31 May 2013

5/31 Review: Checking Facts, Basketball, and ICTY, WHY?


All I'm going to say about that ^^ is holy balls of hellfire, I am slowly starting to hate ICTY.  Make up your mind about what is ancillary and what is not.

Palast der Republik was demolished, taking all the lamps with it.  I actually really loved the interior of the building (though it was the butt of many jokes, including the nickname: "Erichs Lampenladen" - Hoenecker's lamp shop) and it continues the conflicting feelings that Germany has about how to recognize, but move past, their history.

Ivanishvili is determined to get Georgia into NATO (don't forget that Condi Rice supported their bid in 2008, right before the South Ossetia conflict during Saakashvili's term).

Former Prime Minister Janez Janša is being accused of corruption and the prosecuting attorney is demanding a 24-month sentence and a 37,000 fine.

It's a lucky thing that the false, printed ballots were seized before the election.  That's progress at least and this kind of exposure to corruption and fraud will only help Bulglaria clear the hurdles that stand in its way.

Albania is motivated to get into the EU, as shown by the passing of critical laws to qualify for candidacy.

Lithuania's upcoming presidency should be a boon for the Eastern Partnership nations. It's like I've been saying: get the most eastward nations involved and everyone wins.

Latvia is getting clearance to start OECD ascension negotiations.  They're all growing up! I'm getting misty eyed.

Hungary may not be totally butchering their economic outlook?  Matolcsy's reforms are looking promising.

China is striking a deal with Belarus; is Latvia far behind?

To Read

Twitter continues to enlighten me, leading me to John Feffer's (long) well written and carefully thought out article on "The Politics of Memory".  This is a topic I find particularly interesting (have you noticed?) since it is a consistent point of trouble in Europe generally, with particular emphasis on the communist legacy.  As an anthropologist, my fascination lies chiefly within how people represent the larger narrative of history and reproduce it for future goals, means, and orientation.  It was part of my thesis in eastern Germany.  I have been corresponding with Velislav of MyCentury, who has the same goals as Vasil -- preserving the memory of people who are disappearing and taking that history with them.  Don't worry, this topic will keep coming up over and over!

A look at the 1962 novel Armenian Sketchbook, which self-reflects on the method and limitations of the travel journal: can they ever truly capture a place, Grossman asks us, or do our attempts at artistic conquest “limit the soul rather than deepen it?”

Hungary's ultra-conservatism isn't just hurting Hungary inside the EU, but the entire conservative faction (EPP) Hungary is aligned with.  This was pretty illuminating for me since I can't claim to really understand the politics in Brussels (in a self contained way).

Czech students are picking up on a trend: calling politicians out on their blatant lies.  Fact-checking groups will continue to grow in importance as politics get more polarized and closer to propaganda.  This is an important democratic development for the Czech Republic.

To See

MyCentury put up a beautiful Kodachrome video taken in 1964 in Yugoslavia.  There's not one thing I don't like on that website.  Not a one.

The most common sight in the USSR.  Also the most common experience.

This map shows where (and when) NBA players are drafted.  There's a surprising amount of eastern European basketball players and I think Slovenia wins in pure numbers (not percentages, but maybe...).  This certainly helps the exposure of CEE in the United States, which means to say it gives it more than 2 seconds every year.  (I kid?)