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daily archive: 10/19/2004
zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
Confessions of an ex commie
To all my old comrades: Cheers, you capitalist pigs!
When I was about 13, 14, 15, I felt very oppressed, and I read a lot of stuff about participatory democracy. I became very keen on participatory democracy. I realized that there would be a problem deciding who was to participate on what, but I figured that such trivial details could be taken care of after the revolution, and I joined a radical leftist group at the age of 15. They were Spartacists. Spartacists are a kind of Trotskyite, and Trotkyites are a kind of communist and there are innumerable obscure little trot factions. The communists have a saying. “Two trots, three factions.?

This particular faction of the trots was very keen on participatory democracy at that time, as were the left, and progressive forces generally at that time.

I soon saw that the sparts' MO was entryism. They would join much larger organizations, organizations whose goals, motivations, and members they despised, and then take over that organization and use its funds, assets, and membership list for their own purposes, rather than for the original purposes of the organization.

It rapidly became obvious to me that if a large organization was genuinely practicing participatory democracy it could easily be taken over by a small well organized minority, and the only participatory organizations that could resist the sparts were those that were already dominated by a small, well entrenched, minority. Usually a hostile, suspicious and somewhat paranoid minority, a minority that tended to go on witch hunts for sparts from time to time, and check under the bed for sparts before going to sleep at night.

I became disillusioned with the sparts, and disillusioned by participatory democracy — and none to keen on representative democracy either. But I still believed that it could be made to work, that one could run society and the economy and socialism in truly democratic fashion, but I realized that it might not be quite as easy, or quite as democratic, as I had hoped.

At the age of seventeen I joined both the anarcho socialists and the Maoists — mostly because these were the two groups most hated by the trots.

Read it all, it's very funny Confessions of an ex commie

(nbl dave ray)
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zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
The Zucchini Incident
I'm sorry, I tried to not post this, I really did, but the Shaitan in me took over: Russian Pensioner Kills Intruder with Zucchini
A pensioner in the Russian Far East city of Khabarovsk killed an intruder in his apartment with a zucchini, the Interfax news agency reported on Tuesday.

The agency cited the press service of the Interior Ministry’s Main Directorate for Khabarovsk Region as saying that a drunken man had broken into the apartment belonging to the 62-year-old pensioner.

The elderly man grabbed a large zucchini that he had grown himself and hit the intruder over the head. The attacker died on the spot. Police have launched a probe into the incident.

(nbl el cid)
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zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
The Girl Students
I hope that when Islamic reformation finally happens it will include the incredibly progressive thought that women have the same rights as men. Perhaps a small step in that direction would be to accept that women have faces. And they have hair too. And their hair doesn't really transmit any rays. Well, it does, but most women control that with hairspray.

Meanwhile, in Baghdad:

Islamist extremists are targeting the city's universities by threatening and even attacking female students who wear Western-style fashions, setting off bombs on campuses and demanding that classes be segregated by sex.

At least 1,000 of an estimated 3,000 women who want to postpone their studies for fear of violence will be granted leaves of absence, a student affairs official here said.

Guards at al-Kindi University in Baghdad last week arrested a man carrying nearly 10 pounds of TNT in a bag.

"The terrorist admitted that he belongs to an Islamic group," university security chief Sameer al-Sumaidai said. "When we asked him about the one who sent him, he replied, 'It is God who sends me.' "

Pamphlets found on campus declared: "If the boy students don't separate from the girl students, we will explode the college. Any girl student who does not wear a veil, we will burn her face with chemicals."

Hating a Woman's Face
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zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
Highly Unusual
Not so long ago, cabbies here refused to wear seat belts because the plastic buckle, produced by the Mossad, would make them sterile. Or so they had heard.

Now this city of 20 million is awash in a fresh conspiracy theory: Israel engineered the Taba bombings – in which 34 people were killed, 12 of them Israelis – in order to tighten security relations with Egypt and to deflect attention from its incursion into the Gaza Strip.

The conspiracy theories – some Egyptians are also saying that Israel held 1,500 of its citizens at the Taba border crossing to spare them – will likely block any revival of Egyptian-Israeli relations, say Western diplomats.

While not officially sanctioned, the theories appeared in the Arab world's largest daily, the government-operated Al-Ahram, among others. "I don't accuse Israel because I don't like it, but because the facts prove it," said Dia Rashwan, deputy director of the Al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies, and an expert on Islamic radicalism.

In appearances on Al-Jazeera and in his own column, Rashwan methodically built a case for Israel's complicity in the bombings. "This is not the first time to see Israelis die by the hands of Israelis," he explained Monday, rattling off a list of terrorist attacks from Argentina to Taba "planned or facilitated" by Israel.

"Al-Qaida does franchise [its terrorist operations]," he said, "but not in this case." Jerusalem's quick announcement of al-Qaida involvement pointed to its intentions. That Beduin were outsourced to buy the explosives; the very proximity of Taba to Israel and the number of Israeli "agents" in Sinai; the sophistication of the explosives; and Israel's almost immediate absolving of the Palestinians of blame are all clear indications that Israel was at fault.

After all, noted Rashwan, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon phoned President Hosni Mubarak to thank him for Egypt's cooperation even as Israeli rescue workers howled that ambulances with dying passengers aboard were held up at the border.

"This is highly unusual, no?" he asked.

This particular conspiracy theory is one of the few patches of common ground between government-run newspapers and government opponents like Dr. Abdel Monem Abu Fattuh, the heir-apparent of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood. Abu Fattuh, president of the 160,000-member Arab Medical Union, attributes the attacks to "extremist Zionist groups," perpetrating them to divert attention from Israel's incursion into Gaza, or to scuttle Sharon's determination to pull out of Gaza.
Anti-Israel conspiracies overflow along the Nile [bugmenot]
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evariste in Discarded Lies:
Body Of Christ Rejects Kerry
Over at Powerline, John Hinderaker comments on a very interesting story in the Catholic World News. To orient you, a few months ago small waves were being made on the media's periphery about a trial of John Kerry by the Catholic Church for heresy-one that was being instigated by laity, who it seems have the authority to bring these kinds of charges. I guess they have a whole court system and everything, and some guy formally sued Kerry in ecclesiastical court. Judge Mathis has nothing on these guys. Apparently the guy's goal was to force the Church to apply its own logic and excommunicate John Kerry, something it was probably loath to do. Ever since the real JFK so skilfully neutralized the fears of non-Catholics that as a Catholic he would be in thrall to the Pope, the Church hasn't had a lot to say to American Catholic politicians. It had lots to say to politicians in its heyday. As Eddie Izzard so memorably puts it,
So yeah, and the Romans went Christian and then we had Christianity for about 1500 years. You know, Catholicism, we believed in the teachings of Cathol, and everything it stood for... Then Henry VIII came along. Henry VIII, a big, hairy king, and he said to the Pope, the head of the Catholic Church:

"Mr. Pope! I'm going to marry my first wife, and then I'm going to divorce her. Now, I know what you're going to say but stick with me, my story gets better. I'm going to marry my second wife and then I'm gong to kill her, cut her head off! Ah, not expecting that, are ya? Third wife, gonna shoot her. Fourth wife, put her into a bag. Fifth wife, into outer space. Sixth wife, on a Rotissimat. Seventh wife, made out of jam. Eighth wife…? ( makes sound similar to putting babies on spikes )

And the Pope's going,

( Italian accent )"You crazy bugger! You can't do all this! What are you, a Mormon? You can't marry all these people! It's illegal! You can't do all this! I am the Pope, I am the head of the Church, I have to keep up… ciao! I have to keep up standards. What have you been reading, the gospel according to St. Bastard?"

So Henry VIII, who was Sean Connery for this film, said:

( imitating Sean Connery ) "Well then, I will set up a new religion in this country. I will set up the Psychotic Bastard religion."

And an advisor said,

"Why not call it Church of England, Sire?"

"Church of England, actually. Much better... Even though I’m Scottish myself."

So they did! That's the birth of Church of England, the birth of the Anglican Church! Disgusting, eh? That's no basis to start a religion on! Nothing to do with the Protestant church, I mean, Henry just shagged and killed a lot of women and then stole all the money off the monasteries. You know, rape and pillage, that is!
I highly doubt John Kerry can successfully schism the Catholic Church over this, of course. He's no Henry the VIIIth. He's more like Ethelred the Unready:
Ethelred 'The Unready' was King of the English from 978 to 1016. The term 'unready' is probably a misinterpretation of the word 'un-raed' which means 'lack of council'. It appears that Ethelred was not able to make any decisions on his own and relied on the Witan council heavily.
Sound familiar? It's instructive to note that Ethelred was forced to pay huge amounts of tribute (danegeld) to the Danes to appease them because they kept raiding England. It's also interesting that this didn't work and they kept raiding England, laughing all the way to the bank. John Kerry wants to give the mullahs nuclear fuel to appease them. If history repeats twice, once as tragedy and once as farce, we must be in that farce cycle.

Well. According to the Catholic World News piece, a Vatican official expressed a legal opinion that Kerry is already automatically excommunicated!
Balestrieri, who launched his case earlier this year by filing a heresy complaint in Kerry's home archdiocese of Boston, told EWTN's "World Over" program on Friday that he had received an unusual, indirect communication from the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith regarding the pro-abortion stance.

That communication provides a basis, he said, to declare that any Catholic politician who says he is "personally opposed to abortion, but supports a woman's right to choose," incurs automatic excommunication. It also provided a basis for Balestrieri to broaden his canonical actions and file additional complaints against four more pro-abortion Catholic politicians: Democrat Senators Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts and Tom Harkin of Iowa; Republican Senator Susan Collins of Maine; and former New York Governor Mario Cuomo, a Democrat.

The current action could be significant as it could undercut the entire debate over denying Communion to pro-abortion politicians. An excommunicated Catholic may not receive any of the sacraments of the Church, including the Eucharist, marriage, and even Christian burial. The type of excommunication outlined in the new information is called latae sententiae, which means that it occurs automatically and does not require a formal pronouncement by any Church official.
Hinderaker comments,
I'm not a Catholic, let alone sufficiently well-versed in these matters to be clear on whether this is significant news or not. The commenters on the Catholic News World site are divided, but some say that this is merely an unofficial, private statement of orthodox church dogma, and therefore nothing new. As a practical matter, whether the Church's response is significant probably depends on whether the press treats it as such. Kerry will certainly not put himself in a position between now and November 2 where he will be denied Communion, and failing that, there is no reason why the media should take up this issue--if it is an issue--at all.
I'm about as versed in these arcana as John is. That is to say, not very. That's not really what I want to talk about, though. I want to make a point about media bias here. If this was Bush being rejected by his church, wouldn't the media give it saturation coverage? Flood the freaking zone? To the point of ridiculousness?

I agree with the Rocket Man that the media is going to ignore and try to bury this. I had to laugh wryly at the passages that I emphasized above though, at the passivist and fatalistic tone. Isn't this the same John Hinderaker who received mucho publicity recently when his blog was a major player, taking part in the humbling of the mainstream media on a historical scale? I don't think he should be so fatalistic. You know. Given his personal experience of the might of peer-to-peer journalism and everything. That's all I'm saying. To tell the truth, I'm still not over it either, and I still haven't fully absorbed the lesson. I've been reading blogs for years and I still feel awed that Allah, Charles, and the fellows at Powerline humbled CBS so suddenly and so completely. Something huge happened here, and we haven't fully digested it yet.

On the other hand. Is there less to this story than meets the eye? Like Hinderaker, I really have no idea what any of this means. But Shane Cory at the Washington Dispatch does some original reporting and makes a fairly strong case that this is just a timed political hit.
Father Cole, author of the response received by De Fide, was contacted on Monday evening and in a courteous and extremely affable tone explained that he does not speak for the Vatican. The response that he had provided to Mr. Balestrieri was simply his personal opinion. In providing further detail, Fr. Cole explained that the Vatican delegates inquiries such as the one presented by Balestrieri to priests around the world. Father Cole had been tasked with this particular letter and provided a response that was clearly in his own opinion.
later in the piece,
Additionally, Fr. Cole's response was dated September 11th 2004. It is unclear as to why De Fide held this letter until October 18th, merely two weeks before the presidential election. Detractors may say that this is a planned "hit" on John Kerry while others may argue that it is coincidence. Personally, I will have to say that it is just one of many "October Surprises" to come.
He has a good point. Nonetheless, Balestrieri defended himself strongly when contacted:
Mr. Balestrieri was contacted regarding this article and quickly responded in length stating, "the response is unofficial in that I, as a layman, am not entitled to receive an 'official' response, because the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith does not give out official responses to laymen like myself, only Bishops." Balestrieri went on to write, ". . . the theologian [Fr. Cole] writes that this truth is 'manifest.' Now, no theologian worth his salt ever throws such a thorny term around lightly. It was for that reason I received a response in the affirmative so quickly: The content of the teaching is not just official, but infallible. Any Bishop will tell you that."
So the jury's still deliberating. I think in the end, Balestrieri will be vindicated and Kerry officially excommunicated, because the Church is having its bluff called. It will either enforce its own laws and doctrine, and start excommunicating Catholic politicians who defy it on abortion, or it will be forced to acknowledge that it is unwilling to stand behind its moral dictates. The path of least pain for the Church is to start excommunicating. Yeah, the timing's fishy. But there's a real story here regardless.

Finally, I don't want to seem meanspirited. But what the hell. Let's pick on a retard. I need a little comic relief. April_S is outraged! She wants to know something.
What I want to know is: When is the Catholic Church going to issue letters excomunicating Bush because of his pro-death penalty stance or because his instigation of War (promotion of death)? That's what I want to know. Bush sets up situations in which many live walking talking people, life, lives, are killed and that's all a-o-k by the Catholic Church.
Oh dear. Public education, I can smell it on her. Is it okay for me to make fun of this girl? Or would it be unsporting? She's so hurt that the Catholic Church stubbornly refuses to excommunicate a Methodist-someone who by definition isn't in communion with the Church in Rome…April-here's a nickel, kid. Go buy yourself a ticket to ride the clue train.
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