Monday, February 26, 2007


Coincidences are funny. Surprising. Just two days ago Pi asked me to write about the most recent war in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Then she apologized for potentially ruining my weekend. I told her that the thought of that war doesn't depress me anymore, and that I'll try to write some over the weekend. Obviously, I did not get around to it. Then I listened to the BBC World Service this morning. And I cried. The UN court has cleared Serbia of direct responsibility for genocide in BIH. You can read a story over at BBC . Or, you can read what Washington Post has to say.
I like this quote:

But the 15-judge panel rejected Bosnia's claim that the Serbian state was responsible for the killing, saying it did not have effective control over the Bosnian Serb forces it had helped arm and finance.

Hmm. Not responsible. Sure. Gave a helping hand, and arm and more. Why not. We don't hold anybody responsible for that. They then continue on:

Instead, the judges ruled that Serbia stood by and allowed the massacre to happen.

Pardon my bosnian, but no shit.

The fact that the country is not responsible is not what bothers me. That the government is not responsible is what is not acceptable. And the worst part is that people who have committed the crimes will now think that they have been exonerated. They will say "See, we didn't do anything wrong. The court said so."

And, if that were not enough, let's hear more from the "Honorable" Judge Higgins:
They "were fully aware of the climate of deep-seated hatred which reigned between the Bosnian Serbs and the Muslims in the Srebrenica region."

I think few of us remember this in a slightly different light.

Update The Economist has put in its two cents.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Disaster expert?

This morning's NPR program aired the first of three part interview with Stephen Flynn, a former Coast Guard commander, who wrote The Edge of Disaster. Quote that made me cringe:

...this is the place that if it were disrupted whether it's an act of god which would be potentially an earthquake or whether it's a terrorist attack....

Why did he feel compelled to declare an earthquake an act of god?!? This piece also reminded me that I should really go back and finish reading the book I started few years ago, but for some reason never finished: The Culture of Fear , especially since I find myself wrapped up in a blanket of it more often than I care to.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Random acts of senseless violence

No, this is not about the book, although I recommend it.

I was out of town for a few days, on a little vacation over on the west coast. After a lovely journey back home yesterday that lasted slightly longer than expected, with an overnight stay in Omaha, NE, we finally got home with about 18 hour delay. My dad's been trying to get in touch with me, so being a good daughter that I am, I im-ed him as soon as I got back home. After a perfunctory chat, he asks me about news. Well, I haven't heard any in about 5 days, and I was little at a loss as to why he'd be asking. Turns out a Bosnian kid went on a shooting spree in a mall in Salt Lake City. Why am I writing about this, apart from all the obvious reasons? There are two that may not be known: I am a Bosnian and I lived in Salt Lake City for five years. My first reaction is as everybody else's (I assume that it is) of disbelief and sorrow for all the lives that are lost. My second reaction is anger: what on earth could have made this kid do what he did? And I am even more mad because this kid lived through a war! He should know better than to take other people's lives. I read everything I could find in various papers, and then ran into comments that some people are leaving on various blog and news sites (I am sorry, but I'm not putting these links here, you can google kid's name and find them if you are so inclined). And then I got mad at these people, too. And then I got sad for those people.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

I made this

This past year has been all about learning for me. Today I made this:

I know, it's not much. But it's cute. The other reason I'm here is that I am trying this WriteToMyBlog thingy I tried earlier today. Well earlier it ate my meaningful blog, but I can't be bothered to reproduce it. Besides, it's late.

PS It worked this time.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

My kind of camp!

Finally a decent summer camp!

Camp Quest is the first residential summer camp in the history of the United States for the children of Atheists, Freethinkers, Humanists, Brights, or whatever other terms might be applied to those who hold to a naturalistic, not supernatural world view.

Check it out!