discarded lies: saturday, december 16, 2017 8:33 pm zst
I am Greek and I cannot keep calm
daily archive: 04/17/2006
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zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
Take your restraint and shove it up your-
Today's suicide attack at a Tel Aviv food stand left nine people dead and dozens wounded. Previous Palestinian governments at least pretended to condemn sucicide attacks but Hamas will not even do that, a Hamas cabinet minister praised the attack as a legitimate act of resistance against Israel's "brutal aggression." The U.S. State Department rightly said that this statement reveals the true nature of the Palestinian government and called on countries seeking to promote Middle East peace to note the praise offered by the Palestinian government for terrorist attacks. Can you guess how these countries responded?
Javier Solana, the EU's foreign policy chief, condemned the attack and called "on all parties to prevent any new descent into a senseless spiral of violence."

"I deplore this senseless and totally unjustified terrorist attack," said a statement by British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw.

"I condemn those who are responsible and extend my sympathies to the families and friends of those who have been killed or wounded. It is particularly repugnant that this attack comes during the Jewish festival of Passover. I would urge restraint on all sides at this difficult time."
...
"We resolutely and unconditionally condemn this bloody attack by extremists who again are raising their hands against innocent people. There can be no justification for this," said Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Mikhail Kamynin.

"At this critical moment, we call for all branches of the Palestinian Authority to do the maximum possible to prevent anti-Israeli acts, first and foremost, terrorists' attacks, and for Israel to show, despite difficult circumstances, maximum restraint and cool-headedness and not to give into frustration and slide into wider confrontation," he said.
It makes me want to hit something.
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evariste in Discarded Lies:
Sweden's enormous, hidden unemployment rate
How reliable is the official Swedish statistic that 5.4% of Swedes are unemployed? Every single day, one in every 20 employed Swedes is "out sick". That, as bizarre as it sounds, is just the tip of the iceberg: one of Sweden's leading leftist economists has broken through the blue line to tell the truth. True Swedish unemployment is in the range of an obscene 20-25%. So much for the Socialist paradise. Full employment is a pipe dream when you give people incentives not to work, and disincentives to work.
Estimating the true unemployment rate
Below is a calculation of true unemployment in Sweden. All figures are from the Swedish Statistical Agency (SCB) Labor survey, first quarter 2005, except the number of individuals only on welfare, which have been taken from Tax researcher Dane Nordlings homepage. The number on Sick Leave have been adjusted for the number of working hours.

Population 16-64 - -- - - 5.755.000

Not in labor force - - - - - - 1.365.000
Early retired - - - - - - - - - (494.000)
Seek work - - - - - - - - - - - (150.000)
Get Welfare - - - - - - - - - - (84.000)

Labor Force - - - - - - - - - 4.391.000
Unemployed (5.6 %) - - - - - (245.000)
unemply programs - - - - - (130.000)
Employed in Real job - - - - 4.016.000
Absent from work - - - - - - (554.000)
Of which on Sick leave- - - (216.000)

Actually work - - - - - - - 3.469.000
Some 4.0 million (70 percent of adult population) are in productive activity rate, while 1.2 million (20 percent of adult population) are living of welfare and Health or Unemployment insurance alone. The remaining 10 percent of adult population are supported by the state by other means (such as parents leave and absence from work due to care of sick children).

Range of estimate of true unemployment: 8.5%-26%
So how high is Swedish unemployment? The question hinges on who we include, and especially in Sweden’s case on how much of early retirement and sick leave is hidden unemployment. Even the Swedish government acknowledges that the 130.000 in “Labor market political programs” are simply unemployed, so we start from a low estimate of 8.5 percent unemployment.

For international comparisons we probably should not include the students and other’s who want to work but cannot find a job, since this category exists in all countries. This figure is however interesting for policy matter in Sweden. Also including welfare recipients we get 13.2 percent unemployment. A difficult question is what to do with all the absentees. If we include all of them we end up with 26 percent unemployment. Note that we are not including absentees for any other reasons than Sick Leave and are also excluding the underemployed.

Now this last figure is clearly too high. Many people who report sick are of course really too sick to work. This latter figure does however show us the range of the unemployment figure, and is probably closer to the actual number than 8.5 percent unemployment. An important question is how many who could go back to work if they did not have the option to stay home and live of government welfare. An international comparison might be interesting.

Sweden had some 26 dayslost per worker in 2002. In Canada, also a large welfare state, the corresponding figures (2004) were 7.5 daysper full time worker lost every year due to sick leave. Britain had a similar figure, 7.2 dayslost per worker and year in 2003.

Our best estimate of true unemployment figures in Sweden
A plausible estimate of how much of early retirement that is due to inability to work can be attained by using the rates of early retirement in Sweden in 1960. This is an exaggerated figure, since people are much healthier today and have less demanding jobs. Also, Sweden had a welfare state even back then. The sick leave that is due to inability to work can be estimated by using a figure slightly above that of Canada. Also this is an exaggerated figure, as Canada is also a welfare state.

By using these estimates and not counting the forced student, the underemployed or all other absentees, the Swedish unemployment rate would be 19.8 percent. This is fully 962.000 out of work of a workforce of 4.848.000.
Quote is selective; read the whole thing.
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zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
Much ado about nothing
I read this headline, gay parents to crash White House Easter party, and what came to mind was images of barricades, guards stopping gay parents and their children from joining the egg hunt and other terrible, discriminatory practices from the President and his wife. The reality is a little different: tickets for the White House Easter party have always been given out on a first-come first-serve basis and there are no plans to ask people about their sexual preference.

I thought "crashing" a party meant going to a party uninvited. Since there were no invitations given to anyone, since the Bushes have made it known that they will not stop gay parents from attending, and since tickets are open to anyone willing to stand in line, how are gay parents "crashing" this party?

One more thing: I'm very sympathetic to the gay community and gay rights but I don't approve of any group, gay, straight, white or black, using children and children's activities to promote their cause.
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evariste in Discarded Lies:
What South Africa is really like
In purely utilitarian terms, what did the greatest good for the greatest number of South Africans, black and white alike? The current system, or apartheid? I'm reluctantly coming around to the unpopular (erm, radioactive, actually) opinion that apartheid looks positively rosy next to accounts of real life in South Africa like this one. Neither South Africa's blacks nor its dwindling population of whites (who, unlike the blacks, can readily emigrate to more hospitable nations) can be happy with this state of affairs.
So if you REALLY want to know why I came to London, first consider these statistics: Since 1994, the reported cases of burglary and attempted burglary at residential premises in the Republic increased by 32.8%. Robbery with aggravating circumstances followed a similar trend, with an increase of 39.3% over the same period. Ten percent of Jo'burg households were the scene of burglary over the last year and half of these occurred in broad fucking daylight. In 30% of these, the family was even home. And the murder rates? In the UK it's 1 per 100,000, while the USA is 6 per 100,000. The good old, racially integrated melting pot of South Africa is 59 per 100,000.

It gets worse. Last month, a nongovernmental organisation called CIET conducted a survey into sexual violence among South African 10-19 year olds. South Africa, in particular places like my hometown, Johannesburg, is in the midst of an ever-expanding rape holocaust that's driving girls like me out of the country like rats from a sinking boat made of AIDS and bite wounds.

The study, carried out among 270,000 white and black schoolchildren, showed that 60% of boys and girls alike think it is not violent to force sex with somebody they know. Tellingly, some 66% of those boys and 71% of girls had themselves been involved in forced sex. I could go on for days. How about the fact that 13% of South African youth still believe that "sex with a virgin cures AIDS?" Nice.
All of this is why we're designing our homes and cars with more security extras than Professor X in X-Men 4.

I lived in Dainfern, an all-white secure complex surrounded by a 10-foot high, double electrified fence and border patrol. When I came home, I had to use my electronic control to open the front gates of the complex. Once inside, I had to wave to the armed guards at the gate who then checked my ID card and asked me to sign in. Then I would drive to my home and use another controller to get inside my front gate, then another controller to get inside my garage door. Once I locked the gate and the garage door, I'd use another lock to get inside my house.

Recently, my cousin was killed, shot in the head inside his own home. Two black guys broke into his home and killed him after shooting his brother in the stomach. They stole his $40 cell phone and nothing else. Things like that have made my family extra security-conscious, so we have an INVISIBLE LASER BEAM security alarm that operates all around the grounds and INSIDE our own house. We also bought secure, retractable security doors for every single room in the house. Most importantly, we had the more expensive security doors put between the kitchen and the hallway that leads to our bedrooms. Our house is literally zombie-proof.

My English friends all tell me it's an extreme measure, but burglars from the townships are very clever these days and will often stake out a house for weeks before making their raid. Often, the safer a house the more dangerous it becomes. They look at it like, the bigger the security measures, the more expensive the loot inside the house, so if they really want to get in and take everything they will. They call it "affirmative shopping" (get it? Like affirmative action). If you've got a dog, they'll poison the dog. If there's a lock they want to pick, they'll pick it. If a human stands in their way, they'll kill it. That's why you have to super-prepared. In all, the electric laser beams cost about 5,000 rand ($830 U.S.). The electric fence is about the same. The retractable security doors can vary. If they're put around every window in a large house, including the doors inside the house, you can look at spending about 60,00 rand ($10,000). Usually the 10-foot gates outside your house come with the price of the sale.
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zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
Protecting the reformers
A group calling itself "Supporters of God's Messenger" ("Al-Munasirun li Rasul al Allah") has emailed a communiqué to prominent political and religious Muslim reformers threatening them and their family members with death unless they repent and renounce their views. Among the group's targets are Egyptian sociologist Saad Eddin Ibrahim, who's the best known human-rights and democracy activist in the Arab world, outspoken critic of Islam Wafa Sultan, and Ahmad Subhy Mansour, an imam who has published works arguing against the death penalty for apostasy. How do we protect these people?

Resisting Intimidation
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