague tribunal this year following negotiations with Belgrade and one was recently captured in Argentina.

Well this does lend credence to the rumors that some war criminals indeed made their way to Russia. Certain dialects of Russian are not that hard for a person who already speaks Bsosnian to master, in the case of Serbs, or indeed anyone Bosnian that can read, they are going to know both Cyrillic and Latin characters so reading isn't going to be a tough thing for them. (I read Cyrillic very poorly. I used to not be able to read it at all, so I know how important the reading issue is!)
It was known that Marko Milosevic was in Russia for a long time.
Quite ordinary people who have medical problems untreatable in Bosnia-Hercegovina or Croatia sometimes will go to Moscow for treatment. It's expensive but probably cheaper than the alternative of going to a Western country such as Germany the U.K. or France or the U.S., as well the medical care isn't bad. I know about this because a friend had to have a child's eye problem treated in Russia. The family in question btw were Croats. The problem must have been quite severe that they didn't just go to Dubrovnik or Zagreb.
So I see no reason why there wouldn't be at least a few war criminals hideing out in Russia. It's always been denied, but Russia was always a staunch ally of the Serbs, myabe not so much Yugoslavia but definately there's centuries of alliance when it comes to the Serbian people.
It's interesting to note the bit of commentary in the article that 'Serbia's future ties to the West depend largely on bringing war criminals to justice.' This seems to me a hint that Russian policy may be shifting a little.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005


The landmine in 'No Man's Land'

This site is about landmines, it has pretty good descriptions of the main landmines used in the Bosnian War. This particular mine is the one that was a key part of the story of 'No Man's Land'


KIT Listener Lunch

The ClearChannel stations here have had this Listener Lunch thing for a couple of years and usually I'm only able to make it out to one of them a year, so I was glad to be able to go this time! They had it in Franklin Park. I got there early, because I figured it might be very well attended. There were boths, one to teach correct hand washing technique. I learned something dreadful about our Gulag!
WE'RE #1 ! WE'RE #1 WE'RE #1 in Washington State for diarheal illness! That is because people aren't washing their hands correctly!
So there was a booth to demonstrate correct technique.
There were also a lot of Army recruiters. They didn't have a lot of guys in the right demographic to work with. There were some girls the right age so those guys were hard at work, smileing, shakeing hands..handing out goody bags.
The hotdogs were great, and Tims Cascade chips can't be beat.
They had some rap music from one of the other stations some of which was really suggestive slutty music. The country music was better. I went and gave a listen to both.
On my way home I ran into K..... an Eritrean Christian lady I've known for years. I had some stuff I got for her in Seattle last time so this was great, I was able to give her those things and she looked well. So it was a good day...
Now to check the mail....
To Mate in Sydney Australia, Sretan Rodjendan!

Tuesday, August 23, 2005


To Pat Robertson:

Sit down and SHUT UP!
These remarks about Hugo Chavez are NOT helpful to anyone. From now on I swear I am going to use you and your bud the Rvd Ian Paisley as examples of deadly Christian Extremism.
Just change the names around and you are no different from the Islamist extremists. Pretty soon they are going to find Crusader Training Camps full of explosives if it keeps up like this.
I can hardly wait.....


OK I Started thinking that maybe some young folks don't know who Fat Freddy's Cat IS!

Fat Freddy's Cat belonged to one of the Faboulous Furry Freak Brothers, a bunch of dope smokeing comic book guys who lived in the 70s and who aren't Quite Dead after all!

Anyway the cat was one of my favorites, and I have to say Norbert the Nark was pretty funny too.
You didn't have to smoke dope to appreciate these guys. They were just funny and it's a pity that type of comix aren't around so much now.
I am glad to see graphic novels have come in but I miss those guys.


I got the Yahoo thing to work finally!

Well this morning I'm listening to a really jerked messed up broadcast from NPR, the transmission is annoyingly broken up and that is so crazy makeing. The local commercial station has been haveing so much bs about how people who go to church regularly support the government in the war on terror more.
I mean talk about your basic NON ISSUE. This is a typical style over substance rap. This station has gotten more annoying over time.
I don't feel great about NPR either, because they pretty much have been bought by WalMart.
I don't care how many begathons NPR and PBS hold, there is no way that normal people even in huge numbers can compete with that. It reminds me of the cartoon 'Fat Freddie's Cat' long ago where a bob cat has Fat Freddie's Cat treed and Fat Freddie's Cat is telling a lady cat, 'Um I don't wanna compete with your other boyfriends!'

Sunday, August 21, 2005


Could not resist this Slanguage Kviz from East Ethnia

Your Slanguage Profile

Victorian Slang: 75%
Aussie Slang: 50%
Canadian Slang: 50%
New England Slang: 50%
Prison Slang: 50%
Southern Slang: 50%
British Slang: 25%

What Slanguage Do You Speak?

Saturday, August 20, 2005


OK after being buggered silly by Yahoo, and their NON HELP page We ALL NEED a Laugh!

so here it is the much needed laugh! :)
I still can't find the music part of Bosna MP3 today but here's this cool song by Dino Merlin to cheer us all up, just the words! :)


Izvođač: Dino Merlin

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and
girls, in a few seconds we will
be landing in the most peaceful
country you have ever seen. In
preparation for this experience
we ask you to fasten your seat
belts and try to relax. Please
note that enter to this country is
on your own risk. Thank you for
flying with us and enjoy the

Neko eko ima pemziju, a neko
eko, bogami, i platu
Šta to, zato, ima Mujo naš, Mujo
i dalje ima svoju Fatu
Neko eko, neko eko ima pemziju,
a neko eko, bogami, i platu
Šta to, zato, šta to zato ima
Mujo naš, Mujo i dalje ima svoju

Burek, pita zeljanica, janjetina i
Izašla mu na nos duša ko u
moju pjesmu dira
Neko eko ima parlament, a
neko cara i carevu krunu
Šta to, zato, ima Mujo naš, Mujo
i dalje ima dobru ćunu.

Neko eko, neko eko ima parlament,
neko cara i carevu krunu
Šta to, zato, šta to zato ima
Mujo naš, Mujo i dalje ima
dobru ćunu
Sogandolma, japrak, baklava i
Fildžan, džezva, cigara i kahva
Ne šećeri sitno, bolja ti je kocka
Crk'o svak ko u Bosnu bocka.

Neko eko ima šubaru, a neko
eko šarenu kukulju
Šta to, zato, ima Mujo naš, Mujo
i dalje ima svoga Sulju
Neko eko, neko eko ima
šubaru, a neko eko šarenu

Šta to, zato, šta to zato ima
Mujo naš, Mujo i dalje ima
svoga Sulju
Pet u pola s puno luka, janjetina
ispod sača
Babo nam je ost'o Švabo, Pape
nam je ost'o ćaća
Sogandolma, japrak, baklava i
Fildžan, džezva, cigara i kahva
Ne šećeri sitno, bolja ti je kocka
Crk'o svak ko u Bosnu bocka

Fundamentalisti NOOOO
Neokomunisti NOOOO
Nadrealisti - eto, to je to.

Printaj pjesmu | Edituj pjesmu | Pošalji pjesmu

Pregleda: 1452
Datum: 27.06.2004
Poslao/la: bosnamp3
URL / E-mail:

Thursday, August 18, 2005


It's worse than you think....

East Ethia and I have both posted information about the shooting in London of an innocent young Brazilian electrician. It was bad enough he was shot while defiantely in police custody, it's bad enough they lied about it in public but what's worse is that Chief Ian Blair attempted to stop an investigation into the circumstances.
Chief Blair needs to resign.

Thanks to MeFi and the Guardian!

et chief tried to stop shooting inquiry

Rosie Cowan, Vikram Dodd and Richard Norton-Taylor
Thursday August 18, 2005
The Guardian

A family photograph of Jean Charles de Menezes
A family photograph of Jean Charles de Menezes, shot dead by British police at Stockwell station on July 21. Photograph: AP

Britain's top police officer, the Scotland Yard commissioner Sir Ian Blair, attempted to stop an independent external investigation into the shooting of a young Brazilian mistaken for a suicide bomber, it emerged yesterday.

Sir Ian wrote to John Gieve, the permanent secretary at the Home Office, on July 22, the morning Jean Charles de Menezes was shot at short range on the London tube. The commissioner argued for an internal inquiry into the killing on the grounds that the ongoing anti-terrorist investigation took precedence over any independent look into his death.

According to senior police and Whitehall sources, Sir Ian was concerned that an investigation by the Independent Police Complaints Commission could impact on national security and intelligence. He was also understood to be worried that an outside investigation would damage the morale of CO19, the elite firearms section working under enormous pressure.

"We did make an error, the IPCC should have been called in immediately," the police source said.

Later that same day, after an exchange of opinions between Sir Ian, the Home Office and the IPCC, the commissioner was overruled. A Whitehall insider said: "We won that battle. There's no ambiguity in the legislation, they had to do it."

But a statement from the Met yesterday showed that despite the agreement to allow in independent investigators, the IPCC was kept away from Stockwell tube in south London, the scene of the shooting, for a further three days. This runs counter to usual practice, where the IPCC would expect to be at the scene within hours.

It was also disclosed last night in documents leaked to ITV News that a soldier played a crucial role in the surveillance operation that led up to the shooting. The soldier was stationed outside a block of flats where police believed two terrorist suspects lived.

At a key moment in the operation, the soldier was in the process of relieving himself and thus could not turn on his video camera. "I could not confirm whether he was or was not either of our subjects," the soldier later reported, according to the ITV News documents. But he added to others in the surveillance team: "It would be worth somebody else having a look."

This appeared to set in train a chain of events in which Mr de Menezes was followed on to a bus and to the Stockwell tube station, where another two-man surveillance team identified the Brazilian to a police firearms squad. At the point of the shooting, seven undercover officers were all inside the tube carriage within metres of Mr de Menezes.

In a further puzzle, the soldier staking out the block of flats identified Mr de Menezes as he left the building as IC1 -police terminology for ethnic white. Yet the suspected Stockwell bomber had already been captured on CCTV and was known not to be white.

Scotland Yard was making no official comment last night, although senior sources stood by Sir Ian, insisting he had spoken in good faith about the shooting.

Harriet Wistrich, lawyer for the de Menezes family, said: "Sir Ian Blair should resign. The lies that appear to have been put out, like the statement from Sir Ian Blair, for instance, are clearly wrong. And nobody has stepped in to correct the lies.

"From the beginning, the most senior of police officers and government ministers, including the prime minister, claimed the death of Jean Charles to be an unfortunate accident occurring in the context of an entirely legitimate, justifiable, lawful and necessary policy.

"In the context of the lies now revealed, that claim has become even less sustainable and even more alarming."

Speaking from Brazil, Mr de Menezes's cousin, Alex Alves Pereira, said: "The officers who have done this have to be sent to jail for life because it's murder and the people who gave them the order to shoot must be punished. They should lock them up and throw away the key. They murdered him."

Mr Pereira added that both Sir Ian and Tony Blair shared the officers' culpability. "They are the really guilty ones," he said.

Whitehall sources disclosed that members of the army's new Special Reconnaissance Regiment had been involved in the surveillance operation. The precise role of the soldiers is unclear.

Whitehall officials said the operation had been "police-led" and that all the commands had been issued by police officers.

In the weeks since the shooting, Sir Ian has vigorously defended both the new shoot-to-kill policy as regards suspected suicide bombers, and the firearms officers involved in Mr de Menezes's death.

"Whatever else they were doing, they clearly thought they were faced with a suicide bomber and they were running towards him," he told the Metropolitan Police Authority on July 28. "That is cold courage of an extraordinary sort."

He insisted there was "nothing cavalier or capricious" about the operation, stressing the only way to stop a suicide bomber was to shoot him in the head, rather than risk setting off a device strapped around his body.

On the day, Sir Ian, who described the shooting as "directly linked" to the anti-terrorist operation, said: "Any death is deeply regrettable but as I understand it, the man was challenged and refused to obey instructions."

This man obeyed police directions and was NOT behaveing suspiciously in the least. This man could have been any Londoner. I heard eyewitness accounts on the day it happened, by passers by interviewed by English journalists. I heard their shocked voices. IF the man REALLY had run, really had worn a heavy jacket on a warm day, really had behaved suspiciously this would be different. It's bad enough that people have to surrender so many of their freedoms in order to be safe, but there's a two way street here, we all expect the police not to overstep certain bounds.

Ian Blair should resign. The assorted right wingers on the radio in my own country all need to retract their assorted intemperate statements. Everyone needs to make fun of them until they do so.
Let our mockery of these people be the Chore Girl that scrubs the teflon off these people.
While we're at it, Gov Taft what's up with that, if it had been Clinton or Governor Brown there would have been ENDLESS mockery of them!

Wednesday, August 17, 2005


Pictures taken today

one of the box elder bugs on my fan, conditions of darkness.

*ding ding* Paleta Man!

The plants said this weather is driving them to drink!

My denim shirt drying


Found the PERFECT Music for the Curry Dinner I made tonight!

Thanks Shoutcast! this was nice with the dinner I made tonight, the famous 'Untouchable Curry'


To 'Mike Savage' Rush Limbaugh, and Sean Hannity...

At what point are you guys going to admit that the London police shot an innocent man AND totally did a cover up? I'm waaiting........!


So Belgrade's police are able to arrest people when they want to...


Not Safe For Work

no it's not porn exactly, everyone keeps their clothes on but he does use the 'b' word.
The other disconcerting thing is they look like brother and sister! They in fact look like they share more genes than I share with my sister who has the same mom and dad as me!
I think people who look that much alike should NOT be allowed to have sex! Just in case!


Sneak and Peek View of Blue Car



The bottle is shown sideways because I haven't learned how to rotate the image on this thing, but it's 10 gallons of mead being made.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005


Ijust discovered something awful about my fan!

Aparently some of the little box elder bugs have flown into the fan, only to be hacked to bits. I heard a tiny thunking sound and a bet of the poor bug that flew into it was propelled out at me! The worst part is it's very hot, I HAVE to have a fan, and aside from the fact it's a bug cuisinart, it's a good fan. I wonder if putting some sort of fine mesh type bag over it would solve the problem? In any case there is nothing I can do about it right now...:(


New Method for finding mass graves

This is something that is very necessary. One of the more horrific features of the Bosnian war was the mass graves and the lack of means to find them and exhume them.
The lack of a sure method of finding these sites was a factor in the politics of whether the U.S. should be involved in Kosovo as well.There was a lot of denial for one thing.
This had to do with graves being moved, secondary graves.
Thanks again Mario!


Still too many weapons lying around in BiH....

Print Preview
Intl. troops discover large secret arms stocks in Bosnia
Intl. troops discover large secret arms stocks in Bosnia

SARAJEVO, Aug 16 (KUNA) -- International peace keeping troops in Bosnia announced Tuesday the discovery of secret stocks of arms in a south Bosnian area amid predictions that the weapons could be remaining of Bosnia's Croats militias who were controlling the area during the last war.

The troops said in a statement that the stocks included 50 large boxes containing explosives and bombers of various sizes including the Russian model of Strela.

The boxes also contained 236 RPGs and 22 anti-tanks missiles, a dozen of missiles launching systems, 40 blaze bombers and 60 boxes of raw materials used to manufacture explosives, in addition to huge amounts of anti-aircraft missiles and bombs of various kinds and sizes.

The statement said the troops' command was amazed by the discovery for the international forces were conducting a wide-scale combing campaign in Bosnia to gather arms during the nine past years that the followed peace in the country.

It also said an investigation had already started to identify who was seizing the arms, as the Bosnian law against the ownership of such weapons.

The statement raised anxiety that the sized ammunitions might be part of illegal arms trading network in the region. (end) yr.

KUNA 162331 Aug 05NNNN

Thanks Mario's CyberspaceStation!


This is totally amazeing!

Crocodile Immune system kills HIV! This is potentially very helpful. Thanks MetaFilter

Monday, August 15, 2005


To My Indian Friends, Happy Independance Day!

Happy Independance Day to any Indian readers of this blog!


For all my brainwashed friends who STILL believe in WMDs!

you have to have permission to republish this even with attribution so you have to go to the link but I"ve been suspecting that the WMDs didn't exist all along!

Focus: Policing on trial
Death in Stockwell: the unanswered questions

He wasn't wearing a heavy jacket. He used his card to get into the station. He didn't vault the barrier. And now police say there are no CCTV pictures to reveal the truth. So why did plainclothes officers shoot young Jean Charles de Menezes seven times in the head, thinking he posed a terror threat? Special report by Tony Thompson, and Tom Phillips in Brazil.

Tony Thompson and Tom Phillips in Brazil
Sunday August 14, 2005
The Observer

When armed police surrounded the home of Muktar Said-Ibrahim in London's north Kensington earlier this month and ordered him outside, the 27-year-old had only one question: 'How do I know you're not going to shoot me like that guy at Stockwell tube station?' As a suspect in the failed bombings of 21 July, he was perhaps right to be nervous.

A week earlier a Brazilian electrician called Jean Charles de Menezes had been shot and killed by armed police less than 24 hours after the attempted bomb attacks. Everyone was nervous. What would the police do next?

Now an Observer investigation has raised fresh questions about the death of de Menezes, whose killing is being investigated by the Independent Police Complaints Commission. The Observer has discovered that a key element of the investigation will be scrutiny of a delay in calling an armed team to arrest de Menezes, which meant he had already entered the station by the time the officers arrived.

That delay was crucial. If the police thought de Menezes was dangerous - perhaps a bomber - the fact that he was already in the station would have heightened tension and increased the chances of something going wrong.

Evidence of this hold-up should have been provided by CCTV footage from dozens of cameras covering the Stockwell ticket hall, escalators, platforms and train carriages.

However, police now say most of the cameras were not working. Yet pictures are available of a bombing suspect leaving another station nearby, and after the 7 July attacks tube boses could have been expected to make extra efforts to see that all their cameras were in action.

The questions are mounting. Initial claims that de Menezes was targeted because he was wearing a bulky coat, refused to stop when challenged and then vaulted the ticket barriers have all turned out to be false. He was wearing a denim jacket, used a standard Oyster electronic card to get into the station and simply walked towards the platform unchallenged.

It has also been suggested that officers did not identify themselves properly before shooting de Menezes seven times in the head.

In the absence of CCTV footage the inquiry will have to rely on the testimony of eyewitnesses, though many of those who claim to have seen the incident have provided contradictory accounts of what happened.

The inquiry comes as the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Sir Ian Blair, announced an expansion of his firearms unit to cope with the new terrorist threat.

Despite the death of de Menezes and the charging of two firearms officers with murder in connection with the case of Harry Stanley, shot dead when officers believed the table leg he was carrying was a shotgun, Blair believes there will be no shortage of volunteers for firearms duty, insisting the officers feel 'very well supported' by the force.

He insists the shoot-to-kill policy is the 'least worst' way of tackling suicide bombers and refuses to rule out other innocent people being shot in similar circumstances. 'I am not certain the tactic we have is the right tactic, but it is the best we have found so far.'

Known to his friends as Jem, Jean Charles was one of two children of Maria and Matozinho de Menezes, a farming couple in Gonzaga, a village 800 kilometres (nearly 500 miles) north-east of Sao Paulo.

His parents live in a tiny two-bedroom bungalow at the end of a dirt road. Most people living in the area eke out a living from mining or agriculture. As a child, de Menezes wanted to be a cattle rancher but became fascinated with electronics and left the farm at 14 to study and live with his uncle in São Paulo.

'My son was such an intelligent boy, ever since he was born,' says Jean's mother 'Dona' Maria Otoni de Menezes, sobbing. 'He battled, he worked hard. All he wanted to do was work, to support his family. We are a poor family. We hardly have anything. As he grew up he used to say: "Don't worry, mum. I'm going to help you. Have faith in God".'

Dona Maria remembers Jean the trabalhador [worker]. The only complaint he ever had, said Dona Maria, was about money. 'He earned a pittance. Jean used to say the only way to earn more was to go overseas.'

Gonzaga is at the centre of a mostly illegal migration boom from Latin America's largest country to the United States and Europe. The young de Menezes planned to follow the example of his cousin, Reuben, who lives in a new three-bedroom house, paid for with the money he earned as a landscape gardener in Massachusetts for five years. He arrived in the US on a tourism visa and stayed until the immigration authorities eventually caught and deported him.

Jean de Menezes too wanted to go to the US but was unable to get permission. Instead he flew to London in 2002 as a tourist and then obtained a student visa to remain until June 2003.

Living with his cousins, Vivien and Patricia, in a red-brick block of flats in Tulse Hill, south London, Jean took a four-month course in English in nearby Norbury, achieving near-fluency. He soon found work as an electrician and as a kitchen porter. He regularly sent money to his parents and phoned them three times a week.

He spent what little spare time he had either with his cousins, his girlfriend Andrina or at the Guanabara, a Brazilian club in Holborn.

'I remember he phoned me once [from London] and he sounded so happy,' says Dona Maria. '"Mum I'm working honestly," he said. "Everything that I buy I pay for."' His father, Matozinho, nods in agreement. 'He said England was a beleza [beauty].'

When de Menezes returned to Gonzaga last summer he told friends and family that he planned to stay in London for a further three years so that he could earn enough money to fulfil his dream of buying a cattle ranch. After that he would return to Brazil permanently.

Back in London his student visa expired. He had no intention yet of returning to Brazil, where the average salary of £50 per month would prevent him achieving his dream of owning a ranch. Instead, he did what many illegal immigrants do and turned to the black market.

'It's like knowing who to go to in order to buy drugs or pirate DVDs,' says Dani, a Brazilian student living in north London. 'It is a very close community and everyone knows the people to go to if you need help with your visa.' De Menezes did what he needed to: he 'shaded' the rules.

For de Menezes life in London was for the most part uneventful. He had been stopped by a police a few times as part of routine stop and search inquiries, once having his bag examined by officers outside Brixton tube station.

On each occasion the police had asked him to stop and he did so. However, on each occasion the officers concerned were in full uniform.

Two weeks before he was killed, de Menezes had been attacked by a gang of white youths, seemingly at random. According to friends this experience left him shaken and nervous.

Like all Londoners, Jean was also affected by the bomb blasts. While the capital bounced back relatively quickly after the first attack, the second wave - despite failing to produce any casualties - generated a higher level of fear. Jean told friends he was so worried about using the tube he was considering buying a motorbike to get around the capital.

The day after the attempted bombings on 21 July, tensions in London were particularly high. Police had rapidly issued CCTV footage of four suspects and made public appeals for information about them.

Hundreds of hours of CCTV were made available and sifted through in record time in order to release images to the public. CCTV footage had also proved crucial in identifying the suspects in the 7 July attacks. The Observer can reveal that police even found footage from train carriages showing the bombers at the moment of detonation.

After 21 July officers also examined information found within the unexploded device recovered from the top deck of the No 26 bus in Hackney. The Observer understands that, although information within the bag pointed to an address in Tulse Hill, it was not clear whether it had been placed there as a red herring or whether it was the address of one of the bombers.

The address was the same block of nine flats, spread over three stories, where de Menezes lived with his cousins. By that same evening, the block was under close surveillance by a specialist, unarmed police team.

Wary of the experience of officers in Madrid who, having tracked down bombers to an apartment block, burst in just as the terrorists blew themselves up, killing one policeman in the process, detectives began a race against time to obtain information about the layout of the block in an attempt to ascertain exactly where the bombers were likely to be. They then began drawing up a plan to assault the block.

At around 10am that Friday morning, officers watching the address saw a man, de Menezes, emerge from the communal entrance. He had received a phone call earlier asking him to fix a fire alarm at a property in Kilburn, north London. But the police thought they might, just, have someone important in their sights.

De Menezes was followed for five minutes as he walked to a bus stop, He then boarded a No 2 bus, along with several plainclothes officers who, again, were unarmed. The officers hoped de Menezes might lead them to some of the men pictured on the CCTV stills.

At some point de Menezes phoned a colleague saying he would be arriving late because tube services were disrupted as a result of the previous day's incidents. It is not clear whether members of the surveillance team heard this conversation. De Menezes was on the bus for a further 15 minutes until he reached Stockwell station.

The surveillance team were under strict instructions not to allow de Menezes to board a train and a rapid decision was made to arrest him using armed officers, a procedure known as a 'hard stop'. But because the officers in the surveillance team had no weapons, they had to change places with officers from SO19, the Metropolitan Police firearms unit.

By the time the armed officers arrived, De Menezes was already inside, using his Oyster card to enter the station and casually walking down the escalator towards the platform.

The number of armed officers in the Metropolitan Police had been increased last January in response to a potential terrorist threat as part of a revaluation of resources following 11 September. At the same time a number of officers were given specific training on how to deal with suicide bombers. The training was based on the experience of police and military units in countries such as Israel and Sri Lanka where similar attacks are common.

By studying footage of attacks and even interviewing failed bombers, senior Met officers drew up a list of 'precursor signals' that generally occur shortly before detonation of a device. Most have not been made public but include the potential bomber looking 'detached' from his or her surroundings and becoming introspective.

In such situations new guidance suggested the officers shoot the suspect in the head rather than the torso as the latter would not stop a detonation and might even ignite the explosive.

Officers are also warned that potential bombers will detonate at the slightest inkling that they have been identified. This means they will not identify themselves until absolutely necessary.

One witness, Chris Wells, 28, a company manager, said he saw about 20 police officers, some armed, rushing into the station before a man jumped over the barriers with police giving chase.

In fact, by the time the armed officers arrived de Menezes was already heading down towards the train. It now seems certain that the man seen vaulting the barrier was one of the armed officers in hot pursuit. Another witness interviewed by the inquiry puts officers on the train before the shooting, glancing around the carriage and apparently searching for their suspect.

Once they were underground the officers were out of radio contact with colleagues and in a race against time to find de Menezes. When they did, the decision on what to do could not be referred to a senior officer. It was theirs alone.

In Israel, security forces try to isolate suicide bombers from the public so that, even if they do detonate their bombs, the human damage is minimal. But from the moment de Menezes entered the station, his fate was sealed.

Another witness, Mark Whitby, told of hearing people shouting, 'Get down, get own,' and then seeing de Menezes run onto the train 'looking like a cornered fox'. Three plainclothes police followed, one holding a black automatic pistol. De Menezes was tripped, pushed to the floor of the carriage and shot in the head seven times.

No one knows what went through the young man's mind in the last moments of his life. Having been attacked just weeks earlier, he may have believed the casually dressed white men chasing him were part of the same gang. He may have been thinking of the experience of his cousin who was caught by immigration officers in America and deported before he had the chance to finish saving for his dream home. Now de Menenzes is dead and no one will ever know.

The sun was sinking behind the mountains when the news of Jean Charles' death arrived in Corrego dos Ratos, on a Saturday afternoon. Jean's father Matosinho Otoni de Menezes, at 66 a scrawny slip of a man, had begun worrying earlier that day when he saw on the television news that a Brazilian had been killed in London.

When the mayor's car pulled into the narrow earth drive that leads up to the farmhouse, Matozinho immediately thought the worst.

'I already knew what he was going to say,' he recalls. 'I said to him: "It's fatal, isn't it?" He said: "Yes, it's about your son. He's been murdered."

'We lost our heads,' Matozinho says. 'We did not know what to do. They'd brought medical team with them since they knew we would be sick at the news. I asked the mayor if he was sure, but he didn't even need to reply. I could see it in his face.'

For the rest of the week in Gonzaga, in reality little more than a large village with a population of 5,500, appalled residents were busy plastering walls with placards bemoaning 'British brutality' and 'terrorism'. They made themselves busy, decorating Gonzaga's streets as a tribute to Jean with yellow and green crepe paper, using decorations left over from a recent carnival.

At dawn the following Thursday, a procession of cars drove 90 kilometres (56 miles) to Governador Valadares airport. Hundreds of mourners had gathered to see the arrival home of Jean's body, draping themselves over the thin perimeter fence to get a better view of the incoming Brazilian air force plane.

At 10.28am the plane shuddered down onto the runway and motored gently towards the crowds. Five minutes later, when a simply plywood coffin emerged from the back of the green plane, a stunned hush descended on the crowd.

'It was an execution - nothing more, nothing less,' Jean's cousin, Rubens de Menezes, says bluntly. 'I don't know what will happen to Dona Maria. What can you say to a mother who loses her son like this?'

If he was such a potential danger to the public why was de Menezes allowed to enter Stockwell tube station?

Police have already admitted that the officers who followed de Menezes from his home in Tulse Hill were not the same officers who fired the fatal shots. The surveillance team was unarmed and had to call in an armed unit to arrest de Menezes. The delay meant that de Menezes was already inside the tube station when the armed officers arrived. Should they not have been called earlier and attempted to apprehend him outside the station?

Did commanding officers give the order to shoot or was the decision taken 'on the ground'?

Although individual officers are allowed to use their weapons in order to protect their own lives or those of others, permission to deploy arms is usually obtained in advance. When de Menezes went underground the armed officers would have been out of radio contact with their superiors. It has since been reported that the first their commander knew of the shooting was a radio message declaring 'man down'. Why did the police radios not work in the station when British Transport Police are able to communicate underground? Did the lack of communication add to the tension?

Why is there no CCTV footage?

Cameras at Stockwell tube should have provided footage of the ticket halls, the escalators and the platforms. Most modern tube carriages also have cameras inside. Yet police say none of the cameras at Stockwell was working at the time of the shooting. This is despite London being on high alert and tube bosses being only too well aware of the importance of maintaining CCTV systems.

Why was the decision made to shoot?

Initial statements from the police said that de Menezes's 'clothing and actions' led to suspicions that he may have been concealing a bomb. Initial eyewitness reports suggested that he had been wearing a thickly padded jacket, despite the hot weather. One eyewitness even reporting seeing wires protruding from a padded belt. It has since emerged that de Menezes wore a normal denim jacket and that his electrician's belt had been left with a friend the night before.


I told you this outsourceing sucks! Next time listen to me you idiots!

This isn't the first nasty thing that's happened through outsourceing. There'be been breeches of confidentiality in medical records, and other bad things. Is military security the next thing some firm useing offshore workers going to experience?
I want to be fair to the Indians here, the breech of confidentiality could happen in ANY similar setting.

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Last Update: Monday, August 15, 2005. 11:03am (AEST)
Illegal sales: Call centre staff are selling off the personal details of Australians.

Illegal sales: Call centre staff are selling off the personal details of Australians. (AFP)

Indian call centres sell off Australians' details

Tens of thousands of Australians are at risk of computer fraud because their personal information is being made available illegally by workers inside call centres based in India.

Tonight's Four Corners program reveals a black market in information held by Indian call centres.

The program was able to get hold of personal details through a journalist who is working undercover and cannot be identified.

"We were absolutely amazed at how easy it was to buy data. And secondly, the free flow of data was just astonishing," the journalist said.

"A good analogy would be paedophile or child porn sites on the Internet. If you're one of them, you swap your pictures with their pictures, that's how the trade carries on."

The undercover journalist was also behind the recent sting operation by Britain's Sun newspaper, which bought the bank details of 1,000 British people for just $7 each.

"You can't go to these people and ask for 10 names. The minimum, it seems to us, the minimum quantity they will deal with is 1,000 names," the journalist said.

The Australian names requested by Four Corners had a price tag of $10 each.

It was offered ATM numbers, passport numbers and credit card details - enough information for hackers to assume the identity of Australians online.

The program did not go ahead with the purchase but a sample of identifications included the personal details of Diane and Keith Poole.

Ms Poole says the revelation leaves her feeling vulnerable.

"I'm mortified because it leaves us fairly open, doesn't it?" she said.

Mr Poole says a call centre operator working for Australian company Switch Mobile, asked him an unusual question.

"They asked did I have a passport. I said, 'Yes I have a passport' but I said I wasn't prepared to give the number on that," he said.

Switch Mobile spokesman Damien Kay says passport information is not needed.

"The issue of personal information being sold goes way outside of our authorisation in the contracts that we have," he said.

He says Switch is devastated that privacy laws are being flouted by its representative and has since terminated the contract it had with its telemarketing company.

Cyber crime is described by former World Bank cyber intelligence expert Tom Kellerman as the most pervasive crime on the planet.

"Organised crime has created a business model around hacking," he said.

The threat of financial loss to a victim of identity fraud is bad in itself, but there is an even darker side to the crime.

Personal details on any number of databases can be accessed and used for terrorist activities, which could include getting passports issued, establishing lines of credit or arranging fake IDs for people working undercover.

- The full Four Corners report can be seen on ABC TV at 8:30pm tonight.
In other developments:

* Credit reporting agency Dun and Bradstreet says identity fraud is increasing in Australia, and the states' privacy laws are allowing it to go unchecked. (Full Story)

Friday, August 12, 2005


Peggy Keller's Funeral

I will have pictures as soon as they are available to me. I didn't take my own camera, someone else from Tefh Services had one and I took pictures for him.
The service was beautiful, and sad, as it must be when someone is taken from us prematurely, especially when it's a really good person.
I had a whole long post I had written and the damn router went all wonky and lost my post. I hate that shit!
Peggy Keller is the reason YVCC even has decent tech services and decent instruction in IT. She got the ball rolling..
I'll have more tomorrow. I'm tired trying to get this ting in order, we had a black blizzard here today. My son got a big chunk of dirt in his eye. It's probably what knocked out the router. *cues up the Carnivale jokes* turns on old Pete Seeger records*
If my mom were alive she'd say this is where she came in!

Thursday, August 11, 2005


Other pictures from the gulag

7 dinner guests, they were amazeingly orderly!

Tiger, the book store cat, he's not feeling very well

Sportsman's Cafe, (defunct) love the neon which is sadly never lit. The food used to be terrible and the company worse but oh well, it was a landmark.


Some pictures from the gulag

A sampleing of things I saw going on my assorted errends in the Yakima Gulag Soviet of Washington

Wednesday, August 10, 2005


Interesting if true....


Join Disinformation's 'wicked warlock' Richard Metzger, Douglas Rushkoff, Paul Laffoley, Joe Coleman, and Genesis P-Orridge for Everything You Know Is Wrong, a Disinformation weekend at the Omega Institute's Rhinebeck NY campus (23-25 September 2005).

Terror Expert: London Bombings Mastermind Is MI6 Asset
posted by mortimer
on Aug 09, 2005 - 01:11 PM
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'The July 29 edition of FOX News Channel's Day Side programme revealed that the so called mastermind of the 7/7 London Bombings, Haroon Rashid Aswat, is a British Intelligence Asset. Former Justice Dept. prosecutor and Terror expert John Loftus revealed that the so called Al-Muhajiroun group, based in London had formed during the Kosovo crisis, during which Fundamentalist Muslim Leaders (Or what is now referred to as Al Qaeda) were recruited by MI6 to fight in Kosovo.

'Loftus stated that "...back in the late 1990s, the leaders all worked for British intelligence in Kosovo. Believe it or not, British intelligence actually hired some Al-Qaeda guys to help defend the Muslim rights in Albania and in Kosovo. That's when Al-Muhajiroun got started."' (Infowars video stream).

This is interesting, of course I have to consider both sources and wonder what hidden agenda is involved...
meaning I'm not at all sure I trust Fox News OR Disinformation, however John Loftus has been pretty reliable over the years!

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