Čiste namjere / Pure Intent

One day the misery will be defeated....and we will be the parents of many children of many races

28.05.2011.

The revolution will not be televised

Gil Scot Heron...a musical and social icon stemming back to the days of revolution in the 1970's...has departed this crazy little world of ours.

His lyrics and message, however, will always be with us. No, brother Gil, the revolution will not be televised - at least not all of them. God speed good brother.

'the military, the monetary....they get together whenever its necessary....they're turning our planet into a cemetery....giving our old folks coronaries....
Peace does mean the absence of war. Peace means the absence of the talk of war and the preparations for war. You gotta work for peace. Gotta work."

27.05.2011.

world news means western news

Did you hear the news????  

Bernard Munyagishari was arrested in the Congo for leading the militia's that killed 800,000 Tutsi's and moderate Hutu's in 100 days in 1994. He was on the run for 17 years before being captured just across the Rwandan border in eastern DR Congo. 

Rwanda. Where's that? 

...global south i think.

26.05.2011.

Jedan pitanje?????????????

I'm not trying to soli pamet or anything of the sort...this is a genuine question. I have read many different versions.  All but the Serbian version seem to say the same thing:

Jasenovac was a horrible slaughter camp established by the Ustase/Nazi's. I constantly hear references to the Roma, Serbs and Jews being annihilated there.  Many other sources that I have read indicate that an exceptionally large number of Muslims were also exterminated in Jasenovac.

I have yet to find a 'western' source to say opposite. Whereas most Serbian sources to not address that fact at all. Now I now numbers get exaggerated all time...but the percentage of Muslims killed didn't seem to be a figure to brush aside.

The reason I bring it up is because old Dodo basically said Srebrenica happened because Jasenovac was never spoken about openly.

Well...from what i gather - its still not being spoken about openly.

Any opinions or cold, hard facts floating about to enlighten me?

20.05.2011.

America hates communists

I have been trying hard to avoid commenting on any political budalastina subject...for both my own sanity and the fact that I have what I consider to be too many opinions on many subject matters. I'm trying to hard to have less opinions. Or at least caring less about vocalizing them. Nekad ide, nekad ne.

Vjeronauka.

An ugly word at the moment in the Federation and even more so in Sarajevo.

The following is not an opinion. It's a story of a young american boy. So it goes.

I grew up in a largely Italian and Irish neighbourhood. It was, and is, a Long Island Levittown development, so, of course, there was a little bit of everything and everyone there. Though upon reflection it was largely white.

When I went to school my best buddies were Jimmy Hulbert and Theodore Theodoropolis. One of my oldest and dearest friends was Erica Lazarus. When I got older I dated Michelle Delman for a spell. We went to school together. Played ball. Got in trouble. Studied. Had fun. Wrote notes in class instead of listening to Ms. Maynards biology lesson. I never really saw Erica or MIchelle on Saturdays. Never thought much of it. On Sunday's, I was always at church with my family. Jimmy is a protestant and went to his church. Teddy is Greek Orthodox and he went to mass with his mom and dad as well.

Never. EVER...did our ethnic or religious backgrounds ever come up in conversation amongst ourselves or with our parents. It was a non-issue. The only time it did is when Jimmy's grandmother made some delicious German bread or Teddy's dad made some wicked Greek dish.

My schooling and social life in the neighbourhood were completely separate from my family's religious traditions. Our religion was just that, intended for us and our family. We celebrated and worshiped as we chose...at our own time and place. It was a private, intimate and sacred thing. It wasn't meant for school or the playground.

People can kick and scream about separation of church and state. The bottom line is that for any multi-ethnic society to work it is a model that I am not only proud of - but am witness to that truly and honestly works. Never for one second did it take away from my traditions or belief system. That was always mine and my families - and the state fairly protected that right. Still does.

I knew Erica didn't celebrate Christmas. I always wished her a Happy Hanukah. I didn't know or understand the differences until much later. And much later - they didn't matter. They didn't matter because i grew up knowing and loving Erica and Teddy for who they were.

The religious communities here are calling SDP evil communists. If America has any phobia (we have many), it would be communism. America hates communism more than anything. We separate church and state. And it works. We are not communists.

Let God remain where need be - within ourselves. Let us learn about our beliefs in places most fair and appropriate to do so. Let our schools be for growing up learning how to be good people, good citizens, good students. Let our kids be kids...and let them love each other for who they are.

The roots of America's belief in separation of church and state comes from a troubled Europe...

"The purpose of separation of church and state is to keep forever from these shores the ceaseless strife that has soaked the soil of Europe with blood for centuries." - President James Madison

  
04.05.2011.

I'm a modern man!

Sabina thinks I'm nuts. Perhaps she has a point...but I think this particular 'behaviour' is simply a sign of the times.

It's a long tradition, particularly for us men, to take a newspaper to the Loo (fyi - toilets were called loo's in England because they were frequently located in room 100 of buildings).  Grabbing the NYTimes or Gracija to accompany one would not even raise an eyebrow in most households. So why does it sound the alarm bells when I start packing up my laptop for a short journey.

What is one to do when one do reads morning journals online? I mean....I'm a modern man. This is the 21st century. I have wireless. Of course I'm gonna take my laptop with me. So why does Sabina look at me like I'm a case for Jagomir when i tuck my trusty acer under my arm and head to room 100? 

Granted, it's a bit more tricky than just flipping the pages of Oslobodenje. I requires a bit more motor skill manipulation - but nothing that a modern man can't handle, right? It works out perfectly fine...almost as if I had the daily newspaper with me.

And women say men can't multi-task!?!?! 

02.05.2011.

I thought we were better....

I'm not sure what's happened to us here in Sarajevo. I remember well when Israel attacked both Lebanon and Gaza...and at least people here were sad, angry, and even a small handful took to the streets.

I've said this a million times. If anyone knows what it's like to be under siege, to be left to fend for yourselves, to be abandoned by the 'civilized' world...then that would be Sarajlija. Yet Misrata in Libya barely even makes the headlines, let alone spark a spontaneous show of solidarity.

I'm convinced that the siege of Sarajevo ended, at least in part, to the passionate no names around the world who really cared - and stood up for - Sarajevo. The war here mobilized an invisible army of sympathizers worldwide. And we now sit quietly....in our own misery....without as much as a peep about the people of Misrata.

I can understand all the excuses why. But they are just that...excuses. I thought we were better than that. We should be better than that. Peace to the people of Misrata.

26.04.2011.

As long as your not in a buggy or wheelchair

Although people still park on every piece of curb they can find in downtown Sarajevo, making it nearly impossible to navigate town with a child's pram (god forbid with a wheelchair), mid spring in this town is simply pure bliss.

Maybe it's like that in any town...I couldn't really say. But Sarajevo in April, and even more so in May, is really magic. It's not just Pacha Mama coming to life, painting the town and the hillsides green, but we all seem a bit lighter...happy to be outside...grateful for the fresh air....entranced by the sunshine.

It's painfully obvious that the recession is in full swing here. Every single solitary cafe is jammed packed....all day...every day. Cevapi and burek lane are barely passable from the carnivores hording to indulge in these Bosnian delicacies.

Still, making ones way through the labyrinth of people, ripped up sidewalks, and cars parked on every centimeter of available and accessible space makes the trip to downtown with a baby slightly less than enjoyable. On the fourth time of having to enter the street with my 11 month old into oncoming traffic...we decided to call it a day.

A friend of mine, stranac, once asked me where are all the war invalids in Sarajevo. He was surprised to not see many in town. Now it all makes sense to me. They can't come out. It's a nightmare to get around town in a wheelchair or minus a leg. Not fair. Not fair at all.

The sad thing is...nobody really seems to give a shit.

Viva wheelchair and baby buggy access for all!

 

23.04.2011.

Anti aircraft crosses

I was raised a Catholic with a fairly traditional Irish-American upbringing. Church every Sunday. Communion. Confirmation. Bible lessons and the lot.

It's true...i have strayed from the path of the 'only God'....but I still very much respect tradition and the integral part it played for my wider family. So as a psuedo-Catholic I must say that watching 8,000 'Christians' march the stations of the cross on Hum in Mostar yesterday was horribly offensive to me. I can only imagine what it must feel like for their Muslim neighbours who were pelted with anti-aircraft fire from the bunker that was located at EXACTLY THE SAME SPOT as the 30 metre cross that the worshippers aimed to reach yesterday.

I'm no theologian, but I do know Jesus was a pacifist. I do know he said 'don't follow me'. I do know he was a revolutionary. Although its pure speculation....my guess is that old Isa's heart isn't bursting with joy watching a group of 'believers' hike to a point in his honour where innocent lives were blown into oblivion in a most violent way. I was a witness to it. It's not heresy.

Medugorje can have all the crosses it likes on its hilltops, similar to those in Italy or Spain. More power to you. But on Hum? That's just bezobrazluk...and far from what I - or Mr. Christ - would consider Christian.

So it goes.

God Bless. Happy Easter. Peace

30.03.2011.

Renaming BiH

Just when you think it couldn't get worse.....it does.

I don't think we need another entity. I think we need a large barbed wire fence and a new name for Bosnia and Herzegovina.

We are taking new names and nominations from anyone who cares to vent.

I vote for Veliki Jagomir.

23.03.2011.

WANTED: moral compass reader

Now I really need your help. So please, any of you from this part of the world feel free to tell me if I'm craZy or I simply just don't get how things go here.

Quite some time ago a guy rammed his car into mine causing about 400 KM worth of damage. Apparently he wasn't insured at the time and begged me (with some rather pitiful whining) not to call the police. I didn't. We agreed to meet up so he would pay me for the damage. He dissed me three times.

Then I saw him at my neighbours place working and I basically told him what I thought of him. What I think of him is sort of irrelevant though. The thing is, most of my neighbours continue to hire him to do handy work around their properties. It ticks me off. One neighbour, and good friend, can't quite grasp why I won't even come over while he is there working.

I told him plain and simple - if someone did that to you, my dear friend, there is no way in hell I would invite him to work (and make money) right under your nose. Firstly, you're my friend and it would be (at least to me) insulting. Secondly, its sending the message that there are no sanctions for bad behaviour.

The carsija mentality here is 'if he hasn't cheated me....it's none of my business.' So the cycle of cheating, lying and being assholes continues without end.

My neighbour cannot fathom why this would bother me. The mentality of 'until someone shoots me in the forehead I'm immune and indifferent to him shooting others' puzzles me.  It doesn't make any sense. Social structures worldwide have always had their means of punishing others for bad deeds. Here, one is rewarded for bad behaviour - or at least never sanctioned.

I could care less about the 400 KM. But isn't there any moral compass working in this country? I have to go to my home and look at the guy who lied and cheated working for my neighbours and I'm the mad one for not wanting to go over to visit them whilst he's there. 

Please help me out...Am I nuts or is the carsija mentality the justified unwritten law of the land....?

"don't screw me and I could care less if you screw everybody around me.'


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MOJI LINKOVI

What is cista namjera
Although i have become an honorary balkanite, one thing that truly bothers me is how distrustful we are of each other and how quick we are to criticize without necessarily knowing all the facts. I will certainly criticize...and rant & rave about the environment and other things that get ispod moj koze. But i promise to do it with the pure intent. No lies. No bull shit. And entirely open to criticism.

about me
I am a semi-nomadic global activist...bosnaphile, ecologist, hiker, writer, new yorker/sarajevan. Bosnia and Herzegovina has been my home after i hitchhiked from Germany to BiH on Christmas day 1992. People always ask me what was the hardest thing about coming to Bosnia during those times. My answer is always the same...'leaving!'

What about you?
This blog isn't about me. It's about us. I'd love to hear from you...your comments, complaints, suggestions, passions, fears, whatever. What I'd rather not have is a stupid nationalistic exchange on who did what, when. I'm not interested in finger pointing but constructive dialog. If you happen to be one of those negativci...leave your negative energy somewhere else please. Hvala.

BLOG REQUESTS
I have already received comments from some of you asking me to write or comment on certain issues. That, in fact, is what this is all about. I welcome requests to write about certain topics...and if i can, i surely will. Feel free to ask me to address specific topics.

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