discarded lies: friday, march 23, 2018 11:13 am zst
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daily archive: 04/01/2005
zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
A Beautiful Human Being
When I was young, I was prejudiced towards the Catholic Church; I grew up in an Orthodox country where only the Orthodox go to heaven - see you in hell, you all. And then there was the Inquisition and the Crusades and all that and anyway it wasn't hip to be religious so I just stayed away from the whole thing.

But I always liked the churches, catholic and orthodox, either one a house of God. I liked the smell of incense and the candles and the feeling of being around something sacred but I never liked crowds so I would only go in a church if there was no one else there.

I didn't know anything about Pope John Paul II. Once I saw a rally of young people in Rome screaming "Giovanni Paolo! Giovanni Paolo!" and for a moment I thought they were talking about a football star. I wasn't in touch, what can I say. But then the Greek newspapers were all abuzz about this Pope who was offering apologies and reconciliation to the Orthodox Church and was extending a hand in friendship. I thought that was a beautiful and truly Christian gesture of love but the Greek Church didn't think so and did not accept his apologies for the Crusades.

I've read that he's very intelligent and funny and emotional and that he's "moved to tears" by children. I think he has the heart of a child, himself. In a bureaucracy that for decades did not have diplomatic relations with Israel, he called Jews "our elder brothers" and visited a synagogue and started a new relationship between Israel and the Vatican. And yes, he once kissed a Qur'an as well, another sign of his efforts for acceptance and reconciliation and peace.

I wish there were more people like him of all faiths.
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kianb in Pahlaver:
Iran: Save Kobra Rahmanpour From Execution
Petition online:
Save Kobra Rahmanpour from execution
Execution of Kobra Rahmanpour has been set to be carried out on April 15, 2005
we have got less than three weeks to save her.
Kobra Rahmanpour is a 22 year old woman, currently under the treat of being hanged by the Islamic regime of Iran. She had spent the past three years in prison and been convicted of murdering her mother in law by a kitchen knife. On the first of January this year she was woken up early in the morning to be told that she was going to be hanged that day. But the international pressure delayed her execution.

Kobra herself is a victim of poverty and injustice. She was born and raised in a family that could not even provide the mere necessities of life for its members. Her father is elderly and one of her brothers is disabled and there is no welfare system to look after such people who are in need. Kobra had to give up her ambitions of going to university, and in order to help her family survive, married a man 40 years her senior. But her life did not get better; in fact it was made hell by repeated maltreatment and abuse she received from her husband and his family.

In one occasion he was even arrested and imprisoned for physically and sexually abusing her. In the last incident according to Kobra, she was attacked by her mother in law with a kitchen knife in her hand. Kobra claims that she killed her mother in law in a self defence act.

Kobra Rahmanpour’s life and misery is not unique. She is one of thousands and even millions of young people in particular young women whose lives, youth and ambitions are ruined in the hands of Islamic regime. The Iranian authorities are not fit to prosecute someone like Kobra. They themselves are the worst criminals in the world. They should be tried for the terrible hell they have created for people in Iran.

Execution for whatever reason is an inhuman act and the Iranian government has got a record in this filed. For the sake of justice we must save Kobra Rahmanour.

By signing this petition you will help us in our campaign to make Iranian authorities withdraw the hanging sentence of Kobra!

Parvin Kaboli
Coordinator of International campaign for the defense of
Women's Right in Iran
Email: parvinkaboli@yahoo.se

Homa Arjomand
Email: homawpi@rogers.com
The International Campaign Against Sharia Court in Canada
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evariste in Discarded Lies:
Chatchi in Chicago: my new favorite Amazon reviewer
When I accidentally ran into one of his reviews, I had a hard time believing this guy was for real. Here's how I found him: I followed some link to a Robert Spencer book. Amazon said "customers who viewed this item also viewed: Apparel: Condom Pocket Boxers". So of course I clicked, I had to see this. Here was the only review on the condom pocket boxers:
[5 stars] Chicks dig these!, September 17, 2004

Reviewer: chatchi (Chicago, IL) - See all my reviews

As a man on a mission (for sex), I can never be too prepared. When pockets just aren't an option, and your wallet is too full of $100 bills (and ladies phone numbers), these condom pocket boxer shorts are just what the doctor ordered. Not only are they luxurious and sexy, but the condom pocket boxer shorts do a great job of showing off my package. And when bragging rights are in order, the boxers even come complete with a personal tape measure - right where you want it.

Big Headed, Inc.'s condom boxers are ideal for any man looking for the company of a lady. The comfort, functionality, fun and safety of these boxers ensures that I'm totally protected going into battle.

Ladies, here I come!
I could not freaking believe this guy, so I clicked his name to see his other reviews. He's a comedy goldmine! Check out his many other reviews-Amazon.com: About chatchi: Reviews
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evariste in Discarded Lies:
Opera SoundWave
Norway's Opera Software ASA couldn't resist the temptation of an April Fool's joke heralding a breakthrough in peer-to-peer communications.

The company said it has developed "a platform-independent speech solution for short- and medium-range interpersonal communication."

In plain language: human speech.

Opera said in an April Fool's release that the so-called breakthrough, "Opera SoundWave," has a range of 100 feet and could be easily tested without special equipment, simply by asking someone near you a question, such as "Is today April Fool's Day?"

If readers didn't get the joke by then, the statement went on to say that "Opera's patent-pending P2P speech technology uses analogue signals carried through open air, enabling users to communicate in real-time without the use of computers or mobile phones."

And for anyone with lingering doubts, it went on to say SoundWave was discovered accidentally when an Opera technician said something and realized his colleague understood.

"Like most people, I have used e-mail as my primary means of communication for many years and accepted that it is not always 100 percent effective," said Trond Werner Hansen, of Opera, in the joke statement. "SoundWave has opened up a whole new world for me, enabling me to get things done faster and more efficiently than before — and it is remarkably easy to use."

And just to make sure there was no one left who didn't get it, the statement also offered an Internet link to "a technical preview of Opera SoundWave."

At that site, the following statement appears: "For a demo of SoundWave, Opera's P2P real-time voice technology, simply ask someone in your vicinity the following question: 'What is today's date?'"

The answer, of course, is April 1 — April Fool's Day.

Yahoo! News - Software Firm Has Fun on April Fool's
I wonder if it can be used to pirate music?
What's not a joke is Opera's killer feature for version 8: user javascript. zorkie and I are already using it and it's fantastic.
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evariste in Discarded Lies:
Win Ben Stein's Fury
Ben Stein in The American Spectator:
Here is what makes me furious about the Terri Schiavo case, short and sweet.

The courts of the United States can find a right for the abortion industry to take a fully formed, totally healthy baby at nine months' term, out of his mother's womb and murder it by putting scissors through his brain and grinding them about.

They do this without one single word of support from any Congressional act of any kind ever.

They can find a right of savage murderers of innocent women who drown them for a lark to avoid the death penalty because they are old enough to drive and to kill but supposedly too young to be executed. Again, there is not one syllable in any Congressional act that sanctions this protection of the guilty.

But with the Congress and the President of the United States pleading for the life of a woman who is not brain dead, who responds to words and to touch, who is not on life support, whose parents beg for her to be kept alive, whose nurses give affidavits that she can be rehabilitated, with a specific law commanding the courts to review the case to keep this poor soul alive, the courts instead find no rights for her.

This is a court system totally out of control, obviously committed to death, obviously bound by nothing beyond its morbid obsession with its own omnipotence and its fascination with the letting the innocent die. This is simply terrifying. The Falange followers of Francisco Franco had an evil cry: Long live death. Obviously, Justice Kennedy was listening.
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evariste in Discarded Lies:
Michael in hell
MS: Where am I? Gosh it is so hot here!

Man with No Eyebrows: But I think you will agree it is a very dry heat.

MS: Dry! I'll say! I'm so thirsty! I don't think I've ever been so thirsty!

MNE: Just you wait.

MS: What?

MNE: You said you were thirsty?

MS: So thirsty . . .

MNE: Would you like some nice, cool water?

MS: Please!

MNE: Let me just check outside. (Goes to door.) Why, how curious. There are hundreds of people out here trying to bring you water. Would you like a cup?

MS: Oh yes!

MNE: Cold water or warm?

MS: Cold! I don't care!

MNE: You know, I think we actually have a procedure to determine whether I can give you any water. I don't think I'm permitted to give
you water just because you're thirsty! We have rules, you know.

MS: Rules?

MNE: Oh, yes. Rules and rules.

MS: Well, who do I have to ask?

MNE: Oh, judges. We have lots of judges here. You may recognize some of them.

MS: I don't have time for that!

MNE: Trust me. You do.

MS: All I want is some water, for Christ's sake!

MNE: (Wincing) Please don't swear.
(Years later . . . )

MS: Water. Water. I'm so thristy . . .

MNE: Oh, look! A package! It seems to be a crate of chilled Evian water sent by Terri and her parents. Do you remember them?

MS: Water? Water! Water!

MNE: I would let you have some, but that would violate the temporary restraining order issued before the 99th interlocutory appeal to the 666th Circuit. If there's one thing we don't permit around here, it's contempt of court. (Sipping.) Mmmmm. I don' t really prefer Evian. I think it tastes a little soapy or something. Still, it is nice and cold.

MS: Water! Huhnnnnnhuuuhhh!

MNE: What are you saying, Michael? You seem a little inarticulate. Well, I suppose I know what you really want. You really want to follow the law, right? I knew it. And believe me, just as soon as I am permitted to do so, I will give you a nice big gulp of water, if there's any left, that is! Alas, I must toddle. I must go to visit your attorney. He's right next door, you know!
by Thomas at The Right Coast. Thanks lawhawk! Have a sip of water!
Thomas is wrong about Evian! It tastes buttery, not soapy! Sheesh! Philistine!
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evariste in Discarded Lies:
Michael won't let the Schindlers at Terri's burial
The bitter family feud over Terri Schiavo continued after her death Thursday, with a member of the Schiavo family saying that her ashes will be buried in an undisclosed location near Philadelphia so that her immediate family doesn’t show up and turn the event into a media spectacle.

“If Mike knew they would come in peace, he would have no problem with it," said Scott Schiavo, Michael Schiavo’s brother, during an interview at his home in Pennsylvania.

Schiavo, 41, died Thursday at the Pinellas Park hospice where she lay for years while her husband and her parents fought in the nation’s most divisive — and most heavily litigated — right-to-die dispute.

After an autopsy, Michael Schiavo plans to have his wife’s body cremated and her ashes brought to Pennsylvania, where she grew up. Scott Schiavo said the ashes would be buried in a plot left by an aunt and uncle, but the family does not plan on providing the specific location for the burial — underscoring the bitterness of the dispute.

MSNBC - Terri Schiavo dies, but battle continues
Words cannot express how vile Michael Schiavo is. What a fucking scumbag. Did Terri become his property when he married her? It would explain all his behavior so far.

Have a beer, papijoe.
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zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
India and Israel
India's Muslim population is the world's second largest and Indian politics are dominated by people who want to appease Muslims. A look at how this has affected India's relationship with Israel
The misguided narrow focus on the welfare of Muslims and Communists, while only half-heartedly trying to keep the majority of the population contented, resulted in India treating Israel in a shameful manner, as well. Despite officially recognizing Israel, India did not maintain any diplomatic relationship with it for over four decades. It entered into a diplomatic relationship with the Palestinians before it did so with Israel, and India boycotted Israel in sports meets. This kind of treatment by the government is dictated by the hatred for Jews among Muslims in India. The hatred among Muslims in India is an Arab import, and a curious phenomenon, because many Muslims in India have never even interacted with a Jew.

Complaints of appeasement of Muslims by Indian politicians go back to the time of Mohandas Gandhi, who led the non-violent civil disobedience movement against British rule in India. When the Ottoman Empire was dismantled and Turkey was formed, Gandhi took the side of those calling for a pan-Islamic Caliphate, even though the Turks were guilty of the genocide of Armenians; it was one of many such acts that might have disqualified Gandhi from getting the Nobel Peace Prize. In addition, Gandhi - who said that the cry for a national home for Jews did not appeal to him - is blamed by his detractors for helping Indian Muslims partition India and form the Islamic country of Pakistan.
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evariste in Discarded Lies:
Ekeus: Saddam offered me 2 mil
Saddam Hussein's regime offered a $2 million (£1.4 million) bribe to the United Nations' chief weapons inspector to doctor his reports on the search for weapons of mass destruction.

Rolf Ekeus, the Swede who led the UN's efforts to track down the weapons from 1991 to 1997, said that the offer came from Tariq Aziz, Saddam's foreign minister and deputy.

Mr Ekeus told Reuters news agency that he had passed the information to the Volcker Commission. "I told the Volcker people that Tariq [Aziz] said a couple of million was there if we report right. My answer was, 'That is not the way we do business in Sweden.' "

A clean report from Mr Ekeus's inspectors would have been vital in lifting sanctions against Saddam's regime. But the inspectors never established what had happened to the regime's illicit weapons and never gave Iraq a clean bill of health.

The news that Iraq attempted to bribe a top UN official is a key piece of evidence for investigators into the scandal surrounding the oil-for-food programme. It proves that Iraq was offering huge sums of cash to influential foreigners in return for political favours.

Nile Gardiner, of the Heritage Foundation in Washington, who has followed the inquiries, said: "It's the tip of the iceberg of what the Iraqis were offering. For every official like Ekeus who turned down a bribe, there are many more who will have been tempted by it."Saddam's $2 million offer to inspector
Bush and Blair lied, people died, there were no WMDs. Which is why Saddam was trying to bribe inspectors to say that he had no WMDs. Because...um...anyway, No Blood For Oil!
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evariste in Discarded Lies:
America losing its edge? Dream on...
If you believe Benjamin Wallace-Wells, America is losing its competitive edge. He says we face a "fundamentally new threat": we're losing our competitive advantage in innovation. With the loss of manufacturing and service jobs to globalisation, he thinks innovation is our sole remaining competitive advantage (an idea I've heard before). His prescription? More government involvement in promoting innovation. Yeah, that'll work. He cites the fact that Finland makes cell phones, Korea makes plasma tvs, and Japan makes digital cameras. Ooh, I'm terrified.

Here's his case for why we're losing our competitive edge: there isn't as much innovation as there was in the 90s. This he states without trying to support it, as self-evident. You know, when Clinton was President, which is to me obviously the unsubtle agenda of this piece. (I really miss those eBuyDogFoodster.com Superbowl ads). He also says job creation hasn't caught up with the rate of the bubble 90s. With what, Benjamin? Our jobless rate is still at one of the lowest rates it's ever been. All the jobs lost to the 9/11 attacks have been recovered. All our competitor-peer nations that he cites have higher unemployment than we do.
Economics is a negotiation in uncertainties, and so nobody's really sure what all of these changes will mean for the well-being of the American middle class. But when you survey economists, policymakers, and business leaders about America's long-term future, it's hard to find many rank optimists; there are the Panicked, and then there are the Merely Tense.
What about the Sanguine? There's a lot of us. Not everyone is saying "the sky is falling!" and "I just know the sky's gonna fall any minute now!", and for good reason. It's not falling.
Richard Lester, the head of MIT's Center for Innovation, told me he belongs in the latter camp: “Things look somewhat bleak in the long-term, but if you look around Boston, at the incredible concentration of talent and opportunity here, we've still got a head start, and if we're smart we can probably build on it." Among the Panicked are economists such as MIT Nobelist Paul Samuelson, who has recently argued that the rapid spread of innovative capacity to other countries with lower labor costs makes him doubt the whole doctrine of “comparative advantage," on which much of modern economics rests.
Ah, that genius Paul Samuelson, mentor of Paul Krugman, patron saint of ignoramus liberal economists everywhere-he of the badly cracked crystal ball now thinks he can overturn the entire idea of comparative advantage. Who was Adam Smith? A moron! Paul Samuelson has a Nobel prize, what the hell does Smith have? Also, check out his illustrious record of predictions:
Early in his career, Samuelson predicted that after World War II there would be a worldwide depression, contrary to what actually happened. In the 1973 edition of his famous textbook Economics he predicted that though the Soviet Union then had a per capita income roughly half that of the United States, it would catch up to the United States in per capita income by 1990, and almost certainly would by 2015 because of its superior economic system. In 1981 he wrote in opposition to President-elect Ronald Reagan's proposals: "Swift decontrol of energy prices ... will certainly add to the inflation rates consumers will endure from 1981 to 1983,"2 again the opposite of what occurred.

Arnold Beichman, a research fellow at the Hoover Institution, and Austrian economist Mark Skousen, have collected from Economics many examples of Samuelson's miscomprehension of global macroeconomic activity and moral obtuseness with respect to Communism. In the 1976 10th edition of this work -- which is perhaps the best-selling economics text of all time -- Samuelson wrote that it was a "vulgar mistake to think that most people in Eastern Europe are miserable,"3 a shockingly naïve or callous statement. In the 11th edition, four years later, he removed "vulgar."4

As Beichman goes on to note, in the 1985 edition of Economics, "that entire passage had disappeared. Instead, he ... substituted a sentence asking whether Soviet political repression was 'worth the economic gains.' This non-question Samuelson ... identified as 'one of the most profound dilemmas of human society.' In the face of looming Soviet economic disaster the 1985 Samuelson text offered these paragraphs: "But it would be misleading to dwell on the shortcomings. Every economy has its contradictions. ... What counts is results, and there can be no doubt that the Soviet planning system has been a powerful engine for economic growth.' "
Yeah, that sounds like just the kind of genius to tell me that there's no such thing as comparative advantage any more. I suppose he'll repeal gravity next.

Let's get to the point-this is his real complaint:
Under President Bush, however, the GOP's natural economic policy tendencies have been hyper-charged by a grand political vision. Karl Rove, Grover Norquist, and other Republican strategists have argued that massive annual tax cuts and the privatization of Social Security will not only increase the flow of capital into the marketplace, but will also put Democrats at a long-term electoral disadvantage and usher in a new era of GOP dominance. That these policies also require the government to take on trillions of dollars in extra debt, just as the first baby boomers are reaching retirement and trade imbalances are reaching historic levels, is seen by GOP leaders as a risk worth taking. And so the White House and Congress have pursued tax cutting and Social Security privatization with relentless focus, to the exclusion of almost everything else. As The New York Times columnist Daniel Altman has written, the president has chosen economic advisers such as N. Gregory Mankiw, Lawrence Lindsey, and R. Glenn Hubbard who support this singular view. “What you have in Washington now is an inability to get beyond the macroeconomic, to understand that there are so many other investments government needs to be making and actions it ought to be taking, and that our future is going to hinge in large part on what decisions we make there," Michael Mandel, the influential economist and columnist for BusinessWeek, told me in January. “And right now in Washington, they're not even looking at any of that."
So in other words, instead of focusing on cutting taxes and creating equity (the ownership society), he thinks Bush should spend more of his time like Clinton, pushing a million microgrant proposals and putting the Federal camel's nose under everyone's tent. No, thanks! The minute the federal government decides what innovation looks like and starts distorting the market with politicians' idea of what the economy should devote its attentions to, all is lost. America is still the nation with the most entrepreneurs anywhere on earth. We're still the most attractive nation to live in on earth, all his handwringing about a "reverse brain drain" notwithstanding. Seriously, can you imagine Americans leaving to live in other countries? Give me a break. We still have the most innovative culture on earth, and that's not going to change. Innovation is not a fixed-sum game, and we can't get more of it by getting government to intrude and impose it. It's not gonna happen. Every country has brains, and capital is there in most stable nations to fund good ideas. The difference is American culture, which can't be replicated sufficiently well to beat us at our own game. If everyone becomes just like us, we all get richer! Reductio ad absurdium: Pretend America is the entire world, arranged as 50 countries with no trade barriers, complete free trade-hyperglobalisation. Does California's innovation and fabulous wealth mean that Tennesseans or Floridians are now at a disadvantage? Actually, no, both have much lower unemployment rates than California does, and lower tax burdens, and higher standards of living. Yet California spends huge amounts of state money promoting "innovation" in much the same way being advocated here. There's a lot of innovation going on all over this country; that a few places like Silicon Valley and the Research Triangle have extremely high concentrations of innovators doesn't mean the rest of the country suffers. To the contrary, the rest of the country benefits. And in a globalised world, what do I have to fear from cheap, good Indian software, Finnish cellphones and Korean plasma tvs? I fear Keynsian command-economy ideologues, blatant interventionists like Paul Samuelson, Paul Krugman and Benjamin Wallace-Wells a lot more than I fear George Bush's hands-off, big picture, empowerment agenda. Underneath all the fancy talk and legitimate observations mixed with bizarre ones, Benjamin Wallace-Wells thinks you're not smart enough to decide where to spend your money, and he is. He thinks he should be able to take your tax dollars and give them to those areas that he considers "innovation". He's wrong.
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throbert in Channel Ж:
RIP, Terri Schiavo

Rest In Peace,
Terri Schindler-Schiavo

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