discarded lies: sunday, january 21, 2018 10:46 pm zst
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daily archive: 06/08/2005
zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
Human Trafficking: Greece in Tier Two Watch List
Human trafficking in Greece remains a serious problem. We're not even on the second tier, we're barely above Cuba and North Korea and Saudi Arabia. Actually that's how this post started, I was going to criticise the Saudis (who are yelling that this report is wrong, wrong, wrong!) and I saw Greece down there and I felt sad. Below is the summary for Greece from the State Department's Trafficking in Persons Report.

Past DL posts highlighting human trafficking in Greece
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kianb in Pahlaver:
Ayatollah Microwave
In the dawn of presidential elections in Iran, Mullahs use the real microwaves to jam Iranian Cali-based satellite TV channels.
Switch on your satellite television receiver in Tehran nowadays and something is amiss - "No Signal", the otherwise fuzzy television screen says for much of the day and night.

With presidential elections just over a week away, Islamic Iran's technological guardians appear to be waging a war against enemies in the airwaves - opposition-run television channels.

However, the problem is that they may also be frying people's brains.

"Microwaves," explained an Iranian satellite television technician, who earns his keep by installing dishes even though they are technically banned.

"They're jamming, and these signals used to block the satellites have never been so strong," said the dish man, who for obvious reasons preferred that he not be named.

Since Iran's Islamic revolution 26 years ago, the regime has been fighting off what it calls "Westoxication". But in recent years satellite dishes have mushroomed across the rooftops of the sprawling, smog-ridden capital.

Police and militiamen launch occasional crackdowns, but it is a losing battle. So instead they appear to be throwing out noise - blocking out 20 or so opposition channels and their mix of heretical anti-regime chatter and saucy Persian pop videos.

"Day and night, the opposition radio and television stations keep calling on our people to boycott the election," fumed Ayatollah Mohammad Emami Kashani, a top cleric, in his Friday prayer sermon last week.

Eager to prevent a boycott of the polls - and therefore more questions being raised over how the ruling clergy mix Islam and democracy - the jamming effort appears to be unprecedented.

"It's as if they found a huge microwave oven, opened the door and switched it on. The microwaves are going out day and night," the technician said...
Iran jams TV channels
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zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
Islam in Chiapas
Blog and learn: Subcomandante Marcos, leader of the Zapatista rebels in Chiapas, made an ideological-religious alliance with a group of Spanish Muslims in the mid 90s. Since then, Islam has gained a foothold in Chiapas and hundreds of Mayan Indians have converted.

Of course my first worry was "Comandante Esther veiled?!" but I looked at her picture again and this may be one of those cases where a veil would actually be an improvement.
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evariste in Discarded Lies:
Swift Vets demolish Kerry's pathetic “release" of records
Here's what John O'Neill has to say about this masquerade:
We called for Kerry to execute a form which would permit anyone to examine his full and unexpulgated military records at the Navy Department and the National Personnel Records Center. Instead he executed a form permitting his hometown paper to obtain the records currently at the Navy Department. The Navy Department previously indicated its records did not include various materials. This is hardly what we called for. If he did execute a complete release of all records we could then answer questions such as (1)Did he ever receive orders to Cambodia or file any report of such a mission (whether at Christmas or otherwise); (2) What was his discharge status between 1970 and 1978 (when he received a discharge) and was it affected by his meetings in 1970 and 1971 with the North Vietnamese? (3)why did he receive much later citations for medals purportedly signed by Secretary Lehman who said he did not know of them; (4) Are there Hostile Fire and Personnel Injured by Hostile Fire Reports for Kerry's Dec. 1968 Purple Heart (when the officer in charge of the boat Admiral Schacte, the treating Surgeon Louis Letson, and Kerry's Division Commander deny there was hostile fire causing a scratch) awarded three months later under unknown circumstances.
via Blogs for Bush: Questions About Kerry's Records (a thimbleful of cognac to Frank IBC)

UPDATE: thanks to a commenter at Blogs for Bush, this link explains the shell game Kerry's playing.
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evariste in Discarded Lies:
Report sheds new light on obscene Boeing tanker lease deal
Wow. Not only was the deal to lease the Air Force Boeing's planes as refueling tankers corrupted from the core by double-dealing, self-interested individuals both in the Pentagon and at Boeing, but there was no military need for the deal. This was an attempted rape of the taxpayer on an epic scale. There was no urgency in military requirement, only urgency to hurry up and sneak this one past and profit richly. I hate to admit it, but maybe the Europeans have a point about US subsidies to Boeing. Look for the emphasized parts under the fold...
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evariste in Discarded Lies:
China: even bad debt cleanup is tainted by corruption
China is trying to get out of its bad debts problem in part by asking many of the state-owned banks to find foreign partners to help them sell shares and go public. After the government spent $45 billion of its foreign currency reserves bailing China Construction Bank and Bank of China out of their bad debt problems, things looked good. CCB's non-performing loans after the bailout were supposed to be only 12%. Citibank beat three other banks in the contest to lead China Construction Bank's initial public offering in 2004, and all was rosy. Citibank's outlook was so positive that they were set to not only lead the IPO and reap the commission, they were putting up $2 billion of Citi's own money to buy a 10% stake in CCB. Until this March, when CCB's chairman resigned…"for personal reasons", parroted the People's Daily Online. Because he was another corrupt lamprey is probably more like it. Citi got cold feet on actually staking its own money on the deal-2 gigabucks is a lot of money to invest in a Chinese state-owned enterprise with corruption problems from the top and an unknowable quantity of bad debt. They were still willing to be the lead on the IPO and sell this stock to others, mind you-they just didn't want any themselves, thank you very much. As punishment, CCB is freezing them out of the IPO they were to lead. Victor Shih at Northwestern U shares Citi's circumspection, noting that China's government is unlikely to refrain from interfering with the bank even after IPO. He also notes that even after IPO, outside owners will have little say in the management of the bank, which will fall to insiders. Likewise, the Communist Party continues to make all personnel decisions and is likely to continue to do so. What kind of investment is this?

What happens to bad debt after the Chinese government bails it out? It goes to Asset Management Companies (AMCs) which are intended to recover as much money as possible from selling pledged collateral assets. Sort of a government repo man. Problem is, they did much of their recruiting for the AMCs among the ranks of the very people who caused the problem, and predictably, the crooks are pulling off one of the biggest double swindles in history. This story is about a man who first helped create the problem by directing loans from his employer, a state-owned bank, to friends, relatives, politicians, and other cronies, then moved on to an AMC to sell off some of the same assets he'd corruptly lent money for, privileging his cronies by asking far under fair market value, and profiting handsomely. Sordid indeed.
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evariste in Discarded Lies:
China coverup! Avian flu taking a human toll…
Reporters arrested over pictures

Unprecedented die-offs of birds in the thousands. A possible human toll of 200 cases and 121 deaths so far, including 6 tourists, already being covered up. Reporters being arrested for reporting the bird deaths. What's going on in China, is this the clumsy SARS coverup all over again? Commies never learn. The human toll so far, the news blackout about it, the arrests of reporters, and the unprecedented bird die-off, with the pictures of dead birds, some graphic, that got the reporters in trouble.
Although not verified, the reports via Abundant News are quite specific and consistent. The disease described is somewhat atypical, involving fever and vomiting, but not respiratory illness. The specifics in the series of reports are not adequately addressed with blanket denials by official sources in China.
Here is some more local scenery. I hope China's obsession with looking good doesn't end up killing millions of people. This sure doesn't look right.
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guest author: logprof in Discarded Lies:
TAG! Video games!
We have covered books, tunes, movies, and even food. What's been overlooked? Video games!

How much more erudite and calm many of us would be had so many hours of childhood (and perhas beyond) not been squandered in front of the TV or computer trying to beat pixillated villains or getting to the next level of Imaginaryland? Ah, Memories!

Submitted for your approval:

1. Top five favorite video games, any generation
2. Game that caused the fiercest competition with sibling or friend.
3. Longest continuous session recalled while paying games. Preferably, spent on the floor in front of a TV, rather than in a comfy chair in front of a PC.
4. Belong to any geeky clubs?
5. The one game you never owned or even played that you deep down inside would *still* like a go at.

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