Modern psychology is like a man, who never had to use DOS, after a Windows crash, venturing through the uncharted territories beyond the world of graphic, quantifiable and measurable brain functions. Of course, once we will be able to build machines that think and feel, but we simply don't know how this (thinking and feeling) work yet.

Back then in 1968, David Gitelson, a guy who spent his time in Vietnam as a C.O. with International Voluntary Services helping Vietnamese to improve their farming, was apparently killed by CIA (or something related to that entity) for tipping of senator Kennedy on egregious human rights abuses American soldiers committed against Vietnamese civilians. He actually lived with Vietnamese their way of life rejecting the western luxury, and he won over more Vietnamese than American Air Force, that's for sure, enacting the American primary foreign policy principle of peace through trade', which was kind of forgotten during those years of cold war blinders.

LDK - human rights organization in Kosovo reported that the HRW activist was arrested and beaten by Serbian police - erroneously, since he wasn't - but news got to Albanian TV and to the American Embassy in Belgrade. The real story was that Serbian police indeed pulled over the said HRW person and a human rights activist from Kosovo at village Vustri, but besides holding them there for some time, nothing else happened. LDK, obviously pursuing its own political agendas, wanted to have something more impressive had happened, but they just harmed their own credibility.

We should admire Richard Holbroke. He still has the courage to go back there, after the road accident in which his friend and mentor (Fraser) died, after the Ron Brown's plane crash, after the car bomb that almost killed Macedonian president Kiro Gligorov following his meeting with Milosevic and after the TWA plane crash. He seems to have a lot of lives. That however doesn't mean he has any success with Milosevic, Tudjman and Izetbegovic: Karadzic for example is not going to be arrested and extradited. Why? It is seldomly known that the War Crimes Tribunal is run by dumb cops who ask whether Banja Luka is a man or a woman. But that may be the reason why IFOR is not quite rushing to arrest Karadzic. What's the point in arresting him if The Hague would let him go facing apparent lack of evidence. I mean everybody knows... ...but that doesn't work in court. O.J. would be long electrocuted if the common belief had any legal validity. Oh, btw, the O.J. prosecution's blood expert went to work for the Tribunal. Karadzic reportedly prays for him to be as effective in his trial as he was in O.J.'s.

And do you know when there will be democracy in Serbia? When Milosevic's widow asks Karadzic's orphan at Seselj's funeral when already will Arkan come out of the prison [reportedly a B92 joke]. Mladic has no kids, any more, after his daughter committed suicide, following him drafting her boyfriend (who died in the battle). And what about Croatia? When they cleanse all the Hercegovci back to Bosnia and let Alija or Haris or Ejup or whomever THERE deal with them. But this, unfortunately, is not a joke. They (Croats from Hercegovina) apparently believe that it is a structural fault of democracy if they don't win. They "contemplate government as a profitable monopoly, and the people as hereditary property": which in exact this words was the criticism American poltical writer Tom Paine addressed to the citizens of the U.S. in open letters published in the National Intelligencer in 1802/1803 against the followers of the ideas of the second U.S. president John Adams and his administration. The U.S. at that time had its "sedition law" which is basically the same law as it is used in Croatia today to prosecute editors of Feral Tribune for offending the president. Yet they just quoted him saying in an interview how generalissimo Franco was not as bad (for a man who also used to say that neither Hitler was as bad, this is not much, really). Alas, Tom Paine, who devoted all his life to building, explaining and defending the system of representative democracy, finally suffered that his fellow townsmen (New Rochelle = Samobor equivalent) didn't allow him to vote claiming that he is NOT A CITIZEN . Yeah, right, Tom, messy as he was, failed to take care to obtain his domovnica' in time, probably.

If somebody asked you if you would ever go to see the movie, or more properly - a musical - in which most of the main roles are played by cockroaches, you might return a scornful and assertive no. Yet, Hollywood definitively proved that it can sell anything to the masses - even cockroaches. Actors beware! There is even a new opening in the industry that I may consider to look up for, given my extensive hands-on experience with the issues: assistant roach wrangler. Or, one day, even, maybe, hopefully, THE roach wrangler himself. Unfortunately, squashed roaches are not quite as photogenic as dead rodents so I passed them up on my web site. However the film is quite educative: it gives me a clear hint that I should find a way to bump into some senator's daughter and solve my housing problems. My cockroaches don't fly and definitively don't talk, although sometimes they make some strange hushing sounds, that, when you are stoned, may be mistaken for speech. Senators' daughters: I am single and very available at

Btw I don't live in East Village any more, now I live in East Harlem which looks now like East Village looked in Joe's time, when MTV predominantly aired serials about "improbably cool young people having a blast - in a prime real estate" (borrowed from East Village is now gentrified, i.e. landlords had their way of getting the old ladies dead and converting buildings to co-ops. I actually lived there for four years, while my landlord kept that space legally vacant, paying a very reasonable rent in cash for a nice ground floor storefront with a backyard (it is really wild to have a backyard in a place like East Village for parties and stuff). Now the same place rents for 3.5 times more than what I used to pay. Well, landlord did the paint job. He is still particularly unfortunate with old ladies. They just don't want to die. Cheap rent in New York city is almost like an incentive to live and spite the world. Life is unfair. Low rent is the payback time.

One day I went to see my friend who is just about to move from East Village to Brooklyn. He lives just opposite that first building in the city which offers T1 connections in apartments for the cybergentry. I was wondering who exactly lives in such a building. Then I saw a young guy, dressed kind of preppie (well, he definitively stuck out in the Village) with a wrist brace. Carpal syndrome, huh, that may be the clue. And really - he went straight to that building. Obviously, a lot of daily mousing is necessary to pay rent there.

Earlier generations probably remembered all those annoying barking dogs and meowing stray cats, in times when the bigger dick issue was settled by owning a larger and louder dog. I for example know exactly which car in my neighbourhood produces what particular loud long-lasting piercingly annoying set of sounds when its alarm is triggered by a passing bus or a truck.

Americans kicked Serbs ass in basketball. Which was expectable, given the amounts of money that are invested in basketball in the U.S. (some NBA players are paid a good ten percents of Yugoslav GNP, perhaps) and the pool of players available to the U.S. to build a team. Maybe if Yugoslavia and Croatia combined teams (as they played before in that old forgotten times when they were living in peace), the US team would have a more difficult job. They'd probably win, too, but not with such an ease. They didn't play the entire first half - they just casually strolled around keeping the score more or less even. Then in second half, actually in the second half of the second half, they just kicked ass for real and that ended with 95:69, and visibly exhausted Yugoslavs, while American players looked as they are just about to warm up, trading jokes and like.

Otherwise, it is very interesting that except the U.S. basketball giants are rather small countries like Yugoslavia, Croatia (though they played like total loosers this time, obviously their sport ministries have more pressing issues like changing club names, than to train new players) and Lithuania. White men don't jump, except maybe former and some present Yugoslavs, who are on average very tall, too. Ottoman Turks destroyed Byzant's capital fortified city Constantinople (Istanbul from then on) in a way Serbs were trying to destroy Sarajevo: by strangling off supplies and long, methodic long-distance artillery bombardment. The more interesting is that Ottoman Empire used, for the purpose of marching into Constantinople, the elite troops (janjicari) conscripted from their most warlike provinces: Albania, Bosnia and Serbia.

Eighties in Europe, particularly in Great Britain and in the East were years of restructuring' and downsizing', pretty much like nineties are in the U.S. At the end Soviet Union was downsized to Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States, Berlin Wall was restructured to Germanesque quickly removed pile of ruble, a lot of people became "new rich" and a lot more people found themselves on the streets. The widened gap inevitably lead to social ills including violence (in some cases even wars...). In the "West" the most ardent example was Great Britain and the Iron Lady: the way how she put down the miners strikes and practically shut down the old production lines in the north while redirecting support to new industries in the south and the first generation of YUPPIES who made exorbitant profits out of thin air. Money people were nodding in approval and financial indexes happily bounced up. The discontent that engulfed London in late seventies, packed its bags and departed to Manchester, Liverpool, Scotland, with all those innumerable punk bands who started touring northern cities venues finding young unemployed particularly attracted to their style, while the capital drowned in the dancy Euro-pop trash like Depeche Mode and the likes. This is made so beautifully plain in the Trainspotting, which is btw a film about heroin addiction which ends with a deal went wonderfully right.

Not learning from the European example, the U.S. is into same crap right now: the "Great Society" consistently and continuously dissipates since 1968 - the poorest fifth already earn less than 5% of the total U.S. income, while the wealthiest fifth earn almost 50%, and the gap is widening more every passing day. Middle class is more and more stretched between stagnating incomes and rising debts, compensating lack of income with going further in debt: consumer debt already equals to annual GNP of Great Britain and still rises (4.9% in May). I, for one, by my own calculations, have 34 more months to personal bankruptcy with my current levels of spending and income given that I continue to make my minimum payments on time meanwhile. So, I feel the crisis very personal.

Yet, it is never enough to those who have. Clinton just said that he will sign Republican's Welfare bill. He of course waited until the end of his first term, so that the 5 years lifetime limit on benefits will hit hard the first group of recipients just in time he'd finally be out of office even if re-elected, so the eventual Republican president will have to deal with resulting resentment and violence. By that time various State legislation would already differ so much that the Union would become questionable by some, probably by those who will make more than the rest: for example, already, and despite all Gingrich's protestations, the "bad apple" - New York city - gives more in taxes and receives less in entitlements then it is its lot, while Gingrich's electoral district rife with subsidized national security defense industry receives as much in appropriations as those military cities in Serbia once did.

The same as bad is to deny benefits to non-citizens. It is an open invitation for scams, racketeering, organized crime and violence. And all that while they are preaching to us about their fabled family values. "He that picks your pocket always tries to make you look another way. Look,' says he, at yon man t'other side the street - what a nose he has got? - Lord, yonder is a chimney on fire! - do you see yon man going along in the salamander great coat? That is the very man that stole one of Jupiter's satellites, and sold it to a countryman for a gold watch, and it set his breeches on fire!' Now the man that has his hand in your pocket, does not care a farthing whether you believe what he says or not. All his aim is to prevent your looking at him; and this is the case wit the remnant of the Federal faction. The leaders of it have imposed upon the country, and they want to turn the attention of it from the subject." If you just substitute Republican for Federal in this almost 200 years old Tom Paines pamphlet, you'd get pretty close to various Whitewaters. Send your donations, now.

Economic problems that plague this country are however far from the ones that faced Great Britain and particularly the Eastern Europe: here the inflation is still negligible AND unemployment rate is lower than the last year's (which for sure beats the Economy 101). But when those results were published, DOW took a considerable dive. Wall Street feels uncomfortable when the economic data feels to be too good. They make money out of economy's instabilities, so if the economy is too good, they make less money. They can't pick our pockets if we don't turn our heads somewhere else. That's why they have enough paid congressmen to do just that: turn our heads. Abortion rights, anybody? Flag burning? Gays in the military? Spotted owl? Movie rating?

This bonanza for the rich can't last forever. And it usually ends with a lot of blood. The occasional terrorist attacks are just an ugly prelude. As it is common with terrorist attacks, victims are random and innocent. And in the aftermath the effects are counterproductive, leading to the more of police state (which again randomly affects mostly those who are innocent of any wrongdoing). It is not much different than the Balkan military chiefs flying their mortars over the heads of their poor civilians.

What do we have as of now? We have more than 40 black congregational churches burned in the "church-burning belt" of the U.S. The objectives are clear to anybody who followed mosque and church burning in the Balkans. Kill the soul. Then, we had Oklahoma city bombing and World Trade Center bombing, where domestic and foreign terrorists seemed to compete who would make a bigger boom: foreigner's attack was more symbolic, while domestic was more deadly. And the latest we have a reversed story in which the possibly foreign terrorist attack was more deadly (TWA crash) while the evidently domestic bomb was largely symbolic (Centennial park). The Atlanta bomb was so childishly designed, placed and exploded (as the officials suggested themselves) that it is strange that there was no arrest made as of yet.

Atlanta bomb actually killed only two people, and the second one did not die from the blast, but from the heart attack. It was an overzealous cameraman rushing to take footage of people hurt by shrapnels screaming in pain, so that we can all share the terror. Overwhelmed by his own avarice his heart just stopped beating. Poor fellow.

And even before anybody was sure that the TWA plane was destroyed by a bomb, just a week after the crash, bomb detecting devices manufacturers saw their stocks surging unbelievably upwards: Magal Security Sys. raised 92% in ten days. So even plane crashes may be good for business, at least better than the low unemployment rate. Officials, though they say that the TWA plane crash is almost identical in all subtle details to the PanAm flight 103 crash over Lockerbie, still did not rule out the technical failure. Last weekend I was at Fire Island (which is fairly close to the Moriches Inlet): at all times there were at least four airplanes in the sky. I never saw so rich air-traffic. It is obviously a min route between East Coast and Europe. That rules out the missile attack - I mean if somebody would be there in a boat with his stinger missiles, why would he fire just one when he could have four 747s down in less than ten minutes? That would certainly rule out the possibility of technical failure.

Those two guys that blew up PanAm 103 are still occupying the highest places at the FBI top ten most wanted list. The FBI most wanted list actually gives a nice statistics on crime in the U.S. as related to ethnic or racial stuff: blacks are wanted mostly for murder and armored robberies, Hispanics are overwhelmingly wanted for drug related crimes, those rare whites there, if they are not involved in some profitable scam, are wanted for alleged child molestation and Arabs are there for plane crashes and shooting at CIA buildings.

I have a friend who works for Legal Aid with prsioners in pre-trial detention at Rikers. Mostly minor drug offenders who have no money to meet bail. Scarcely anybody older than 20. Being in pre-trial detention they are legally presumed innocent, yet they are all brought to my friend in shackles and cuffs like if they are convicted hardened criminals - well, all except one so far, but he was white. She is there to collect their stories of guards abuse and brutality, pretty much like a human rights workers abroad.

But did you know that the Navy had maneuvers that day not far from the L.I. coast? Could they shoot the plane by accident? It is not that American military is devoid of accidents: just a few weeks ago a 500 lbs bomb *fell* of a FA18 700 feet away from American military base in Bosnia. And this is not the only far-fetched story about the TWA crash: Serbian Ministry of Information released a commentary to the Internet linking Bosnian government to the TWA crash through the Bosnian mujahedins who participated in Algerian fundamentalists terrorist actions in Paris (there were a lot of French on the plane they rationalized), and pledged Americans that after Dharhan and TWA bombs, they should cease their support for the Islamic Declaration author, Alija Izetbegovic. Some people whom I showed the release came up instantly with an idea that maybe Serbs blew up the TWA. After all, the most plausible explanation of how the bomb came to the plane would be that somebody boarded the plane with the bomb in carry-on luggage (which is NOT checked by MRI, but rather with explosive insensitive metal detectors) in Athens, left the plane in New York while "forgetting" his bag on the plane, probably stuffed under the seat above the forward cargo section near the hull, and took another plane out of the country, while TWA flight was exploding over Long Island. That's probably why FBI was so into the passenger lists. And Athens is the stomping ground of Milosevic's agents. The less elegant way of how the bomb made its way to the plane would be some corrupt luggage handler at JFK.

Nobody made such a big deal of ValueJet crash, though. The small carriers are expected to go down by technical failures, and they don't usually carry V.I.P. passengers and they don't get Vatican condolences the day after the crash.

Recently I watched a film about Bill Clinton, or more precisely about what "liberals" would like to see in Bill Clinton, on Pay-Per-View. First the president is widowed and the daughter is the one who plays the saxophone. Stephanopoulos is named Luis and he doesn't know that it is Christmas on the Christmas eve despite that he received a memo specifying that the Christmas is coming that evening. Even one Craig Livingstone appears as a guy who rants about military college women who try to run over football players. The point is however in the speech the president delivers to the press corps just before the state of the union address: an assertive, decisive speech that tells things exactly as they are - something that people have been vainly longing to hear from Billy for a fairly long time.

Did anybody notice that all political figures of all factions in former Yugoslavia except for Slobodan Milosevic (Tudjman, Izetbegovic, Paraga, Seselj, Seks, Arkan, Boban, Karadzic...even Jansa) were imprisoned for some time (between less than a year and 3 years) during early to mid eighties? Apparently nobody took that too seriously. The hypothesis that the collapse of Yugoslavia and the following bloody massacre of its people was a carefully planned event, a display of readiness to do EVERYTHING and ANYTHING necessary to remain in power, is too easily dismissed as a paranoid conspiracy theory by many. Yet, facing the end of its rule, the Yugoslav military and various intelligence structures, particularly scared of their possible dishonorable demise following the events in Romania, just might devise a strategy of having the chaos work for them. The ethnic leaders, completely at odds with each other at the first site, in fact cooperated very well on prolonging the pain and suffering of their people, and not getting the least hurt themselves in the process (on the contrary - increasing immensely their wealth and prestige). Yet, they were all very familiar to the pain and humiliation: they were trained to respond to intimidation, they were trained to see as many fingers as the O'Brians from Yugoslav counterintelligence told them to see at each particular time. Seselj was conditioned to hate Muslims by being raped by Muslim inmates in prison. Paraga was conditioned to hate Serbs by being kept naked in solitary confinement guarded by Serbian guards. They are conditioned to want that pain happens to OTHER people instead of to them and they would do whatever is asked from them without questioning.

There are always individuals in society that are able to do outrageous acts under pressure, while otherwise they are perceived as silent neighbors. After the second world war, American psychologist run an experiment to find just how many people would chose to inflict harm on others in order to avoid possible harm to themselves. Individuals were presented with the electro-shocking device and were pressured (by shouting, humiliation and ORDERS from researchers) to apply electro-shocks to a person tied to a chair. The electro-shocks of course were not real and the person tied to a chair was an actor, but the research showed that a good number of people, and even more telling, a good number of well educated people, with various humanist degrees easily applied electro-shocks marked "deadly" to the tied victim. If this test would be performed to everybody and the results made public, we would at least know whom to fear in a case of the collapse of society. In Yugoslavia it seems that the vast intelligence apparatus probed almost every public figure for that inclination, morbidly choosing the least stable individuals to run the show. People who did not respond well (suck into the intimidation) were just let go from so-called "informational discussions", while those who shuddered were called back again and again for further conditioning and are occupying today high positions in the new regimes, while the information on their little dirty secrets is still well kept in the Yugoslav Army intelligence vaults.

Most people in the "West" failed to see how sophisticated is the Yugoslav police state. The oppression was much less visible than anywhere else in the communist world, yet the control was almost absolute. Did I tell you about an American human rights activist who visited Yugoslavia earlier in eighties and were contacted by an American embassy clerk at the Belgrade airport. He gave her his card. She didn't want to have contacts with the embassy, knowing that that undermines her credibility as an independent monitor, so she threw the card away in a garbage can in a women's bathroom at the airport. She found the very same card waiting for her in her hotel room. Point well made. For my own encounters with Yugoslav intelligence services, you can browse my web page.