Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Karadzic's alter ego's website

UPDATE: Turns out that website was a crock and only set up yesterday, thanks "James!" I guess it was way to convenient that it was also in English.

So remember how Karadzic had actually been living in Belgrade this whole time working at an alternative medicine clinic? Turns out he had his own website. How spooky are his "ten favorite Chinese proverbs?"

10 favorite ancient Chinese proverbs as selected personally by Dr. Dabic:

- Behind every able man, there are always other able men.

- Teacher opens the door, but you must enter by yourself.

- A wise man makes his own decisions, an ignorant man follows the public opinion.

- He who cannot agree with his enemies is controlled by them.

- If your strength is small, don't carry heavy burdens. If your words are worthless, don't give advice.

- A flawed diamond is better than a common stone that is perfect.

- Learning is a treasure that will follow its owner everywhere.

- If you are planning for a year, sow rice; if you are planning for a decade, plant trees; if you are planning for a lifetime, teach people.

- You cannot prevent the birds of sorrow from flying over your head, but you can prevent them from building nests in your hair.

- The one who gives up his own, shall dig two graves.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Radovan Karadzic Arrested!

The biggest news in the international criminal legal world in a while, and maybe of all time with regard to the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia. Karadzic, allegedly almost indisputably was the mastermind behind the Srebrenica massacre, which involved the systematic murder and rape of Bosnian Muslims in a UN declared "safe area." In recent memory, most of the news coming out of the ICC has been somewhat yawn-inspiring questions of jurisdiction and propriety of prosecutions. It is nice to have a war criminal we can all get angry at and renew our commitment to international justice. Put him on trial!

For a more in depth factual account of what happened at Srebrenica, take a look at this judgment from the ICTY, Prosecutor v. Krstic. It will make you ashamed to be a member of the same species as these guys.

This also shows how serious the Serbs are about tracking down war criminals. Say what you will about how long it took to find this guy, but they must have put some effort into it, because how anyone recognized this guy at all is pretty amazing. Look at the difference!Photo from the Associated Press.

He went from "creepy club owner" to Karl Marx/organic food guru in 10 years.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Om My God

I was not a big fan of high school. It was just ok. I wasn't picked on or anything, but I never really fit into any of the (very few) cliques we had at my small school. My school was so small that our cheerleaders weren't really the stereotypical cheerleaders that one sees at bigger schools, or maybe just in the movies, but a few of them were. And I wasn't a big fan of them either.

I do yoga now (just wait, this will make sense in a minute). Well, I should say that I attend yoga classes and attempt to do what the instructor and most everyone around me is doing with varying degrees of success/failure failure/success. One of the classes I go to is taught by a great instructor who is energetic and fun and talks about chakras and stuff, and I swear I am healthier for it.

So you can imagine my confusion when after our last class she handed out fliers for "shamanic cheerleader camp" that asked me if I was "Ready? Omkay!" At first I found it hilarious. Now I find it genuinely entertaining. Considering that I can barely make it through a normal class, I don't think I'll be attending, but you have to check this out. These girls look great at what they do. I love this city.


Thursday, July 10, 2008

What comes around

So, I have a confession to make. For a few months I was a commenter on a right wing blog. I know, I know, but hear me out. Here in SF I am surrounded by people who more or less agree with my more or less liberal viewpoint. I don't really do any good by *ahem* preaching to the choir.

So instead, I went on a proselytizing mission.

And let me tell you, the natives were having none of it.

Actually many were very nice and were willing to find at least some common ground. But others weren't. I was called a "liar" and an "idiot" and was eventually kicked off for being a general thorn in their sides. But I learned some interesting things while there, and I think we have to be careful that we don't do the same thing.

One is "post hoc ergo propter hoc," which I posted on there in latin just to get their panties in a wad. All this latin phrase means is that just because two things happen in sequence does not mean that the first thing caused the second thing. I guess it's sort of a first cousin of "correlation does not mean causation." I learned this because there were many (MANY) posts about how talking with "America's enemies" was a horrible idea, and for support, many of them used the example of WWII and how it would have been futile (or was futile if you were Stalin) to negotiate with Hitler (I also think they just like to bring up the Nazis for inflammatory effect). Now despite some very good WWII historians (and theorists) on the site, they didn't get that the fact that the lack or failure of negotiations in stopping WWII did not automatically mean equal "all negotiations with our enemies are fruitless."

Another good one I saw was result oriented thinking. In many of their posts talking about the shortcomings of Barrack Obama (who they repeatedly said was supported by Hamas) they listed "lack of knowledge/inexperience of foreign policy." When I asked them why this was now suddenly important to them now, when it didn't seem to matter with Bush in 2000 and 2004....well...I actually can't remember what they said, but something to the extent of well, NOW it's important and that W had really learned a lot. While I will say that W has learned some things on the job, he is still not the guy I want representing this country on the global front. He just called Berlusconi his "amigo," for pete's sake. How in the world can you now say that foreign policy experience is important when you voted for this frickin' guy? It's only important now because now it's the alleged shortcoming of the democratic candidate.

Come on guys. Think about it.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Woman Tries Her Hand(Gun) at Exterminating

In Today's News

Woman Pulls .44 Magnum On Mice, Shoots Herself

POTTER VALLEY (AP) ― A Mendocino County woman who was trying to kill mice in her trailer with a gun ended up shooting herself and another person. Full article here.
Instead of providing my own commentary, I will just juxtapose this article with a quote from Scalia's majority opinion in District of Columbia v. Heller, the Second Amendment case handed down a few weeks ago. The emphasis added is, of course, my own:
It is no answer to say, as petitioners do, that it is permissible to ban the possession of handguns so long as the possession of other firearms (i.e., long guns) is allowed. It is enough to note, as we have observed, that the American people have considered the handgun to be the quintessential self-defense weapon. There are many reasons that a citizen may prefer a handgun for home defense: It is easier to store in a location that is readily accessible in an emergency; it cannot easily be redirected or wrestled away by an attacker; it is easier to use for those without the upper-body strength to lift and aim a long gun; it can be pointed at a burglar with one hand while the other hand dials the police. Whatever the reason, handguns are the most popular weapon chosen by Americans for self-defense in the home, and a complete prohibition of their use is invalid.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Misleading Headline

I did a double take when I saw the title of this story. I thought it was going to be about a hate crime or something equally atrocious.

Injured Gay is on 'active rest'

Email|Print|Single Page| Text size + By Shira Springer Globe Staff / July 7, 2008

EUGENE, Ore. - Tyson Gay was diagnosed with a mild strain in part of his left hamstring after undergoing an MRI late Saturday afternoon. Gay suffered the injury during the men's 200 quarterfinal at the US Olympic track and field trials, falling to the track 40 meters into the race. According to a statement released by his manager, Mark Wetmore, Gay is "expected to engage in 'active rest' for up to 12-14 days, with light physical activity increasing through that period."

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Urban fossil

During my bike ride yesterday, I stopped at Chino's taqueria, which was an oasis of carnitas goodness in an otherwise unfamiliar (and at around 4 pm on a Wednesday a kind of scary) Outer Richmond area. As I sat down to ingest the calories (or maybe 2x the calories) I had just managed to burn off during my ride in the form of a super burrito, I looked up and saw this.

Now, while it is comforting to know that I can still get a good hot carl any time I want to, I realized that it had been a long time since I had actually noticed a pay phone. I'm sure I've walked by a few lately, but I'd never actually been near one in recent memory. Kind of weird really. I mean this is how I used to call my parents in middle school to tell them that I was hanging out with my friends in the Carl Jr.'s parking lot and that I wouldn't be home for dinner. Now all I can think of is that I should really carry Purell instant hand sanitizer everywhere I go.