Listen to my latest podcasts

There are two sites that feature my podcasts. People who support them on the Web - find my palavering real fun. I jibe at politicians and others - whenever they deserve it. The podcasts here are separated into those in Macedonian and the few in English. There is "About me" page too and some family pics. I plan to run conversational Macedonian chats, but need experience. This is on an OSX platform produced on a GarageBand and featured by iMac on iWeb. This is yet another, my all-Macedonian language podcasting facility put together and maintained by my friend George Zafirovski, an interface Merlin who builds (quickly) his reputation in London, UK. He is quite professional. So

Friday, June 22, 2007

Do Not Cheat on the CV, it is Your Life. Don't lie. Period

My second grandson Marko (Isn't he cute?) will be four in a couple of months, is entering the great childhood phase of publicly fantasizing just about anything. Not that he is mine, but the he is a very, but very-very bright kid. He is lightning fast and loves making chaos to play a risky game of making-chaos-of the-house with me. My son and daughter-in-law, who are on a tour of duty in a foreign land, try their best to rear him up with proper manners. Failing, they jointly accuse me of inducing an absolutely awful and a very costly example at that. Marko appears to have become a menace and outright danger for theirs and other people's fine bone china and crystal.

But that is not the point of this post. His present inclination to fantasizing is.

Namely, with guests around, Marco had begun throwing innocent, loud questions like "Daddy, you remember how we dived in the backyard pool of our house in London?" or "It is boring here, when shall we go sailing on the yacht with grandpa?". If the guests would be Dortje and Mo from the Volkskrantblog, nobody would give a damn. Unfortunately, they are often very highly ranked civil servants, businessmen or diplomats who tend to take Marko literally. That is where troubles begin because silencing the kid adds oil on the fire while laughing up is tantamount to a public admission of the suggestion.

Thus, where does the money come for houses with an outdoor swimming-pool in Kensington or a yachts moored in Amsterdam? We know of the old adage that "Where there is smoke, there must be some fire". The troubles begin when people begin searching.

Take for instance this poor Patric Imbardelli, till a week ago the boss of InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) for all the Asia-Pacific region, member of the Board of directors of IHG, a chain employing 345,432 people and managing 558,000 hotel rooms - without mentioning their yachts and backyard swimming pools. The man resigned because he fantasized (in his long forgotten CV) that he not only attended (a fact) but also graduated (pure fantasy) from Victoria University, Sydney and Cornell University, USA. There is no point at all discussing his particular case (the CV was old, written with a job application for another firm) because none of this would affect you even if you have booked your holidays with Inter-Conti on Bora-Bora, in the Pacific. (This, of course, is my hypothesy only: will the chambermaids of the chain have new fancy ideas after the big boss was caught lying? Or would they be aware that there will not be a golden parachute opening for them upon leaving IHG?)

Let's concentrate on those who fantasize (cheat, lie, falsify, deceit) for acquiring something (position, other power, influence or plain money) through a position in the political or corporate structure. Then, googling brought me to the facts extended by the Risk Advisory Group (specialized in employee screening) which, actually, nailed Patric Imbardelli once he exposed himself at the top. These CV fantasy-busters claim that 50% of the people applying for a job lie in their Curriculum Vitae scripts by including one or more inaccuracies. They have checked, painstakingly, 3,700 CVs during the last year only and concluded that lying spreads and becomes ever more serious.

Thus, every second captain of the industry or a top bureaucrat is like my grandson Marko. The only difference is that he really fantasizes (he is not aware of the consequences) while they lie for gain, for profit and are, therefore, crooks. One out of five CV lies about collisions with the courts, present directorship positions or academic qualifications or a mix of all those. One out of five. 20% of the people who ever signed a CV are liars or, if you are sensitive to the word, they are "rather economical with the truth". People lie telling what were their previous salaries, what are their skills, their criminal records.

That is why I have a proposal:

Let us demand that Netherlands BV invite Risk Advisory Group to make a survey of all the CVs in storage with our national archives. Let us press Parliament invite the businesses that Risk Advisory Group will be authorized to check all the CV for comissarissen, CEOs and CFOs with Dutch enterprises. Period. Let us see where the hack are we in this jungle. Eventually, all CVs would have to carry a stamp "A public document. To be deposited with the Dutch Archives 25 years after being signed".

May be we shall be somewhat poorer for a number of colorful fantasists but will be merrier with so many liars out of our sight.

Global Warming, Bill Clinton and Al Gore


Seriously speaking, I think that this is more Bill Clinton's view of the effects of Global warming than Al Gore's. They are anyway less important than the fore-running Hillary Rodham Clinton. But one may safely guess that she would find this pun base...

The Death Toll in Iraq and President Bush


Really, what the hell is the difference between a zillion and a brazillion?

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

French philandering and Segoleme


French top politicians cheat on their wifes -or husbands- routinely. This implies the family may soon be finished. But then, who will take care of the toddlers, of the children, the youth, the very old, the handicapped? Me or the State? If the family is obsolete, shall we incubate the new generations?

(This madame is sexy, and she had four deliveries. Then, why did Hollande cheat on this attractive woman? A mystery? Throw him out of work, Sego, teach the bastard a lesson.)

You probably feel somewhat neglected, because of my long abscence, don't you? So sorry. Telling you that you were almost day and night on my mind wont do the trick of making it up to you, would it?

The point is that I was crushed with obligations I simply could not postpone nor handle lightly, as I prepare breakfast for my grandchildren. But then, there were so many interesting experiences that I have harvested while out there, encounters with absolutely crazy ideas and attitudes that, once sorted out and presented for your consumption, you might, just, be tempted to excuse me.

Sorry once more.

One of the last posts here was my outburst of support for Sagoleme Royal. We all know how she failed in the bid for the French presidency. Pity. But then, two days ago, while reading how badly, how cowardly she was betrayed, stabbed in thee back by the father of her four kids, I was once again, stupid me, reminded of the growing amorality among our species. Only 30 days after the night she was defeated by this guy Sarkozy, my heroine Sagoleme disclosed that she was splitting with her partner, Hollande, that she had asked him to leave "their house" (why did she use that adjective there, as in "mine and my kids' house" or something along the line of "our old family castle") and go his philandering path away from her and the kids.

There was a hint that her partner's affair with another woman was not a yesterday's shocking piece of news, something that had just happed after the presidential election. Her statement and my googling point to the fact that her parter has been cheating on Sagoleme for some time, that his new relationship was a common knowledge in France, that the media had entertained the public with the fact.

This means that she had fought for the Presidency with this big burden on her shoulders, heart and mind. Deep down she must have known that millions of French were aware that she, if they vote for her, will be either moving to the Elysee alone or her relationship with Holland would have to be renegotiated. Is it possible that she judged the French so very emancipated as to send her, together with this lying partner to the pinnacle of power?

Since Francois Hollande has been secretary-general of the French Socialist party, did the fact also imply a fundamental shift in family values and norms? Segoleme did not tackle in full the issue of the status of single mothers and their position in the society. Did she, did he, in their different political positions, imply that the private is to be individually defined, that the individual and not the family is the basis of the society.

Fine, who takes care of the toddlers, of the children, the youth, the very old, the handicapped? Me or the State? If the family is obsolete, shall we incubate the new generations? If we do, why not go into bio-engineering and produce super-kids, clean of ailments, self-supportive, self-destruct at the age of what, 90 or 110 or 75? Or different time-limits for different incubated offsprings. Then we may have the geniuses engaged in wanking their sperm all the time instead of producing genial solutions for the humankind.

That is the real topic for a French election. Forget new corporate taxes, french industry, salaries of the entrepreneurs, Airbus, TGV, NATO and the rest. Tell me about the family and my place in the society.

They did not dig into it. She did not. Hollande did not outline his party's position related to those questions. So why trust them with this affair growing as a malign tumor between them? Is it possible that all of France is well aware of such a problem and allows it to simply grow? And this Hungarian immigrant Sarcozy. His wife leaves him for a sex fling with somebody then comes back than says will not move to Elysee, will be "independent". How independent can be the official wife and the mother of a child of the President of France?

Then, totally by itself, the picture of Hillary Clinton, hours after the Monica Levinsky affair, surfaces in front of me. She stood by her husband. I think I understood her explanation. She did not do it for him as Bill. She did it for her her husband who was the President of the United States. She did it for those two institutions and, a little bit, for her ambition to run for president herself. Hollande behaved differently.

Personally, I like womanizing. I love women. Period. I think sex is the greatest thing around. Period. By I am not the secretary-general of the Socialist party of France, neither I am the partner of a woman who delivered me four children out of love through quarter of a century of sex. Dammit, you are a promiscuous pig, Francois.

And you deserve that Sagoleme kikcks your ass out of that office. And Sarcozy's too. Everything in its due time.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Ashkolsun Segolene Royal, You Deserve the Élysée


Now that she declared her support for Turkey’s bid to join the European Union, Ségolène Royal fully qualifies to enter the Élysée Palace as the next president of the French. Untill now she appeared a confused Socialist, almost as bad as this poor Dutch Jan Marijnissen who (with his anti-Turkish position and attitude toward historic responsibility) does not understand what Socialism is about.

The first word in the title derives from "Ashk olsun" and originally meant "May it become love". This is a declaration of someone's best vision of the fate of any sustenance. Back in Macedonia we understand it as a praise. Like when you say "bravo" and applaud someone's achievement. Something like "congratulations". Madame Segolene Royal fully deserves a huge "ashk olsun" for her decision to support Turkey.

Now there is a glimmer of chance that there may be somebody to tell Angela Merkel to shut up her big mouth, to refrain from throwing her Teutonic weight around and behave. There is nobody better qualified to that against the quickly inflating ego of the bundeskanzlerin. A firm French Madame seated in the Élysée Palace. I have no doubt that Segolene will find a well-staged showdown on this subject more than welcome opportunity to demonstrate the specific political weight of France and in the process open up wider horizons on world politics in general, dialogue among the civilizations, religions, economic blocs and so forth. She will have pleased the US with such a no-cost gesture and earned herself a significant number of muslim votes.
But this is not related to electioneering. Segolene Royal final position on Turkey is right as a principle. If Cyprus is in - Turkey must be a member now, even without any negotiations. This is a beautiful opportunity for whatever dialogue related to the future of the EU Segolene may wish to open and pursue in the remaining four weeks or so before the first round of the presidential elections.
Well done gall, keep up!
I am thrilled, elated with the way Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan slammed the European Union for giving mixed messages concerning Turkey's membership. He criticized (needlessly) Germany for not inviting Turkey to the celebrations marking the 50th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome. Angela Merkel and Deutschland auto-portraid themselves in such a poor light and in the process pushed all the other leaders in the mud of vulgar arrogance. Angela, well, that is her poor upbringing, so very base. Distasteful.

Of course that Erdogan was irritated, who would expect such a vulgarity from a woman with so high ambition. Do you know that this Schwaben-frau Angela Merkel chose a beer mug as her official good-buy present for the outgoing French President Jacques Chirac? A beer mug for the President of France. I do not know what she wanted to achieve? That half the French choke dinning while watching the TV-news? If she is so rude - how much worse are those under her? One stupid Munich beer-halle mug. As if he were a bachelor. And then, do you know that the mug has a relief of the little Corsican, Emperor Napoleon. For the President of the Fifth Republic. She is really nuts, this Angela. Napoleon, beaten so often. All Europe against him. Exiled, the prisoner of Elba and St. Helena. Is it possible that Angela was refering to the forthcoming court proceeds against Jacques Chirac and the eventual outcome of the conflict with Madame Justice? Is that an indication for a new chapter in German-French relations? I do not want to even contemplate whether Napoleon on a beer mug fo Chirac may have any other reasonable reference although I know them all.

Is Segolene Royal going to pay back Angela Merkel with some French subtlety or will she decide on a broad swing?

I am glad that today, in Istanbul, had opened a symposium on “Inter-religious and Intercultural Dialogue in Youth Work”. The event is jointly organized by the Council of Europe and the Directorate General of Youth and Sports of the Republic of Turkey. You may find this a superfluous info, but the Islamic Conference Youth Forum for Dialogue and Cooperation together with the European Youth Forum are also supporting the event. There are some 240 participants who discuss topics like “Religion and Human Rights,” “Racism and discrimination,” “Islamophobia,” and “The consequences of terrorism on inter-religious and intercultural dialogue” among many others. Council of Europe runs this “All different-All equal” campaign in more than 40 European countries and this is one outlet..

Furthermore - the EU - Turkey accession talks reopen today in Brussels. And that is also a small, almost marginal, but a needed signal, inspiration for some more endurance.

Segolene, you could not have decided better. Ashkolsun for the perfect timing too.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

The Madonna With the Big Boobies Hits Branko Trickovski for Mobing


You will not be interested in the biography of Branko Trickovski, (here,left) a journalist with a Macedonian daily owned by the Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung. It costs me an itch to tell it, digested, but never you mind.I will not say a word. The guy writes columns and the latest illustrates the paranoia spreading through the capital of the EU candidate-country like a bush fire. It also depicts the early morning atmosphere in the leading political newspaper at odds with the ruling parliamentary majority of the country. This is how he opens up on a very serious issue, blaming the present government of employing secret service Stalinist methods in chasing officials and other people suspected of taking bribes.

+ + + + +

She appeared somehow swollen in the tits while she was leaving the spinach pie (bourek) on the small table next to my desk and the change of twenty denars (€0,30) over the newspaper I was reading about the detention of Dejan Dokik. I told myself: Trickovski, the money is only small change, but in the bra of the cleaning woman, further to her tits, there must be something else.

With a Christopher Dean olympic repertoire triple axel I placed myself behind the petite woman and had begun to press her first towards the oily paper with the pie and then towards the bank notes of ten denars.

-Take pictures, take pictures, take your picture, you damned provocateur. You want me sent to jail for a quarter of pie and twenty denars of bribe from my own money, you female spook, fuck you damn spy...the pie-shop notes smell on oil, not paint.

But, the woman did not remain more than five seconds in that position. In a bolero-style swing she delicately turned towards me as if Jane Torvill in Sarajevo, pushed herself softly from my chest and walking towards the door, threw at me, over her shoulder, the following words:

-I take pics of you, idiot, but my cameras are not in my bra, and I do not take pics because of the bribe but for mobing. Can't stand your every morning routine of pie without yogurt. I'll send you to court, you crazy madman, I'll send you to Strasbourg if needed.

+ + + + +


This is how Trickovski, an old colleague and a friend (till this piece hits the fan) opens up on the allegedly wide-spread police method in Macedonia to plant agent-provocateurs who entice people in accepting bribes while the uniformed arresting unit waits in front of the door to jump in and handcuff (cameras rolling) the corrupt recipient of the bribe. Trickovski develops the story effectively as always (he is the best author of the newspaper) and has not a shred of doubt that tempting poor people to accept bribes is immoral. He implies that all the two million Macedonians would accept a bribe because of latent, dismal poverty. The most controversial proposal by the man is his claim that "A society in which there is nothing else but crime and the fight against crime - cannot exist".

But, after 30 plus years in journalism Trickovski knows that there are many other things in Macedonia than the present effort to eradicate corruption. He choses to disregard everything else but the crime and the fight against it. That is rather distorted picture of Macedonia.

So, he insists that the police allegedly used inadmissible evidence to fight corruption. But then, for the sake of what he believed was a successful introduction to a burning theme - Trickovski described himself as a villain. He described how he jumped and pressed the poor female employee of the newspaper, the cleaning hand, after sending her on a private errand as if she were his serf. He admits swearing at her, scaring her wits. The woman was molested. Rud Lubers was expressly thrown out of the UNHCR for much less. Or was all this hyperbole, a matter of speech, a journalist fancy? So, the top columnists can scare the employees out their minds, "fuck you female spook", but the police cannot, may not send an agent-provocateur.


(Here left, the daily Utrinski Vesnik, then edited by Trickovski, published over the front page that my insignificance (Grozdan Popov) was the newspaper's correspondent from The Hague. It was not so. The paper refused to pay for my articles shamelessly claiming that it "promoted me". The director of the newspaper, Srdjan Kerim refused to respond. He does not think much of intellectual property. That is a scandalous behaviour for somebody who may preside the UN General Assembly where so much was done to protect intellectual property. There are people who see this affair as a scheme to rob someone for individual or group advantage.)

I am ready to buy even such a nonsense. Now. In advance. But on one condition: that the police tries persuading the prosecutor to indict the individual arrested for accepting a bribe. I would await the judge or the court to throw the case out. So what. And I would do it again if I were the the prosecutor. Again and again. I would insist that the clever lawmakers amend the laws on corruption so that it becomes easier to prove. I would arrange that the cooperating bribers be pardoned after a short time in the clink: so many of those witnesses who had stricken deals with Carla del Ponte were brought against Slobodan Milosevic. Nobody uttered a word. If such an arrangement is possible with the UN Tribunal, why not with a court in Skopje?

Take China, the most numerous (1,3 billion people) country and the fastest growing economy on the planet. A super-power. Its highest legislative body, the National Congress had just wound up its session for 2007 the other day. On occasion of the event the prime-minister of China Wen Jibao met the press. The media was reminded that China's road to democracy is specific. The media was reminded that: quote, Democratic government is the Chinese communist party governing on behalf of the people...while upholding and perfecting the people's democratic dictatorship".

That is democracy the Chinese way.

The Chinese prime minister admitted that corruption has spread and got its roots deeper in the social tissue. To eradicate the corruption China will engage in establishing stricter control over the officials. Hundreds of top party leaders were arrested in the fight against corruption, but it did not bother Chine destroy and launch satellites and amass 1,100 billion dollars of foreign reserves, prepare a for glittering summer olympic games and set in motion 350 km/hour trains. So, where does one look for examples?

And one more thing.


Branko Trickovski was a part of a plot that was, in my view, designed to rob a colleague of intellectual property. His present bosses, Srdjan Kerim(here, above) the director and Erol Rizaov, the present editor, have in one way or another, taken part in the affair. Srdjan Kerim was singled out by a Belgrade weekly "Student" as a plagiarizer. Many people confuse plagiat with theft of intellectual property.

Srdjan Kerim is a candidate to become the next president of the General Assembly of the United Nations. That is what is badly wrong with the Macedonian government. It pushes a crook like Srdjan Kerim to succeed the lady, Sheikha Haya Rashed Al-Khalifa who is specialist in fighting intellectual property thefts!

That is what Macedonia needs to pay attention to.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Lustration Laws in Europe are Unconstitutional: Why Macedonia Wants One?


The other day the Macedonian parliament passed the initiative to open up (urgent) legislative work that will result for the first ever Lustration Law of the small Balkan state. Since the poor country had been under concentrated and daily growing pressure by all sort of domestic and international thugs - I was shocked with the news. I though that my people have lost all orientation and that Barosso should better summon this guy Olli Rehn and warn him that he scared the Macedonian government out of its wits.

I have a feeling that the aspiring candidate-member countries are squeezed into submission and faced with some rather ugly and totally arbitrary choices. Thus - the Lustration Law. (Here: the Speaker of the house tries to bring some order in the Parliament -Sobranie- in Skopje)

I would extend a wager that less than 25% of my visitors know what lustration actually stands for now. We have learned, ages ago, that the Romans used the word to denote purification by ablution in water. the lustrations are always connected with sacrifices and other religious rites, and consisted in the sprinkling of water by means of a branch of laurel, olive or basilicum. In ancient Greece, and probably at Rome also, the acts (they called them catharsis here (cannot write in greek alphabet) were performed by private citizen when they felt they had committed (polluted themselves with) a criminal act. After the Cylonian massacre Epimenides of Crete made Athens engage into catharsis.

In Rome the lustration had completely different meaning. It was performed to obtain the blessing of the gods upon the persons or things which were lustrated. Get it? Fields were purified after sowing (for better harvest), Roman armies were lustrated before departing to war. When a Macedonian army was lustrated, a dog was cut in two pieces in the place where the army was to assemble, and one half of the dog was thrown at a distance on the right and the other to the left. The army then assembled in the place between the spots where the pieces had fallen Forget the Macedonians of 2200 years ago. We have to deal with the contemporary ones, equally fierce at fighting each other as the troops of Alexander.

February, in Rome, used to be the lustration period of the year. The god of the underworld and the judge of the dead Februus (therefore February) was accepted as the supreme potens lustrationum and thus all he solemnities wre performed in his honor. The deity latter took another name (the big and mighty always did what they want to: he was the son of Saturnus) and became Pluto but the Romans did not change the name of the month into Plutoary. Found it too much, I believe, too demeaning for themselves to play is the deity fiddled. Strange, it was at the beginning of this February that the Macedonian parliament passed the resolution opening the road to the Lustration Law.

I am totally baffled with this attitude. The Greeks should have imposed on themselves catharsis laws in 1977 after the dictatorship of Papadopoulos, and in 1949 after the fiercest Civil war - but they did not. Or the Spaniards: why they did not pass any lustration acts after the fascist butcher Franco died?

(Nazi collaborator Maurice Papon, 96, died this Saturday insisting he was doing his duty as a civil servant.)
Do you remember any such laws passed in France after the WWII against the Vichy regime? I do not. And still, yesterday passed away a French guy who climbed up the ladder of the civil service in France ALTHOUGH he unlawfully helped a number of people be arrested during the WWII. He sent Jews to the camps without knowing what was happening there He was convicted, few years ago, without any lustration laws. It is a most intriguing story about a Nazi collaborator who said he did his duty as a public, civil servant These people in Poland and in Macedonia simply have to read this.

It is useless explaining that lustration laws around some eastern-european countries are legally totally groundless because they collide head on with the dictum that a retroactive law is illegal. Generally speaking, retroactive or ex post facto laws are seen as a violation of the civil state, of any rule of law as it applies in a free and democratic society. Most jurisdictions do not permit retroactive legislation. Period. The US Constititution, article 1, section 9. Article 7 of the Convention on Human Rights bind the EU to prohibit ex post facto laws.

So, why tolerate this charade?

In Macedonia it somebody called Stojan Andov who is the driving force of this late, bad and out of order initiative. I know the guy. Once I met him on the secluded Brioni islands (private residence of President Tito) where the brains of the self-managment, socialist federation were gathered to deliberate further market approach of the economy. He was the least engaged of all and had ample time to give me an interview full of crap. Him and the others did not need to tell the small spooks what did I think: those people would stick a label of "technocratic tendendencies", or "anarcho-iberal" essays in the society, of "dogmatic" forays in this or that field of the society and then hundreds of people would have to defend themselves of this sort of denouncements would do much more harm then when somebody would tell an agent that "Mickey is an enemy, he'll send his son to study in Prague".

This sort of legislature is obviously demeaning after 15 years of new, obviously democratic, multicultural Macedonia with an earned status of EU candidate-country. It speaks volumes about the moral profile of the Parliament in Skopje. There is still time to squash the initiative and simply forget the proposal, let it wither, just the way the Bulgarians did.

I am amazed that this Olli Rehn does not tell the Macedonian government that these laws are useless: they shake the civil state further into insecurity, that all it takes is keep to the Constitution and do not do anything that collides with it.

That is law. That is stability.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Siemens Needed €38 m. For Bribes in Saudi Arabia, Do You Think €3 m. is Enough in Macedonia?


Siemens is a worldwide multinational corporation employing 450,000 people, 21st on the Fortune Global 500 list with $91 billion of revenues and Delta Holding from Belgrade, employing some 14,000, also pretending to be a multinational firm, not on the Fortune 500 list, about $2 bln in revenues, can hardly compare with it. Or so it seems at a first glance.
But, when one looks better, it appears that these two companies have something interesting in common. Both are involved in very high profile bribe cases. In strongly alleged criminal activity.
Siemens makes and sells electrical and electronic products and systems from toasters to trains, from hearing aids to power stations. It works in 190 countries round the world. Delta Holding is mainly engaged in the foodstuffs like diary products, Serbian cheese, or meat, cereals, but it also sells consumer goods others produce or services of its own. It appears that Delta Holding is an ambition-lead firm and will expand in other countries. What better than begin with the neighboring ones (Croatia, Bulgaria, Macedonia) before it makes 180-200 like Siemens.
Back to Siemens - Delta Holding "bribes for expansion" similarity.
In November last year (75 days ago) a squad of of German policemen raided Siemens headquarters, arrested several suspects, took whatever they were told was interesting and ignited a big fireball of an international bribe scandal. The Munich public prosecutor's office chases Siemens for bribing foreign citizens do things that would benefit the German multinational firm.
To-day's Wall Street Journal runs a top of the first-page story under a title Key Siemens figure talks and specifies that a $50 million bribe to individuals in Saudi Arabia was confirmed by a witness (who is also a suspect) who flew in and gave himself up to the prosecutors willing to help the investigation and get leniency in exchange. That is just a fraction of the $545 million approximated as spent on bribes during the past seven years by Siemens top executives. $420 million were uncovered so far.
Now, after a self-promoting lawyer (Aleksandar Tortevski (formerly deputy leader with the League of Democracy political party presided by his university professor) blabbed that Nikola Gruevski the prime-minister of Macedonia refused to accept a €3 million bribe - the Pandora box opened and the first question was: who extended the bribe? Before long "Delta Holding" from Belgrade and its CEO Miroslav Mishkovic were implicated. The deputy CEO of "Delta-Holding" Milka Forcan, a very charming an efficient person, demanded the allegations were substantiated with names or squashed. The macho crowd in Skopje disregarded her appeal. Then the big boss sent a growling letter to the president of Macedonia Branko Crvenkovski suggesting he intervened or a court case was in the looming. The president publicly distanced himself from any mediation. Thus, a Balkan impasse.

Or is it so?
Of course it is not.
The Serbian prosecutor has a formal statement by the Macedonian government that somebody in the name of "Delta-Holding" offered a bribe to the prime-minister of a sovereign country. If $5o million (€38 million) are needed for bribing officials in Saudi Arabia where dollar bills fly as used parking tickets, paltry €3 million for church-mouse poor Macedonia is a pile of money, more than adequate. So, the Serbian prosecutor could (following the practice of his German colleagues) give order for a raid on "Delta-Holding" in search of evidence. The fact that in this particular case the alleged bribe was not consummated - is totally besides the point. The admission (from the receiving end of the allegation) that there was an offer for a bribe indicates that there might have been other, consummated bribes by "Delta-Holding" in Macedonia or elsewhere. That would, further on, imply that moneys evaded the tax laws in Serbia, hurt the treasury, although I do not believe that the German Bundesrepublic publicly drags Siemens (Nr.1 electronics firm on the planet) in the filth of corruption only for possible $80 million of uncollected tax. I think that the principle is in question.

Thus, I can understand that Serbia does not deliver Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic to this butcher of a lawyer Carla del Ponte because its constitution for the past 75 years effectively forbid any extradition of the citizens of the country under any pretext - but I cannot understand why the prosecutor of Serbia does not budge in this case? If Mr. Mishkovic is proven right that "Delta-Holding" does not resort to corruption, so much the better. The Serbian side can, at the same time, press the Macedonian legal system clarify what is what. The two prosecutors and police could cooperate. Such an event appears incomprehensible at the moment but that is exactly my point.
The Balkans needs the rule of law. The Balkans crave for honest cooperation. The Balkans plead for normality. But the Balkans also need to get rid of innuendoes and of smear, of hush-hush attacks on any public servant or individual. It is not true that "all of them are thieves".
Unfortunately, as we have seen recently, the Balkans do not forget the adage that the early singing rooster is the first to end up in the pot. Setting in motion the clogs of the justice grinder may help things to move to the better.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

How d-r Devica Smilevska-Kapetanovic Became a Specialist General Practitioner with the AMC Amsterdam

Do not ask me why, but doctors, especially shrinks, wizards and witches, fortune tellers, healers, vets et all , well, they are nicely listed in the ghost-busters' chapter of my simple book of professional classification. That is not derogative. The financial wizards of the Financial Times and political analysts of the Economist are irrevocably tucked in the voodoo section, right at the end. I have a feeling that this is not the right opening for this post, but this came spontaneously, just as was my first reaction (admiration) to the news that my beloved friend Devica (means "Virgin" in Macedonian, though she is the physical of two grown up charming kids and a long-time spouse of a notorious womanizer Bruno Kapetanovic presently from Heemstede, otherwise an international entrepreneur of semi-Montenegrin roots from Skopje, Macedonia.

We met the other day, I think I did mention that here already, at Sasa and Valentina Vlaski's reception on occasion of Sveti Jovan or St. John's day. There she told me, not right away, but as a reply to a question (how's medicine?) and she was besides herself out of joy, and then, slowly, my reaction gave her wings, she, always so very calm and so very shy, gave in, spilled it ll and showed it. I mean she allowed herself to express, in her own very subtle, very modest, very noble way, the quiet joy of her success.

Ever since she and Bruno came here, some 17 years ago, she toiled, she learned Dutch and Latin, passed one after another exam, rose a beautiful daughter (now their Bruna is 16, a real young woman already) gave birth to a son (Danilo, 9, baptized after her father-in-law)and went through thin and thick with her man and still conquered everything and became yet another Macedonian specialist medical doctor highly esteemed with the Academish Medisch Centrum of Amsterdam. Yeas. And Yes again. I am so very proud with Devi!

But then, of course, there is more, much more to it than it meets the eye. All it takes is patience, especially on these orthodox occasions: the most interesting stories spoon slowly and one needs to be concentrated, otherwise a carefully extended hook for catching on a reference is missed and you are off the cliff. Thus, when I ask her what was her maiden name, she smiles imperceptibly and says Smilevska and sends a quick-look sonde, a probe to sense whether that rang a bell. It did not. I make a full of myself and go on to find, eventually, out that her Dad sat in the Presidency of the Union of Journalists of Macedonia, D-r Blaze Smislevski, the chair of the Commission of working and living conditions of the journalists.
Then, only then, the big picture explodes in front of my eyes. I remember her Dad perfectly well, I know that he worked with prof.d-r Ivan Mikulcic the father of my daughter-in-law who told me stories about the guy. What a world. And all that happens in a "woonkamer" of a house in Delft of Vermeer, some 3,000 km away from her Dad and my in-law!. But I know the house where her Dad lived as a kid, an amiable guy specialist in sport medicine.
Then her husband dives in and says:
-My father was very good friend with professor Mikulcic, too.
-What, the military secret services watched over the the shoulders of digging archaeologists? Shared the spoils of science, did they?
-You are daft. They drank together.
Now, I stop for a moment and reflect: Macedonia has given so many good doctors to the Netherlands. When I came here in 1989 as the Yugoslav National Tourist Office representative, Blagoja K. Janevski was a top-ranking professor with the Rijksuniversiteit te Leiden, ph.d. in medicine, world authority in radiology and one of his books (Angiography of the upper extremity) still sells all over internet (at +$200 apiece) as an indispensable tool for new radiologists! Pettish details? No, nei, nixon, non. That is quality. Now deceased, Vojkan Vuzevski was a pathology professor at Erasmus. d-r Igor. I. Tulevski not only graduated, he earned a ph.d. in medicine from the University of Amsterdam and (after B. K. Janevski is one of the most quoted Dutch medicine men for the last 10-20 years. That is how I measure quality of contribution to science, society, whatever. There are more: MD Filip B. Eftimov after graduating from UvA is working, at the AMC Amsterdam, on his specialization, I think in gynecology, dear him. MD Stefan V, Arsov (who my grandson refers to as "Frankenstein" because he thinks that Stefan gets kidneys from dead people to make a new body) has just begun his work as a nephrologyst with the Rijksuniversiteit Groningen on a most interesting project. And there is this charming pediatrist here in Amstelveen who has yet to tell me more what does she do now.

Well, I am looking for that party Devica and Bruno are going to throw soon to celebrate the big event, to meet all these ghost-busters of degrading flesh and ask Blaze Smilevski how do the journalists in Macedonia endure the run up to Europe!

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Bejanovska-Levavasseur Translates Bogomil Gjuzel, Fires Flames of Painful Memories

She, my friend Marija Bejanovska-Levavsseur did not know what did she was doing when she hit enter and her e-mail clinked on my iMac. Rose a fury of memories and sentiments so nicely buried away. She wrote that one of these days a publisher in Belgium will promote her latest project, translation of a book of poetry titled "Under siege" with her introduction about the author, Bogomil Gjuzel (here left). She could have just as well hit me with a baseball bat.

We were 10 or 11. We sat in the same class of Goce Delcev elementary school. We were the best. My dad and mum were in two different communist goulags. His dad was hung by the communists when we were six. He was pensive. Who would not be. I think the kids knew. There was never a hint of a comment. We played, during recesses, Vinetou. He lead. Small. Large chick-bones. Huge deep-set eyes. He was the first who read Karl May and he assigned the roles for us. He was Old Shatterhand, the blood-brother of Vinetou. I was Fat Jim. Even then, 57 years ago. We jumped over the most dangerous construction blocks with rusted, murderous irons shooting at their edges. In retrospect, he might have had enough and wanted to die. Others fell, hurt themselves badly, even seriously and eventually that game was forbidden. It, thus, became a double challenge.

Then, when the whole school went on an excursion several miles away and when we were returning, during some crimson-clouded, half-dark sunset back to Skopje, the teacher moved us two aside and told us, as delicately as she could, that we, Bogomil and I, would not go with the class to congratulate the birthday of our Dear Marshal Tito as we were earlier told we would. This is not a try-out in literature to revive the conversation but eventually we understood that the class will go as scheduled but we two will not go as scheduled.

That was it. It was dark. I let tears roll down my cheecks. I think the teacher (Milka Sekulovska) also let one or two to swell in the corners of her eyes, but it was very late and I cannot swear on it. We, me and Milka, met latter, many - 40 to be exact - years latter. For the first time we were on a social occasion in Greece, where she was visiting her daughter, now a friend of mine, and it was impossible turning withered pages of memories. All this is pointless, I have struck it out of my mind. Bogomil is alive, he can describe his emotions.
But then, after an incident or two we were both involved in that school things changed. Once we sort of led a revolt or something, there was investigation, reprimands, and soon after he disappeared. His mother or sister moved elsewhere. He moved to a different school. So, I lost sight of Bogomil Dimitar Gjuzelov, my very early, very cherished schooll-friend. He graduated, strange, also English language, at the same college, in a different period. Destiny.

Some 14 years latter, one sunny autumn of 1964, with me just back after a year of studying phonetics and literature in London, there was the reminder of some of the most tormenting and most precious memories of my childhood. Bogomil Gjuzel, the proud author of a second book of poetry, the Alchemical Rose, responding to my invitation that we chat over old times and his new, very modern form of poetry in the journalists club of "Nova Makedonija" daily. I was hopelessly unprepared for his poetry. He was mad angry, if I remember correctly, and it took us some time to socialize again.
Our daughters (On the pic up) appear to go along quite well. His Irena is quite a story because she was, for a time, the spokeswoman of the European Union rep in Macedonia. I always wandered if she was ever going to burst out. She never did.
I believe that she turned every single available piece of paper about her grand father Dimitar Gjuzelov, here left, (the link takes you to a Bulgarian source and language account of his biography) and that she knows (and understands) way more about the most delicate subtleties of the Balkan reality than the people she interprets for.

But all this has little to do with the newest translation, now into French, of Bogomil Gjuzel's poetry. I do no know whether Marija knows much about Bogomil's personal life. I got so bewildered the other day with the scenes of Saddam's hanging, I could not gather my piece for days. And my very first thought flew to Boge (that's how we called him, and those of us who are around still do) and I asked myself, how does HE take these awful pictures. Where do the surface in his poems?
On the other hand what I wanted was to laudate both him and his translator Marija Bejanovska-Levavaseur without loosing from mind the publisher, Maison de la poesie D'Amay. Wanted to help promote his poetry. And I will, eventually. This is just a beginng, because I'll continue the text. Probably here. But you will definitely find out.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

The Hague Tribunal Announcement: Boskoski's Trial Begins April 17; Gotovina's May 7th

Yesterday late aftrfnoon the ICTY (International Criminal Tribunal fo former Yugoslavia came out with two long awaited announcements about begining of two trials. One refers to Ante Gotovina, Croatian general, the other about Ljube Boskoski, Macedonian former minister of interior. The indictment against Ljube Baskoski, 46, and Johan Tarchulovski, 32, was issued in December 2005. It charges them with violations of the laws of customs of war". That is judiciary parlance. In simple talk that means "war crimes". Boskoski is charged with "superior responsibility for the act of regular and reserve police including special police units, prison guards, hospital personnel and civilians...A superior is responsible for the criminal acts of his subordinates if he knew or had reason to know that his subordinates were about to commit such acts or had done so and the superior failed to take necessary and reasonable measures to prevent such acts or to punish the perpetrators. Ljube Boskoski failed to fulfill his duty as a superior to investigate and punish the perpetrators of the crimes alleged below:"

And then comes the litany of crimes allegedly committed by police-squad members under Johan Tarculovski's command. Practically the text that follows is a legal and logical mess. For me, it shows how totally incompetent Carla del Ponte actually is and how prophetically right was Slobodan Milosevic who in the opening statement said: "She has a brain of a 7-year, of a 7-year old retarded child".

So, the original indictment (the trial will go on the basis of the second and amended indictment, a bigger mess than the original one) shows that:
1. Ljube Boskoski did not kill anybody;
2. Johan Tarculoski did not kill anybody;
3. He, Tarculovski, did not order anybody to shoot;
4. Both could not have known that people were killed;
5. Some armed thugs or rebels were pursued in their escape (point 22 of the indictment): two ran away (one wounded one unharmed) while three did not share that luck. They, allegedly, were 150 meters away from the place where the the police was and eventually got shot down.
Legally, the defense claims that the prosecution is wrong on form and fact, that changing the indictment is tantamount to an abuse of process

How can this constitute a war crime?

CARLA PAINTS THE MACEDONIAN POLICE AS A BUNCH OF LUNATICS
This Swiss stubborn nit-wit drives me mad with what she stutters with the context of the indictment produced in the name of the United Nations.
She pictures an outlandish situation: she does not herself explain what happened on August 12, 2001 around Ljuboten, a village not far from Skopje, near Tetovo, I personally have known as a thriving agricultural community for more than a half of a century. She does not tell the court why did a police unit of the Macedonian ministry of interior appear there. Why indeed?
How many policemen were in the unit?
How were they equipped?
Who sent them there?
She does not say that John Tarculovski ordered his favorite seargent: "Shoot him". She produces an indictment in which a faceless policeman or two, shoot without orders.
Why were they, the police, sent there then and not a year, three years or 23 years before that?
Does this idiotically stupid indictment want to say that the Macedonian police is a bunch of disorderly men who are allowed to go out on shooting sprees whenever they chose?

FIRE AGAINST ARMED "THUGS AND MURDERS" or "UNARMED CIVILIANS"?
Why was Ljube Boskoski guilty of not listening to her while he (Boskoski) and prof-d-r Gjorgje MarjanoviK, my schoolmate and European legal authority, had hear the secretary-general of NATO, Lord Robertson stating that there were armed thugs and murderers gone amok around Macedonia and that such a situation should not be tolerated?
Was Ljube Boskkoski expected to read newspapers and her while disregarding NATO secretary-general?
Is it possible that ANY of the individuals that day located in or around Ljuboten were illegally armed?
If so - what sort of arms those were, how were they acquired, why were they used?
Did she, this CArla del Ponte ask herself where, for how long and with what purpose were the farmers trained to use the arms? Did they import them from the EU (Macedonia does not produce any arms at all) or from somewhere else?

How (this is a rhetoric question, it means no-how) can one believe into the impartiality of a court that accepts this crap as an indictment? The justices were obliged to throw it out because Carla del Ponte had to produce the names of every single policeman in the unit. And then pin the ones who pulled (if they did pull) the triggers.
Triggers of what? Did they use bazookas? Machine-guns? Cross-bows? What, dammit?
Eh my Carla, my Carla.
Slobo was right, you know.

FORTHCOMING DEFENSE OF THE INDICTED
The Office of the Prosecutor was earlier disqualified (by a renown, internationally recognized, Tribunal-paid lawyer) to have compound indictments with a shot-gun like (spray-pellets) ammo. She produces 15-20 counts to support her main case and one of those will do the trick. Furthermore, she calls to the stand every possible prosecution-friendly individual who may coraborate to her fancy theory that idiotic Macedonian were out on an unprovoked attack of peaceful, law-abiding ethnic-Albanians. Some of her witnesses in other cases were evidently proven to have lied, but there is no threat of perjury or lying under oath in this Tribunal. Thus, if the defense is not extra-carefull - a false witness-statement can ruin any of the indicted.

The justices did not publicly or otherwise, warn the Chief prosecutor that she willingly tries to interfere with the course of the trial no judge (but the Chinese) dared bring her to senses and tell her that what she is doing is wrong.

This time she deserves to be quartered, covered with tar and feathers and dragged around the world legal community as an example of a lopsided, shamelessly biased prosecutor who begins to believe in her messianic role. The poor woman is nuts.

I expect that Boskoski's defense will have some tough time ahead.
The trial chamber is composed of judges Carmel Agius from Malta, O-Gon Kwon and Kimberly Prost. IN the pre-triel appearances judge Albin Eser was involved. The prosecution is represented by Dan Saxon and Anees Ahmed, but also `Keneth Scott and William Smith. Counsel for Boskoski is Ms Edina Residovic (previosly, till 13 April 2006, Dragan Godzo) , while Johan Tarculovski has Antonio Apostolski as his defense counsel.

(To be completed: defense costs / which witnesses to cal and grill / political repercusions in Macedonia and Croatia)

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Ghastly Beating Results With 80 Police Summons in Skopje, Macedonia; New Developments

Now, full five days after the ghastly incident in Skopje (when organized thugs have beaten up peaceful elderly people commemorating a historic event of 79 years ago) the police in Macedonia was pressed to do something while some of the local media, most unwillingly, have begun reporting instead of commenting about it by pouring new anti-Bulgarian oil on the already high fire. The "+++flash+++" news about six arrests published here yesterday now appear insignificant.
Not six but EIGHTY members of the Vardar soccer club supporting Komiti associations were summoned to a central police station "for informative talks". Many were kept there more than 12 hours. (Strange link appears under "Komiti.com" doesn't it? Obviously a mix-up, but quite appropriate for the siuation, eh?)
Komiti were Macedonian armed "rebels" or "revolutionaries" -depending on the position one looked at them- who fought against the rule of the Ottoman empire over Macedonia more than 100 years ago. Now they are an unruly, incident provoking, mostly poorly or not educated mass of youngsters composed of
allegedly patriotic, mainly nationalistic gangs.

FUCK YOUR MACEDONIAN MOTHER"
The daily Utrinski Vesnik after two consecutive texts silenced its editorialist Victor Cvetonvski, a proven anti-Bulgarian, hate-spreading journalist and gave its column to Ljubisa Stankovic, an ethnic-Serb reporter, probably with intention to further perfidiously enrage the local and the international public. Stankovic tells a story that the thugs (now referred by him as "Komiti" and "soccer supporters") were revolted with the attitude of the police. Now the public understands that the thugs have their legitimate office space where they were gathered to plan details for forthcoming sport events, not related to soccer but to handball. Their legal counsel (this group is obviously well funded) Vanco Shahtanski was quoted stating that the thugs were provoked by the people who latter called the police to defend them. This bright Macedonian patriotic lawyer is further welcome to tell the readership of Utrinski Vesnik were chanting slogans like "(Fuck) Your Macedonian mother" and "This is Bulgaria, the other side is Albania".

DEFENDERS OF MACEDONIAN HONOR
The smart whatever, continues claiming that his clients found about the commemoration from the media. This lawyer Shahtanski is quoted by Stankovic as claiming that among the group that was attacked were four Macedonian secret-service officers and officials of Macedonian political parties.
Now, how do naive soccer or handball supporters know the faces of various secret-servec officers of Macedonia is another story, but as they say in Macedonia: "Skopsko (beer) and everything is possible". What secret service when their faces are publicly known?

It is very interesting that the editors of Utrinski Vesnik chose to use this quote by the capable lawyer Shehtanski: Whatever the story, those who took part in the incident in the heart of Skopje only defended the Macedonian honor. This sort of go-jo legal capacity protagonis, somebody with a different name but with the same acumen to make stupid outings, appeared a year ago before the Tribunal in The Hague to defend Ljube Boskoski, the former minister of interior. The lawyer (praised by his professor G. Marjanovik) was so confused and told so incredible stuff that the presiding justice Carmel Agius laughed him out. Nobody needs to that with Shahtanski.

SOCCER FANS AS A COMPANY OF FOUR PLATOONS
If the summoned crowed in the police station in Skopje wore uniforms, they would have been enough to form a company as a military unit with 3-4 platoons. Just in case that not all of those who participated in the grisly incident were summoned, but every third of the crowd that had beaten up elderly people, it means that the melee at Mara Buneva plaque in downtown capital of aspiring EU candidate-member country, a force of a battalion of thugs were quickly gathered to defend the "Macedonian honor". Hey: a full battalion-size crowd wielding bats and hurling cement blocks and no police around. And Why on Earth would they do it? You might not have known, but here is their lawyer. To defend the honor of the nation!

Shahtanski says that "Mara Buneva is a Macedonian and a part of Macedonian history" . Then people who place flowers on the place where she fell showed respect. Why beat them up?
Because of what they chanted, says the lawyer. But did they?

Anyway, what excuse there can be for the chief of police when a company of thugs runs amok through downtown Skopje beating people and screaming while the patrolmen idle around? Why all this post-festum now? Why doesn't he resign before the minister fires him. because that is where the whole story will have to end.

THE ROLE OF THE MEDIA OR THE PLAY OF SRDJAN KERIM
It is obvious that the police in Skopje has goofed it big. Spectacular and well executed apprehension of a well loaded single courier of an international drug-smugglers chain cannot balance this gaffe. Eventually, the administration in Skopje will easily find out a way out on the police side of the story about public safety, law and order stuff. The problem, though is elsewhere.
The present and former Bulgarian ambassadors, the media in Sofia and the minister of foreign affairs himself claim that the media in Macedonia have hiked the anti-Bulgarian campaign and that the incident was a direct result of such an attitude. Utrinski Vesnik and its op-ed vizard Victor Cvetanovski have a prominent role in that campaign. The problem is that the administration cannot do a thing: the freedom of the press shelters the attitude in question. Plus one more tiny element: the printed media are practically in the hands or owned by German Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung (WAZ) group. That one is run by three directors or "Geschäftsführers". The last one of the three here is allegedly a friend of Srdjan Kerim: Dr. h.c. Erich Schumann, Dr. Detlef Haaks, Bodo Hombach, And kerim is director of "influential" Utrinski Vesnik, of pop Vest and the largest circulation of all dailies Dnevnik.

A bird tells me that there is always a higher ranking priest: if the Macedonian government cannot do a thing, the Bulgarian, according to that bird, will remove its consent for Srdjan Kerim's candidacy" as president of the next year session of the General Assembly of the United Nations. Period? No, no period.
I have also heard that there will be a tacit little campaign that Srdjan Kerim had transgressed on borrowing intellectual property and plagiarized large chunks of somebody else's text to get hold of a "master of arts" (magisterial) diploma from Belgrade University. Kerim would be a very unlikely person to sit in the chair now held by H.E. Sheikha Haya Rashed Al Khalifa, expert on intellectual property protection.
Whether the Bulgarians do it or whether Nikola Gruevski the prime-ministers of Macedonia helps Kerim realize that his name can always be recalled upon revelation of unseemly facts in his biography - that's a technicality really. In any case - one can fool another person all the time, one can fool some people some of the time but one cannot fool all the people all the time. An old adage, and it does not come from a bird.

Macedonia: Fuck Carla del Ponte, the ICTY, the EU & all the Rest; Save the World and the Concept of Sovereignty of Nations!

The other day Sylvera Padori, once a potential journalistic discovery of the tabloid Vecer, told the Macedonian radio-listening public that top-ranking government delegation (lead by the vice prime-minister Gabriala (like my grand-daughter) Konevska-Trajkovska) arrived in The Hague to coordinate the future law of independent and sovereign Republic of Macedonia with the whims and wishes that day ruled the attitudes of one Fausto Pocar and internationally notorious Carla del Ponte. The vice-prime minister was flanked by an old governmental hand, Mr. Mihailo Manevski, the minister of justice and by a novice, Ms Gordana Jankulovska minister of interior of Macedonia.
(The pic above: former prosecutor of Macedonia Stavre Dzikov, left, and his deputy Marko Zvrlevski during a stormy night in Gouda, before the next morning hearing in the Tribunal about the four cases Carla del Ponte wanted so badly)
Since (according prof. d-r Gjorgje Marjanovik, a friendly acquaintance from high-school days) I am an ignoramus in the artistry of interpreting legal procedures, the mere reason that brought this power to The Hague - baffled me. I have not heard of the chair of US Senate Commitee on Judiciary send Patrick J. Leahy flanked by Edward M. Kennedy (that's The Kennedy, you know) and the presidential hopeful Joseph R. Biden down to The Hague to discuss how should the United States of America phrase the law that forbids US citizens tried for war crimes by the ICTY or prevents or most effectively unilaterally (without any negotiation with the ICTY) conditions US present and former officials appearing as witnesses in cases brought before the Tribunal against foreign citizens (as was president Slobodan Milosevic) indicted for war crimes.

It is unthinkable that President of the United States would send Dick Chaney with a bunch of secretaries of departments to discuss with Pocar and Carla how should US laws be written. And now we hear this chick Padori bullshit that "the text of the law must be made befitting the Tribunal and the European standards".
I was amazed that nobody in Macedonia exploded when SIlvera Padori told the radio-listeners that "the draft text of the (future) law was put together under the magnifying glass of the Tribunal".

Since I believe that the prime-minister Nikola Gruevski is an honest and proud man, it is normal to reflect upon the forces that drive him act the way he does in this this case. Everybody knows that the ICTY or the Tribunal in The Hague has degraded into a an ugly and lame duck. It will be dissolved in two or three years. It cannot open up new cases. Why is Macedonia pressed to pass a Law on cooperation with the ICTY? Why indeed?
Macedonia did and continues to cooperate with the Tribunal despite Carla del Ponte's and Tribunal's absolutely arrogant, viciously biased and perfidiously contemptuous attitude towards Macedonian government and the judiciary.

I believe that only the US and their friends in Brussels could have led the administration in Skopje believe that "cooperation" (albeit self denigration) was the right dosage of humility in pursuit of otherwise evading EU or NATO membership. That at the same time when Macedonia was pressed by the US to sign a bilateral agreement that it will not deliver to the Tribunal any US citizen found in Macedonia even if the Tribunal wanted them.

(Here, on the pic left, a paste-up with prof. d-r Vasil Tupurkovski, an old friend who missed a perfect chance to testify at the Tribunal -as witness in the case of Milosevic- during a relaxed New Year dinner not far away from the Capitol; Reminds me of so many missed opportunities.)

So, why not kick their asses? Why should Macedonia play a fool on the international stage? Why prof. d-r Ljubomir Frckoski does not tell his dear compatriots what is all this about? Why miss a chance to make history, to light a match if not a big pyre of light in this dungeon of legality? See what courageous people tell the US Senate Judiciary Committee:
Prof. Laurence Tribe, Tyler Professor of Constitutional Law, Harvard Law School appeared to extend his testimony about a Military Order issued by President Bush on November 13, 2001, while the rubble of the TWorld Trade Center twin towers was still smoking. He said:
I hope we share the belief that the war against terrorism does not require us to sacrifice constitutional principles on the altar of public safety, We know what is the result of that sacrifice. .. But liberty, properly understood, requires both protection from government and protection by government.
As promulgated, the Military Order, by its express terms, is a direct threat to some 20 million lawful resident aliens in the United States. Almost any act by a resident alien, anywhere, could in some circumstances lead the President to believe the alien has or had some form of involvement with a terrorist organization. Hiring a car for a friend could be a terrorist act ...
The November 13 Military Tribunal Order, despite Bush administration efforts to describe it as more like a mere press release, than a real order,...suffers from the compounding vice that it violates the separation of powers required by our Constitution of the federal government....It installs the executive branch as lawgiver as well as law enforcer and law interpreter and applier...
This "blending of executive, legislative, and judicial powers in one person or even in one branch of the Government is ordinarily regarded as the very acme of absolutism...
Ours is "a government of laws, not men." It is offensive to our founding values to have the powers of drafting the laws, and then prosecuting and adjudicating violations of those laws, embodied in one agency—here, one man.


Very important observations by prof. Tribe, you'll be impressed. I mean, you should read the whole testimony: it is amazing. THAT is real America, that is the Spirit of America that gave me wings. The other stuff, say one or another administration or event - all that passes. And if you can - do suggest Mr. Mihailo Manevski also read this.

Let me go back to the Tribunal in The Hague where people rather die than endure the whims of prosecutors and prejudiced justices. This is what Honorable Pierre-Richard Prosper, Ambassador-at-Large for War Crimes Issues, U.S. Department of State, had to tell the senators:
International tribunals are not and should not be the courts of first redress, but of last resort. When domestic justice is not possible for egregious war crimes due to a failed state or a dysfunctional judicial system, the international community may through the Security Council or by consent, step in on an ad hoc basis as in Rwanda and Yugoslavia. That is not the case in the United States.

My, my. But then he concluded:
Because justice and the administration of justice are a cornerstone of any democracy, pursuing accountability for war crimes while respecting the rule of law by a sovereign state must be encouraged at all times.

That is what the Chinese justice told Carla del Ponte when he allowed her to demand those four cases from Macedonia and when he ruled (that means when he ordered her to return them without any meddling back to Macedonia within a fixed poeriod of time, a period long passed now. So why discuss anything with her? Why not approach the Court directly? Why not raise the subject in the UN?
(My poor self impressed with the performance of Stavre Dzikov at the Tribunal) Prof. Cass R. Sunstein, a Karl N. Llewellyn Distinguished Service Professor of Jurisprudence Law School and Department of Political Science, University of Chicago testified before the senators that:
History suggests that war crimes tribunals do not always provide fair procedures and indeed that there is inevitably some danger of a miscarriage of justice.


The most scathing remarks were pronounced by Mr.Timothy Lynch, Director, Project on Criminal Justice, Cato Institute in Washington D.C. who said: On November 13, 2001 President George Bush signed an executive order with respect to the detention, treatment, and trial of persons accused of terrorist activities. The president declared a national emergency and claimed that Article II of the Constitution ...empowered him to issue the order... Because Article I of the Constitution vests the legislative power in the Congress, not the Office of the President, the unilateral nature of this executive order clearly runs afoul of the separation of powers principle.
President Bush would like to be able to issue his own executive arrest warrants...Under the order, the person arrested cannot get into a court of law to challenge the legality of the arrest. The prisoner can only appeal to the official who ordered his arrest in the first instance, namely, the president. The whole purpose of the Fourth Amendment is to make such procedures impossible in America.
Thus, Congress cannot authorize the use of executive warrants with mere legislation.
President Bush would like to be able to seize and deport people without any hearing whatsoever. As noted above, under the executive order, the president can have people arrested outside of the judicial process and held incommunicado at military bases.
The problem, as Justice Robert Jackson once noted, is that "No society is free where government makes one person's liberty depend upon the arbitrary will of another."

Article III of the Constitution provides, "The Trial of all Crimes, except in Cases of Impeachment; shall be by Jury." The Sixth Amendment to the Constitution provides, "In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury."
Like to read the full text? OK, Here is the link

Thus, this is what the US Senate was told be knowledgeable people when they discussed powers of the President of the US versus the Constitution of the US when America was under a heinous attack by foreign terrorists short six years ago. We know what happened as a backlash. If, say, the pilots of the two airplanes full with unsuspecting passengers parachuted seconds before the impact and landed in Central Park, these experts on Constitutional law argued before the US Senate and all the country that when captured the attackers would have had a Constitution-clad guarantee to have a public trial by jury.
How miserable (in this context extended so far here) appears this minister of justice of Macedonia who is dictated (by a stuttering legal mind like Carla del Ponte) a draft-law text as if a schoolboy sitting his spelling exam. But then, this is a clear signal for all the judiciary in Macedonia:
If useless laws are created and passed in this way - then you better expect that the justices will fool around and fuck-up every other law of the country. Irrelevant what the European Union or anybody else will think about that.

And finally, it is the big bad wolf from Brussels who needs to howl and show teeth instead of poor aspirants like Macedonia, molested by every other bully on the dark road to full membership. Stop that Carla del Ponte blackmailing the Balkans into unseemly submission. She so visibly failed to come close to prove her own indictment against Slobodan Milosevic that there is nothing she can do now. Let her better try establish police force and see how does she really rate with the international community.

Friday, January 12, 2007

A $717 Billion Big Bloody Shark Circles My Blog: Will AllianceBernstein LP Bite?


Now and then I look at the addresses of providers of the visitors to my sites. Today www.webstats4u.com showed that people from AllianceBernstein LP (formerly Alliance Capital Management) have been checking my stupid texts. They have begun reading at 04:11 (that is CET, Central European Time) this morning and they were still on at 07:17. Some seven visitors all in all. Since these people from AllianceBernstein LP administer about $717 billion of assets of more than 100 mutual funds - I was very much impressed.
I woke up my wife to tell her how important was what I published on the Volkskrantblog!

-You are nuts,-she said.-You must be dreaming.
-Come and see for yourself,- I retorted.
-Why? It probably is some poor Macedonian cleaner who sweeps the floors in that firm in New York after everybody had gone,- she said turning her back.

My optimism was torpedoed.

(Left pic: US Policeman books for wrong parking. Can I book AllianceBernstein LP for unanounced parking at my site? No? OK. Just kidding)

There are 4,588 employees with AllianceBernstein LP. A hell of lot of them small fry. But then, if the firm manages nearly as much money as the accumulated foreign currency reserves of all China, it should know better than leave the computers accessible to Macedonian floor-cleaners in New York City. Then I got enraged: why the floor-cleaner should be a Macedonian? What's wrong with a hard-working Portorican, a pedant German or Swiss?
And then, how can a floor-cleaner sit on a computer for three full hours? Who will do the cleaning? The CEO or the VPs?
No, the time spent on my blog indicates that it must have been a bigger fish. The conclusion boosts my self-confidence.
My bitter attacks on hedge funds and the IMF is paying off: they begin to notice.Germany may have chickened out and given up clipping the wings of those birds of pray - but not me! They are all after the pension funds of hard-working people, after unsuspecting firms that amass cash for growth. The hedge-funds of the US insist to have the right to enter any financial market (to buy out a firm in Sweden or Russia or anywhere) while they keep the borders of America closed for the employees of those countries to compete on the labor market of the US.
So I decide to dive in into the waters, with this shark still around, and see who it actually is.
I am stunned with what shows up.
Florida (that the retirement paradise of the United States, also home of the scandal after the mess with the votes that buried Al Gore's near Presidency) has a State Board of Administration (SBA) that manages public fund mandates. Florida law specifies that the Governor, (that was the brother of the President of the USA when this happened), the Chief Financial Officer, and the Attorney General constitute the Board of Trustees for the SBA. So, that body filed a lawsuit against Alliance Capital Management for a $334 million loss Florida’s pension plan suffered under Alliance’s financial management. Oh la-la! It is not an individual, not a fellow fund-manager who sues, it is a key state of the USA that is after AllianceBernstein LP that boasts with managing $717 billion!
That is why, then, these people are interested in my writing against the hedge funds stomping and snatching pension funds around the world.
It appears that this $334 million loss the lawyers representing the State of Florida believe must be payed back to the SBA - is peanuts for AllianceBernstein LP. Between January 11, 2005 ($40,79) and yesterday Its share price more than doubled ($86,86). How wouldn't it, with such losses on their customer's side! But then, the practice to deal on the brink of the legal obviously leads to slips.

After the State of Florida lawsuit the almighty Securities and Exchange Commission of the USA announced (three years ago, in December 2003) a settled enforcement action against Alliance Capital Management L.P. for defrauding mutual fund investors. The Commission ordered Alliance Capital to pay $250 million, consisting of $150 million in disgorgement and $100 million in penalties. All of the money was to be distributed to the shareholders harmed by Alliance Capital's market timing arrangements.

Why should AllianceBernstein LP enter in those deals if not for greed or extra high profit? They administer more than 100 mutual funds, many specialized for health care and technology, but also pension funds, corporations, and not-for-profits. But then - they are not epitome of a Wall Street merciless profit-hunter: the French insurance giant AXA owns more than half of the company. OK, they are headquartered in New York City (on the 1354 Avenue of the Americas - that's Sixth Avenue actually, not far from EXXON) but have offices in 47 cities in 24 countries! My visitors from AllianceBernstein LP could be from any of those cities and I cannot really say which one. But that does not matter. I doubt they were after the contents of my post about Speculative Selling of Copper Hits Radovis, Macedonia because they were not interested whether that Makes Me Sad and Angry.

Whatever the reason for their visit, I need to say that the information by Sootle that this site is worth $527 does not indicate the selling price. After the visits by AllianceBernstein LP-Alliance Capital Management L.P. personnel, well, the selling or leasing price would be closer to $52,700, We know to make money too!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Speculative Selling of Copper Hits Radovis, Macedonia and Makes Me Sad and Angry


Tosko called me the other day to say "Hi" after returning from his New Year's trip to Macedonia. We blabbered about Esther (his wife) and Katarina (his daughter) and about Zvanko (my best man in Skopje who invited them for a great lunch) and eventually he asked:
-Don't you miss Macedonia? You haven't been there for eight months.
I do not keep count how many times people go where, but this question struck a note. Somewhat gloomy, depressing and annoying note. It was useless to begin telling dear Tosko that I just came back from Radovis, where the people bake one of the best "pastrmayliya" in the country. (Pastrmayliya is something like pizza, but then different, it is made of chunks of pork meat, chunks of lard and several freshly broken eggs over round pieces of home-made dough which is baked at the lokal bakery.) He would not have understood.
The Financial Times took me yesterday to Radovis. The news (Please see the illustration here with my comment interpolated within the original text) that speculative selling had put the prices of commodities under further pressure meant that the people in and around Radovis must have had a rather gloomy Xmas and New Year. Between December 7, 2006 and January 4, 2007 the prices of copper have tumbled from $6,800 per tone down to $5,800 per ton.
The VakantieBeurs has just opened its doors and it was Ruzica Panevska my old, ailing colleague in tourism, who used to come and who is a native of Radovis. Then, my friend's Ratko Radjenovik, an architect, had a bos Risto Gusterov, one of the few richest people in Macedonia comes from Radovis, the only copper mine in Macedonia. We have not met, but he was so often in our conversations (not about Radovis where he donated money for a church to be built AND decorated by Ukrainian artists) about life in Macedonia and Russia, that I feel as if I know the guy. Zvonko Cipusev, who was two or three times my host in New York, albeit his dad Iliya, comes from Radovis.
Radovish is on my mind al the time. It is almost like Georgia.
But then Sveto Hadji-Jordanov the brother of my class-mate Marika Hadzi-Jordanova wrote a remarkable study about the waste-waters from the copper-ore field. Bunches of other friends come from that south-eastern corner of Macedonia. These several days I continuously contemplate how much damage will they suffer, the people of Radovis without the speculators, greedy ogres with claws tearing the lives of the innocent people, ever knowing that Radovis exists..
And Tosko tells me I do not visit Macedonia!

I daydream that there would be smart Macedonians or Turks, who live around there, who would put all their moneys to stockpile for themselves the copper at $5,800 and sell it when it goes back to $6,800 or $7,800. Then I begin to devise complex loans: what they actually need is the $1,000 per ton to obtain the command over the production. The banks should follow them because they will have had the collateral, the $5,800 value of copper per ton.
Radovis, actually Buchim, the mine, has been operating since 1979. It was 82 % Government owned and had approximately 800 employees. The mine produces about four million tons of ore per year and a similar quantity of tailings. Now the mine is private. It was bought two years ago by a businessman, Aleksander Borstein, who says he is Russian, though he does not sound so.

Concentration of copper, gold and silver is achieved through a flotation process using sodium- and potassium-alkyl-xanthates, sulfuric acid and a bacterium (Bacillus ferrooxidacae). Cyanides were formerly used in the flotation process, but this practice ceased long time ago.

During the first years of Buchim I was shocked to see how much is 70,000 tons of solid waste that is spat by the exploitation every year. And then so much next year. And next again. And it had been in operation ever since 1979! My first door neighbor in Skopje retired as a chief technology engineer from Buchim. I know the ills of the enterprise.

The waste contains heavy metals from the flotation and all that rubble goes into a huge dam not far from there. People get sick out there from inhaling the dust from the 30-hectare hydro-tailings dam. Many mineworkers suffer joint ailments and silicosis. Actually, all local citizens. will suffer sooner or latter. Trees that are planted take time to develop and people live on hope and high price of the copper. Not any more.

The waste waters are another problem. The stream from which cattle drink appears bluish on the surface but it is from the copper-hydro-xy-carbonate that is discharged at the rate of 10 liters per second and settles on the bottom.
Surface water samples point to contamination with heavy metals while analyses show values for copper concentrations between 50 and 200 mg/1. That is 50,000 times higher than the surface water quality standard in Germany . If you transfer that in percentages, the water around the mine is 5,000.000% worse in Radovish then in Dusseldorf. Here, around my Amstelveen, according Dutch standards, they would have a general alert if the values for copper in groundwater are 0.015 mg/1 and 0.075 mg/1, respectively. Out there in Radovis - 50 mg/1 is "normal".
That is - If there is water.

Open pit mining, ore dressing and flotation in Bucbim mine are accomplished by using vast amount of water. The
complex water circulation scheme means water losses. In this process, part of the flotation waste water enters the nearby watercourses, thus contaminating them with heavy metals, organic tensides, etc. Resulting contamination is further spread up to the Vardar River and Aegean Sea.

Smaller part of the ponds and other out-of-pipe water reaches the underground aquifers and lowers the
quality of water used in nearby village-wells. Acid mine leaching of copper minerals in the overburden disposal site as well as the waters from the mines - also contribute in stream pollution. The waste waters from overburden leaching are extremely concentrated and contain up to 840mg/L cuprum-dioxide in an average flow of 2 liters per second.

Republic of Macedonia has some poly-metallic complex sulfide ore deposits. They are used for production of metals like copper, zinc, lead, silver and even some gold. The exploitation of sulfide ores requires a complex treatment during which the low-grade ore is enriched. copper concentrate is produced by flotation and is later transformed into blister copper and finally into electrolytic copper of 99.95 purity.

The exploitation of copper ore deposits, together with metal extraction that follows, causes severe environmental pollution problems. Yeah, that's a problem, but the open pit exploitation still employed 480 people and left the owner with $20 million annual profit... depending whether copper was in the cross-haires of speculators or not. A hell of a lot of work. There are many Turks around, old Turkish villages, right up in the mountains. Most picturesque. And very, very bitter. They feel neglected: the Albanians and the Roma get most of the attention. But that is not right. I know through my late friend, an ethnic-Turk, d-r Halit Shaban that not a single one of the Turks in Macedonia is actually forgotten. They are so desperately few.

Both the director and the editor of the most influential daily newspapers are ethnic-Turks. One of them, Srdjan Kerim otherwise a crook in the eyes of people who think plagiarism is tantamount to theft, may become the next president of the General Assembly of the United Nations. So, they are not forgotten.

Tosko is wrong, I do think of Macedonia without being there.

Kerim's right-hand man, a sort of grand-vezier, Erol Rizaov is also an ethnic-Turk from Eastern Macedonia. Rizaov is a crook too, but an influential one as well. He did rise (once) his voice about neglected cultural aspects of the Turkish heritage in Macedonia but would have exploded a campaign about the conditions (miserable) of these Turks here.

Copper works in Buchim, has been in operation 25 out of the 27 years since 1979. Open pit mining is applied with a capacity of some 4 million tons a year ore. The average content of copper in the ore is low: a quarter of one percent (0.25% Cu) but for poor Macedonia that is a boon even without the one gram of silver per one tone of ore. How much silver from 4 million tons of ore? Flotation efficiency is 1.2% (m/m) and the separation of useful components is 85, 35, and 60% respectively, for copper, gold and silver. After metallurgical treatment, that takes place elsewhere, annual metal production averages 8,000 tons of copper, 800 kg of gold (Aurum) and 800 kg of silver (argentum).
How much does this cost? With the prices under speculative pressure you need to see for yourself. Take gold for instance: Now gold is traded around $616 an ounce, highest price in maybe 20 years!. Who knows how will the slide affect the Russian (?!) owner of the ore and, then, the people who work for him? Silver sells at about $12,4 an ounce in new York bidding.

Strange - all this runs in front of my eyes just because of the news of the speculative selling of commodities on the stock exchanges around the world and my reflections what misery it will bring, unexpected, to the people around Radovis...

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Joseph Biden Has Fooled the US Senate, Jon Arda the President of the US - Kick the Bigger Jackass out!


Democratic Sen. Joseph -Joe- Robinette Biden Jr. (that's awkward: he is 65, must be Sr. ;-))), announced his intention to contest the Presidency against potential high-profile Democrat rivals as Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York and Barack Obama, senator for Illinois. ``I am running for president,'' he said Sunday (January 7th) on the NBC ``Meet the Press'' show. I would not have bothered you with that: a Biden candidacy is an anachronism. A recent NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll of potential Democratic candidates, Biden won the support of just 4% percent of respondents, trailing Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards, and Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry, the 2004 Democratic nominee. In that context Joe is a lightweight. (NATO went to bomb military installation in Kosovo, but civilian targets 400 400 miles north were burning; photo by Jaroslav Pap)

Biden has been a senator (longest ever serving Delaware (with Rhode Island the two smallest states of the Union) for the past 34 years. He was away from the floor of the Senate on Capitol Hill for seven months in 1988 after undergoing surgery for brain aneurysms. His earlier efforts to win the Democrat Party primaries failed in scandal: he was accused of plagiarism (by the Doukakis camp) and had to step out of the campaign in disgrace.

Unfortunately for me, lightweight or not, Joe is also the brand new chair of the Senate Committee on foreign relations and he had chosen to announce the fact by producing (for the Financial Times, on January 2d) a rather disturbing article titled "Opponents of New Kosovo Must Be Stopped".

Does this statement actually express readiness for war? Must! Well, in this context, this must obviously is a declaration of war. What happens if somebody else thing otherwise: that Kosovo must not be given independence, when the must and the must not clash with each other? How do you stop an opponent?

These questions are purely theoretical: I do not care this little bit whether Kosovo gets now or waits (patiently) for independence. What happens if the people of Florida, or New Mexico, or Hawaii declare they want independence?

He wants Kosovo independent although he says that Kosovo is not ready for full sovereignty. Even after independence, Nato and the international community will need to provide security guarantees for Kosovo’s minorities and strengthen its economy and institutions. He insists on this fake arrangement because of perverse reasons: The people of Kosovo – already the most pro-American in the Islamic world – will provide a much-needed example of a successful US-Muslim partnership.

(Delaware is a tiny red dot, the 49th state of the union, smaller than Kosovo, and Biden is one of the two senators of the stte to Capital Hill)
How come Kosovo, a pocket on the Balkans, for some 500 years the treasury and patriarchal seat (established and recognized by the Ottoman empire) of the Serbian Orthodox Church, suddenly constitutes a part of the Islamic world? What is the territory of the Islamic World? Only 3,000 web-pages or millions of square kilometers, billions of adherents? How is the Islamic World organized, does it have a khalif or other joint head to represent it entity, what are the formal relations between various religious communities of sovereign states with muslim population? There are between 1,600,000 to 4,700,000 muslims in the United States and probably not more than 1,7 million on Kosovo. That obviously does not make the Union, America, a part of the "Islamic world", does it?
(Strange, there is no mosque on this idylic pic of a village on Kosovo)
The senator and aspiring president of the United States implies that the Sunni muslims in Iraq will be so very much impressed with an US-suported independence of Kosovo that they will begin putting roses and carnations down the mouth of the patrolling GI's rifles. The problems of the US with the Islamic World are different, they lay elsewhere and whatever this charlatan wants to do on Kosovo will bear no effect on US standing with the muslim world. Therefore this position is outright stupid and counter productive. It proposes yet one showdown with Serbia and Russia because it is not a solution through a political dialogue. Biden should think how to extract the US forces from Kosovo. He should open venues of communication between ethnic-Albanians and Serbs. What will Kosovo produce, with what resources, who will it trade the goods and services with? Why would anybody anywhere in the world listen to him?

Is he going to appropriate funds to keep Kosovo financially afloat or is he call more help from the US Army? Or is this recipe for toughness a consequence of those brain aneurysms?

Biden was expected to seek a nomination for the the White House race in 2008. The media reports that he has about $3.5 million in his campaign account.

this is a YouTube slip titled "Joe Biden's racist slip"

I have a feeling that Biden (he chaired the Senate Foreign relations committee from June 2001 through 2003 during the US-NATO intervention over sovereign Serbia) who traveled a lot to the Balkans, itches to somehow iron-up the job so hopelessly muddled. He called the late Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic a "war criminal" but he did not help Carla del Ponte prove that in court. All he did was watch while Milosevic, claiming he was maltreated, was kept in his prison cell to die instead of being treated in Moscow. I think that Vladimir Putin had a cunning plan when he swallowed the insult of the refusal by the court to accept the Russian Federation guarantee that Moscow will return Milosevic after a medical treatment. Russia has nothing more to offer related to Kosovo.

Kosovo does not need NATO or US troops. It needs continuous heavy subsidies to perform as an independent state. Somebody has to come two steps forward and extend a solution for that problem. Even if there is not one single Serb left on Kosovo - the territory, independent and sovereign, will have to be indefinitely financially supported while at the same time it has to behave in accord with the international norms.

Serbia is not a part of that riddle. I have a feeling that Serbia only wants that people like Joe Biden force a solution which will prove itself untenable and will eventually allow this once proud country come in terms with this rapidly changing world. Serbs should be thankful to the first senator for the First State because they will have yet another fool who does not know what is he talking about but still commands the rostrum of the US Senate.


And then, there is this Jon Arda. I cannot figure out how could Arda pass by Joshua B. Bolten, the President's chief-of-staff, "The Second-Most Powerful Man in Washington" and got a seat on the President's council of Environmental defense? The man (also in the Financial Times) claims that the market forces are best qualified to take acre of global warming. I do not remember such a plain stupidity from the mouth of a Presidential adviser for decades.

Not even Google takes this man seriously: try search for "Jon Arda, Financial Times" and see what you get. A mess.

The market forces did not puzzle themselves with questions about chemistry, how gases interact with each other, market forces are not scientist who labour years hitting their heads with formulae and calculations before they come out with a small item in Nature for dumbs to get it all in an instant and then figure (in an instant) a global solution for global warming: let it go on, the market forces will take care of it.

There is no point asking "how". The market cannot take care of itself, to begin with. There is no market unless the society brings in laws, unless it imposes them with army, police, inspectors, judges, medics, lawyers. A lawless market is a grab-and-go, it is a jungle, it is a permanent tribal war, continuous disorder. Jon Arda arduously tries to attribute to the market the capacity of reasoning, of scientific discovery, of concluding. Arda attributes to the market the capacity of the human brain, of vision. The market does not care what will happen to the humankind when all the oil is spent. It is non-market capacities that tell the market (tiny bits of information) what is what and what will happen in one or another scenario and then the market reacts with establishing specific price tags to goods and services.

But global warming is something that is beyond price, beyond that sort of reasoning. How much will it cost DuPont the mere 12" rise of sea-levels in the Lowlands from where this blog comes? Will the global market decide about it and what will be, in such a case, the influence on the price of those 12-inch-higher seas by the economy of Tibet or Kazakhstan? Or they will have no say? Will the Dutch market get money, incentives or lose anything? I do not see the stock-exchanges bother about all this genuine panic, the alerts disturbing the world. The markets grow, new records are being established as the screams that we are late are fake. The markets, actually, do not care what happens ten years from now.

Take this Dutch government, the Parliament, for example. Half the Lowlands is under sea-level and the market of markets, the Damrak or IEX index, rises as if Al Gore came to tell them that his people have discovered a lift to heaven or an ocean of oil under The Hague. Prices of the property which will be flooded in no time - rises sky-high, acually even higher than in Denver, Colorado! Not a word abou new taxes for dams or other protection - if there can be one. That is how the markets regulate the issue of global warming.

If the science tells the market that an asteroid is going to hit and break to pieces this magma-filled, egg-shelled planet in exactly 19 years - do you think shares will tumble, electricity will go for free, deep-space vehicles with messages about our existence, screams for help will be sent out to unknown destinations by the market forces? I cannot accept that this sort of chicken brain roams around the mightiest office on Earth.

Kick the jackass out of the White House, Joshua. And press the President toward that Kyoto deal. Now.