discarded lies: friday, november 28, 2014 2:57 am zst
Keep Calm and Carry On
daily archive: 03/06/2006
joem in Bloggie Beit Midrash:
ז׳ אדר
בס״ד

Today is the 7th day of Adar, which our tradition tells us is the Yahrtzeit of Moshe Rabbeinu (our teacher, Moses).
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guest author: evariste in Discarded Lies - Hyperlinkopotamus:
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guest author: Ed Mahmoud abu New and Improved for 2006 in Discarded Lies - Hyperlinkopotamus:
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Fun with Angels
I am the kind of a person who absolutely cannot fall asleep without reading, no matter how tired I am, so having run out of all the reading material recently, I stopped at our make-shift library at work to grab something. The library, unfortunately, reflects the literary tastes of my co-workers and you are lucky if you can get a hold of the latest Grisham novel. While sifting through volumes of Danielle Steeles and company (I would rather read White Pages) I stumbled on a book about angels–“An Inquiry into the Existence of Guardian Angels, a Journalist’s Investigative Report”, by Pierre Jovanovic. The book is basically a compilation of testimonies from people who had near death experiences.

Now, I’m not saying this is a must read, since the writer’s style, even though very enthusiastic, leaves much to be desired. As far as the existence of guardian angels, I will leave that to our panel of experts–after all I’m just a lowly commie. One assertion in the book, though, triggered my curiosity. The author claims that we are being watched over by guardian angels and every time we are saved by the bell, so to speak, it’s actually not a coincidence, but the work of our guardian angels.

Again, I’m not trying to argue for or against it, but I thought it would be kinda fun to know if any of you have experienced or know anyone who had experienced similar “miraculous” events which seem to be too bizarre to be explained as mere coincidences. I’ll go first:

Exhibit 1.

My brother-in-law is a surgical radiologist at a major hospital in New Hampshire. One day he and his colleague and friend were calibrating a magnet on some kind of a new state-of-the-art brain scanning device. They were all set to go and needed to run a test. Instead of going to all the trouble of fetching a patient, my BIL suggested that they scan his colleague’s head. Sure, why not? Now, his friend is a strapping healthy man in his mid-thirties, the father of a brand new set of twins. So they scanned his head and lo and behold, the scan showed a huge brain aneurysm on the brink of bursting. He was immediately rushed into surgery and is now as good as new.

Exhibit 2.

This one happened about 18 years ago, but is still very fresh in my memory. It involved none other than [Archangel] Michael, although he doesn’t remember this at all.

When we first moved to Madison, Michael was about 18 months old, and we were renting an apartment in a then rather nice complex catering to mostly professionals and visiting college professors. Among our neighbors was a Black minister and his family, including a 14-year-old boy and an 18-month-old boy. The teenager was a nice serious kid whom I owed big time. One day I was cleaning out my car outside the building while Michael was playing in the ditch below. I checked on him periodically and he was picking flowers like a good boy. I didn’t worry much, since there was a fence right at the bottom of the ditch and no place to go. All of a sudden I saw the teenage kid who was playing basketball by himself suddenly bolt toward the fence and take it in one jump. I looked down–no Michael. Ah, there he is, hoofing it through the adjacent yards toward a busy street. Unbeknownst to me, there was a small hole underneath the fence, probably dug out by the racoons. The kid brought him back and I thanked him profusely.

A couple of months later Pete and I were on our way to work, late as usual. Pete was dropping Michael on the way to work and they left for Pete’s car which was parked at the very end of a very long parking lot. I left 5 minutes later and was heading toward the underground parking garage. As I was about to descend the stairs to the garage, I glanced toward the end of the parking lot and saw Pete kinda aimlessly pacing back and forth with Michael in his arms. There was something about Michael, though, that didn’t seem right. As I peered closer I realized that he was all black. Oh shit, I thought, did he fall into mud or something? I called out to Pete and he started waving madly at me with his free arm. As I jogged closer I realized that it was not Michael, but a black baby wearing nothing but a diaper. Pete looked like a fine mess, greyish in color with his eyes bugging out, obviously in shock. Took him awhile to collect himself and tell me what happened.

He got to his car, strapped Michael in his safety seat in the back, handed him his mandatory bottle, got in the front seat, started the engine, put the car in reverse and was about to pull out when Michael threw his bottle on the floor and started screaming like a banshee. Already late and pissed, Pete put the car back in park, got out, bent down to retrieve the bottle and as he did that, right from behind the front wheel crawled the baby, dragging a teddy bear behind him. Had Michael not thrown his bottle at precisely that moment, the baby would’ve been crushed.

Now we had to figure out what to do with the baby, whose diaper was leaking pretty badly all over Pete. His parents’ car was usually parked in the garage next to mine and we often left at the same time. We checked the garage–the car was gone. I knew the building they lived in, but not the apartment. We found the apartment rather quickly by process of elimination–out of four names on the mailboxes two were Chinese and one Polish. Piece of cake. We rang the doorbell, nothing. As I pounded on the door, it opened inside by itself, revealing an absolutely pristine living room with no signs of life. We yelled with no luck and decided not to venture inside for fear of finding something gruesome. We headed toward the rental office instead.

As we were walking away, the sliding door opened and the teenage kid appeared, all sleepy-eyed and bewildered, he had no clue that his brother decided to take a hike. We told him what happened and since I already owed him one, promised not to tell his parents if he promised to be more responsible next time.


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guest author: levi from queens in Discarded Lies - Hyperlinkopotamus:
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zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
Yoduk Story
Let's see if this play ever makes it to Broadway: South Korean musical casts light on North Korean prisons. Jung Sung San, the author and director of "Yoduk Story", defected from North Korea ten years ago after escaping from a camp where he was sent for secretly listening to South Korean broadcasts. A few years after Jung's escape, his father was imprisoned and beaten to death because of his son's plays which criticized the North Korean regime.

Since there aren't that many North Korean playwrights and artists in the West, you'd think that Jung would get all kinds of support in his quest to publicize the plight of North Korean prisoners.
Some investors pulled out of the project, and a theater where the musical was to be staged canceled at the last minute. To finance the play, Jung says, he even had to offer his left kidney as collateral for a 20 million won ($20,600) black-market loan — an illegal and highly unusual action. He says he will have to give up the organ if he can't pay up by next month.

He said the biggest obstacle came from South Korean government officials, who he claims threatened to cancel the show and demanded changes in its depiction of North Korean life. The government denies it.

"We have called all related government offices, but confirmed no official made contacts" with Jung, said Cho Yong-sik, an official at the Unification Ministry, which deals with North Korean affairs. "A performance is an expression of art and we have no reason to interfere."

Still, the criticism of Kim Jong Il's regime hits a nerve for the South Korean government, which is regularly accused by activists of keeping silent for the sake of detente. Seoul has in recent years abstained in U.N. resolutions criticizing the North's human rights record.
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zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
Misquoting Jesus
I'm interested in hearing people's thoughts and opinions on this article, The Book of Bart, the story of a fundamentalist Christian and New Testament expert who, in the process of studying the foundation of his faith, ended up losing his faith all together.
The Bible simply wasn't error-free. The mistakes grew exponentially as he traced translations through the centuries. There are some 5,700 ancient Greek manuscripts that are the basis of the modern versions of the New Testament, and scholars have uncovered more than 200,000 differences in those texts.

"Put it this way: There are more variances among our manuscripts than there are words in the New Testament," Ehrman summarizes.

Most of these are inconsequential errors in grammar or metaphor. But others are profound. The last 12 verses of the Gospel of Mark appear to have been added to the text years later -- and these are the only verses in that book that show Christ reappearing after his death.

Another critical passage is in 1 John, which explicitly sets out the Holy Trinity (the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit). It is a cornerstone of Christian theology, and this is the only place where it is spelled out in the entire Bible -- but it appears to have been added to the text centuries later, by an unknown scribe.

For a man who believed the Bible was the inspired Word of God, Ehrman sought the true originals to shore up his faith. The problem: There are no original manuscripts of the Gospels, of any of the New Testament.
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evariste in Discarded Lies:
Prison Inhumanity
In Japan, if you are sentenced to death, they don't tell you what your date of execution is. You just sit in your cell and wait for years, until one day they take you out to hang you until you die. Absolutely no warning. It could be ten years after your conviction; it could be 20.

You cannot speak with other prisoners. You can exercise twice a week for very brief periods. You can only have three books. No hobbies, no television. You sleep under a bright light, and masks to block it aren't allowed. You get one visit every two years from a Justice Department representative. There is no last meal. There are no witnesses. The family isn't informed until you are already dead, so they can come collect your body.

I support the death penalty for heinous criminals, but this is completely gratuitous dehumanization.
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evariste in Discarded Lies:
Lord Richard “Boycott Israel” Rogers backpedaling furiously; pathetic stunt blows up in his face
Remember that British architects' boycott of Israel? It's running into a little...turbulence.

You see, it turns out that when you're an easily-replaceable hired hand in a fickle business, and you're in the middle of a high-profile project named after a Jewish supporter of Israel that is funded by the tax dollars of philosemites, whose paymasters are New Yorkers, and you host a secret meeting to boycott Israel...well, you might not have made the best move, career-wise. The Judenhass that flies in Blighty doesn't play in Peoria. Now Lord Rogers is facing the loss of not just the Javits Center commission, but another high-profile US commission: the East River Waterfront Esplanade.

Looks like boycotts can go both ways, old boy. It's a right treat to watch your future prospects dwindle; I doubt you'll have another big job in the United States of America again. God Bless America. Oh, and Eat Shit & Die, Rogers!

The finest cognac to Pooh for this story, who offers a bit more background:
Abe Hayeem who is mentioned as Rogers' friend in the Times article is the key.

1) Bio (from cache - article has been pulled) - (maybe he was born in Indai but is of Iraqi extraction): Abe Hayeem is an architect by profession; his roots go back to Baghdad, Spain and Shanghai. He has always been interested in maintaining the Bombay (Iraqi) Jewish traditions, which include Israeli song and dance, and from a very young age sang religious songs and portions of the Tanakh during services. Abe was also a member of the Synagogue choir at the Keneseth Eliyahoo Synagogue in Bombay which performed a repertoire of Babylonian and Sephardi religious music at festivals and weddings.

2) His article which provoked such controversy (it appeared in Building Design, an architects' weekly) - it's Israel he obviously wants to destroy and not the occupation. His lies about pre-1948 relations between Jews and Muslims stand out, as does his revisionist history about Israel's creation and the complete absence of information about the ethnic cleansing of 750,000 Jews from Arab nations.

Building Design - Soapbox- 25 November 2005

2) A letter by Hayeem to the Architectural Review

3) A response to the letter

3) "FREE PALESTINE" RALLY (he's around one-third of the way down)
Thanks for doing all the digging on these unsavory characters, Pooh!
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