discarded lies: friday, december 15, 2017 12:25 am zst
a little down in the mouth
daily archive: 06/09/2005
evariste in Discarded Lies:
A sad story in Israel
Since the Ha'aretz story never actually explains why the mother was judged incompetent, we don't know the whole story here. But it's very sad, and the mother's immigrant status might have contributed to her inability to convince social services to allow her to keep her child, who she'd been raising with the help of her extended family.
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throbert in Channel Ж:

Those home-makeover shows like Trading Spaces can be fun to watch, but they lie to the viewer, in a way -- I mean, of course it's gonna be a breeze to redecorate an entire room when you've got a TV production company footing the bill for materials, an experienced decorator holding your hand throughout the process, and a couple of professional carpenters on the sidelines who can custom-build a coffee table for the new room in 24 hours.

But if you haven't got the time or money to do the whole room -- or if you're a renter and need to think about ease-of-disassembly for the future -- you can still spruce your place up by redecorating a small area within a room.

I started thinking about this when the need to rat-proof my home office area forced me to move my computer and all the associated cabling up high -- more or less to my own eye level, in fact. My computer set-up was now safe from the destructive teeth of two bad little rodents whose names I won't mention -- but as an unavoidable result, I had all those ugly cables to look at. Come on down to the Root Cellar and I'll show you my nifty solution!

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guest author: Fay in Discarded Lies:
G8 and Live 8
The upcoming G8 summit and Live 8 have inspired many a good article both funny and serious. All bear reading.

Firstly, from Dave Ray's blog and then from today's London Times.

The French Connection, Sacre Bleu Bob!

Here's Steyn.

Of course, our roundup wouldn't be complete without the requisite drabble from MSM

Meanwhile that mean old Sir Bob, has spiced the girls.
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guest author: Throbert McGee in Discarded Lies:
How do you define ethnicity?
Reading Raj's comments on that Missionary thread got me a-thinkin'... I wonder if he defines "ethnicity" differently than most of us do. For that matter, do all native English speakers define "ethnicity" the same way? I propose the following thought experiment:

Zhang Ziyi is an orphaned baby girl born in Beijing -- the same city as the internationally celebrated Hong Kong actress she was named for! She is adopted as an infant by an American couple, Tony and Bridgit Marconi.

Bridgit is the U.S.-born daughter of a very-Irish-American mother and a naturalized Irish immigrant father; she's brushing up on her Gaelic, and still has strong ties to relatives in County Cork.

Tony's 100% Italian by blood, but both sides of his family have been in America for so many generations that no one gives a rat's ass about their Italian background... though his Catholicism is one lingering sign of his heritage.

Ziyi Marconi, pure Han Chinese by birth, is baptised Catholic and grows up speaking English as her first language. When she's still a toddler, the family moves to Texas, where she picks up a bit of a Southern drawl from her school peers and also acquires Spanish as a second "native" language, courtesy of the next-door neighbors whose kids she grows up playing with. She never really learns to speak Chinese, although her adoptive parents try to give her exposure to Chinese culture.

Okay, so what is this girl's "ethnicity"?


I'm trying to get a sense of whether most English speakers think of "ethnicity" as being mainly about race/blood/ancestry, or mainly about cultural upbringing, or an even mixture of both. And how much do one's native and secondary languages factor in? So, take your time thinking about the answer.
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guest author: papijoe in Discarded Lies:
Euaggelion: Part I
After reading some of the comments echoing a negative view of missionaries that is so prevalent in the media and even modern textbooks zorkie and ev were kind enough to to let me present an alternative view.

I don't pretend to be an expert on evangelism through the ages and in all nations. Obviously there have been many dark chapters in Christian missions. What I hope to present are examples of what happens when the Gospel is shared the way I believe God intended.

I'll start with Bruce Olsen who is one of my all time heroes. I won't pretend to be objective for reason that will eventually become transparent. Here is a short description of his work:
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evariste in Discarded Lies:
Chavez preparing to seize US oil companies
You ever hear of a 50% tax hike, retroactive to four years ago? Chavez seems to be planning to seize American oil companies' assets in Venezuela. Not exactly a surprising move from the man who expressed admiration for Osama bin Laden after the 9/11 attacks and tried to open a direct channel to him. He also transferred 1 million dollars to the Taliban, 900,000 of it earmarked for Al Qaeda's moving expenses. We should have whacked him then, and the longer we wait to whack him, the worse his behavior is going to get.

Half a glass of Santa Clara Mexican vanilla milkshake-flavored liqueur to Ed Mahmoud Abu Al Kahool Martyrs Brigades for this story.
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evariste in Discarded Lies:
Networks and Markets
Chester asks:
Is a network a market? Seems to me the two are very similar, with the understanding that the store of tradable value in networks isn't always money but can be trust, shared interests, or beliefs. Similarly, markets often exist in collective or public goods which are best supplied by vast networks. What is the relationship between these concepts, network and market? Is there one, or is it not worth discussing? Consider the insurgency. Is it a network? If so, doesn't it create a market for providers of jihad to interact with its consumers? Their product is war.

I'd like to hear your thoughts.
In answer to Chester's question, here is my modest effort:

The metaphor in my mind is that a market overlays a network and depends on it to exist. A market is merely one of the manifestations of a network. In computer networking terms, markets are closer match to the Application Layer of the OSI Model.


As a high-level (level 7) application riding on top of all this infrastructure, markets inherit capabilities and characteristics from there, which is why a market would appear to have much in common with a network.

I'll try to loosely match the attributes of real-life markets to the OSI Model, with the caveat that this is an imprecise and artificial attempt to shoehorn reality into the mold of a technical standard for only one type of network, that between computers.

Without a web of trust and relationships (level 6), without the rule of law (level 5), without reliable transportation (level 4), and without physical infrastructure (levels 1-3), you don't have a market, or if you do and one or more of those things is missing, the market is distorted by those lacks.

A network is a general means for the propagation of information; a market is a specific means for the propagation of price information.

That the market inherits properties from the network underlaying it describes why markets and networks behave similarly. For instance, both a market and a network become more valuable the more nodes join them. The denser the interconnections, the more robust and failure-tolerant the network/market is. The number of connections that it is possible to make between network nodes/market actors is almost always less than the number of connections which end up practically being made.
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zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
The few Jewish survivors that returned to Greece after their liberation from the death camps found their homes occupied by strangers and their properties taken. The community was practically extinct, most of the synagogues had been destroyed and the Jewish cemetery, the oldest and largest in the Balkans, was being used as a quarry.

The Greek government was of no help. Greek Prime Minister Logothetopoulos not only had failed to protect his Jewish citizens but, as he later confessed to a colleague, he was in favour of the deportations because Salonica and other Greek cities would then have plenty of vacant houses for the Greek Christian refugees from the Bulgarian-occupied zones of Thrace and Macedonia. Even though it was Greek citizens that died in Auschwitz, their abandoned property was treated the same way as that of enemy aliens residing in Greece, Jewish properties were reverted to the State.
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evariste in Discarded Lies:
Econopundit on external indebtedness of the US
The sky isn't falling shocka!
Steve Antler has an instructive chart:

The UK number is inaccurate-follow the link to Tim Worstall-but the chart demolishes, at a single glance, a lot of fearmongering¹ about US treasuries held by foreigners, especially China.

¹Note: fearmongering such as mongered by me, for instance.
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guest author: logprof in Discarded Lies:
Part 2: Brightest Africa
Thank God the Germans colonized Namibia, and not the Portuguese.

Traveling back to Namibia from Angola was like night and day. From the grime, chaos, and profiteering that was Angola we returned to Namibia, a country eager to please tourists the world over. The capital is very orderly, clean, and easy to navigate, with street signs and friendly people. Along with the discrimination and deprivations to most of the people, South African apartheid also probably kept order with an iron fist for several decades after the Germans.
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