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Archive for May, 2011

NPR FOR THE DEAF: We Hear It Even When You Can’t

Tuesday, May 31st, 2011

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ALL SONGS CONSIDERED

listen_1.gifWilco never makes the second record twice, which makes it doubly remarkable that so many of them are tremendous. As formidable as frontman Jeff Tweedy’s catalog is, the sonically inventive rock band really stands out on stage — the place where extreme technical skill meets the chemistry and rousing showmanship of passionate rock veterans. Of course, it helps that the group has the luxury of drawing highlights from seven very different records when it performs. To see Wilco on stage is to hear the best of the best. Recorded live at The Gorge on Monday, May 30, Wilco performs a two-hour, festival-closing set as part of the 2011 Sasquatch Music Festival outside Seattle, Wash. MORE

RELATED:  Located in a late-19th century factory complex turned contemporary art museum, the Solid Sound Festival is a unique three-day event envisioned by WILCO and presented in association with MASS MoCA. At the heart of Solid Sound is a sense of collaboration, where a band can join forces with a museum, a comedian can perform against a backdrop of boundary-pushing works of art, and festival attendees of all ages can be entertained and inspired by three days of exciting, eclectic artistic expression. Situated against the unrivaled beauty of the Berkshire Mountains, MASS MoCA and the Solid Sound Festival will provide an inspired and exhilarating weekend of creativity and community. MORE

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WTF: Girl Kills Rapper With One Punch?

Tuesday, May 31st, 2011

face_punch2.jpgDAILY MAIL: A 22-year-old woman allegedly killed an aspiring rap singer with a single punch for a $5 party bet. Tiffany Startz is accused of killing John ‘Fatboy’ Powell with a single blow to the face and has been told she has to stand trial. The 25-year-old had agreed to be hit in the face by Starr in return for $5. After being struck and collecting his money he walked away to talk with friends, only to collapse minutes later from a burst artery in his neck. An autopsy ruled that he had died from a brain haemorrhage caused by blunt force trauma. Startz, who is 5’5″ and weighs 142lbs, was charged with reckless conduct and battery charges stemming from the incident last September in Joliet, Illinois. MORE

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SH*T MY UNCLE SAYS: Pounding Sand

Tuesday, May 31st, 2011

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[Illustration by Ajda Gregorčič]

BY WILLIAM C. HENRY I just finished reading a column in the New York Times by Stanley Fish titled “What’s up with the Jews?” The article poses the question of whether it’s ever possible for any of us to completely eliminate anti-semitic characterizations of Jews from whatever opinions we may form, or conclusions we may draw, with reference to any particular Jewish affected action or stance. In conclusion he offers this statement with respect to the Israeli/Palestinian situation: “Those who offer the criticism can never quite be sure that their distaste for Israel’s actions with respect to the Palestinians is entirely ShitMyUncleSays-FINAL_1.jpginnocent of the influence of centuries of vilification.” Well, I think I can. The only thing I see that could possibly even remotely effect the scores-old, tried and true, let’s-get-this-whole-thing-sorted-out, flawlessly implemented, Alfred E. Neuman approved, nth degree analytical process of mine might be the somewhat flimsy reasoning I occasionally employ, or the inevitable intrusion of a preconceived notion here or there, all of which sounds pretty fair-minded and bound-to-get-to-the-bottom-of-things to me!

Let’s begin with: Why does the Jewish state have any more right to exist than the descendants of the original Native American tribes have the right to retake possession of the United States? Both suffered similar diasporas. Both believed their lands had been entrusted to them by their God. Both had inhabited their respective lands for millennia (actually a damn site longer in the case of the Native Americans). Should one be considered more “deserving” than the other? Is it simply a matter of one having the “right” God? Should the western world’s collective guilt about the Holocaust have overridden any consideration for the rights of those who had actually inhabited Palestine for the previous millennia and more? The only truth I can see evident here is that might rarely makes right, but it’s almost always effective. It should be noted that while American reparations in the aftermath of its own pitiless genocide of Native Americans is nothing to write home about, they have had the unintended benefit of providing us with some of the world’s most lavish gambling resorts.

Likewise, I’m wondering why it’s so perfectly OK for Israel to possess nuclear weapons but so definitely NOT for Iran. Assumed intentions are one thing, reality offers a much more predictable outcome. What Iran “could” do with a nuclear weapon is no different from what nine other current nuclear weaponized nations “could” do with theirs. Besides, there isn’t a moderately informed person on the face of the earth who doesn’t know full well that were Iran to unleash a nuclear weapon on Israel, it would instantaneously be nuked back to the Stone Age. All their pro-forma Israel-bashing may produce the occasional self-destructionist among the rank and file, but trust me when I say it doesn’t extend to the ruling class. That aside, why aren’t we a damn site more concerned about the fact that Pakistan already HAS an array of them?! Boy, if you think Pakistan is a stable nuclear weapons possessor, I’ve got some toxic assets I’d like to “swap” with you! This is the “sophisticated” Muslim democracy and great friend and ally of ours that couldn’t possibly have known that bin Laden had been living the life of Riley less than a hop, skip and jump from its top military academy for over five f _ ck _ _ g years! Gee, that’s being just about as friendly and honest as say, Iran!

And, then there’s that pesky little matter of why Israel gets to continually fire a middle finger (with our acquiescence and without consequences) toward EVERY United Nations resolution they deem to be the least bit detrimental to their paranoid schizophrenic ‘best interests.’ Let’s skip over the other some 70-plus similarly “birded” U.N. resolutions that have attempted to resolve the Palestine situation and concentrate on just ONE! It’s titled U.N. Resolution 194 and it states that Palestinian refugees are guaranteed the “right of return” to their homelands. It has been re-affirmed by the U.N. on no fewer than 122 OCCASIONS! That’s the same Right of Return that’s guaranteed under Humanitarian and Human Rights Law including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination and the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights. Yet, after 60 years, the refugees (some 400,000 of them in Lebanon alone!) continue to suffer under some of the most squalid conditions to be found anywhere on the planet simply because this so-called Christian congress of ours lacks the plain old political guts to face down the far-out-of-proportion-power-wielding financial powerhouse Jewish political lobby. Can I get an Amen?!?

So, how DO we (with all due respect to our highly esteemed neighbors to the south) end this proverbial “Mexican standoff”? Well, after months of exhaustive examination of literally every conceivable solution to this heretofore acknowledged all but winnable tug o’ war, I believe I have come up with a solution that comes as close as humanly possible to satisfying the needs and demands of both ends. Here it is: the Palestinians (all of them) get ALL of Palestine (including Israel). The Israelis, in turn, get half of Manhattan Island and half of Washington, DC. I mean, they already own half of them anyway, right?

PREVIOUSLY: Big Brother’s Holding Co.

PREVIOUSLY: Goldman Sachs Of Shit

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Fed up early stage septuagenarian who has actually been most of there and done most of that. Born and raised in the picturesque Pocono Mountains. Quite well educated. Very lucky to have been born into a well-schooled and somewhat prosperous family. Long divorced. One beautiful, brilliant daughter. Two far above average grandsons. Semi-retired (how does anyone manage to do it completely these days?) and fully-tired of bullshit. Uncle of the Editor-In-Chief.

1,598 = The number of Americans killed in action in Afghanistan
11,191 = The number of Americans  wounded in Afghanistan.
0 = To date the number of financial industry kingpins indicted for having committed the most massive FRAUD in American history.

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Palin Pops In At Liberty Bell Momentarily To Address Her Core Constituency — Fat, No-Neck White People And Their Dreadful Cracker Spawn The Media

Tuesday, May 31st, 2011

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PREVIOUSLY: Why Louis CK Doesn’t Talk About Sarah Palin’s Vagina On Twitter Anymore

PREVIOUSLY:  “This message—even at a time of national crisis—was a base-rousing rallying cry, perpetuating her own victimhood and alleged bloodthirstiness of her opponents. One would have thought that Palin, like any responsible person in her shoes right now, could have mustered some sort of regret about the unfortunate coincidence of what she had done in the campaign and what happened afterwards. Wouldn’t you? If you had publicly defended a map with cross-hairs on a congresswoman’s district, and that congresswoman had subsequently been shot, would you not be able to express even some measure of regret at what has taken place, even while denying, rightly, any actual guilt? Could you not even acknowledge the possibility that your critics have and had a point, including the chief Palin-critic on this, who happens to be struggling for her life in hospital, Gabrielle Giffords.” MORE

PREVIOUSLY: Did Sarah Palin Just Have Her Chappaquiddick?

RELATED: One hundred and ten years ago, during another low point in the nation’s political discourse, newspapers owned by William Randolph Hearst – who was angling for a presidential run in 1904 – published a pair of columns fantasizing about violence against President William McKinley. Columnist Ambrose Bierce wrote that a bullet “is speeding here to stretch McKinley on his bier.” Next, an unsigned column widely attributed to Hearst editor Arthur Brisbane declared: “If bad institutions and bad men can be got rid of only by killing, then the killing must be done.” Six months later, a deranged man named Leon Czolgosz assassinated McKinley. The killer claimed he was inspired by an anarchist, not by Hearst – but that didn’t stop opponents from falsely claiming that Czolgosz had a copy of Hearst’s New York Journal in his pocket when he did the deed. Secretary of State Elihu Root later accused Hearst of driving the “weak and excitable brain of Czolgosz” to murder. The outcry against Hearst’s incitement – there were boycotts and a burning in effigy – dashed his presidential ambitions. MORE

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WEINERGATE: Breitbart Attempts To Slime Rep. Andrew Weiner With Bogus ‘Inappropriate Photo Sent To Young Girl’ Scam; Lamestream Media Takes Bait

Tuesday, May 31st, 2011

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NEW YORK TIMES:  Representative Anthony D. Weiner, one of the most prolific users of social media among politicians, said his Twitter account was hacked this weekend when someone sent out a lewd photograph under his name to a young woman in Seattle. The episode unfolded Saturday night when it was reported on the Web site biggovernment.com, run by the conservative blogger Andrew Breitbart. It played out all day Sunday on the Internet, with Mr. Weiner, a Democrat who represents part of Brooklyn and Queens, addressing the matter on his own Twitter and Facebook accounts, and with bloggers from the left and the right arguing about whether this might be the start of a scandal or an example of  how easy it is for political rivals to harm each other’s reputations using new technologies. MORE

DAILY KOS: Not one word on Breitbart’s lying sack of shit past.  Not one word about his infamous role in the Shirley Sherrod lynching. Nope. The fuckheads at the NYT just “report” that “Neither Mr. Weiner, an outspoken defender of liberal positions, nor Mr. Breitbart returned messages requesting comment on Sunday night.” FUCK YOU you pathetic excuses for “journalists.”  You give more column space to the lying shit-stirrers, and present all of Rep Weiner’s facts as “he says” or “he claims.” MORECordova.jpg

POLITICO: Weiner’s office — generally one of the most press friendly around — did not respond to a request for comment on whether he has contacted federal authorities to report the alleged cyber-attack, which could fall under laws prohibiting cyberhacking and impersonating federal officials. Whatever the case with the Weiner incident, it’s clear that the age of electronic communication is leaving politicians with even less privacy than they had in the past. MORE

PHAWKER: ‘Whatever the case with the Weiner incident’? WTF kind of journalism is that?

RELATED:  Mr. Weiner’s spokesman, Dave Arnold, said on Monday, “We’ve retained counsel to explore the proper next steps and to advise us on what civil or criminal actions should be taken. This was a prank. We are loath to treat it as more, but we are relying on professional advice.” MORE

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS: Cordova said she has been harassed for weeks online after she started following Weiner on Twitter and the congressman added her to the list of about 200 people he follows. Her harrasser “started posting about me, saying, ‘Oh, the congressman is following school girls,’ tweeting it over and over. It was very annoying,” Cordova told the Daily News. When the crotch shot appeared online, she said the same Twitter user was the first to comment on it. “Since I had dealt with this person and his cohorts before, I assumed that the tweet and the picture were their latest attempts at defaming the congressman and harassing his supporters,” she said. “Annoyed, I responded with something along the lines of ‘are you f***ing kidding me?’ and ‘I’ve never seen this. You people are sick,’” she said. MORE

RELATED: Forensics indicating the alleged smoking gun screenshot of the so-called lewd photo was Photoshopped to look like it was sent by Rep. Weiner


Andrew_BreitBart.jpgRELATED: IndictBreitbart.org is a new campaign to seek accountability for the violations of criminal law committed by Andrew Breitbart, James O’Keefe and Hannah Giles. O’Keefe and Giles illegally and surreptitiously recorded employees of the Baltimore ACORN office in the summer of 2009 and then their employer Breitbart illegally published their edited versions online in order to harm ACORN.  This is a grassroots campaign to let law enforcement officials in Maryland know that ordinary citizens want accountability. Since that illegal conduct occurred, numerous official reports have come out showing that O’Keefe, Giles and Breitbart acted illegally/unethically with regard to their ACORN recordings. Those reports are listed here. Also, James O’Keefe has been arrested and convicted for tampering with the phones in Senator Mary Landrieu’s office, and he is under investigation for attempting to lure a CNN reporter on to a boat in Maryland for nefarious purposes. Andrew Breitbart was responsible for posting an edited recording of Department of Agriculture employee Shirley Sherrod which resulted in her improper firing. A subsequent investigation determined that she did nothing wrong and should be reinstated. You can help hold these people accountable for violating Maryland law by signing this letter to Gregg Bernstein, the new Baltimore State’s Attorney. MORE

ALSO: PBS just learned an unpleasant lesson about what happens when you kick an Internet hornet’s nest. After televising its “Frontline: Wikisecrets” documentary, the public television consortium’s site, PBS.org, was hacked into and defaced by a group calling itself LulzSec — a combination of the word security and the Internet argot for laughs had at another’s expense. The group hit PBS with a series of embarrassing and potentially damaging payloads, posting graffiti-like Web pages, a fabricated story about rappers Tupac Shakur and Biggie Smalls being alive in New Zealand, and making public a huge cache of phone numbers, logins and passwords apparently of PBS member station websites. The pranksters posted a cached version of the Tupac story, visible here. […} “Greetings, Internets. We just finished watching WikiSecrets and were less than impressed,” the attackers wrote. “We decided to sail our Lulz Boat over to the PBS servers for further … perusing.” MORE

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SIDEWALKING: Flags Of Our Fathers

Monday, May 30th, 2011

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War Veteran Cemetery,  Syracuse, New York 10:01 AM by JEFF FUSCO

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NPR FOR THE DEAF: We Hear It Even When You Can’t

Monday, May 30th, 2011

Double_Nickels_On_The_Dime.jpgSOUND OPINIONS

listen_1.gifThis week Jim and Greg are joined by Mike Watt of the Minutemen, a band that changed the game of punk rock. The San Pedro hardcore group was founded by Watt, drummer George Hurley, and larger than life lead singer and guitarist D. Boon, who died in 1985. That was shortly after the release of their hugely influential album Double Nickels on the Dime. Before then, punk rock was about breaking the rules, but it actually had many of its own. The Minutemen threw that out and began experimenting with their sound, jamming out and incorporating jazz and funk. The band also employed a DIY model they dubbed “Jam Econo,” which would go on to inspire indie rock in the years after. Watt talks about jamming econo, making Double Nickels and his idea of Hot Topic.

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We Know It’s Only Rock N’ Roll But We Like It

Saturday, May 28th, 2011

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Willie Nelson, Mann Music Center, 10:09 PM by JONATHAN VALANIA

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RIP: Gil Scott-Heron, Godfather Of Rap, Dead At 62

Saturday, May 28th, 2011

“THE REVOLUTION WILL NOT BE TELEVISED”~a CLASSIC from BABA GIL SCOTT-HERON from jabari akhenamen on Vimeo.

THE GUARDIAN: The musician and poet Gil Scott-Heron – best known for his pioneering rap The Revolution Will Not Be Televised – has died at the age of 62, having fallen ill after a European trip. Scott-Heron’s spoken word recordings helped shape the emerging hip-hop culture. Generations of rappers cite his work as an influence. He was known as the Godfather of Rap but disapproved of the title, preferring to describe what he did as “bluesology” – a fusion of poetry, soul, blues and jazz, all shot through with a piercing social conscience and strong political messages, tackling issues such as apartheid and nuclear arms. He was best known for The Revolution Will Not Be Televised, the critically acclaimed recording from his first Gil_Scott_Heron.jpgalbum Small Talk at 125th and Lenox, and for his collaborations with jazz/funk pianist and flautist Brian Jackson. In The Revolution Will Not Be Televised, first recorded in 1970, he issued a fierce critique of the role of race in the mass media and advertising age. “The revolution will not be right back after a message about a white tornado, white lightning or white people,” he sang. MORE

NEW YORKER: Gil Scott-Heron. Scott-Heron is frequently called the “godfather of rap,” which is an epithet he doesn’t really care for. In 1968, when he was nineteen, he wrote a satirical, spoken-word piece called “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised.” It was released on a very small label in 1970. It is the species of classic that sounds as subversive and intelligent now as it did when it was new. Scott-Heron calls himself a bluesologist. He is sixty-one, tall and scrawny. Writer visits Scott-Heron at his apartment where he was watching a tape of the Rumble in the Jungle fight between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman. “I like to see unbelievable odds because that’s what I’ve been facing all these years. When I feel like giving up, I like to watch this,” Scott-Heron said. Some of the people the writer spoke with said they preferred to remember Scott-Heron as he had been before he had begun avidly smoking crack. MORE

PREVIOUSLY: The Revolution Will Be Narcotized

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CINEMA: Hair Of The Dawg

Friday, May 27th, 2011

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BY DAN BUSKIRK FILM CRITIC One good drink deserves another and when the original Hangover grossed nearly half a billion dollars in 2009, it was a sure thing that the Wolfpack was going to be back for a second round. Phil, Stu, and Alan are definitely the guys with which you still love to party yet how ironic that a film about cutting loose should be so unimaginative about how to run wild.

 

It’s the difference between the expectations of a film that costs 40 million dollars and has no stars and being a $80 million dollar film that’s expected to deliver a fortune. Where the original Hangover gave you the impression that their adventures were about to careen out of control at any moment, The Hangover Part II seems desperate to deliver the exact same film as last time, with pretty much the exact same surprises.

 

The only place they could think to top Vegas was Bangkok. Dentist Stu (Ed Helms) is there to marry Lauren (Jamie Chung of Sucker Punch) in Thailand, her parents’ homeland. Once again Alan (rotund man child Zach Galifianakis) drugs their drinks and bang, they wake up in a squalid Bangkok hotel room. No baby this time, but a monkey! The monkey/baby exchange will give you an idea of how unimaginatively they stick to the plot of the last Hangover. As the trio (completed by with Bradley Cooper playing hunky jerk Phil ) hunt for Stu’s missing future brother-in-law, who got lost in their cloudy memories of the night before.

 

So much of the strength of the first Hangover was the chemistry between the trio, and together they hold up this shoddy sequel, at least keeping a smile on your face where the early film earned guffaws. The film’s most dependable spark is comedian Ken Jeong, back as the effeminate, slang-tossing gangster Mr Chow, who the film needs to humiliate so badly they reveal his minuscule penis. His broken English is a throwback to every Asian stereotype across Hollywood history, a fact only avenged by how Jeong effortlessly steals every scene he’s in. The film also contains the first full-frontal non-operative transsexual shot in a mainstream comedy that I can think of.

This might be giving too much away although I found it intriguing that a character admits he was secretly yearning for his gay sexual experience. It gets to the whole sad subtext of the series, that we’re exploding with repressed urges, but we’re so strictly conformist that we’ve agreed to clench our true selves back until we’ve drunk ourselves silly at the edge of the world. Add to that, the general snide attitude toward Bangkok and its citizens and it brings an oddly conservative chill to the party. After blacking out and acting out a few times, you get the feeling the Wolfpack should face their fears and desires.

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We Know It’s Only Rock N’ Roll But We Like It

Friday, May 27th, 2011

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Raphael Saadiq, Electric Factory, last night by JONATHAN VALANIA

meAVATAR2.jpgBY JONATHAN VALANIA FOR THE INQUIRER If there is anything that Raphael Saadiq can’t do, it is only a slight exaggeration to say that scientists have yet to discover it. Sing? Check. Pipes of gold. Write songs? Check. Everything from classic old-school soul readymades to new-school R&B bump-and-grind. Play guitar? Check. He shreds like Ike Turner minus the coke and violence. Produce? Check. In addition to giving his own records a vintage Motown flavor, he’s twiddled the knobs for everyone from D’Angelo and Joss Stone to Macy Gray and Mary J. Blige. Perform? Check. That was more than proven during his 2 1/2-hour tour de force Thursday night at the Electric Factory. Oh, and he can also dress himself impeccably. Saadiq, 45, who got his start in the late ’80s with Tony! Toni! Toné!, looked Thursday night like he had stepped out of a Botany 500 ad from the June ’67 issue of Playboy. MORE

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RECKONING: Ratko Mladic, Europe’s Most Wanted War Criminal, Captured After 15 Years On The Run

Thursday, May 26th, 2011

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NEW YORK TIMES: Ratko Mladic, the former Bosnian Serb general accused of war crimes including masterminding the massacre of some 8,000 Muslim men and boys at Srebrenica in 1995, has been captured in Serbia after more than 15 years as one of the world’s most wanted fugitives. Serbian news reports said that Mr. Mladic had been living under the name of Milorad Komadic and that he was captured in the small farming town of Lazarevo in Vojvodina, the Serbian province north of Belgrade, after authorities received a tip that the man known as Komadic resembled Mr. Mladic and had identification documents with that name. Witnesses said he was not wearing a beard or any disguise, and had aged considerably, appearing older and thinner than the stout self-assured professional soldier who had last been seen in public in 2006. While close associates of Mr. Mladic had long said that Mr. Mladic would sooner kill himself than face capture, the Serb media reported that he had two pistols with him when he was arrested and did not attempt to use them. Police said he did not resist arrest, and was very cooperative. MORE

RELATED: Few top fugitives, including Osama bin Laden, have been on the verge of apprehension longer than Serbian Gen. Ratko Mladic, the brutal, operational face of genocide in the Balkans in the 1990s. For years, international prosecutors and leaders have left Belgrade with assurances that Mr. Mladic is about to be captured. Now, 15 years after his indictment for war crimes, a Serbian judge ruled that Mladic was medically fit to be extradited to face trial at the Hague, despite his lawyer’s objections and likely appeal. Mladic’s arrest by Serb authorities makes him the last of a Serb triumvirate to be captured for trial that includes Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic and Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic. Together the three men helped ignite orgies of ethnic hate and killing in the Balkans. Coming immediately after the heady fall of the Berlin Wall and end of the Soviet sphere of influence in 1989, sometimes called “the end of history,” Mladic played a direct role in opening a darker side of human history. For a Europe that swore “never again” after the gas chambers of Auschwitz and the official demonization of Jews, the chaos and ethnic cleansing Mladic helped unleash in the Balkans was an enormous test for Western values and resolve. That test often proved too much, analysts say. MORE

RELATED: In the Bosnian silver-mining town of Srebrenica in July 1995, one of the most notorious modern bosnian-genocide-living-skeletons_1.jpgacts of gendercide took place. While the international community and U.N. peacekeepers looked on, Serb forces separated civilian men from women and killed thousands of men en masse, or hunted them down in the forests. In June 1995, Bosnian Serb forces, pushing for a resolution to the ethnic “anomaly” of the Muslim enclaves, closed their noose around Srebrenica and the other “safe areas.” In Srebrenica, mass panic took hold of the civilian population. Women and children gathered at the U.N. base of Potocari, together with about 1,700 men,while most of the “battle-age” males — mostly unarmed non-combatants — took to the hills in a desperate attempt to flee to Muslim-held territory to the west. At Potocari, Dutch troops meekly allowed the Serbs access to the camps and the refugees they held. Then, the following day — July 11 — some 1700 men, disproportionately the elderly and infirm, were separated from women and children. The peacekeepers “stood inches away from the Serb soldiers who were separating the Muslim men, one by one, from their families” (Sudetic, Blood and Vengeance, p. 306). At Serb command, the Dutch drew up a registry of 242 Bosnian men remaining in the camp, again mostly elderly and infirm. Then they handed the men over to the Serbs. Not one of the 242 men is known to have survived. The children and women were bused, with isolated exceptions, to safety in Tuzla. Men, almost without exception, were carted away to their deaths. MORE

RELATED: Instead of a blindfold, the Serb soldiers bound Enisa’s eyes with their socks. The stench made her throw up, so they hit her until she learned that ‘Serb socks don’t smell’. Seven ‘heroes of the nation’ raped her and beat her for days. At first she resisted, so they brought her to her senses by knocking her teeth out with a rifle-butt and breaking her jaw. When she lost consciousness they would ‘give her a bath’, i.e. douse her in cold water. Terrified that she would be driven mad, she suddenly liked the idea and saw madness as a way out. She began singing Serb songs louder and louder, then dancing with the chetnik who had presumably Serbian_War_Criminals.jpgbutchered her husband. The soldiers were dumbfounded. They threatened her, held a knife to her throat, but she only sang louder. Believing she had gone off her head entirely, the soldiers paid less attention to her and she managed to escape, by hiding in a potato sack. When the journalist Seada Vranic spoke with Enisa a few months later, in July 1992, she saw before her a hunched, grey-haired old woman with a contorted face. That was just one month before Enisa’s twenty-eighth birthday. MORE

RELATED: Karadzic and Mladic were tracked intensely from the time of the Dayton Accords in 1995 onward, but inside the CIA’s Balkan Task Force, there was always uncertainty about whether the U.S. wanted to grab either of them, fearing the implications. [...] Mladic and Karadzic knew they were being tracked.  At one point in 1996, Mladic ordered his men to write the words, “F*** YOU” in English, in the snow near the town of Brcko, so it could be seen by spy satellites.  The image was shown to Clinton in the White House and he got a good laugh out of it, said one official who was in the room. [...] The bottom line, some officials believed, was that the U.S. was not interested in grabbing Mladic or Karadzic.  The U.S. knew doing so would complicate the Dayton Accords and the Balkan situation in general and could hurt relations with Russia, which protected the Serbs. “I never heard from the principals that we have to find them,” said one official involved in tracking them. “There was no priority getting the top guys.  The priority was to grab the lower-level guys to satisfy public concerns about war crimes.” The CIA, however, kept track “in case the policy changed, and in the Clinton administration, foreign policy, especially Bosnia, was subject to the polls” The CIA was very frustrated by the White House’s lack of interest in grabbing war criminals, knowing the level of war crimes alleged to have been committed. “I read the interviews with rape victims and it was one of the worst things imaginable,” said one CIA official. MORE

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RELATED: War In Bosnia Timeline

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Pedo Priest Scandal Rocks Archdioces Run By Pope’s Right Hand Man On Reforming Abusive Priests

Thursday, May 26th, 2011

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LA STAMPA: The latest sex-abuse case to rock the Catholic Church is unfolding in the archdiocese of an influential Italian Cardinal who has been working with Pope Benedict XVI on reforms to respond to prior scandals of pedophile priests. Father Riccardo Seppia, a 51-year-old parish priest in the village of Sastri Ponente, near Genoa, was arrested last Friday, May 13, on pedophilia and drug charges. Investigators say that in tapped mobile-phone conversations, Seppia asked a Moroccan drug dealer to arrange sexual encounters with young and vulnerable boys. “I do not want 16-year-old boys but younger. Fourteen-year-olds are O.K. Look for needy boys who have family issues,” he allegedly said. Genoa Archbishop Angelo Bagnasco, who is the head of the Italian Bishops Conference, had been working with Benedict to establish a tough new worldwide policy, released this week, on how bishops should handle accusations of priestly sex abuse. According to investigators, Seppia told a friend — a former seminarian and barman who is currently under investigation — that the town’s malls were the best places to entice minors. In tapped phone conversations the two cursed and swore against God. The priest is charged with having attempted to kiss and touch an underage altar boy and of having exchanged cocaine for sexual intercourse with boys over 18. Seppia’s defense lawyers are expected to argue that those conversations — monitored since Oct. 20, 2010 — were just words, sex games that were played by adults. It was just a game even when he claimed to have “kissed on the mouth” a 15-year-old altar boy, according to the defense. MORE

RELATED: The blame-shifting excuses that the American Roman Catholic Church keeps coming up with in its decade-long effort to explain away the pedophile priest scandal have ranged from the sublime to the ridiculous. My favorite is that this was not an epidemic of pedophilia but homosexuality. On the part of the victims. But now a new excuse is being offered and it’s a whopper: A five-year study commissioned by the church’s bishops concludes that homosexuality actually is not to blame. It is because priests were poorly prepared for the social and sexual turmoil of the 1960s and 1970s. In other words, hippies made them do it. MORE

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