discarded lies: friday, july 28, 2017 9:51 pm zst
abnormal is the new normal
daily archive: 06/01/2005
zorkmidden in The People's Diner:
Closed for Cleaning
The People's Diner is closed for cleaning. Go to some other diner.
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kianb in Pahlaver:
Pro-democracy protests continue in Tehran's universities.
Sporadic clashes happened, today, between dissident students and members of the repressive and back warded Bassij Students at the Amir Kabir University.

The students were speaking about the current situation and were critisizing the regime, when a group of Bassijis attack them.

Slogans, such as, "Azadi, Azadi" (Freedom, Freedom), "Iran Secular, Secular Iran" or "Toop, Tank, Bassiji, Digar Assar, Nadarad" (Guns, Tanks, Bassijis, Have no more effect) were shouted by students.

Many students chanted the banned "Oh Iran!" anthem while marching in the premises.

The initial meeting was organized by the officially tolerated Islamic Students Organization [Daftar Tahkim Vahdat] but was very soon taken over by a majority of secularist students.

Security forces blocked all exists in order to avoid students getting into the streets.
It's not a surprising news, as according to a recent news:
In early 2003 a large Internet poll of students of the Amir Kabir University (the second most prestigious university in Iran) was conducted. Only 6 percent of the students said that they support the hardliners, while another 4 percent said they support the reformists within the regime. A mere 5 percent said they support the return of the former monarchy. Most significantly, 85 percent of the students said that they would support the establishment of a secular and democratic republic.
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zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
The pets of the plant world
Shocking news! Studies show that flowers are beautiful and make people happy!
The first study involved 147 women. All those who got flowers smiled. Make a note: all of them. That's the kind of statistical significance scientists love. Among the women who got candles, 23 percent didn't smile. And 10 percent of those who got fruit didn't smile.
I wonder how many people would smile if they got this in a bouquet though, here's a photo of it. I'm sure I'd smile about the candles and flowers but I don't think I'd smile about the fruit. Well, unless it was cherries and apricots, then I would definitely smile. Anyway, read this interesting theory (which is what the article is really about): Human Affection Altered Evolution of Flowers
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kianb in Pahlaver:
EU Constitution Awaits a Painly Revision.
Holland has voted No to the EU Constitution with an overwhelming and much larger majority than ever before in Dutch history. After 18 % of the votes had been counted, the number of No votes lays on 61.6%.

The Dutch rejection was larger than in France, where 55% of the population rejected the constitution. The turnout lays with 65% also higher than it had been expected and the House of Commons can also no longer ignore the result.

The majority of political parties had already indicated in advance that they will respect the results if at least 30% of the voters show up. At Last year's European elections 39.1% of the voters showed up.

Prime minister Balkenende said he is 'very disappointed' but his government will respect the result.

He said he called some of his European partners and made it clear for them that, 'something has to be done to make the dutch 'no' a yes'.

According to the public opinion professionals, the speed of EU enlargement, the high financial contribution of the Netherlands to Brussels and the loss of Dutch sovereignty were the most important reasons for majority of the people to vote no.

In neighbouring Germany, Gerhard Schröder says that the ratification process must be continued but gave no reason as why it would still make sense.

Jaques Chirac thinks that the result of the referendum in the Netherlands 'brings strong expectations, questions and care'.
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evariste in Discarded Lies:
Shi'ite Feminism
Steven Vincent's In the Red Zone is an intimate look at life in Iraq. Here he introduces us to the Shi'ite feminist Basra Governing Council member, Haifa Jaafir, also the director of the Muslim Union of Women.
It's rather...peculiar, I guess is the appropriate word...to converse with a human being who is essentially peering through a narrow gap in a fabric wall, but not half as strange as I find the woman seated beside Haifa, who is completely covered in black--face, hands, feet, not an centimeter of flesh exposed, looking for all the world like something out of Lord of the Rings.

Through Layla's translation, Haifa gives us the low-down on the Union: subsidized by the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI), the two-year old organization has nine branches throughout Iraq and deals with some 1,400 women in Basra Province alone. It's main purpose, she says, "is to upgrade the condition of women through education." This includes offering classes in English and Arabic, first aid, computer skills, health, information on democratic elections and constitution-writing--they even contact lawyers to assist in domestic abuse cases. "Many men beat their wives and sisters and try to keep them in the home, not allowing them to pursue careers," she says. Layla, I notice, doesn't flinch.

Close your eyes, and you can hear a Western feminist articulating the nigh-universal language of equal rights and gender equity. Open them and, well...as for the shroud & veil, Haifa tells us she wears the outfit because 1) Allah demands it; and 2) she wants to prove that a woman can "make it to the top" without having to resort to "make-up, high heels and fancy dresses." She wants to run again for office in Basra (she claims her GC candidacy earned the most votes of any SCIRI member), prompting me to ask, if she veils her face, how will anyone know they are really voting for her? "They will elect my ideas, not my appearance," she replies.
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zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
Russian history in the classroom
Did you know that the majority of Russians think Stalin has played a positive role in Russian history? After reading this article, I see why: Omitting the past's darker chapters
Russians remember the Siege of Leningrad--a brutal, 872-day blockade of Russia's second-largest city by Nazi troops that killed 1.7 million people--as a dark, crucial moment in their history. Yet one of the most popular history textbooks in Russian classrooms casually distills the event into a mere four words.

"German troops blockaded Leningrad."

Glaring omissions abound in Nikita Zagladin's textbook, "History of Russia and the World in the 20th Century." The Holocaust is never mentioned. The book barely acknowledges the Gulag labor camps.

And it flits past Russia's 10-year conflict with separatists in Chechnya, reducing a pivotal episode in modern Russian history to seven paragraphs.
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evariste in Discarded Lies:
US refers EU to WTO over Airbus subsidies
The Bush administration is finally taking the EU to court over subsidies to Airbus,, just as the EU was preparing to give Airbus 1.7 billion dollars in launch subsidies to produce a competitor to Boeing's wildy-successful Dreamliner. U.S., EU to Clash Over Airplane Subsidies
WASHINGTON -- The United States and Europe, both bruised from a number of high-profile trade battles in recent years, are now preparing for what could be one of the biggest fights yet over government subsidies to commercial airline manufacturers.

The Bush administration announced late Monday that it planned to bring a case before the World Trade Organization charging the 25-nation European Union with providing illegal subsidies to Airbus, the major competitor to U.S.-based Boeing Co.

The action, which followed an offer from the EU on Friday to resolve the dispute, is likely to trigger a competing trade case by the EU accusing the U.S. government of illegally subsidizing Boeing.

In Brussels, Claude Veron-Reville, spokeswoman for EU Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson, called the U.S. decision "a disappointing move by the United States given the proposals for a negotiated solution the EU side made on Friday."

In announcing the administration decision, U.S. Trade Representative Rob Portman said the administration felt it had to act because of preparations being made by EU member nations to commit $1.7 billion to Airbus for developing a new airplane.

"The EU's insistence on moving forward with new launch aid is forcing our hand," Portman said in a statement.

The U.S. side is concerned about the potential subsidies that could be provided to Airbus for development of the A350 which is seen as a direct competitor to Boeing's new 787 Dreamliner in the market for mid-size, long-distance jets.

Mandelson on Friday provided Portman with a new EU proposal that would have had both sides make similar reductions in subsidies. But U.S. officials viewed the offer as a step back from an earlier goal to eliminate all subsidies.

"We still believe that a bilateral negotiated solution is possible, but the negotiations won't succeed unless the EU recommits to ending subsidies," Portman said in his statement.
The US will win this one. If the EU thought they had a case, they'd have sued first.
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zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
'Can you guarantee they will live?'
Irena Sendler is 95 years old and lives in a nursing home in Warsaw. Between 1942 and 1943 she smuggled 2,500 Jewish children out of the Warsaw ghetto, finding them safe places with non-Jewish families and saving their lives.
Some children were taken out in gunnysacks or body bags. Some were buried inside loads of goods. A mechanic took a baby out in his toolbox. Some kids were carried out in potato sacks, others were placed in coffins, some entered a church in the Ghetto which had two entrances. One entrance opened into the Ghetto, the other opened into the Aryan side of Warsaw. They entered the church as Jews and exited as Christians. "`Can you guarantee they will live?'" Irena later recalled the distraught parents asking. But she could only guarantee they would die if they stayed. "In my dreams," she said, "I still hear the cries when they left their parents."
Ms Sendler wrote each child's name on a paper slip and stored the papers in jars which she buried under an apple tree in a neighbor's yard, hoping to someday reunite the children with their parents. Arrested and tortured, she refused to give the chidren's names or betray her co-workers who assisted in these rescues. After the war she dug up the jars and tracked down the 2,500 children in order to reunite them with their families. Unfortunately, most of their families were dead.

Students from Uniontown, Kansas, wrote a play about Irena, Life in a Jar, which has been played 170 times to about 25,000 people across the United States. And last week, the students finally met with Ms Sendler and one of the survivors she rescued.
Elzbieta Ficowska was a 5-month-old baby when a woman working for Sendler rescued her in July, 1942. The rest of her family died in the ghetto. "It was at the last moment, just before the ghetto uprising," Ficowska said with tears in her eyes. "If it were not for Irena (Sendler) I would not be here with you." Ficowska showed the students a silver spoon that her parents had engraved with her name and date of birth, that was carried out with her.

"This is my ID card," said Ficowska, who was placed in the care of a Polish woman who became her adoptive mother.
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evariste in Discarded Lies:
What's going on with North Korea?
Ever since the North Koreans' latest refusal to rejoin the six-way the situation has been something of a stalemate punctuated by belligerent North Korean rhetoric. Now the Bush administration is moving on several fronts, slowly but surely offering both carrots and sticks. First, the USAID agency last week declared there would be no food aid this year unless it can be guaranteed to go to the people who need it (translation: not the army). A Japanese newspaper reported direct bilateral talks in New York, giving the North Koreans the exact type of reassurances they sought but still insisting on a return to the six-way talks:
Japan`s Asahi Shimbun newspaper reported Thursday senior U.S. State Department officials visited the North Korean mission at the United Nations and told officials there Washington recognized their country under Kim Jong-il as a sovereign nation. The report added that assurances were made President Bush had no intention of attacking North Korea and was willing to normalize relations if the Stalinist state gave up its nuclear weapons.
And finally, the Pentagon deployed 15 F-117 stealth fighters to South Korea and ended the search for MIA soldiers since the Korean War.
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