It was a fine film, and I have seen this clip used for many things, including the Dallas Cowboys and Senator Clinton. But thanks to Nedim for sending along the latest subtitling.


A tree fell on it

For better or worse (more likely than not better), Dragan Marković Palma has just squashed the hopes of Vojislav Koštunica and Vojislav Šešelj to form a government together. You never know where help is going to come from, do you?


Winston Napier

A moment of silence please for my friend and former colleague Winston Napier, whose wit and insight rivalled anybody's.

Here are remembrances from Aldon Lynn Nielsen and David Pugh.


Grist for the rumour mill

While there is wild speculation about the efforts to form an ultraright government with DSS and SRS in coalition, or as some media have it, a government for the security services and (presumably only some of) the tycoons, there is other speculation that the whole show is an effort by SPS to enhance the price it can demand for entering a coalition. This comes in the face of two bizarre events: Vojislav Šešelj sharing his deep thoughts from his cell in the Hague, and at the same time SPS chair Ivica Dačić repeating an image from a bygone era by heading off to Moscow to be told what he thinks (by whom?).

Still the guesses remain that SPS is buying time and has put conditions to SRS and DSS that they are not likely to accept, like control of both the Interior ministry and the intelligence agencies. SPS also has a deal-killer for both coalitions, complete rehabilitation of Slobodan Milošević, Mirjana Marković and their sundry criminal relatives. And there are claims that SPS is talking concretely with the DS-led coalition "For a European Serbia." What sorts of concrete things? Rumour is that DS is offering SPS the ministries for infrastructure, social services, and for Kosovo. Alongside these offers, it seems Vuk Drašković would like to be ambassador to the United States, and a few names are being mentioned as a possible prime minister: Gordana Matković, Bojan Pajtić and Mirko Cvetković (that last name surfaced early on, just after the elections, as a nonparty figure who might be acceptable to both DS and SPS). Another name that has been floated is that of Ivan Vujačić, who would need some work if Drašković were to head to Washington to replace him.

It is not clear who is feeding this information to the media or whether any of it is accurate. Assuming that the basic bit of speculation holds, and SPS is carrying on negotiations with DSS and SRS that are destined to fail, the question remains whether for DS, the price of forming a coalition with SPS might not be higher than the price of spending some time in opposition.

Translating: To the second page of the street

There is of course no substitute for a careful translation by an attentive and well informed human. The Google translation tool does not pretend to be such a substitute, and anyone who has used it knows that it is not one: the results are often comical. Nonetheless it is useful for getting a rough sense of something you might not be able to understand otherwise. And now you can get a rough sense in ten more languages -- Bulgarian, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Finnish, Hindi, Norwegian, Polish, Romanian and Swedish. So enjoy.