Tuesday, October 31, 2006
Happy Halloween or Happy Reformation Day to or Greetings of Dia de Los Muertos
There were many excellent costumes worn by people who were present. We intend to place them online later. Watch ThisSpace....
Updates on assorted news stories....
Member of British Royal Family to Wed at Vatican
Concern Rises Over BiH Pullouts..
R.S. Insists on Own Police 'Even Though it Will Hurt BiH's E.U. Chances
At the risk of practicing psychiatry without a license.....Hmmmm Could the Entire R.S. Government Have This Problem? I'm just sayin....
Think about it, feel like victims even though their part of BiH is in pretty reasonable shape, suspicious of their neighbors and DEFINATELY NOT PAYING ATTENTION......
Now a Male Student Has Been Suspended for Wearing a Beard
Sorry this is just so early 60s. Incidentally at the risk of being flamed, I note that the name of the male student ,Julian Mebelli,f in this case looks to be a Christian name. I'm not saying there's no such thing as a Muslim with a Christian name, but it isn't common either. So it sounds like equal enfocement at least. That doesn't make it right, but at least the wrong of it is spread around. Incidentally the woman wasn't wearing a veil, she had a head scarf. Unless this is another woman altogether.
Cypriot Banker Denies Milosevic Tie
Monday, October 30, 2006
Really a Monday jebiga bilo kako.
There is a crack on the hinge, and it makes noise when i open up the computer. OK God, please there is a world full of truely evil people who wreck EVERYONE elses life. So why me all the time? Just asking.....
Vote in Serbia Contradictory Says E.U.
You Can't Satisfy the Boss Class Anyway
4 Russian Diplomats Beat up in Skoplje
I like that the map is labeled with Cyrillic characters and the translator left the word 'cafe' in the original characters !
Pyramid Update and Video
Old News Why was it up at all and who cares really?
Sunday, October 29, 2006
creepy doors at the Yakima Gulag People's Institute of Higher Re:Education
velika pauk na zid.
You know this already if you read East Ethnia, but for the record.....
Low Turnout in Serbia Constitution Vote
Follow up to a story from last year, about Dominic Hapsburg and Bran Castle...
Bran Castle's Future
Interesting for social commentary...
Post Soviet Sci-Fi
Dia de Los Muertos Celebrated in Ohio
Some of the offrendas for this day are beautiful, I hope to have the local ones up in the next few days.
Brief Multimedia Dia de Los Muertos
Saturday, October 28, 2006
Living Proof One Should Open One's Junk Mail
O.K. I get this piece of junk mail, by way of snail mail.... I opened it thinking it was a bill that I better pay NOW NOW NOW!
Instead it was one of those contest letters, specifically from Bob Hall who don't realize I can't drive. Very nice, anyway they had some sort of contest, the scratch the thingie with matching numbers type of thing. So just for the Hell of it I scratch the number. I had matching numbers. So since I was planning to be downtown anyway I decided that I should just go to this Bob Hall's Chevrolet. There were all kinds of guys that sell cars around, and lots of people who recieved contest letters. Anyway, to make a long story short, I did win $5. So I'm at my favorite coffee shop having a coffee, and since they were out of baklava, a hazel nut biscotti. I like those things! :)
Now the coffee machine is making noises. That or it's the thingie they use to mix dough for the bread.
Essancia is a nice bakery coffee shop and it's where a lot of the nomenklatuira of the Yakima Gulag go to get away from City Hall.
I'm hoping to meet someone who says he has the latest CD by Kultur Shock! :)
Saturday, and cold too..
There was an audio report on NPR about this too.
Man Recently Arrested For War Crimes Had Asylum in U.K.
I am in a bit of a quandry here, I don't like trials in absentia, a person really can't manage an effective defense in those circumstaces. I dont' like war criminals, I think they should be punished, but there is the question of a FAIR trial, and trial in absentia doesnt' seem fair to me. Even for infamous crimes one cannot automatically assume guilt, so I can see how Mr. Spanovic got assylum. The thing that angers me about the assylum issue is that with the United States at least, it can be very difficult indeed to make a case for assylum! So why is it so easy for someone accused and tried in any circumstance have an easier time getting assylum than say a victim of war crimes, or someone who fears being a victim? Has nothing been learned from the era before WWII?
Yesterday's talk by Dr. Menard was really excellent. The talk was on the U.N. and on torture and the Geneva Conventions. it was a very lengthy talk, with many points raised about what is and is not allowed under Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions. He illustrated his points with numerous examples. There was film taken of the talk, and it will be available on DVD to watch in the Library, Raymond Hall. He was briefly introduced by Joan Weber, and Dr. Jeske as well as by Mr. Tate from Bellvue Community College.
There is an organization called the United Nations Association which is calling for papers on the issue of torture, there is going to be a Colloquim on this subject in May of next year at Bellvue Community College and there should be information on this matter available in the library at YVCC, at very least in the film and probably through the Political Science and English department heads for those interested in working on such a paper.
Friday, October 27, 2006
Head of Ataka Party to Marry Ahead of Election
He's doing this to stay in the news despite the 'silence' usual before elections in many European countries.
IBLF Workshops in Croatia
A bit later, I'll have a report on a talk that is to be on the Geneva Conventions. it is to be held at the Yakima Gulag People's Institute of Higher Re:Education. 11:30-1:00 pm. Stay tuned also for further reports on other matters.
Thursday, October 26, 2006
New BiH Ad!
for Best Use of Scythes in a Television Commercial, Best Use of Water Falls and Best Running Through Tall Grass to Show That The Area Has Been De-Mined!
Scenes from Mostar, Sarajevo, Lukomir, and Kupres!
Mostar Sevdah Reunion Koncert!
Croatian Opposition Deputy to be Jailed For War Crimes
Scientists Protest Plight of Bulgarian Nurses
Serbian Govt. To Buy 30,000 Desktop Computers
NATO to Open Liason Office in Belgrade
Free ADSL for Schools in Montenegro
BiH Did NOT Ask For Release of Biljana Plavsić
Anyway why would she want to leave the prison in Sweden? It's probably better than I live free, and DEFINATELY better than the lives of many who were victims of the regime she served!
Which reminds me, my fiance and I had numerous in-jokes about her. This all started when the police showed up a YEAR after my departure from Sarajevo, (my second visit) Anyway they actually searched his place. He'd turned in the little card I had to fill out, but they forgot to put it in the book and the computer, so they were sure I was still there. I said 'You should have told them I'm in the Hague and Biljana is my roomie!
So after that for a long time I's say 'Oh Biljana says Hi!'
I'm sure Biljana Plavsić is getting decent, maybe even excellent medical care in Sweden, maybe she's better off there than home.
Old but interesting
Bonus: i neat picture of the redecorated door!
Stop Abusing Our Marines!
Bourses in BiH Divided
Yes a 'Mind Improvement' Story
Romanian Man Locks Wife in Chicken Coop
What gets me is the ages of both of them! Who could she have been cheating with and at their ages why does it even matter?
Pittsburgh Serbian Orthodox Church Has After 100 Years a Serbian Speaking Pastor
Albanian Man's Deportation Tough on Family
Not Balkans news but of interest to Your Editor
India's New Domestic Violence Law
Let us see it enforced! It is LONG overdue!
Schroder Comments on Kosovo
Bad Behavior Among Some German Troops in Afghanistan
This is fairly upsetting to German people to read about.
In the Yakima Gulag itself, it's FREEZING cold. I enjoyed the mild fall weather so much, but this early morning freezingness isn't fun. I am pretty well bundled up and have dragged out my favorite blanket, a Hudson's Bay blanket that belonged to my late mother and step father. Hudson Bay blankets deserve their fame!
Wednesday, October 25, 2006
Just like Slobo's trial!
Politkovskaya Inquiry Continues
Trains Not On Time in Serbia
Oldest Child Skeleton in Europe Found in Bulgaria
More About the Silly Borat Film
OK Chickens on a Subway, I think that's pretty funny too.
Proof that the British People Have More Sense than Their Government! :)
Also go over to 'Finding Karadzic' He's got some stuff you should see today.
Then mosey on over to 'Americans for Bosnia' there's stuff there you should have a look at.
Next amble on down to East Ethnia, especially you Americans, this hasn't been in your newspapers or blogs, not even YGLG!
Look What Your Editor Found!
Now we at Yakima Gulag Literary Gazett realize that it isn't the old days anymore, and
all that, but it occured to us zeks at Yakima Gulag Literary Gazett that 1. It was a fairly large pile of papers! 2. Neither Editor nor her staff have seen a copy of this particular publication in something like 20 years. 3. At that time no one would have considered smuggling any onto the campus of the Yakima Gulag People's Institute of Higher Re:Education!
On perusal of 'People's Weekly World' Your Friendly Editor learned something interesting previously unknown to her: General Motors has a factory in Russia and the workers there are trying to unionize, they are running into opposition in this endevour from the governmentn of Russia, and of course G.M.
While Your Friendly Editor is not yet considered by anyone to be a 'Lady of a Certain Age' she is of an age sufficient to remember the cold war. While she is not the fainting type she called for some slivovica to help her recover from the shock of discovering there is a G.M. plant in Russia, "It's really too wierd to contemplate!" she said.
The Editor also notes that the paper has a Spanish language section as well as an English language section.
We wonder if this publication is going to be around more regularly or if this is a fluke.
Richard Gere doesn't look that sick, but I guess it was AFTER the ban on foods prepared 'na žaru!'
Montenegrin Writer Beaten Up In Bar
Anniversary of Death of Katarina Vukčić-Kosaća, Last Queen of Bosnia Hercegovina
Katarina Vukčić-Kosaća was the last queen of Bosnia-Hercegovina. She was born in Buna to Knez Stjepan Vukčić-Kosaća of what then was called 'Zahumlje' or 'Hum' now Hercegovina and Jelena Balsić from what then was called 'Zeta' and what now is a part of Montenegro.
Katarina Vukčić-Kosaća was noted for her learning, she was able to read and write in Latin, her own language, which then included two alphabets, Latin characters and Glagolithic characters.
She was noted also for her love of music. They no longer exist but before leaving Dubrovnik for Rome she left many books of music with the library in Dubrovnik.
Those manuscripts were lost in a terrible earthquake that destroyed the city.
She and her husband the second to last king of Bosnia, Stjepan Tomas, a member of the house of Kotramanic had two children. Katarina and Simun.
When Bosnia fell to the Ottoman forces under Mehmet II, her husband was killed, Mehmet II had him beheaded. He was buried in the Kings Grave. Her children were taken to Turkey and converted to Islam, as did a younger half brother of hers. The daughter, Katarina died in Skoplje, Macedonia and her tomb was destroyed by the 1963 earthquake that destroyed so much of Skoplje, the son lived to govern a province in Turkey and marry a daughter of the next Sultan. The half brother served several times as Grand Vizier and Admiral of the Turkish navy, he lived to a great age. One of his daughters, Huma, returned to Hercegovina, and it was this brother that preserved the name 'Hercegovina' given to that area by Stjepan Vukčić-Kosaća
She died in Rome after five days illness and is buried in Rome. Two portraits of her are extant, one is in the Capitoline Museum in Rome and the other is in the church where she is buried, the Aracoeli.
It has been customary that the Ambassador of BiH leaves flowers at her burial place on this date.
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
Tuesday, more later
Serbian Minority in Croatia Question's Deal With Government
OK it's later Update Time:
Strongly recomended: Go to Bosnia Vault, it's in my links list, check out today's posting on opposition to Tudjman in Croatia, it's a very good article.
Albania, Croatia, and Kosovo All Ask to Join NATO
Military Chopper Crash Kills Three in Romania
Kosovo Muslim Leaders Call for Independance
mind the flame wars in there!
Sweden Won't Follow Britain Repulic of Ireland Anti Migration Trend
Kosovo Dismantling Illegal Cellphone Base Stations
Earthquake in Turkey Felt in Bulgaria
Bomb Tears Through Sofia Building
Bulgaria May Institute Counter Measures in Response to U.K. Irish Restrictions on Migrants
More Cool Old Stuff Found in Bulgaria!
They keep finding neat rich stuff in Bulgaria!
Slavic Evangelical Churches Outnumer All Other Anti-Gay Organizations
Monday, October 23, 2006
UNFPA to Open Office in Serbia
Bulgarian Turkish Vote
Milošević Dead Since March Gets Call to Vote
Tentative Bulgarian Election Results
Diaspora Bulgarian Voters in California U.S.A.
Romanian Metalists Put Out New Track
I promise I had nothing to do with it! It might have been the Fan Club!
Eid Mubarak to those of my readers who are Muslim!
Sunday, October 22, 2006
It's got to be the yogurt!
Croatia Arrests Six Croats for War Crimes
Shades of Tammany Hall in Bulgaria
Bulgarian Princess Expecting
1. Well it's her JOB to reproduce! 2. I bet I have more actual Balkans royal lines in my pedigree than she does, it's kind of funny that German royal houses were, until for the most part, monarchy went out of fashion, the royal houses in the Balkans.
OK a paper not of the Journalistic Quality of 'Mind Improvement' but still!
And Britain is worried about the Bulgarians?
Serbian P.M. Sure that China and Russian Federation Would Block Kosovo Independance
A moment of culture shock ... .... ....
Wait a minute here, prisoners don't vote in the U.S.
However there still is going to be a run-off
Saturday, October 21, 2006
That Little Talk
Modern Puberty at the Evolutionarily Correct Age, Society, Individuals Not Ready
I've been saying for years that society as a whole, on all of Planet Earth needs to recognize this fact and be making the correct arrangements, such as talking to children about the changes they will experience, and the consequences of doing what comes naturally too early.
There is an inherent cruelty in a social order which delays financial and social independance to later and later ages while the age of biological readiness is so low by comparison.
I'm not here advocating that one solution might be arranged marriage, but it has been a solution in past eras in other societies.
I think maybe making things so people could reasonably expect to earn enough to support themselves at an earlier age would be a good idea. It might lower the level of conflict in the world, and I think far earlier education about birth control, sexuality and the responsibility, just how TERRIFYING the responsibility of raising children is something that needs to start sooner in young people's lives.
It's all very well thinking that children should be children for basically 12 years. It's not how it works anymore and as this article mentions, the advertizing industry is busily using sex to sell to children.
Which leads me to the question of economic education of children, my children were given 'that little talk' in a simplified version at about age six, and they were introduced to economic reality a bit younger. At about age 10, I began introducing them to economic theories, including Marxist theory, on the grounds that they needed to know how things work, that it would help keep them out of trouble.
The other part of the equation is protecting children from predators, and only a careful education on these matters will be of some use.
I'm here to say that my children turned out well, no illegitimate pregnancies caused or experienced, no banks robbed, not even graffitti!
I had to work when my children were growing up, but if I'd had the chance to be a stay at home mother for all of their childhoods, I would have! Raising children is a full time job! At least one parent ought to be home with children. I realize there's times it's just not possible, but with a little creativity and thought,a family with two parents can do that.
Some of the financial stress people suffer is because of buying totally un-necessary things.
'Needs' get invented.
Del Ponte says 'Mladic is in Belgrade'
A nice story
Tribunal Asks U.N. for Help Exhuming 14 Kosovo Bodies
I know I know totally Mind Improvement! Trust me there's a Balkans connection here..
Gina Lollabrigida to Marry Man 34 Years Younger than Her
Bulgarian Prison Conditions Terrible
Serbian Citizens Not Informed About NATO Flights
Turkish Troops Help Kosovans
Friday, October 20, 2006
Late Late Updates
Seselj gets more time for defense
Hajrudin Interviw Banned
Croatia gets another Amicus Curia Knockback
Witnesses Say Radic not at Vukovar Massacre
Srebenica Scenes From Hell
Remzi Hoxa Case
Boneing Up on Europe
How Borat Came to Be
Mounted Police Patrol Belgrade
Tadic Predicts Arrest of Mladic After Elections
Joe Bob says 'Check it Out!
I kind of like the tune and some of the rhymes too, it's perfect singing in the car music somehow! :)
And for my Indian Readers...
Eid Mubarak to My Muslim Readers
Friday and it's about damn time....
Actually this is really practical, learning how municipalities in the West use IT to deliver services to the people.
Serbian National Wanted by Interpol for Drug Trafficking Arrested in Bulgaria
For personal reasons, I've come to really hate the results of amphetamine trafficking. The user usually turns into not a very nice person.
Totally a Mind Improvement Story!
Don't say I didn't warn you.
Thursday, October 19, 2006
Final Results of BiH Elections Announced
Slovenia Blocks Croatia-E.U. Talks Over Bay of Piran Dispute
Lobbying Rules Make Weldon Case Harder to Investigate
Explosions at Arms Depot in Serbia
Fudbol, BiH's Game Suffers from Ethnic Divisions
Girl told not to wear scarf at school
1. This is not France, 2. Hoxa is dead and so is Communism, 3. Such bans only cause worse problems
Wednesday, October 18, 2006
Tuesday: more news later
Ataka Party vs Turkish Party Insults Exchanged
Hottest Countries on New Market Frontier
whatever the Hell that idiotic jargon means!
Comrade Katjuša woke up late
OK it's later, here's the afternoon updates:
FBI Investigates Congressman for Serbian Ties
and we aren't discussing neck ties here!
Torture in Montenegro
Kosovo Albanian Gang Arrested in Spain
Serbian Constitution Referendum
Trust me there's a Balkans connection here...
Some Sport News
Tuesday, October 17, 2006
Man All My Harry Potter Friends are Going to be Bummed Out!
And We Recommend The Burek!
Dino Merlin! Thanks to SeeSaw for the Dino Merlin link!
Finding Karaddžić Returns tro Regularly Scheduled Programming!
He covers today a unique moment in Montenegrin history, Turks getting safe passage, as they return home from peace-keeping duties in Bosnia-i-Hercegovina! No one attacked them, and the whole trip seems to have gone off without a hitch.
DON'T DO IT!
Tongue Piercing Can Kill!
Anyway if you are going ot haveing intermittant pain, risking heart infection and that tacky clicking sound on the phone when you talk, well be my guest but don't say I didn't warn you!
Not all that much news...yet
Updates: Sure enough while I was doing badly in a pop-kviz in Sociology, there was news...figures....Well it's not Mladić or Karadžić getting busted, but it's some news anyway.
Montenegro Stop the Torture
PM Sanader Welcomed by President Bush
Landmine Clearance in BiH
This story explains what some communities are doing about landmines
E.U. Gives Turkey Last Chance
not to mention Serbia
Death Sentance for Bulgarians and Palestinian in Libya
Monday, October 16, 2006
This saint was a member of the Mothers of Providence, and my children were educated by the Mothers of Providence at St. Joseph Marquette, so this is a big day for the Sisters of Providence, the same Order who have provided education and medical care for nearly a century in the Yakima Gulag!
While she didn't serve here, she was a member of the same order.
More Real Kazakh Music
Real Kazakh Music!
I think it has a nice sound!
Well Surprise Surprise! 'Serbs Not Trying to Catch Mladić
This is what happens when Americans can't learn languages...
Kidman Hears about Violence Against Women in Kosovo
Croatia Will Fix Those Choppers Cheap!
Land Mine Casualties in BiH
VMRO calls for Election Boycott in Bulgaria
It's fairly cold out today and rainy. Still I'm grateful to be here and not in Hawaii, because it looks like a right mess there.
On the first story today, probably close readers of this blog have remembered the film seris I recommended on YouTube about the Novi Travnik area? The first story is of two men going to cut wood and not making it back home. Landmines are still a serious problem in BiH. Maybe not right inside most cities they aren't anymore but this is still a problem if you go into the woods. As you can recall, a lot of people do not have any other way to heat their homes besides wood, and they can barely pay for that! This means people are going into the forests and risking what those poor men suffered.
Sunday, October 15, 2006
And for the Best Use of Scythes and Salt Mines in a Comercial;
The Yakima Gulag Failsafe System Has Kicked In!
John1975 has left a new comment on your post "Politkovskaya Story on NPR":
Truly a sad case! I wish I could have been there for her.
and from Owen
Owen has left a new comment on your post "Richard Gere is a spoiled wuss!":
Is it actually a matter of landmines? I'd have thought that the greatest danger from the point of view of the producer of a large budget Hollywood film (and the film's insurers) would lie in the threat of "technical problems" that could result in a degree of slippage in the filming schedule. "Technical problems" often have a human dimension. Perhaps certain local elements may have been disappointed at having to have missed their opportunity to assist in arranging the desired meeting with luminaries of a former administration?
well Owen, that's a possiblity, perhaps death threats but I'd have publicised the death threats because it would cause people to want to see the movie.
Jasmina Tesanović two stories, she has been following the trial of the people who massacred a whole family of Kosovo Albanians from unborn babies to 100 year old grandmother.
Where are Your Americans Now?
Tesanović article on Ana Polikovskaya
I missed this at the time it came out because I don't go to Boing Boing nearly as much as I ought to!
Bulgarian President Speaks on Ethnic Issues in Bulgaria
Trust me there's a Balkans connection here..
Film Contradicts Chinese Story on Shooting of Tibetan Refugees
Saturday, October 14, 2006
A couple updates.
Albanian American men arrested in Montenegro
Incidentally all the guys have names that are Christian.
About 10% of Albanians are Christian, most of the Christian Albanians are Catholic and there are some Orthodox believers among the Albanians as well. While one might question the wisdom of having attended a demostration in a foreign country where human rights need work, it's hardly terrorism!
Mujeres in Motion
While there were a few poems that I didn't care for, either due to being too explicit for my tastes, or being too Drama Queen for my tastes, the majority of the work presented was really very good!
In fact it was the best poetry reading I have attended in the Yakima Gulag! The woman who has won two Black Box Poetry Slams in a ROW! Ms. Alvisio read from her work.
She has this real gift for being able to rhyme on the fly and in general her rhymes work and are unconventional. I envy that ability! It's one of the reasons she's won in a venue where rhyme isn't so favored, it's because she can do it and make it sound natural in English, a language that does not rhyme easily!
She brought her younger sister, who came up with some good stuff too! Her stuff was a little more 'preachy' than her older sister's work, but still she had some flashes of brilliance.
She btw got a speeding ticket trying to get to the Yakima Gulag from the Wapato Camp!
This was my first time to see all of them,
Saturday's stories and late Friday
Martic Witness Claims Massacre Victims 'Brought it on themselves'
Former Kosovo Judge Remembers Flight, Persecution
Perisic Trial Start Date
Albania Busts Arms Smugglers who provided Weapons to PKK Rebels in Turkey
American Citizen Sentanced to Death in Iraq
Trust me there IS a Balkans connection.
Women Ask About War Crimes
400 involved in melee in Roma neighborhood
Politkovskaya Story on NPR
You can't have democracy or a truely free society without investigative journalism. Investigative journalist is what keeps the system honest! The journalist has to be ready to risk his or her life, the society that has some pretensions to democracy is in no danger of falling or being killed by the journalist. It can crush the journalist with everything it has.
It must not.
Friday, October 13, 2006
Friday the 13
U.N. Hands OverBodies of 29 Kosovo Serb Dead
President of Serbia Pleads for More Time
Not in the Balkans but of world importance, and of value as a person who has offered solutions useable in many places.
Yunus, Grameen Bank Win Nobel Peace Prize
Kosovo Refugee Realizes Dream to put up Mother Theresa Statue
'There is No Islamic Fundamentalism in Bulgaria
Bombed Bulgarian Journalist Beaten Up in Bar
Bosnians Protest Bulgarian Nuke Plant
No, literally....really ..
A Shaggy Dog Story
Just Chip Me Baby!
I wonder if this is the famous 'Mark of the Beast 'of Biblical prophecy? There were people who wondered that about bar codes, but this is a lot more suspicious if you ask me!
Personal to Borat: Sretan Rodjendan! Heppy Brzday I kis u!
Thursday, October 12, 2006
Richard Gere is a spoiled wuss!
Mladic Arrest 'In Matter of Days'
yeah right, I'll believe it when I see it! For HOW long have they been saying this?
Richard Gere Flees Sarajevo
Fucking WUSS! Sarajevo is not dangerous unless you are acting like a jackass! Then I suppose most places would be.
And Orhan Pamuk, a great writer from Turkey wins the Nobel Prize for Literature for his book 'The White Castle'
I have not read this book, but if it is anything like 'My Name is Red' I have to read it!
and a couple things just for laughs...well maybe not the first of the last ... it distresses me because one incidence of religious heavy handedness can undo all the good of the hard work and decency of a man like Mr. Zontek!
An American God, A Christian God
excuse me! WHAAAT!
Just for Crni! :)
Harper Says Both Israeli and Palestinian Suffering Should be Recognized
Harper's Defense of Israel Starts a Flap
The 'Soft War' in Eastern Europe
Basically Ms. Politkovskaya died because of trying to report the truth about this war.
Vela Luka Visitors to Anacortas!
File also under 'Paganija' since Vela Luka is definately in Paganija! :)
Wednesday, October 11, 2006
Lecture on Afghanistan: Beyond Burkas and Bombs
Mr Jeske spoke briefly at the begining and then Mr. Monty Walker a popular history instructor at the college gave a humorous but respectful introduction of Captain Zontek,
When I heard that Mr. Zontek had served in Afghanistan in the U.S. forces, it really grabbed my attention because 1. I wanted to see how much he might follow the administration line, and 2. I wanted to see what he'd have to say about 'facts on the ground' and whatever his views might be, I knew he'd have a valuable perspective on what is really going on.
I was not disappointed. He served as a military intelligence officer, so he dealt a lot with the locals and the military from other countries serving in Afghanistan.
He decided not to just 'do his job and get out'. He decided to do something to help, something good!
The tales of the difficulties in helping people there were sometimes funny and other times sad.
He decided to do what he could to help the Women's Shelter. As far as I'm concerned the best cause he could have helped! There were many interesting stories of the women in the shelter, and the children there too.
All of those women had harrowing experiences at the hands of husbands, brothers, fathers, and even society at large. Some even had been mistreated by sons!
One thing that Mr. Zontek was at pains to explain is that this sort of thing is not Islam, and that America needs to do what it can to help Muslims who stand against this sort of thing, because there are Muslims who object to this sort of thing.
He showed that he is knowlegable about the history and the people, and respectful.
In helping the shelter, he got to know the British, including a number of Gurkhas, and he felt the British were very good soldiers who knew what to do.
I noted among the many excellent photographs one of a small group of Croatian soldiers, carrying a Croatian flag.
During the question and answer session I wanted to ask about these men, but could not get recognized, so I buttonholed him at the reception.
He was delighted someone noticed the Croatian flag, and when I asked about them, he said they were very enthusiastic soldiers and knew how to throw a good party, also they'd picked up on the fact that he's very Slavic looking, and asked him what he was ethnically, and been very welcoming to him as a fellow Slav, and I learned many of the soldiers in Afghanistan from the U.S. are of Polish descent.
Mr. Zontek mentioned about the sad case of the Buddhas of Bamian too,he noted that it was something that bothered him at the time it happened.
Not too many people know that the Bosnian government attempted to save these art treasures, it was the Muslim member of the presidency who offered to cut them up and reassemble them in BiH someplace. Bosnians have some strong feelings on the subject of destroying cultural heritage.
At the reception your editor had a chance to examine more closely a burka. I was in San Francisco when the first big wave of Afghan refugees arrived, but the first adaptation to America was to not wear burkas anymore, they wore headscarves. So I never got to actually see a burka close up before. I do know about such things of course, and knew this was a good one from Herat, the top of the line, with good embroidery and neatly executed pleats.
In fact I tried it on, and found that the main thing that I didn't like is that the lace work thing that goes over the eyes is MISERABLE. I don't have good eyesight to start with, but this lace grill blocked my eyesight so badly that it really would be hard to get around for me.
Incidentally when Muslims go on the Hajj, the women are not supposed to cover their faces, it's forbidden, so if a face veil is so Islamic, why is it forbidden on Hajj?
All three monotheistic religions require female modesty, and basically up until WWI, Christian women even in the cities did observe basic physical modesty. Those who know me know that I am a strong poponent of physical modesty, as a part of Christian observance, and as an act of liberation for women, but this was too much modesty! :)
This was an excellent lecture, I really enjoyed the photographs, and I want to say that if someone wants to impress upon me a good reason to be in Afghanistan, a talk like this is FAR more effective with me than Rant Wing Radio!
Greetings are conveyed from Mr. Huyck to Ivan the Terrible, as well as congradulations on his sucessful escape from the Yakima Gulag and I had the privelege of meeting his lovely wife, she's really a nice person.
I had a chance to say 'hi' as well to Mr. Walker, an excellent history instructor.
Friday Oct 13, there is going to be an Open Mike Poetry Night, in the H.U.B., Mujeres in Motion are featured, and it looks like it's worth going to. I am going.
The Paperboys are performing at the Yakima Valley Museum too the same night, that makes for a miserable choice! From nothing to do to nearly too much! :)
That is the life in our gulag!
Wednesday Random Updates,
More on the rocketing of the mosque in West Mostar
Incidentally there wasn't anything in the usual sources I look at about the desecrated Catholic cemetary. The very non-reporting of it is the sort of thing right-wingers liike to use.
Charges filed against suspected aide of fugitive Serbian general Ratko Mladic
Can We all say 'Psycho Bitch from Hell?'
I needed another excuse to inflict the etnopunk sound of Kultur Shock on my fellow zeks and the considerable international readership of Yakima Gulag Literary Gazett
Charges filed against suspected aide of fugitive Serbian general Ratko Mladic
I needed another excuse to inflict the etnopunk sound of Kultur Shock on my fellow zeks and the considerable international readership of Yakima Gulag Literary Gazett
Kosovo Rises in International Agenda
On the North Korean Nuclear test, there's been some question whether in fact anything nuclear was tested, or if the test was a dud, I don't think it's good either way.
Japan had a big fat earthquake too, and that didn't do much good. I think a big enough explosion, nuclear or otherwise could set off an earthquake. It would have to be just so on a seizmic fault. and now they are threatening war if anyone does sanctions. Like I said, totally taking advantage of the way that the U.S. is tied down in Iraq.
ICTY Rejects Croatian Bid
Barr Closes Deal on Pliva
Article on OSCE
Of course it was a heavy news day so far and I woke up late, Here I am in the Hopeless Union Building at the Yakima Gulag People's Institute of Higher Re:Education, and I know for a fact one instructor finally reads this blog on some basis. HI!
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
Something that needs to be seen
The news of Politkovskaya's murder has been all over the Internet, since it's more a Russia Chechniya story, I have not covered it really, but at the same time, the issues in Chechniya have awful parallels with BiH and the rest of the Balkans. This woman was murdered trying to do the right thing. The old Soviet methods are not dead, and the rest of the world needs to pay attention to that fact.
Good Morning Yakima Gulag!!!
Šešelj's Party Still Support Him
RPG Fired at Mosque in West Mostar
Top Bulgarian Net Piracy Fighter Commits Suicide
Yet more racism
It never seems to occur to any of these eugenicists that impoving living conditions for all usually is a solution.
Albanian Theatre Could Bring the House Down
In today's Slobodna Dalmacija (in Croatian Language)
Croats World Breakdancing Champs!
Monday, October 09, 2006
Bonus: Interview With Ceca
Germans Become Peace-Keepers
I'll never forget ythe scene in 'No Man's Land' when the German soldier is trying to disarm the mine under Čiki, usually Germans are portrayed in film outside of Germany as bad guys, so here this man was portrayed as gentle, compassionate, and thorough. A refreshing change from the usual portrayal!
Negotiated Settlement of Kosovo Problem 'Nearly Impossible'
Jugonostalgija on NPR
I know some people hate RealPlayer but there's songs from the era to click on. do check them out, if you just can't handle RealPlayer, go over to my blog roll, click on 'Jugoslavija' and then check out on my friend Seesaw's blog-roll, for the Tito Homepage, there's a marvelous selection of rousing Partizan anthems to select from!
My personal favorite, 'Sharpen the Scythes!' :)
Josip Broz Tito was half Croatian and half Slovenian, so to some extent, I can see some people missing him in Slovenia. They were the best off financially speaking of all the Republics of Former Yugoslavia, but they also had the easiest war of independance. They did not lose so many of their people or their historical monuments as did Croatia or Bosnia-Hercegovina, they did not experience ethnic cleansing, they are the most ethnically homogenous of the Ex-Yu countries, which, not to justify ethnic cleansing, in the least, but it did lead to less ethnicly based tensions. They are not as badly off as the rest of the region. It's odd therefore that anyone there has real full-blown Jugonostalgija!
Still this is by no means a rare viewpoint.
There were some worthy ideals in Tito's program, but unfortunately those did not survive him.
Yugoslavia was something of an artificial construct, like many of the post-colonial African nations, and to me, it's amazing it survived as long as it did.
added later: Is it just me, or is there lately more Balkans coverage on NPR lately?
Monday but it felt like a Monday Yesterday Already
Korean A-Blast Felt in Norway
Croatia Defies E.U.
Ancient Brain Surgery in Bulgaria
Of course I think some of the stupid moderns running around need some of this!
Ataka Candidate Only Rival to Sitting President of Bulgaria
Sunday, October 08, 2006
OOOJ JEBIGA! North Koreans Test Nuclear Device
I am not happy to hear this. They are definately taking advantage of the fact the U.S. is seriously tied down in Iraq.
People should just in case take kelp tablets two or three usually are sufficient, just in case there is Strontium 90 floating around out there.
Interesting because this article is from the Phillipines, and since I don't know a lot about the Phillipines other than it's a Christian majority nation with a Muslim minority in the South, and it's pretty ethnically and linguisticly diverse and they make some interesting food there....
Speaking of the Phillipines...talk show host Art Bell recently re-married to a Phillipina lady named Erin, is about to become a father again, he's around my age, and I think she's a good bit younger. I wish them both well! Congradulations!
Hungarian Minority in Romania Want a Referendum
I'm telling you...the world is simply getting too NationStates!
Serbian Foreign Ministry Bans Arms Exports to Georgia, Armenia
O.K. points for consistancy.
Bosnian Example for Iraq
There's just a teensy weensy little problem...the 'Bosnian Example ' isn't really working in Bosnia! My contention is autonomous areas in Iraq are probably unworkable as well, it SOUNDS like an easy answer, but each place this means of trying to get peace has been tried, there has later been war, especially when partition goes short of full independance. The areas that are presently nations tend to harbor resentments, there's always some complex minority issues, basically it only works in ethnically homogenous areas. There are very few ethnically homogenous areas in the world, if ANY. It is a problem from Hell whenever this sort of thing happens.
Iraq was not in good shape when the U.S. invaded, and now a majority of the American people are realizing it might have been a bad idea to go there in the first place and a badly planned war on top of that.
The other difference between BiH and Iraq is that a U.S. presence was mostly positive in BiH, the U.S. presence in Iraq has done some positive things, bringing down Saddam Hussein is nothing to sneeze at, it was a good thing basically. In the case of Iraq there is basically no competant leadership able to take power on a national basis, and I suspect not regionally either. Things are basically at least calmer in BiH, but that can't be said for Iraq. A lengthy U.S. presence was necessary in BiH, the last U.S. troops are leaving in December, but a N.A.T.O. and an E.U. presence will remain for some time. Every time it looks like they can be withdrawn, something happens to give one pause about that. Still there aren't a bunch of suicide bombers running around in the Balkans. In most areas people can somewhat go about their daily business. There is a lot of rebuilding and mostly the buidings are staying re-built. You can't say that for most of Iraq.
Serbian Radicals Stand by Jailed Leader
for those who have to have a score card to keep track of these people... this should serve as a reminder....If you are at work with anyone who understands the language you might not want to click on this at work, it's laced with seriously rude language....
Relics of St. George in Sofia
Joe Cocker Performs at Fairy Tale Wedding in Sofia
Saturday, October 07, 2006
We have reached as of October 7, 2006
inflikting kultur shock on the masses regularly with pride!
They claim it's noting to do with any volcanic activity but....
Hej 4.5 in the Mt. Rainier area! Maybe I should turn down my music? naaaaah
New Ad on C.N.N.
Well the upside is that maybe some people around me will realize that I have had good reasons to miss the place, and maybe it will give Bosnians some work. My hope is that visitors will have respect for the place and it's people.
Quick Update re: above story, go to Bosnia Vault, Shaina has put up the three ads from C.N.N. Someone lost no time getting them up on YouTube I guess.
See below for something I actually saw in BiH. I passed the Tunel house any number of times. I didn't know what it was my first trip, it had vibes though and I noticed it always.
Some shots of 'Sniper Alley' too, the film was taken by someone who made a tour of Sarajevo.
Atheists and Agnostics Have Fewer Divorces
From Metafilter. Take That Dr. Laura!
Also from Mefi!
Pearse is Spinning in His Grave!
And So is Yeats!
This I couldn't believe!
Serbian Royals in Chicago
N.A.T.O. Forces in BiH Have New Comander
New Housing for Roma in Sofia