discarded lies: friday, july 28, 2017 9:53 pm zst
You're the schlager in my gold flakes
daily archive: 01/22/2005
zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
An Interview with Claude Lanzmann
Two decades after producing the groundbreaking documentary Shoah - an oral history of the Holocaust based on dozens of interviews - a pensive and disillusioned Claude Lanzmann watches France's and Europe's anti-Semitic resurgence with visible alarm.
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zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
No Comment
Could it be that the rumours are true?
Iraq's interior minister on Saturday refused to comment on rumors that the top terror leader in the country had been taken into custody.

"I wouldn't like to comment for the time being," Interior Minister Falah al-Naqib said when asked about rumors that Abu Musab al-Zarqawi had been arrested. "Let's see. Maybe in the next few days we will make a comment about it."

Pressing him, a reporter asked, "Does that mean he is in custody?"

"No comment," the minister repeated, although he said that arrest warrants had been issued for al-Zarqawi and several officials from Saddam Hussein's regime, including Saddam deputy Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri and the ousted leader's half brother, Sabaawi al-Hassan.
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zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
Spread the Knowledge
Good news from Afghanistan:
Management courses in the US, micro credit programmes and an extraordinary desire to start over are behind Afghan women’s revival of the country’s economy.

More than three years after the collapse of the Taliban regime women are spearheading Afghanistan’s economic revival.

The civil war and the US intervention have created a gender gap in the country. Women now constitute 55 per cent of the population. In Kabul alone there are 70,000 widows.

NGOs and the academic world have responded by setting up programmes designed to help women get back on their own two feet.

Almost 10,000 of them can now benefit from the micro-credit programmes offered by BRAC-Afghanistan, a non governmental organisation set up at the initiative of a similarly named NGO from Bangladesh: the Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee.

The NGO’s Afghan branch was founded in May 2002 and is working to rebuild Afghanistan’s social and economic infrastructure through a series of educational, health care and micro-credit projects.

So far, no one has defaulted on their loans and BRAC initiatives have been approved by the Afghan Ministry of Rural development.

The Artemis Project is a similar initiative. It is a US-based special entrepreneurship programme that started in Phoenix (Arizona) and trains students in marketing, management and client relations.

The first 15 Afghan women in the programme are now completing the two-week training. They are mostly from Kabul’s elite and were able to get some education during the Taliban regime.

The initiative was born from the belief that once trained, women would spread their knowledge.
Kabul women jumpstart the economy
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zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
The Doctors
From Free Iraqi: Should we be grateful to the doctors? I'm not going to say anything more, you should just go read it.

Via Harry's Place
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guest author: Aridog in Discarded Lies:
It's Pragmatic To Be True To Our National Character
# 3 Outsider...

I read your post with a positive interest, not an agenda. You explain parts of the puzzle that make sense. I agree that, practically, the Arabs may not pose a demographic threat, at least as things are now. My position, going back as far as 1967, is that portions of the occupied territories must be retained and incorporated by Israel, as they have with the Golan Heights. My reasons have nothing to do with demographics either, it is stategic and tactical common sense, especially around the "waistline" of Israel. The puzzle for me is how much of it to keep, how much to release. It is at that point I would consider demographics, at least nominally. You don't have to vote to pull a trigger or set off various explosive devices. Nothing to be gained by incorporating rat's nests. And, I agree that the idea that pan-Arabia can swallow Israel is largely myth, kept alive to keep an agenda alive. In 38 years now it seems logical that somebody might conclude that time was on Israel's side. Nothing of productive merit has been gained by the Palestinian resistance, and there certainly is no sense in Israel just handing everything back like chess players at the end of a game. That seems to be what some folks actually expect, for reasons that I cannot fathom. You do not hand an enemy back the stage from which to attack you without considerable concession along with it. This isn't a game.

I am one of those who believes the well-being of Israel is critical to us here. Going beyond that, but for some of the same reasons, I believe it is critcal to us to intervene wherever a minority of people are grotesquely abused by a majority, or contrary, a fascist minority disabuses a powerless majority. In my lifetime in every instance where we did not do so early in the endeavor, the cost has been horrendous, to us and to others. Intervention doesn't have to be direct military, but can certainly be political, economic, and philosophical support, devolving to military if all else fails. And, I don't mean at the next Dunkirk. About here, someone might question "why Israel" and not the Sudan, Somalia, Uganda, et. al. I am not saying that those other places aren't worth it, but in terms of productivity and potential for stability, reasonably democratic Israel is the better investment of scarce resources. Anyone who says I am selecting white versus black is only masking their own prejudice. At some point pragmatism comes in to play, like it or not. We departed Somalia, pre-maturely in my opinion, but some of what I know of the "BlackHawk Down" incident, due to my job, among other things, is disturbing, because it showed us playing both sides of a fickle coin. You cannot do that or the opposition will turn the coin for you, as they did. Why Israel? Because they are productive, and they have a history of acceptance, reaching out to places no one else would, taking in people no one else wanted. Yes, I am sure politics in Israel is tumultuous, which is the polar opposite of a fascist state, therefore, to me, fertile ground. And as that fertile space, I agree Israel is more a stabilizing element in the Middle East that it gets credit for, no question in my mind about that.

It is often said that America favors the underdog. While popular, it is not always true until the event in question is about to come apart at the seams. As Michael at Kosher-Eucharist has said to me, we can be a political body of "Chamberlains"... it is hard to get a majority of us to think a small group somewhere is worth sacrificing our youth and fortune to defend. My viewpoint is that we'd not have had so many tragedies in our recent history had we been more willing to do so. It isn't Mensa level thinking to determine that if we permit abuse of a small group, that one day that abuse will be applied to us. As the opposition to intervention in Iraq keep clamoring, "Iraq was no direct threat to us." Really? That sounds like the NIMBY syndrome to me....a selfish desire to keep, not share, the comfort we enjoy, or defend it for someone we determine is not worthy? Under that thinking, it is only a matter of time until we are not worthy either, and then must make a greater sacrifice to keep what we have....all because we didn't care if others were able to do so.

Many of us do care, and quite often it is those who have the most to lose who care the most. Caring is demonstrated by our soldiers every single day. In combat, the individual's focus is extremely narrow, you do what you can as hard as you can to "defend" the man or woman on your left and right, as well as push back or kill the enemy. The young Mexican American soldier who cupped a grenade to his body cited elsewhere in DL is an example of that, wounded, he did what he could. It is not cliché heroism to act on behalf of your fire team, it is love. Doing so while wounded in an unholy shithole is sacrifice, because you didn't have to be there. Our national character is to care, whether it is one soldier in a fire fight, or the whole nation's posture. My worry is that we ever cease to really care, as a nation. If we are unwilling to defend the least among us, globally, we risk our own fortunes. It isn't coincidental that the majority of our soldiers are not against our efforts in Iraq. They were in Vietnam too, but it became popular myth that they all were against it. I have too many acquaintances in Iraq now with positive outlooks for me to think much has changed.

Semite5000 wrote a while back, to the effect that Palestinian identity seems to be rooted in its opposition to Israel. He has a point. Characteristic of "causes" is the resistance to ever finding a solution, because to do so would eliminate the further need for the "cause." In our own civil rights movements here, we have a great many "leaders" now who have decided to play the "blame game" and essentially, if unconsciously, support the status quo. The result is that they retain influence, but lose potential for further progress. Sometimes retention of influence takes the lead. A very human trait. I agree the concept of Arab demographics overwhelmingly plays a part in that status-quo. It indeed would be interesting if that bit of hubris was discarded and the territories actually looked in to what would really be in their best interests.
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zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
A Traveling Circus
A U.S. Navy officer currently serving with the USS Abraham Lincoln carrier, gives us a first-person account of the relief efforts in Indonesia:
It has been three weeks since my ship, the USS Abraham Lincoln, arrived off the Sumatran coast to aid the hundreds of thousands of victims of the Dec. 26 tsunami that ravaged their coastline. I’d like to say that this has been a rewarding experience for us, but it has not: Instead, it has been a frustrating and needlessly dangerous exercise made even more difficult by the Indonesian government and a traveling circus of so-called aid workers who have invaded our spaces.

What really irritated me was a scene I witnessed in the Lincoln’s wardroom a few days ago. I went in for breakfast as I usually do, expecting to see the usual crowd of ship’s company officers in khakis and air wing aviators in flight suits, drinking coffee and exchanging rumors about when our ongoing humanitarian mission in Sumatra is going to end.

What I saw instead was a mob of civilians sitting around like they owned the place. They wore various colored vests with logos on the back including Save The Children, World Health Organization and the dreaded baby blue vest of the United Nations. Mixed in with this crowd were a bunch of reporters, cameramen and Indonesian military officers in uniform. They all carried cameras, sunglasses and fanny packs like tourists on their way to Disneyland.

My warship had been transformed into a floating hotel for a bunch of trifling do-gooders overnight.

As I went through the breakfast line, I overheard one of the U.N. strap-hangers, a longhaired guy with a beard, make a sarcastic comment to one of our food servers. He said something along the lines of “Nice china, really makes me feel special,? in reference to the fact that we were eating off of paper plates that day. It was all I could do to keep from jerking him off his feet and choking him, because I knew that the reason we were eating off paper plates was to save dishwashing water so that we would have more water to send ashore and save lives. That plus the fact that he had no business being there in the first place.

My attitude towards these unwanted no-loads grew steadily worse that day as I learned more from one of our junior officers who was assigned to escort a group of them. It turns out that they had come to Indonesia to “assess the damage? from the Dec. 26 tsunami.
Read it all: No Relief in Sight for the Lincoln

Via The Diplomad
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zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
In Trouble With God
How can a thirty-year-old woman who has lived in New Zealand for ten years still believe she must wear a burqa in public so she won't be "in trouble with God?" Not a veil, a burqa. From what I understand (knowing extremely little about Islam) women, like men, must be dressed modestly but nowhere is it mandated that a woman's face must be covered. So why aren't the imams in New Zealand spreading the word?
Two Muslim women - including one who said she would rather die than show her face in public - must remove their veils for the judge and lawyers while giving evidence in a trial, a New Zealand court ruled Monday.

The Auckland District Court said Fouzya Salim and Feraiba Razamjoo, witnesses in an insurance fraud case, must show their faces to the judge, lawyers and female court staff - but will be screened from full public view.

The women, both Afghans who moved to New Zealand as refugees, have refused to remove their all-encompassing burqas in court while giving evidence for the prosecution, saying it would violate their Islamic customs to show their faces in public.
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zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
Jury Duty
I'm still laughing about this story, I've never been on jury duty and I've been wondering what to expect:
Defense attorney Leslie Ballin called it the "jury pool from hell."

The group of prospective jurors was summoned to listen to a case of Tennessee trailer park violence.

Right after jury selection began last week, one man got up and left, announcing, "I'm on morphine and I'm higher than a kite."

When the prosecutor asked if anyone had been convicted of a crime, a prospective juror said that he had been arrested and taken to a mental hospital after he almost shot his nephew. He said he was provoked because his nephew just would not come out from under the bed.

Another would-be juror said he had had alcohol problems and was arrested for soliciting sex from an undercover officer. "I should have known something was up," he said. "She had all her teeth."

Another prospect volunteered he probably should not be on the jury: "In my neighborhood, everyone knows that if you get Mr. Ballin (as your lawyer), you're probably guilty." He was not chosen.

The case involved a woman accused of hitting her brother's girlfriend in the face with a brick. Ballin's client was found not guilty.
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