discarded lies: saturday, june 24, 2017 8:26 pm zst
rootless cosmopolitans
daily archive: 01/18/2005
zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
Can I love a Pope even though I'm not Catholic? I hope so, because I do feel a genuine affection for John Paul II. His kindness and efforts at reconciliation with other faiths have made him an exceptional leader of the Catholic church.
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zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
Listen To Your Mother
I love my mom for several reasons. Well for one, she's my mom so I have to. But she's also very useful to have around. For example, when mama visits I don't need to ever look in the mirror because she serves as one: "you need a haircut." "You look tired." "You need more sleep, look at those bags under your eyes." And I'm extra lucky because my mama also has a calendar function: "it's Saturday" (that's Greek for "call grandma.")
Out of concern for her daughter's well-being, Valerie Guzman spent the majority of her 26-year-old daughter Nancy's brief holiday visit belittling her.

"You only have that small bag?" Guzman asked Sunday when her daughter stepped off the plane. "You don't plan to wear the same outfit for three days, do you? You remembered we're going to the DiSicas' dinner, right? I don't want you running out at the last minute and buying a dress with money you don't have, just because you forgot to pack something nice."

"It would make things so much easier on everybody if you'd just plan ahead," added Guzman, whose first priority is the well-being of her children. "I mean, think about what you're doing once in a while."
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evariste in Discarded Lies:
Russia Fields All-Pro Team In Chechnya
Russia has finally switched to an all-volunteer force in Chechnya, in a long-overdue move.
The Russian Defense Ministry has replaced all conscripts serving in Chechnya with professional soldiers, making good on its promise to get all military draftees out of the war-torn republic by the end of 2004. By late December, Russia’s only military unit left in Chechnya, the 21’000-strong 42nd Motorized Division, had been fully staffed by contract soldiers, Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov said. Moscow has also withdrawn 1’500 paratroopers and 1’000 marines from Chechnya. According to Ivanov, a large number of contract soldiers had applied to serve in Chechnya to replace conscripts there. In November, Ivanov said the Russian government had allocated 89 billion rubles (US$3 billion) for the reform of all infantry troops, marines, and paratroopers into contract services within the next four years. Russian Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin said that defense spending would be increased by 40 per cent in 2005. The Russian Defense Ministry’s budget for 2004 was 380 billion rubles (about US$13 billion). Russia’s daily Gazeta reported on Tuesday that selection among contract servicemen was rather strict, with more than 600 having been sent home in 2004 after initial training at a Russian military base in Chechnya. Rank contract servicemen in Chechnya receive a salary of 15’000 rubles (US$540) plus 666 rubles (US$23) for every day they spend on missions. Given the meager military salaries in the Russian provinces - from where the vast majority of the servicemen volunteered - the daily speculated that the higher pay for serving in Chechnya was the main attraction. But the daily also cited “adrenaline? and “camaraderie? as other attractions to serving in Chechnya. Gazeta's reporter also noted the absence of any signs of hazing among contract servicemen with whom he had spent several days in Chechnya. Last month, Interior Minister Rashid Nurgaliev announced that the ministry would also replace its conscripts in Chechnya with contract servicemen by the end of 2005. Interior Ministry troops commander Nikolai Rogozhkin said in December that only 52 per cent of the troops serving in the ministry’s 46th brigade in Chechnya were contract servicemen. While the media has responded positively to the Russian government’s moves to replaces conscripts with contract servicemen in Chechnya, there has been some skepticism. Radio Svoboda reported on Monday that there had been cases in Chechnya in which outgoing conscripts had been pressured by their commanders to sign contracts to continue their service. In 2004, 148 Russian servicemen were killed in Chechnya, according to the Defense Ministry. (By Nabi Abdullaev in Moscow)
Nice job, now get to work.
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zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
Holding On To A Hidden Identity
We've posted about the Bnei Anusim before. I had never heard of Crypto-Jews until just a few years ago, when I was learning about the Holocaust. From Germany in the 1940s, I followed a backwards thread of pogroms and persecutions through centuries. The countries varied, but the continent stayed the same.
According to Shavei Israel Director Michael Freund, “There is a real awakening taking place among the Bnai Anousim in Portugal, who have held on to their Jewish identity despite centuries of fear and persecution. Through no fault of their own, their ancestors were torn away from us, but now many are looking for a way to come back - to come back to the religious and intellectual heritage that was so cruelly taken away from them.?

In late 1496, King Manuel I of Portugal sought to wed the daughter of Spanish King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella, who conditioned their consent on the expulsion of the Jews from Portuguese territory. Manuel followed suit, and issued a decree ordering the expulsion of the country’s Jews by October 1497.

But fearing the economic loss to his kingdom, the Portuguese monarch instead undertook a campaign of forcible baptism, compelling the bulk of Portuguese Jewry to convert. “Many, however, continued to practice Judaism in secret,? Freund says, “and risked their lives and well-being to pass along their hidden identity as Jews to future generations.?
Reaching Out to Portugal’s Crypto-Jews
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zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
Enlightened Germans
Here's an example of blatant racism from Germany's Stern magazine:
In an article published on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Stern magazine labels US National Security Advisor and future Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice "The Voice of her Master.? And if that weren’t bad enough, a picture intended to make Stern's condescending message unmistakably clear accompanies the article.
Davids Medienkritik has much more on this.

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evariste in Discarded Lies:
Andrew Sullivan And Intellectual Integrity
Andrew Sullivan unfairly slags off a scrupled historian...
Andrew Sullivan reviews a book for TNR about Lincoln's homosexuality and leads in with some rather unremarkable and reasonable conclusions about Lincoln.
If completely heterosexual is a Kinsey 1 and completely homosexual is a Kinsey 6, Tripp puts Lincoln as a 5. Reading his engrossing, if uneven, book, I'd say you could make a case that Lincoln was, in fact, a 4. It's going to be a subjective judgment, and I'm no Lincoln scholar. In any particular piece of evidence that Tripp discovers, I'd say it's easy to dismiss his theory. But when you review all the many pieces of the Lincoln emotional-sexual puzzle, the homosexual dimension gets harder and harder to ignore. As conservative writer, Richard Brookhiser, has noted, all we can say with complete confidence is that "on the evidence before us, Lincoln loved men, at least some of whom loved him back." That's a pretty good definition of the core truth of homosexuality.
He struck a reasonable tone to begin with, agreeing that Tripp's work was "uneven" and acknowledging that Tripp surely overstated the case by admitting that he himself would probably rate Lincoln closer to the center of the Kinsey scale than to its extreme. The rest of the review until the last two paragraphs is an innocuous rehash of Trippi's book. But the last two paragraphs are just jawdroppers. I don't read Sullivan regularly so I don't know if this is the kind of thing that's letting down his conservative gay readership and causing people to search for "the new Andrew Sullivan". That GayPatriot article (thanks, Frank IBC!) pointed me to a Power Line piece by deacon where he opines that Sullivan's "distress clouds his reason" on an unrelated matter (Abu Ghraib), and I liked it so much I'm stealing it. I think his reason is certainly clouded by emotion here as well. Take a look:
The usual suspects have weighed in aggressively to counter these facts.
Who are "the usual suspects", in his prejudicial phrasing? Just
The Weekly Standard, from its sophomoric cover-image of a simpering gay caricature of Lincoln, to its hiring of a crank to denounce the book as a "hoax" and "fraud," is a useful exhibit in the degeneration of conservative discourse.
Of course, I immediately had to click the link and see what piece of dishonest conservative crankery it was that had gotten Andrew so upset. After all, he lulled me into believing he was being intellectually honest. This piece about the gay Lincoln book, I followed the link to it after reading a well-tempered, hopeful piece by him on the President's inauguration, and I thought "he doesn't sound so derailed". And his tone at the outset of the article sounded downright agreeable and admitting of doubt. But it seems by the end of the article he's convinced himself that mean bad conservatives are out to bury the truth, man. Well, I read the Weekly Standard piece and far from being a "crank" who was doing a right wing hatchet job on the book, Philip Nobile was-well, I'll let him tell it:
The book is a hoax and a fraud: a historical hoax, because the inaccurate parts are all shaded toward a predetermined conclusion, and a literary fraud, because significant portions of the accurate parts are plagiarized--from me, as it happens.

Tripp and I intended to be coauthors of the book, laboring together on the project from 1995 to 2000--when our partnership, already fissured by dueling manuscripts, came to a bitter end. We quarreled constantly over evidence: I said the Gay Lincoln Theory was intriguing but impossible to prove; he said it was stone-cold fact.
It's a chewy, short and sordid read about how Tripp disregarded evidence that disagreed with his predetermined conclusions, papered over the holes in his theory with wholesale inventions, willfully denied predecessors in the field their due credit even while using their work, and otherwise made what could have been a fanciful theory with a few tantalizing historical cues into something only the credulous could believe, and ended up doing history, and his desired reading of it, a disservice. Nobile:
I quit the project first in 1999, when Tripp refused to include citations to Charles Shively, a former University of Massachusetts historian and Tripp's main guide to the gay Lincoln. "Darwin didn't do it," he said to me, referring to Darwin's initial failure to cite precursors in The Origin of Species. Although Tripp profusely copied ideas and references from Shively's flamboyantly rendered Lincoln chapter in Walt Whitman's Civil War Boy Lovers, he brushed off proper mention because he thought Shively's reputation for being "too gay-lib" would dissuade readers.
[...]
Apart from jaw-dropping plagiarism in the first chapter, which kidnapped the text I wrote for the aborted peer review, I saw that Tripp was up to the same tricks that had forced me to withdraw from the project: consistently bending the evidence in the lavender direction. The con was so outrageous that I urged killing the book. "If you correct the errors, remove the copied material, restore what Tripp covered up, and make the proper attributions, there is not much left of Tripp's argument," I emailed Free Press counsel Jennifer Weidman.
[...]
Faced with reality, the publisher dropped the dissimilarities dodge. No longer able to deny Tripp's plagiarism, the defense shifted ground. "The issue is not whether you contributed to the work, or for that matter who wrote parts of it," Rivlin declared. The new issue went to ownership. She insisted Tripp's "Estate has the right to authorize the publication of the chapter. We see no issue of theft or other impropriety in our acting upon that authorization. Rather, any concerns that you have with respect to the authorization should be raised directly with the Estate."
Simon and Schuster's "editing", designed more to satisfy the most minimal legal concerns than to actually assure the good scholarship of the book (actually, they butcher Tripp's already-meager scholarship and make him look even worse).
All in all, no, I can't agree that Nobile is a crank. He sounds more like a well-meaning, honest historian who wanted to clear the air, and if his account of the events that transpired can be trusted (and he sounds credible). You know who does sound like a crank? Andrew Sullivan.
But what's interesting to me is that even if you gloss all Lincoln's male relationships as homosocial or homoerotic rather than homosexual, they still paint a picture that would offend today's Republican establishment. Whatever Lincoln was, he was very at ease expressing love, intimacy and affection for other men. The last thing he was was sexually prudish. His early doggerel poem about the progeny that results from anal sex with another man - he has the two men married no less! - would be regarded by today's conservatives as worthy of protest to the FCC.

But today's right-wingers are right about one thing. The truth about Lincoln - his unusual sexuality, his comfort with male-male love and sex - is not a truth today's Republican leaders want to hear. They are well-advised to attack and suppress it. They are more closely related to the forces Lincoln defeated than those he championed; and his candor, honesty and brave forging of a homosocial and homoerotic life in plain sight would appall them. The real Lincoln is their greatest rebuke; which is why they will do all they can to obscure the complicated, fascinating truth about the man whose legacy they are intent on betraying.
How deranged, Andrew. Here's Nobile's conclusion:
THE INTIMATE WORLD OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN, already an object of derision among specialists, contains a poison pill in an afterword by Michael Burlingame entitled "A Respectful Dissent." Recently retired from Connecticut College, Burlingame has a monumental three-volume Lincoln biography in progress with Johns Hopkins University Press. He and Tripp got along well and shared information, if not a thesis.

"I liked Tripp, but he was careless and sloppy," Burlingame told me. "I'm surprised that Free Press accepted my afterword since it says the book is full of baloney." In particular, Burlingame devastates Tripp's intellectual honesty by noting that he had suppressed many stories of Lincoln's heterosexual interest.

"Since it is virtually impossible to prove a negative, Dr. Tripp's thesis cannot be rejected outright," wrote Burlingame. "But given the paucity of hard evidence adduced by him, and given the abundance of contrary evidence indicating that Lincoln was drawn romantically and sexually to some women, a reasonable conclusion, it seems to me, would be that it is possible but highly unlikely that Abraham Lincoln was 'predominately homosexual.'"

The Gay Lincoln Theory, for all its jagged edges, may be a more satisfying explanation for the president's weird inner life than the Utterly Straight Lincoln Theory. "I have heard [Lincoln] say over and over again about sexual contact: 'It is a harp of a thousand strings,'" Henry Whitney told William Herndon in 1865. Leaving aside Tripp's bad faith, it is not utterly beyond imagining that Lincoln may have played a few extra strings on that harp.

But the fraud and the hoax of C.A. Tripp's The Intimate World of Abraham Lincoln are no way to explore the hallowed ground of history.
Philip Nobile ends up saying much the same thing as Andrew Sullivan, that Lincoln was probably gay. But in Sullivan's apparent newfound eagerness to attack the right on any and all specious grounds and attempt to portray even the intellectual right as bigoted, craven monsters (with himself as the put-upon and embattled Martin Luther King, Jr of the gay civil rights struggle) he doesn't want to see this-he only wants to see that "conservative discourse" is undergoing "degeneration". Is it really, when his own discourse is so shrill and so remarkably strident? Nobile sounded like a reasonable man with a professional and personal grievance, and Sullivan came across as a blinkered ideologue. This reminds me of nothing less than how "Soviet science", especially in the softer sciences, sometimes was preferred to reflect Party doctrine first and cold reality last. The scientific and historical unsoundness of Tripp's evidence, methodology and conclusions are nothing to Sullivan; that someone is pointing them out in a conservative publication, and it damages his new pet theory, is unforgivable. So, of course, he resorts to the ad hominem attack ("crank", "usual suspects", "degeneration of conservative discourse") and doesn't bother to grapple with any of Nobile's points.
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evariste in Discarded Lies:
Jailing Terrorist Enablers Only Breeds More Terrorists
Lynne Stewart's defense's furious handwaving
Terrorism analyst Brian Hecht writes in Frontpage,on the specious arguments made by the defense to the jury in the trial of Lynne Stewart.
Stewart’s own attorney, criminal defense lawyer Michael Tigar, famous for his defense of Oklahoma City Bombing terrorist Terry Nichols, made a rather startling assertion near the end of his closing argument: that the acquittal of his client would be akin to fighting terrorism. During his summation, Tigar told the jury about his fears regarding the case, saying, “I concede to you that I am afraid. I'm afraid that the Islamic fundamentalists or some other kinds of fundamentalists are going to win. Suppose we got so worked up, so incited by the rhetoric of government that we decided to punish people for their radical politics.? He continued, “If all of that happened, members of the jury, the fundamentalists would have won.? Tigar added that if the jury convicted his client, then “the Islamic fundamentalists can have a big celebration.?
That's the worst kind of smarmy, undisciplined advocacy, and Tigar surely did his famous client a disservice. On the other hand, he didn't exactly get Terry Nichols off, now did he? Convicted on all counts and sent to prison for life...Hecht goes on to ably demolish Tigar's weak closing argument.
So Tigar, employing amazingly convoluted logic, is attempting to sell the notion that if Islamic terrorists lose Stewart—one of their best friends in the West in both their propaganda and tactical wars against us—to prison, they will not be disappointed, but, rather, will proceed to throw the mother of all parties. At the same time, he tells the jury that, should they acquit Stewart and set free one of the terrorists’ most helpful and vocal advocates, then those same terrorists will be dismayed, simply because her acquittal will somehow be proof that “freedom reigns.? Lawyers, however, just like everyone else, are not free to violate the law. And despite Tigar’s assertion to the contrary, failing to cloak defense attorneys with immunity for misconduct hardly helps Islamic fundamentalists in their war on the West.

And speaking of that war, it should be remembered that Rahman, the terror master whom Stewart allegedly collaborated with and the “spiritual leader? of the group that perpetrated the 1993 attacks on the World Trade Center, is currently serving a life prison term for his part in a 1995 plot to blow up landmarks and tunnels in NewYork City.

In addition to allegedly attempting to shield Rahman’s nefarious activities, Stewart also faces charges for defrauding and lying to the federal government, in the furthering of the Sheikh’s terror plans. Plans that included issuing fatwas which, according to the government’s indictment, called for his “brother scholars everywhere in the Muslim world to do their part and issue a unanimous fatwah that urges the Muslim nation to fight the Jews and to kill them wherever they are? and urged that “the Muslim nation? must “fight the Jews by all possible means of jihad, either by killing them as individuals or by targeting their interests, and the interests of those who support them, as much as they can.?[1]

The jury is in the process of determining whether Stewart overstepped her role as Rahman’s defense attorney, and instead became an active accomplice in his terrorist schemes. The prosecution alleges that Stewart violated a signed Specialized Administrative Measures (SAM) agreement, designed to prevent the Sheikh from planning terror attacks and disseminating information to his followers while behind bars.

The government contends that Stewart, during prison meetings with the Sheikh on May 19 and 20, 2002, made “extraneous comments in English to mask the Arabic conversation between Rahman? and Mohammed Yousry, an interpreter and a co-defendant in the case, in which the two were discussing illegal activity, and later issued forbidden communications to the media on behalf of Rahman.[2] During the course of the trial, the government presented the taped evidence of Stewart’s behavior during these meetings.

Conveniently dismissing the overwhelming evidence against his client, Tigar is claiming that the trial is all about Stewart’s politics, rather than her alleged conduct. Stewart, a famed radical leftist, discussing her beliefs with the New York Times in 1995, stated that she believes in “directed violence,? or “violence directed at the institutions which perpetuate capitalism, racism, and sexism, and at the people who are the appointed guardians of those institutions…" Stewart has also said that she does not “have any problem with Mao or Stalin or the Vietnamese leaders or certainly Fidel locking up people they see as dangerous, because so often, dissidence has been used by greater powers to undermine a people's revolution.? However, it is not Stewart’s belief in violence or her bizarre approval of political repression which are on trial here. Rather, it is her alleged complicity in terrorist activity, as well as her willful and knowing violations of a signed agreement with the federal government.

Yet Tigar has attempted to portray the government’s case against Stewart as an effort to undercut or erode the attorney-client privilege. But again, it is not the attorney-client privilege that is on trial here, but the alleged abuse of that privilege to aid in the commission of a violent crime. In fact, the New York Lawyers Code Of Professional Responsibility explicitly states that an attorney shall not “[c]ounsel or assist the client in conduct that the lawyer knows to be illegal or fraudulent.?[3] [emphasis added] Attorney-client privilege is safe and secure, no matter what the outcome of Stewart’s trial, despite Tigar’s protestations.

If the jury buys his spin on the situation, and actually proceeds to acquit Stewart, then Tigar himself will have dealt a decisive blow against the prosecution of the War on Terror, and handed a major victory to the very Islamic fundamentalists he claims he is interested in defeating.
If you're wondering what Stewart looks like, be grateful I didn't inflict her picture on you. She looks like Michael Moore with a mustache. [Thanks to Trippin' at LGF for the picture].
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evariste in Discarded Lies:
Bill Gates, Teen Heartthrob
I want to put his dreamy posters on my wall and lay on my bed daydreaming of him...
He's not just a hottt hottt nerd...he's also a bad boy with a rebel attitude!
mugshot-bill-gates.jpg
[Thanks to Ian S. at Inoperable Terran]
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