discarded lies: thursday, march 30, 2017 12:04 am zst
a little down in the mouth
daily archive: 11/01/2005
guest author: Fay in Discarded Lies - Hyperlinkopotamus:
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zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
A Love Story
This following events happened in our family's farm, an isolated place on a cliff by the Ionian sea, somewhere in Southern Greece, in the first year of World War Two. The area came under Italian occupation and the Italian army was getting provisions from local villages and farms. One day, two Italian soldiers stopped by the village church to ask where they could get flour and oil. The priest pointed them to the south, our farm was a few minutes walk from the village, and the soldiers set off to get supplies.

They met my grandmother, a very cultured woman who spoke Italian and French perfectly and had taught her children as well, and she introduced them to my grandpa and the rest of the family. After exchanging pleasantries, the soldiers bought olive oil and a few chickens, admired the farm and left.

The soldiers, Domenico and Giovanni, were stationed in the area and their visits to our farm became more and more regular. Domenico was a cobbler and he offered to make shoes for the family in exchange for provisions which my grandparents accepted gladly.

The visits also became more social as time grew. Domenico, who loved to sing and played several instruments, would visit some evenings and after dinner someone would play the violin, someone else would play the piano and the family would spend hours around the table, singing and telling stories. The first year of the war passed without touching them.

Then the Germans came.

I don't want to get into historical details here, read a history book, this is just a love story. The point is that the Germans started hunting down the Italians, their former allies. They arrested everyone in Domenico's and Giovanni's unit except our two friends who sought shelter at my grandfather's house.

My grandfather agreed to hide the two men except there was no place for them to hide. The Germans had already visited the farm several times and had searched the house, looking for Jews, Italians and valuables, all in that order. The farm was mostly olive trees and vineyards, not much shelter there, but over the cliff that separated the house from the sea hung myrtle and holly bushes and that's where Domenico and Giovanni hid. In the winter they could hear the roar of the waves breaking on the sharp rocks sixty meters below them as the wind would threaten their little shelter above the sea.

They spent two years in their shelter of myrtles, hardly ever getting out since German units patroled the area by land and sea. My two oldest aunts, barely teenagers at the time, would bring them food and water and take their clothes to wash. On some nights, if there was no moon and no wind, Giovanni and Domenico would come to the house for a few minutes of normalcy and civilisation. Eva, the second-oldest daughter, would play the violin and Domenico would get tears in his eyes from nostalgia.

When World War Two ended, the Greek Civil War began and communist guerrillas would raid the farm regularly so our two Italians continued to remain hidden. The communists were looking for enemy soldiers, collaborators, royalists and of course, provisions. My grandma used to complain that the communists did more damage to the farm than the Germans and the Italians combined. Of course my grandma was a royalist, but that's a subject for another post.

After the civil war ended the two soldiers were finally free to go home. Except that they were broke and had no way home so my grandfather paid for their fare to Italy. My family and the two soldiers parted with tears in their eyes and promises to never forget and to write. Indeed, their correspondence lasted through life.

My grandfather and the rest of the family turned their focus, as all of Greece did, on getting back on their feet after years of war, occupation and misery. Then one day, about a year after the two soldiers had left, my grandfather received a letter from Domenico telling him he's in love with Eva and asking for her hand in marriage. My grandfather asked Eva if she accepted and she said yes, she was in love with Domenico. A romance had bloomed right under grandpa's nose, in a few stolen evenings of violin music and Italian poetry. Grandpa accompanied Eva to Italy where she and Domenico got married.

In the next fifty-five years, Domenico and Eva had several children, my sophisticated and beautiful older cousins whose life I made hell when I was little and all of us would come together to spend our summers in the old farmhouse. I remember that on our way to the beach, we'd pass by the myrtles that served as shelter during the war and stop to re-examine the drop below, as if to make sure it was all real. In my last memory of Tio Domenico, we're in the patio of the house one summer night. He's playing the violin and he's singing "Mamma, Son Tanto Felice," an old World War Two song. His hair is all white, his voice thin and old but still beautiful, bringing the history of our family to life. May he rest in peace.


Names have been changed to protect identities. Who cares anyway, where love is concerned, names are not important and neither are politics.
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guest author: levi from queens in Discarded Lies - Hyperlinkopotamus:
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guest author: levi from queens in Discarded Lies - Hyperlinkopotamus:
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evariste in Discarded Lies:
Morris's Synthesis
Donald Sensing heard Dick Morris on a radio talk show pimping his new book, Hillary v. Condi. Dick is a very perceptive political operator, here's Donald's summary of what he said:
His thesis, as he explained on Steve Gill’s radio talk show this morning in Nashville, is (1) that Hillary Clinton has a lock on the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination unless she inexplicably decides not to run, and (2) there is no potential Republican candidate who can beat Hillary except Condoleeza Rice.

Without taking a stand on either potential candidate, here is what Morris said:

A. All the white men who are going to vote Republican in 2008 already voted Republican in 2000 and 2004. There is no slack in white men’s votes that can make a difference in the election for a male Republican candidate in 2008.

B. The only way the Republicans can beat Hillary in ‘08 is to take away female white voters from her. Morris said that the white women’s vote went for Al Gore on 2000 by enough votes to give Gore the popular vote. In 2004, Bush very comfortably commanded white women’s votes over John Kerry, and so won the popular vote by a few points. White women, said Morris, are the swing voters who will determine ‘08 election.

C. If Hillary gains the nomination, as Morris is convinced she will, she will take an insurmountable lead of many points in white women’s votes running against any male Republican candidate. Because of this, it will simply be impossible for any male opponent to defeat her.

D. Realistically, the only possible female Republican nominee in 2008 is Condoleeza Rice. No other Republican woman has a decent chance of winning the nomination over its potential male candidates. Morris says that the number of white men who would decline to vote for Rice just because of her race or sex is insignificant and would be actually overcome by the number of white men who would vote for her specifically because of her race (they would be alleviating white guilt in the polling station, Morris said). Also, Morris is convinced that Rice would garner white women’s votes overwhelmingly in her favor over Hillary.

E. What about the votes of black Americans? Morris said that right now the Democrats command the black vote so solidly that no male Republican candidate can change that in ‘08. But he says that with Rice running, at least a third of the black vote, men and women, would go to Rice. Morris said that some prominent, liberal black leaders told him privately as he was writing the book that Rice could actually take 60-80 percent of the black vote.

Dick Morris on Hillary vs. Rice
I have to say that I would hold my nose and vote for Condi if the alternative was Hillary, but I really wouldn't enjoy it very much or feel that good about it. Sounds like a snoozer of an election.
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evariste in Discarded Lies:
Security Council acts on Syria
The resolution that the UN Security Council finally passed unanimously on Syria is disappointingly toothless, not threatening any consequences. But it is deliciously humiliating for Assad and clan, as it demands that Syria detain and make available all suspects for interrogation, and cooperate with the probe.

Condi Rice is demanding Syria make a complete strategic about-face:
"With our decision today, we show that Syria has isolated itself from the international community -- through its false statements, its support for terrorism, its interference in the affairs of its neighbors, and its destabilizing behavior in the Middle East," Miss Rice said.

"Now, the Syrian government must make a strategic decision to fundamentally change its behavior."
Such indignities! This isn't just Rice talking out of her tushie, by the way-the resolution demands that Syria renounce terrorism and stop supporting terrorist groups. That includes Hezbollah in Lebanon, Palestinian terrorists with Damascus HQs, and the Arab fighters streaming into Iraq via Syria. Also, all suspects' assets are to be frozen, and they are subject to a travel ban.
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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: zulubaby 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: Matt in Discarded Lies - Hyperlinkopotamus:
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zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
Blindfolded Hostages
Against the backdrop of the September 2005 tour of the Middle East by U.S. State Department official and presidential advisor Karen Hughes, who is heading the effort to improve the U.S.'s image abroad, in a recent article liberal Bahraini journalist 'Omran Salman presents two explanations for the hatred towards America: Arab and Muslim culture, and a post 9/11 coalition of Islamists, Pan Arab Ba'athists and nationalists, and Arab regimes.
'Who Hates America in the Arab and Muslim World, and Why'
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guest author: RIP Ford in Discarded Lies - Hyperlinkopotamus:
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guest author: AM42 in Discarded Lies - Hyperlinkopotamus:
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guest author: airforcewife in Discarded Lies - Hyperlinkopotamus:
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guest author: levi from queens in Discarded Lies - Hyperlinkopotamus:
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evariste in Discarded Lies:
Unmitigated Gall: Democrat Trickery Shuts Down US Senate
In wartime, this is how trustworthy Democrats are: not very. They'll throw the nation's business into the trash while they perform a public temper tantrum.

Senate Goes Into Rare Closed Session
WASHINGTON — The U.S. Senate prepared to go into closed session Tuesday after Democrats enacted a rare parliamentary rule forcing the shut down of the Senate so senators could speak in a classified session about the lead-up to the war in Iraq.

(...)

Durbin said Democrats want to discuss launching "phase two" of a committee investigation into whether Bush and the administration misused data to justify war in Iraq.

"The purpose of this closed session in the Senate chamber is to finally give the truth to at least the members of the Senate, to finally call to task the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee," said House Minority Whip Dick Durbin of Illinois.

A closed session is called when any senator demands one and a second motion is made. No vote is taken on whether to close the session. The last time a closed session was held was 25 years ago, Rockefeller said.

Republican Sen. Trent Lott, the former majority leader, said that the rule had been invoked two or three times under his tenure as majority leader, but only after a pre-arranged, negotiated discussion.

"This is not the way it has been done," Lott said. "We would never surprise each other ... This is very unfortunate for the Senate. It's not to say there isn't important information to be discussed ... but I'm astounded by this."

During a closed session, the chamber is shut to cameras, a security sweep is performed, and then Reid introduces a resolution calling for the launch of "phase two" of the intelligence committee's investigation.

"It is within the power of the majority to close down the closed session. They can do it by majority vote to return to the legislative calendar," Durbin said. "We're serving notice on them at this moment: be prepared for this motion every day until you face the reality. The Senate Intelligence Committee has a responsibility."
This is a great way for them to tie up the Senate in partisan bullshit and keep Alito from receiving a vote. They've discovered a way to filibuster him without seeming to, thus keeping the filibuster itself safe. At the same time, they get to score points against Bush.

UPDATE: James Joyner has this too, and one of his readers has a very funny, pointed observation:
Perhaps Reid should investigate the intelligence leading Clinton to bomb Saddam’s alleged WMD facilities in 1998?
Posted by: Atm at November 1, 2005 15:43


UPDATE 2: I'm very disturbed by the Republican disarray on this. They don't sound like they know what to do yet. They sure don't have a coherent message for the troops and the media yet. I hope that changes fast. I just visited rnc.org and they had nothing on this. Here's snippets of the disorganized and stunned response so far, from the original article:
"This is not the way it has been done," Lott said. "We would never surprise each other ... This is very unfortunate for the Senate. It's not to say there isn't important information to be discussed ... but I'm astounded by this."
Republicans, who were clearly caught off-guard by the maneuver, called the move "gutter" politics. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist of Tennessee said the chamber was "hijacked" by Democrats.

"Once again, it shows the Democrats use scare tactics. They have no conviction. They have no principles. They have no ideas," Frist said. "But this is the ultimate. Since I've been majority leader, I'll have to say, not with the previous Democratic leader or the current Democratic leader have ever I been slapped in the face with such an affront to the leadership of this grand institution."
Grand, shmand. Shut this down, fast. Get moving. Don't let the whole world see your ass.
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evariste in Discarded Lies:
Ahmadinajad Purges 18 Of His Ambassadors
Iran Focus-News - Iran (General) - Iran fires 3 ambassadors, recalls 18 envoys after row over Israel
Tehran, Oct. 28 – Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has fired his country’s ambassadors to Britain, France, and Germany, and ordered 18 envoys to be recalled to Tehran, a government official in the Iranian capital told Iran Focus.
“Ahmadinejad has been angered by what he sees as the envoys’ meek reaction to the global condemnation of his Wednesday speech against Israel and the West", the official, who requested anonymity, said. “He made the speech with the full blessing of the Supreme Leader [Ayatollah Ali Khamenei] and has his green light to stifle any dissenting voice within the government".
The official said that while there was broad consensus within the clergy-dominated regime on the hard-line President’s vow to “wipe Israel off the map", some Iranian diplomats voiced concern that the international backlash could be too costly for the Islamic Republic.
On Friday, an array of top political and military figures in Iran lined up behind Ahmadinejad’s fiery speech. The Commander in Chief of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards, the Speaker of Parliament, the Secretary General of the Supreme National Security Council and the powerful Minister of Intelligence and Security (Iran’s secret police) were among those who fully endorsed the President’s diatribe and made equally strong invectives against Israel.
“The Supreme Leader and his inner council see a window of opportunity for Iran right now, as the Americans are stuck in Iraq and the Europeans are divided over what to do", he said. “They are telling everyone not to be afraid of threats of military action by the West, as this is only a bluff".
The ambassadors who are being fired were appointed during the administration of ex-President Mohammad Khatami.
Ho-lee cow!
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guest author: Thousand Sons in Discarded Lies - Hyperlinkopotamus:
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zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
'Together against political Islam and Antisemitism'
While there was a demonstration in Berlin to mark "Al-Quds" day, there was also a counter-demonstration and Harry's Place has the details: Taking a Stand

(a thimbleful of cognac to MartinG)
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guest author: Ed Mahmoud abu Help Make the Gulf of Mexico Dark Orange! in Discarded Lies - Hyperlinkopotamus:
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guest author: levi from queens in Discarded Lies - Hyperlinkopotamus:
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guest author: papijoe in Discarded Lies:
Part IX: Diaspora
She sat in front of the mirror, preparing to go out again. Katia was surprised at how calmly Joop relayed the news of Pieter's failure. He was happy to hear of her tentative contact. She managed to get introduced to the birthday boy, and distracted as he was they had a brief conversation.

Her father is a pediatrician at Groningen Hospital. Her mother, a freelance graphic artist who had a early success in parlaying those talents into web design. Aside from her father's dietary obsessions, they never interfered with her life, growing up their casual parenting seemed to gradually become a withdrawal into their own interests. It seems she was expected to find her own pursuits. The problem was that life was so boring.

Everything her friends got so excited about, clubs, music, Dutch boys, all turned out to be hugely disappointing. She honestly couldn't figure out what all the fuss was about. Even sex drinking and drugs did little to make her existence more exciting. She had made an honest effort to enjoy all that life had to offer, and came up empty.

Then she met Joop at a party her mother dragged her to when she was doing a job for Europoort. At first he was only a little more intriguing than most, she gave him her number with a faint hope that something different would happen. It was most unexpected when it did. Joop made a proposal that she take a trip to England and deliver an package for him. The danger and excitement overwhelmed her jaded senses. Soon she began to crave every opportunity to wager her drab existence for the thrills that Joop's holidays provided.

This assignment was so promising because there was apparently no end in sight. Instead of another kidnapping, he tasked her with planting a GPS tracking device on one of the targets. But the stakes were higher now that one of them seemed to be involved with British Intelligence. Joop however had friends in high places as well. She knew it would be difficult to get close enough to plant the device. She had spied for Joop many times, but this was her first attempt at an undercover role. She had every reason to believe that it would be interesting.

***


The four of them walked from Tim's house along the posh section of Station Rd to the Old Town. Just where it turned into Aylesbury End they split up Tim ducked into the Charles Dickens. The Persian continued down Aylesbury, the tall man followed and alley through a parking lot that came out on London End and he doubled back then crossed the road. Matt made a similar maneouver in the opposite direction. They all finally converged on the Royal Saracen's Head. Then they cut through to a back door while Tim remained chatting with the landlord to see if anyone had followed them. The local pub owners all knew Tim and with the MI6 nearby, these antics were a frequent site and locals just would assume they were tradecraft trainees. From there they crossed to the White Hart, took a table in the corner with a good view of the door. After glancing at his mobile phone, Tim began the informal meeting.

"My contractors have been positioned for counter-surveillance. They tell me we weren't followed. Well done.

My good friend here has told me he plans to pursue the rest of the Hoshen stones. I will let him address this himself, but first a few logistical matters and an announcement of my own. I've arranged for each of you to have a satellite phone courtesy of one of my business partners. They are secured with my latest encryption technology, data enabled at close to broadband speed. Full keyboard, hi res color screen and a 3 gig camera with graphics upload. I recommend using the text messaging whenever possible, as it is the most secure. Which leads to the next matter. I've been contacted by some of my former colleagues, some of which are now customers. They've found out I'm harboring a notorious international antique book thief, and even worse, this criminal has made a Dutch crime kingpin unhappy. This is no doubt the source of the recent attack. Even more troubling, my sources say this person has powerful international connections, both official and illict. And frankly they are quite annoyed with me for getting involved and even more so for not explaining why. Therefore as a law abiding citizen of the Crown and responsible business man, my overt involvement in this affair must come to an end. Of course I will continue to help in what ever way I can behind the scenes."

He turned to the tall man who made eye contact with everyone assembled before speaking.

"Let me first say thank you for your invaluable assistance my friend. Without it we should certainly be dead or in jail. And Matt I am greatful for your help and that of your parents. We've roped you into something that has turned out more dangerous than planned. Would you still consider taking the safe route and opting out?"

Matt laughed and shook his head.

"Well I can't say I'm sorry. But it's important for you to know that you are free to opt out of this adventure whenever you wish. I can't even share with you why the stones are important, because I'm not sure myself. It's too early for any speculation, but I strongly suspect that these jewels not only have an enormous significance for the destiny of the Jewish people, but for the rest of humanity as well.

The situation is this. There are several possible leads for the rest of the stones, but as you could guess, they are likely to be scattered across the globe. Based on the She'erit Yisrael and some letters from Menasseh of Carjaval, it is clear that one trail leads to the new world. A group of Conversos who immigrated from Portugal to Brazil were in constant contact with ben Israel, they even offered him a job. When the Dutch briefly conquered Brazil, they began again to live openly as Jews, only to have to flee when the Portuguese gained ascendancy again. Having been turned away from Jamaica and Cuba, they sailed for New Amsterdam. The governor Peter Stuyvesant wanted to expel them, but his employer, The Dutch West India Company, had some Jewish stockholders in Holland who intervened on their behalf. When the city fell into British hands, Menasseh's mission to England ensured it would be more friendly to the Jews than it's namesake.

The Persian and I will go there first because I believe it is one of the more likely places one of the stones ended up. But I will need you Matt to follow a different route. There is another Dutch colony where Menasseh was in touch with Jews that holds a strong possibility that for the destination of one of the stones. The clue was a mention of a people called the Lembas that claim to be a lost Tribe of Israel. They are obviously native Africans and no one took them seriously until recently a Jewish South Africa scientist proved that they carry a distinctive marker gene that belongs only to the priests of Israel, the cohanim. The daughter of that scientist is a good friend. She has volunteered to assist you. She is in Israel now, but has agreed to return to her homeland for the duration of this part of the quest. Not only will you find she has no fear of danger and mayhem, but she seems to thrive on it. You should plan on taking the first flight available to Johannesburg. She will keep her identity a secret, but you will know her by an old nickname I gave her, Shaka Cohen."
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evariste in Discarded Lies:
US already launching raids into Syria?
James Joyner reads between the lines and speculates that the US may already be launching mounting limited raids into Syrian territory. I doubt it. Considering we're trying to get the Security Council to go along with a resolution that potentially threatens the use of force, if we're already doing it that undermines our case. For what it's worth, though...
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guest author: annie in Discarded Lies - Hyperlinkopotamus:
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