discarded lies: sunday, may 28, 2017 3:22 pm zst
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daily archive: 10/03/2005
evariste in Discarded Lies:
I choose...me!
George Bush asked Dick Cheney to help him vet Vice Presidential candidates. A little while later, surprise! Dick Cheney was the Vice Presidential candidate.

George Bush asked Harriet Miers to help him vet Supreme Court nominees. A little while later, surprise! Harriet Miers was the Supreme Court nomineee.

Dubya really needs to get more disinterested advisers. Next thing you know he'll ask Matt to vet chaperones for the First Twins.

bushtwins.jpg
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zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
A Fascination With Nazis
Human rights campaigners in Russia are worried about an increasing interest in fascist ideology, a phenomenon not limited anymore to a marginal part of society as it was in the early 90s. Respectable publishing houses are now publishing fascist literature and according to Yevgeny Altman, director of the Holocaust Fund in Russia, Russia is becoming "one of the world centers for Holocaust denial." Nazi Propaganda Is a New Fashion
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zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
King of Chavs
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zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
EU: Turkey's Membership Talks begin
Turkey and Europe have agreed to formally open entry talks on Turkey's eventual membership in the EU. The majority of Europeans don't want Turkey to join the European Union and Austria wanted a "privileged partnership" but supporters say that Turkey will be a bridge between Islam and Christianity. I think supporters are being too optimistic--Turkey may be secular for now just like Egypt was secular for years, but how much longer before Islamic revival spreads there too? EU, Turkey clinch deal on membership talks
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evariste in Discarded Lies:
Coming Never To A Screen Near You
The Cell is a pitch for a comedy show that will probably never be made. It sounds pretty funny to me, though I can see why they're leery of putting it into production.
LOS ANGELES, Aug. 31 - Here are a few highlights from the hottest Hollywood script you will most likely never see produced on a television or movie screen:
• Abu, Ahmed, Musab and Salar, a cell of Islamic terrorists sent to Chicago by a nefarious network resembling Al Qaeda, are getting chewed out by their murderous boss, just in from Afghanistan. (They have been spending the organization's money like crazy but haven't blown anything up.) Just then, two deliverymen knock on the apartment door, bearing a huge flat-screen TV.
• Ahmed, whose cover is a job as a bike messenger, falls in love with a neighborhood florist - who turns out to be Jewish - but can't get up the nerve to ask her out. "You're bright, you're funny, you're talented," Musab says, urging his comrade on. "Who made the best nail bomb in training camp? You did!"
• Abu blends in by joining a bowling team, and becomes a fanatic: "We will dance in the blood of the losers from Hal's Body and Paint Shop!" he vows. But he is a hapless terrorist. A fertilizer bomb in his trunk accidentally goes off outside when he is bowling for the league championship - toppling his last two pins and clinching victory.
"The Cell," as this exercise in envelope-pushing is titled, has been making its way through Hollywood for more than a year, cracking up development executives and their assistants, being passed from friend to friend like an underground newspaper behind the Iron Curtain, and winning its creators, Mark Jordan Legan and Mark F. Wilding, scores of meetings and three other writing assignments.

(...)

While the script's heroes are ostensibly out to kill and paralyze Americans with fear, the running joke of "The Cell" is that they quickly fall in love with Americans and Americana. They order Domino's Pizza and heat up Hot Pockets, and get weak-kneed over super-sizes and double coupons and sexy college women. They become Chicago Cubs fans - these are hapless terrorists, after all - and derive their cultural literacy straight from television and the movies: their secret password is "Kelly Ripa."
And they love the lives they are living as Americans. Salar, under cover as a college student, becomes the teacher's pet. Abu, the bowler, becomes his team's emotional center. Musab, effectively the housewife, becomes a prize-winning cook thanks to the Food Network. Only at their supposedly deadly work are they miserable failures.
"It's the antiterrorist show," said Robin Schwarz, president of Regency Television, the maker of "Malcolm in the Middle," who said she had been casting "The Cell" in her head and still hoped to produce it for a network.
"It's a love letter to America," said Mr. Wilding, 48, from Connecticut, who is a writer on "Grey's Anatomy" on ABC. "It's about how these guys came to figure out how to live in the country and not hurt anybody."
If we can't make fun of them, what's left? I think this show should get into production and go on the air. I'd watch.
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evariste in Discarded Lies:
Exploding Postmodern Hijab Apologetics
There are a few rather modern-seeming defenses of the female-control system known as a hijab, and this young lady explodes their poor logic ably. Well worth a read.
“Today young Muslim women are reclaiming the hijab, reinterpreting it in light of its original purpose - to give back to women the ultimate control of their own bodies….....I wear hijab because it gives me freedom. I do this because I am a Muslim woman who believes her body is her own private concern." This is an excerpt from an essay written by a Canadian-born college-educated Muslim woman who suddenly decided to reclaim hijab at age twenty one. While being totally respectful of all the notions of civil liberties and a woman’s freedom of choice to wear anything she wants in a democratic society, I can’t help wondering what could drive a college-educated woman, of a North American upbringing, to throw away her freedom of clothing and embrace the veil or hijab and thus deluding herself that she is now liberated.

Just by wearing hijab she thinks she has full control of her body. What an illusive idea of liberation! We need to go to the origin of such notion and examine how veiling is anyway related to women’s freedom. Since the whole idea of cladding with veils emanates from the direct instructions of Qur’an, let’s first take a look at a few Ayats from the Holy Scriptures to examine how much control Allah Has allowed for women to have over their own body.
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evariste in Discarded Lies:
The Erosion of Reserve
David Gelernter (you may remember him for being one of the Unabomber's victims) writes about a rising trend in public spaces-the demand for people to share their emotions with others. As he points out, this is often unwelcome and inappropriate, a rude imposition by a stranger that is usually irrelevant to the situation. I think President Clinton was a pioneer in using unnecessary public emoting as a tool for pandering. I even think he was often sincere about it. It's an interesting thing to think about.

Are we better off or not with this state of openness? In one sense, we're better off not repressing emotions, but in another, does the entire world really need to experience your private emotional states vicariously through you? What's left for your close friends and family if your innermost being is on perpetual public display? It devalues intimacy when you make everyone a close acquaintance. I'll quote his conclusion here:
Sen. Feinstein thought she was doing the nation a service. She's a sensible person who usually says sensible things. But on this occasion she has reminded us that, ironically, a civilization in which strangers boldly quiz each other about their deepest feelings is a civilization growing colder all the time.
More after the jump, but not the entire article so if you want the whole thing click the link.
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evariste in Discarded Lies:
Communism is bad for businesses, children, and other living things
Give them Switzerland, and they'll turn it into a sewer...
...and no, I'm not talking about the PLO. I'm talking about Commies. Same difference.
Hong Kong has become less competitive, with political concerns helping to drag it down seven places to rank 28 in an annual worldwide table, according to the latest Global Competitiveness Report drawn up by the World Economic Forum.

China slipped three notches from last year, to 49th spot, the ranking of 117 economies shows.

A "tangible deterioration in the quality of the institutional environment" was the main reason cited by the Geneva-based body for the dip in Hong Kong's ranking.

"Hong Kong saw a weakening in perceived judicial independence, the protection of property rights, and in government favoritism in policy- making," the report released Wednesday said.
Well, that was unexpected. Really? A system based on political control of capital is becoming less efficient due to political concerns? Knock me over with a feather. Apparently the Hong Kongers themselves are in quite a tizzy over this. Well, except for China's stooge in Hong Kong, Donald Tsang, who says everything is just fine, folks, nothing to see here, move along.
"Hong Kong's ranks on irregular payments [corruption] have also fallen well below its previously excellent performance."
No! Really? No way!

They're their own worst enemy, really.

By the way, Korea is at #17, ahead of Hong Kong. Korea's ahead of France, too. Heh heh.

And Taiwan is at #5.

Even sclerotic, byzantine Japan is more competitive than Hong Kong now. That's a real shocker.
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zorkmidden in Bloggies Of Our Lives:
The Trial
The terrible hour of justice has finally arrived. Outside the courtroom, crowds of people are chanting "Free The Bloggie Two!" and "Bloggie Lives!" and a smell of cheese permeates the atmosphere. The comrades have gathered for support. Mass hugs follow. Meanwhile, inside the courtroom...

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evariste in Discarded Lies:
Political Motivations, Personal Ambition & Prosecutorial Discretion: Reading Fitzgerald's Tea Leaves
Plame Leak Prosecutor May Pull A Rabbit Out Of His Hat-Will Human Nature Defeat Common Sense?


The grand jury in the CIA leak case expires Oct. 28th, and people expect Fitzgerald to signal his intentions later this week. Given that basically no criminal action has been established, you'd think the most likely event would be that the whole thing gets dropped. You might be wrong. This kind of thing makes me really wonder about the way the system works sometimes.
Many lawyers in the case have been skeptical that Fitzgerald has the evidence to prove a violation of the Intelligence Identities Protection Act, which is the complicated crime he first set out to investigate, and which requires showing that government officials knew an operative had covert status and intentionally leaked the operative's identity.
No proof that a crime has been committed. Great. Let's drop the whole thing. Right? Wrong!
But a new theory about Fitzgerald's aim has emerged in recent weeks from two lawyers who have had extensive conversations with the prosecutor while representing witnesses in the case. They surmise that Fitzgerald is considering whether he can bring charges of a criminal conspiracy perpetrated by a group of senior Bush administration officials. Under this legal tactic, Fitzgerald would attempt to establish that at least two or more officials agreed to take affirmative steps to discredit and retaliate against Wilson and leak sensitive government information about his wife. To prove a criminal conspiracy, the actions need not have been criminal, but conspirators must have had a criminal purpose.

Lawyers involved in the case interviewed for this report agreed to talk only if their names were not used, citing Fitzgerald's request for secrecy.

One source briefed on Miller's account of conversations with Libby said it is doubtful her testimony would on its own lead to charges against any government officials. But, the source said, her account could establish a piece of a web of actions taken by officials that had an underlying criminal purpose.

Conspiracy cases are viewed by criminal prosecutors as simpler to bring than more straightforward criminal charges, but also trickier to sell to juries. "That would arguably be a close call for a prosecutor, but it could be tried," a veteran Washington criminal attorney with longtime experience in national security cases said yesterday.

Other lawyers in the case surmise Fitzgerald does not have evidence of any crime at all and put Miller in jail simply to get her testimony and finalize the investigation. "Even assuming . . . that somebody decided to answer back a critic, that is politics, not criminal behavior," said one lawyer in the case. This lawyer said the most benign outcome would be Fitzgerald announcing that he completed a thorough investigation, concluded no crime was committed and would not issue a report.


The incentives here are kind of messed up, and they make it pretty easy to predict what's going to happen, based on human nature.

If he decides to go ahead with the conspiracy charges, the worst case scenario for Fitzgerald is months to years of political paralysis as the Democrats and the media make hay while the sun shines, until a complicated court case based on hearsay and an imaginary conspiracy winds down to a deadlocked jury or a "not guilty" verdict.

In the best case scenario for him, Fitzgerald succeeds in selling a jury on nebulous bullshit charges of conspiracy, and goes down in history as the man who brought down the Bush administration.

Whether he gets his verdict or not, he can then spend the rest of his life living off the book sales and public speaking fees, possibly running for office in a Democrat-heavy constituency later.

If he decides to drop the whole thing because there is no evidence that a crime was committed (which of course there isn't), he's a footnote.

What do you think he's going to do? Rise above petty ambition and do the right thing, or be a fame whore? I'd like to predict he'll do the right thing, but I'm afraid I don't know a thing about the man's character, and I have to assume the worst.

The fact is, the lawyers who spoke to WaPo (anonymous sourcing, ironically enough the thing that got Miller in trouble in the first place) probably know what they're talking about.

A "web of actions" with a "underlying criminal purpose"-how in the hell do you disprove something like that? This trial has boring, long, painful and messy written all over it.

No matter how long, pointless and messy the trial is, and no matter how much it hinders the conduct of the nation's business, do you think the media will ostracize him and turn him into a hated pariah, what they did to Ken Starr? Of course not, silly. He's going to be lionized as the lone hero speaking truth to power, the Archibald Cox of our times.

PowerLine has some convincing arguments that the NYT's Miller is lying about the whole rationale for why she wouldn't testify and finally agreed to. Here's their conclusion:
It seems clear that Judith Miller and her lawyers aren't telling the truth. What isn't obvious, is why. Three possibilities: 1) Miller went to jail because she wanted to pose as a martyr, and she just needs an excuse for why she now wants to go home. That's plausible as far as it goes, but it doesn't explain why Miller stayed in jail for another week and a half after getting Libby's "clarification," while her lawyer negotiated with the prosecutor. 2) Miller went to jail because she didn't want to answer questions about her tipping off a terrorist-supporting group that the FBI was about to execute a search warrant, an episode that also could have come before Fitzpatrick's grand jury. She and her lawyer laid the blame on Libby so that the public wouldn't learn about the other episode, which is pretty much unknown. Plausible, and consistent with what we've been told about her lawyer's deal with the prosecutor--if, indeed, the terrorist tipoff was something that Fitzgerald could have pursued. I'm not sure whether that's correct or not. 3) The third alternative is the most sinister: Miller went to jail to protect not Libby, but another source or sources, and the prosecutor has agreed not to ask her about those other sources. If that's true, it suggests that someone in the administration--presumably, either Karl Rove or Scooter Libby--is being set up.
(thimbleful of cognac to Michelle Malkin). Now, if the third alternative is true, doesn't that paint Fitzgerald's motives and character in an awfully poor light?
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