discarded lies: friday, march 31, 2017 3:22 am zst
daily archive: 10/28/2005
guest author: evariste in Discarded Lies - Hyperlinkopotamus:
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guest author: evariste in Discarded Lies - Hyperlinkopotamus:
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guest author: evariste in Discarded Lies - Hyperlinkopotamus:
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floranista in The Secret Garden:
New Zealand Hebes
Another wonderful plant is the hebe, {hee'-bee}, named after the Greek goddess of youth.

There are about 100 species of these evergreen shrubs in the figwort or foxglove family, most native to New Zealand. They prefer full sun and will tolerate a wide range of soil conditions.

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zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
Omar the Infidel
Death threats to the Egyptian-born actor Omar Sharif have appeared in Islamist forums on the Internet, after Sharif's appearance as a Christian, Saint Peter, in an Italian biblical epic for television. A threatening message from user 'bachirma1' on one of the forums used by jihadi groups linked to al-Qaeda, reads:"In my view Omar Sharif is an infidel - enter here". Inside it continues; "He is a crusader who offends Islam and Muslims and is applauded by the Italian people. I give you some advice, my brothers, you should kill him."

From the exchange of messages it would appear that the sender of the death threats may be in Italy. A flurry of insulting messages endorse the condemnation of the 73 year old actor who shot to international stardom in the classic Lawrence of Arabia (1962) and with the title role of Doctor Zhivago (1965).

The television mini-series, aired on Italian television this week, shows Sharif in the role of Saint Peter and recounts the spread of Christianity in ancient Rome and in the Roman empire.
By the way, here's a favourite Omar Sharif movie that I bet not many of you have seen: C'era una volta..., also known as "More than a Miracle, an old comedy but quite charming. It's a fairytale with Sharif playing a prince and Sophia Loren playing herself a strong-headed peasant girl.
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guest author: Meg in Discarded Lies - Hyperlinkopotamus:
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guest author: levi from queens in Discarded Lies - Hyperlinkopotamus:
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guest author: Death Mask of Tutankhamen in Discarded Lies - Hyperlinkopotamus:
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guest author: zulubaby in Discarded Lies - Hyperlinkopotamus:
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zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
A Day of Parades
Today Greece celebrated a national holiday, marking the date Greece entered WWII. The day is called "No-Day", after Metaxas, the Greek fascist dictator at the time, stated a firm "No" to an Italian ultimatum from Mussolini demanding free passage for his troops to occupy unspecified "strategic points" inside Greece.

Greeks subsequently kicked Italian ass in Albania until the Germans invaded Greece from Yugoslavia and Bulgaria. After fierce resistance in the north, the Greek army was defeated and Germany occupied Greece. Rumour has it that on the day the Nazis entered Athens, one of my favourite writers from my childhood, whose books are classics and every Greek child knows them, committed suicide; Penelope Delta could not stand the thought of Germans occupying Athens.

It was the beginning of three years of hell for Greece, and the effects of this war and the civil war that followed it, have affected Greeks to this day. During the first year of the German occupation, over a 100,000 Greeks died of famine and over a million Greeks joined the resistance, started by the National Liberation Front (EAM), which was controlled by the Greek communist party.
When the Germans enter Athens on April 27th they order one of the evzones, the elite soldiers of the Greek army who are the guardians of the flag which flies over the Acropolis, to remove it. The soldier obeys, then wraps himself in the blue and white flag and leaps from the walls of the ancient fortress to his death. It is the first public act of resistance in the city. A few days later on the night of May 30th, Manolis Glezos and Apostolis Santas, both 18 years old, tear down the Nazi flag flying from the Acropolis. It is an act of courage and resistance to Nazi oppression that becomes an inspiration to all subjected people. It is also foreshadowing that the occupiers will not have an easy time in Greece. (Glezos, who becomes a member of the Greek resistance, is condemned to death for treason in 1948 and imprisoned for being a communist. He is later elected a member of the Pan Hellenic Socialist Party.)
Meanwhile in the mountains of Greece the resistance has sprung up, made up of mostly communists. In September 1941 the National Liberation Front (EAM) is formed. The most important offshoot of this group is the National People's Liberation Army or Ethnikos Laikos Apeleftherotikos Stratos (ELAS), which is founded in December 1941 as the military arm of EAM. In the summer of 1942 the first ELAS guerrilla band takes to the mountains. They are led by a capable but ruthless Ares Veloukhiotis (the pseudonym of Athanasios Klaras). Though EAM is controlled by the Greek Communist Party its primary cause for now is the liberation of Greece from the Germans and many of their fighters and supporters are neither left nor right. They simply want to resist the Germans. The membership of EAM has been estimated to be anywhere between half a million to two million members, with the ELAS forces somewhere between forty and seventy thousand members. On the other side of the political spectrum, the National Republican Greek League or Ethnikos Dimokratikos Ellinikos Syndesmos" (EDES, ) is non-communist and commanded by General Napoleon Zervas. Women play an important role in the resistance as fighters as well as support. The Greek resistance attack bridges and supply convoys forcing the Germans to keep a large number of troops in the country. In November of 1942 Greek fighters and British soldiers who have been parachuted in to direct the resistance, destroy the Gorgopotamos Viaduct railroad bridge on the Thessaloniki-Athens railway line. It is the first organised attack in occupied Greece on Axis forces and the most spectacular act of sabotage in occupied Europe up to that time. It is also the first and the only time that the Andarte forces of EDES and ELAS fight together. During the rest of the occupation their differences grew into hatred as fighting the Germans seem to take second place to being in a position to control the country after the liberation. In September of 1943 Civil War breaks out within the resistance.
There's much more detail in Greece in the Second World War and other sites, but here's where I'm going in this whole roundabout way:

On this holiday, there are parades all over Greece, attended by government representatives, the Prime Minister, church officials and so on. There's a march by the military forces and a march by high school students, with the students who have the highest grades holding the Greek flag. I hated the obligatory participation when I was a student, I hated marching and I hated parading in front of people and I consoled myself by trying to find comfort in patriotism. I thought of these parades as a reminder to Greece that here's our best and our brightest; that we're strong as a nation; that our parents and granparents fought for Greece and we are prepared to fight as well.

Fight for what exactly, though? A few years ago, Odysseas Tsenai, who had the highest grades in his school and was therefore entitled to carry the Greek flag on the October 28 parade, happened to be an Albanian immigrant to Greece and all nationalism broke loose. Students, parents and the Teacher's Association staged sit-ins protesting that a "non-Greek" (and an Albanian one at that) would carry the Greek flag at the parade. Students hung a banner outside the school where Odysseas attends, stating "Greeks, your flag belongs to you."

Today Greece is part of Europe, and Germany and Italy, her old enemies, are now her friends and partners. In a few years, Turkey, an even older enemy, will be part of the same Union as Greece and at some point the old Communist bloc will join the EU as well, so the Albanians will be officially Europeans like the Greeks are. What will happen to our nationalism then and what will these parades be reminding us?

If the reason for forcing kids to march in parades is to celebrate and remember their ancestors' victories in some long-lost world, then maybe we should be consistent and hold parades for all our past victories. We hold a parade in March, to mark the day of the Greek revolution against the Turks but we have no holiday to mark the Persian Wars; we don't even celebrate the Battle of Marathon for example, even though it's been described as "the single most important battle in Greek history". Yet in October we hold a parade to celebrate the response of a Greek fascist dictator to an Italian fascist dictator when said response made no difference at the end since a German fascist dictator overruled both the Greek and the Italian fascist dictators.

Darius' Persia doesn't exist any more and neither do Nazi Germany, Ottoman Turkey, and Mussolini's Italy. The reality is, the new generations of Greeks will have victories and struggles of their own to think about. Whether we like it or not, Greek kids will be growing up in a multicultural Europe, where yesterday's enemies are today's friends and economic partners and where nationalism, along with borders, will eventually die out. Let's get used to it and let's not get caught in the trap of our past glories.
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guest author: evariste in Discarded Lies - Hyperlinkopotamus:
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evariste in Discarded Lies:
Blair gets angry, threatens Iran with war
I've been watching with mounting interest as the UK gradually started turning up the heat on the mullahs. Today Blair basically warned Iran of war-and the article says he was speaking in his role as EU President!
ISN SECURITY WATCH (28/10/05) - British Prime Minister Tony Blair warned Iran it was making a "very big mistake" thinking it was immune to international action because the world was distracted elsewhere.

Responding to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's call earlier this week for Israel to be "wiped off the map", Blair said the comments were revolting and unacceptable.

"Imagine a state like that ... having a nuclear weapon," the prime minister said, issuing his warning on Thursday at an EU summit in Britain, where discussions were somewhat overshadowed by the Iranian president’s remarks.
As if to confirm to the world that Iran is a puppetmaster of terrorists, the suicide murderer in Hedera that killed 5 Israelis hours after the speech by Ahmadinajad was affiliated with Islamic Jihad, which is linked to Iran.

Tough guy Blair is talking very tough indeed:
Blair issued a stark warning to Iran that action would be taken against it if it continued down its current path.

"There are people in Iran, in the leadership, who believe that the world is sufficiently distracted with everything else that we can't really afford the time to focus on this issue," he said.

"I think they will be making a very big mistake if they do that … their attitude towards Israel, their attitude towards terrorism, their attitude on the nuclear weapons issue; it isn't acceptable."

Blair said Ahmadinejad's remarks underlined just how much Iran needed "reform" itself, he added.

"How can we build a more secure world with that type of attitude?" he queried?

Blair said Britain would hold discussions with key allies over the next few days to decide what action to take.

For a long time, members of the international community had been asking him to guarantee that he would not join in military action against Iran, he noted.

If Tehran continued down its current path, people would be asking the question: "When are you going to do something about this?" he said.

Blair Spokesman Ian Gleeson told ISN Security Watch that while the prime minister’s warning did not amount to "a declaration of war", military action was an option.

"The Iranians should be in no doubt that they are in a very serious place," he said.

International consensus was mounting about the need to deal with the Islamic Republic, Gleeson said, pointing out that Blair had been speaking in his role as the current president of the EU.

While there were diplomatic processes to be gone through, military action was not "off the table", he confirmed.
The gloom of Iran's clerical tyranny is about to lift. We live in historic times.
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guest author: Jefe in Discarded Lies - Hyperlinkopotamus:
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zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
English blogger calls for Israeli children to be chopped up into little bits
When Ahmadinejad asked for the destruction of Israel, he also recommended that America should be destroyed too. Why oh why, didn't we "rightist bloggers" quote him properly? From The Exile: Rightist blogistas twist Iranian President's words.
As far as Israel is concerned, I am old enough to remember when the Zimbabwean Resistence shot down a Viscount airliner that belonged to Air Rhodesia. The survivors were then massacred on the ground. Various rightwing types then got themselves into a lather, but we, the real left, agreed with the guerrilla who was quoted as saying that "little snakes grow into big snakes, so it is always better to squash their heads when they are still young".

The aim was to see Rhodesia destroyed and this was a step on the road to that destruction. We knew that defeat for Rhodesia would lead to one more loss for international capitalism - and we were bloody well right! We also had, let's be honest, an atavistic desire to see Rhodesians chopped up into little bits. They were the scum of Britain - types who didn't have the balls to be workers nor the brass to be gaffers - so they inhabited that never-never world that only the middle classes understand. Lacking both balls and brass some of these creatures had found a home in that colony and had spent a lifetime lording it over the natives: until the natives hit back!

Now what was true of Rhodesia is true also of Israel. A little bit of consistency, comrades, is needed here. A western, capitalist, creole state that exists to suppress the locals is the same no matter where it exists. The sooner it ceases to exist the better it is for the locals and the better it is for us.
A thimbleful of cognac to Pooh and one to me too. (I deserve it after reading this crap.)
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zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
Libby Resigns
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guest author: mauro in Discarded Lies:
The last stone thrown
I can still remember my father taking me to football.
Wrapping up a scarf around my neck and stuffing some sandwiches in my pockets, we’d be going just after lunch and not before his coffee.
Half-hour drive, half hour to find parking, half-hour to go through the police lines and there we were inside the ground. My smile as bright as the blue sky above, a sky that had the same colours I had in my heart: blue and white.
Again and again, every Sunday the same rituals: coffee, sandwiches, scarf and a young boy so excited to be in total dreamland all the way to the stadium…..that was beautiful and yet it became an innocence never to be regained.
Soon enough, that boy grew into a teen-ager and started to go to football with his neighbourhood mates and even sooner than that a whole world of new friends, new ideas and new attitudes started to take shape.
A sense of belonging, the tribe, the pack.
To be part, to be accepted, wanted, respected, protected, nourished, encouraged, defended. All of it spelled grand feelings and a sense of invincibility. The strength of the numbers and the law of the strongest and strong he felt amongst hundred of like minded others.
Then the first joints, the first punch-ups, the first charge into the rival supporters lines and the first police baton stamped on his head.
Eyes filled with pride showing the first battle wounds.
Now his name was recognised. Girls paying attention and school mates looking up with envy. A local legend was born.
Dusty trains, overnight travelling, running from the ticket man, police welcome, rival’s ambushes and sharing a chicory sandwich broken in two by the dirty hands of Lungo, Pietro or any of the boys (or girls).
Funny how full-blown hooligans would still turn up with mummy’s sandwiches…
5 years and hundreds of home and away games followed.
The road to the last stone thrown, the road to San Benedetto Del Tronto and its beach spanned through dozens of riots and chases and Italian cities kissed by the sun and an afternoon of madness.
Can it really be explained what it is…how it feels to get off a train and hundreds of you marching through a town? The sense of conquest? The challenge? To know you’ve been waited for, anticipated, feared and now confronted? From the rough dockers of Genova, the communist gangs in Pisa, Firenze and Perugia, the criminals in Naples and Palermo, the fearsome groups of both Milan and Turin teams, your own city hardcore Roma Fedayn fans and all the other smaller teams groups that only waited for you to turn up and a chance to make it in the newspapers…..
It cannot be explained; it needs to be lived through with its horrors and heroics.
San Benedetto was the last stone I threw.
After a disgustingly dirty train and one hundred joints we arrived. The whole 30 of us. Not many to our standards but still a fantastic reception….there must have been nothing short of 500 of them. They must have thought it was their birthday, their day and the cat and mouse game was on immediately.
We had wind of a heavy presence of both police and rival fans at the train station so the alarm was pressed, the train stopped and we all got off well before the station. Keeping quiet and walked our way to the ground and with the attentions still focused to the railway station, we entered the ground from “their" side and stole all the banners and brought them into our side. What a coup!
Then, we just sat and waited.
Soon enough the ground started to fill up with all sorts of people and louder and louder were the yells of sheer hatred ringing from their side. They had found out what had happened and their banners started to burn inside our side of the ground. What a feeling.
20 minutes before the end of the game they were all fuming waiting for us outside our part of the ground. Them and just an as annoyed police force as you could possibly imagine. So we chose another way out. Jump over the fences!
Cat and mouse again but this time much closer. Trickles of dusty sweat and rear-guard skirmishes to get them to keep a distance then…..the beach! We ran into the beach and they thought their moment had come, with the sea on our back, they charged.
I could see their first lines getting nearer and nearer while we run in the sand. Then…..a stack of beach umbrellas! We jumped at it and all of a sudden we all had a handy wood stick in our hands…you could see the change in their faces, from arrogance to terror…and the counter charge was on. Running back disorderly and in panic, a stampede of frightened cowards. I have seen many, many broken wood sticks that day.
But then energy was running too low so we tried to seek refuge in a bar. I just couldn’t run anymore and I just stood, tired, exhausted and by now alone. I turned around and undid my belt. My belt in my hand as my last weapon, I stood and yelled. I stood for what it must have been a whole minute and they stood with me not knowing what to do. Who’s this guy? Who’s this giant? Who’s this complete nutter? It’s me. I am just too tired to run now. I stand here and I’ll take you all with me. All the 500 of you. Here and Now.
Then two arms around me and I am being dragged to that bar by Pietro and Lungo, the heavy shutters by now almost all closed. I regain “consciousness�? maybe thinking I don’t want another knife wound like in Firenze. One last run and then one last stone thrown and I am in. The shutters close and we’re surrounded by an angry mob of cowards. Outside it must be hell as people bangs with all they have against the shutters and walls.
The bartender is terrorised and his daughter cries asking, pleading for her dad’s safety. But we’re not animals…not like that.
Half hour of total mayhem outside and the shrill of police sirens.
The shutters open again and there must be twenty police cars . The whole area is totally sealed and we’re frog marched into vans. All along being beaten with baton, shields and slapped in our faces with leather gloves. One hour later we’re all caged in a cell at the local nick. Two hours later we’re all packed in a train.
The day is over and so is a life like that.
A few days later, I’m on a train to England.

Will I ever regret the people I have hurt? I have already. Sincerely and deeply.
Will I ever regret being part of that group of boys and girls? Never.
Because never I have known closer ties with people, never I have known deeper sharing and never will I know it again in that way and to that extent.
Life is for living, whichever turn it takes.
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guest author: Frank IBC in Discarded Lies - Hyperlinkopotamus:
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guest author: zulubaby in Discarded Lies - Hyperlinkopotamus:
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guest author: RIP Ford in Discarded Lies - Hyperlinkopotamus:
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guest author: zulubaby in Discarded Lies - Hyperlinkopotamus:
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guest author: zulubaby in Discarded Lies - Hyperlinkopotamus:
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zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
Blogging from work
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guest author: jake in Discarded Lies - Hyperlinkopotamus:
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guest author: mauro in Discarded Lies - Hyperlinkopotamus:
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guest author: mauro in Discarded Lies - Hyperlinkopotamus:
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guest author: mauro in Discarded Lies - Hyperlinkopotamus:
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evariste in Discarded Lies:
Nightmare on First Street
Here's a scenario that popped into my (uninformed and ignorant) head last night, while reading and responding to comments on my Harriet Miers thread.

What if:

  • Bush nominates someone to the bench whom conservatives love.

  • Democrats filibuster

  • Republicans try and fail to overturn the filibuster, thanks to the Gang of 14

  • No Supreme Court justice is appointed during this Congress-Sandra Day O'Connor remains seated

  • The 2006 elections give the Republicans a much stronger hand and eclipse the Gang of 14

  • The new Congress confirms a conservative justice

  • Sandra Day O'Connor changes her mind and refuses to step down after all, because she was expecting someone like her to replace her and won't step down for someone who will change the character of the court

Would we be in a Constitutional crisis? How might we get out of it? It's clear the legislative branch has approximately zero appetite to impeach a sitting judge, the only way other than death or resignation to get rid of one. What happens next? Stalemate until another sitting justice dies or resigns?

Does the confirmed nominee get to sit on the Supreme Court and expand its membership to 10, or does he exist in a Constitutional limbo? There's nothing in the Constitution that says there will be exactly 9 justices. It doesn't even say there should be an odd number of them.
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guest author: zulubaby in Discarded Lies - Hyperlinkopotamus:
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guest author: mauro in Discarded Lies - Hyperlinkopotamus:
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guest author: zulubaby in Discarded Lies - Hyperlinkopotamus:
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guest author: zulubaby in Discarded Lies - Hyperlinkopotamus:
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guest author: Dances With Typos in Discarded Lies - Hyperlinkopotamus:
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guest author: unsigned in Discarded Lies - Hyperlinkopotamus:
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guest author: unsigned in Discarded Lies - Hyperlinkopotamus:
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guest author: unsigned in Discarded Lies - Hyperlinkopotamus:
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