discarded lies: thursday, september 21, 2017 4:59 pm zst
A Politburo of Two
daily archive: 11/05/2005
guest author: evariste in Discarded Lies - Hyperlinkopotamus:
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floranista in The Secret Garden:
Celebrate lwc!
Come inside the garden lwc, there's a card for you...
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guest author: lazytart in Discarded Lies - Hyperlinkopotamus:
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guest author: Fay in Discarded Lies:
What Would Bloggie Comrades Do?
This afternoon I went to the local supermarket to make a couple of photocopies. To get to the photocopier you have to walk past a bank machine and a lotto counter. As I approached the bank machine I saw $20 on the floor, I think a guy behind me saw it at almost the same time judging by the noises he was making. I walked up to the nearest cashier and held out the $20 to her and told her I had just found it on the floor (the guy behind me almost did a double take, I guess he thought I would just pocket it). The cashier looked at me as though I just landed from Mars, shrugged her shoulders and said "it's yours." I asked if she was sure and she said yes, if she took it, she said, it would just go into the cash register. After a few more seconds of "are you sures" from me I left with the $20.

Then I started to feel guilty. What if it belonged to some poor old person who needed it for groceries or to a single parent with kids to feed. But what else could I have done with it really. I couldn't put up a sign saying "Found $20 phone xxx" And if someone came in and said they had lost $20 how could they prove it?

Anyway my questions to the comrades are:

1. Would you have done anything differently?
2. Would you feel guilty about keeping it?
3. Should I donate $10 to charity and keep the other $10? (this is what I think I'll do).
4. Should I just enjoy it?
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evariste in Discarded Lies:
Technology returns the joy of music to a deaf man
This guy fell in love with Ravel's Boléro at age 15, lost his hearing entirely in 2001, and eventually, with much persistent pestering of researchers and volunteering to be a guinea pig, got to hear his favorite piece of music again by helping scientists fine-tune his cochlear implant. A really inspiring story.

Wired 13.11: My Bionic Quest for Boléro
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guest author: ?دنق ا٠ب٠ق٠ Frank IBC in Discarded Lies - Hyperlinkopotamus:
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guest author: unsigned in Discarded Lies - Hyperlinkopotamus:
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guest author: annie in Discarded Lies - Hyperlinkopotamus:
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guest author: annie in Discarded Lies - Hyperlinkopotamus:
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zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
In support of Israel
Deepdiver from Gardjola:
By popular request I’ve translated into English the speech which Magdi Allam gave at the demo in Rome in support of Israel’s right to its existence. It’s interesting to note that neither the BBC, which found lots of space to talk about the anti-Bush demos in Latin America, nor our local media, just a few short miles away from Italy, have deemed this protest – which was attending by several thousand Italians – worthy of notice. One wonders why.
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evariste in Discarded Lies:
Who Is “Gideon Taylor"?
I'm sure you're familiar with the piece of slime passing for poetry in a recent collection of poems by young people in the UK, to be distributed in all the schools there. Julie Burchill:
I've always distrusted both a) cretins who believe in the inherent goodness of children, and b) people who write poems. So imagine my delight when I read in the singularly excellent newsletter of the Middle East commentator Tom Gross about a piece of verse published in the new collection "Great Minds," a collection of poems by 11- to 18-year-olds, which is to be distributed in schools throughout Britain.

Jewish organizations here are quite rightly quite upset about inclusion of a poem by one "Gideon Taylor," a boy of 14, which includes the lines: "Jews are here, Jews are there, Jews are almost everywhere, filling up the darkest places, evil looks upon their faces." Obviously not a young man who believes that less is more, Master Taylor goes for the big finale: "Make them take many paces for being one of the worst races, on their way to a gas chamber where they will sleep in their manger. I'll be happy Jews have died."

In its defense, the publisher of the book says that the poem states at one point "I am Adolf Hitler." But this has not convinced the hundreds of Jews and Christians - but interestingly, not Muslims - who have seen fit to complain, nor the young Labor MP Louise Ellman, who while notoriously tough-minded and cool-headed, has called the piece an incitement to racial hatred.

Rather creepily, "Gideon Taylor" is the only contributor in the entire book whose school or location is not included. Even creepier, the country's education minister, Ruth Kelly - a devout Catholic who is a member of the extremist cult Opus Dei, which astoundingly has an even more shameful history of anti-Semitism and Nazi-helping than the Church generally, not to mention whipping themselves for kicks - has yet to respond. And respond she should. And the publishers should do what the Holocaust Educational Trust has asked them to do: issue a formal apology and remove the poem. Because one does not have to be a paranoid Jew - or in my case, a paranoid "Jew-lover," as many correspondents have seen fit to expose me as over the years - to believe that there is no way a poem which stated "Blacks are here, blacks are there, blacks are almost everywhere" or "I'll be happy Muslims have died" would be in a book handed out like sweeties from a pedophile to the nation's schoolchildren, even if it was made clear that the verse was written from the warped perspective of a white supremacist.

Once more, Jews are on the end of the hobnailed-boot while other minorities are handled with kid gloves. The idea seems to be that because they can "pass" for white, or because the Holocaust was "a long time ago," liberties may be taken with their feelings which no one would dream of doing to other, louder minorities. Can we trust the teaching profession not to have the usual quotient of anti-Semites among them? I don't see why. What's to stop them using a piece of writing like this as a starting point for peddling their own poisonous views?

In a country - mine! - where a Palestinian physics teacher recently terrified a group of children by telling them that he knew how to make bombs and would blow up their school bus if they didn't behave, this isn't quite as far-fetched as it may seem.
Why were Gideon Taylor's real school and location not included? One possible reason is that 14-year-old student Gideon Taylor doesn't exist; he's a poison-pen-name for one of the "adults" involved in the "Great Minds" project. A thimbleful of cognac to Pooh, who thought to Google "Gideon Taylor" and found this. Pooh says "coincidence? I think not," and I don't think so either.
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guest author: Meg in Discarded Lies - Hyperlinkopotamus:
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guest author: annie in Discarded Lies - Hyperlinkopotamus:
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guest author: Stormi in Discarded Lies - Hyperlinkopotamus:
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zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
France is sitting on her hands
Rioting Spreads From Paris Across France. I find it unbelievable that the army hasn't been deployed all this time and that the rioting has been allowed to spread. The article mentions that 250 people have been arrested, "a sweep unprecedented since the unrest began" and that is truly laughable; in the three days of the LA riots, there were 12,000 arrests.
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guest author: ?دنق ا٠ب٠ق٠ Frank IBC in Discarded Lies - Hyperlinkopotamus:
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guest author: annie in Discarded Lies - Hyperlinkopotamus:
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evariste in Discarded Lies:
A Monroe Doctrine for the Internet
This Foreign Affairs article is mostly a boring rehash, except for the author's interesting characterization of an obscure Department of Commerce statement as a "Monroe Doctrine" for the internet's root DNS server system. In the end, this whole thing is retarded, because countries that want to break free of ICANN's root servers can just set up their own and order their ISPs to use them, and the internet will continue to provide their citizens with mindless productivity-destroying distractions such as this blog you're reading right now. Get back to work, you bums!
As historic documents go, the statement issued by the U.S. Department of Commerce on June 30 was low-key even by American standards of informality. No flowery language, no fountain-penned signatures, no Great Seal of the United States -- only 331 words on a single page. But the simplicity of the presentation belied the importance of the content, which was Washington's attempt to settle a crucial problem of twenty-first-century global governance: Who controls the Internet?

Any network requires some centralized control in order to function. The global phone system, for example, is administered by the world's oldest international treaty organization, the International Telecommunication Union, founded in 1865 and now a part of the UN family. The Internet is different. It is coordinated by a private-sector nonprofit organization called the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), which was set up by the United States in 1998 to take over the activities performed for 30 years, amazingly, by a single ponytailed professor in California.

The controversy over who controls the Internet has simmered in insular technology-policy circles for years and more recently has crept into formal diplomatic talks. Many governments feel that, like the phone network, the Internet should be administered under a multilateral treaty. ICANN, in their view, is an instrument of American hegemony over cyberspace: its private-sector approach favors the United States, Washington retains oversight authority, and its Governmental Advisory Committee, composed of delegates from other nations, has no real powers.

This discontent finally boiled over at the UN's World Summit on the Information Society, the first phase of which was held in Geneva in December 2003 (the second phase is set for November in Tunis). Brazil and South Africa have criticized the current arrangement, and China has called for the creation of a new international treaty organization. France wants an intergovernmental approach, but one fundamentally based on democratic values.{See Footnote 1} Cuba and Syria have taken advantage of the controversy to poke a finger in Washington's eye, and even Zimbabwe's tyrant, Robert Mugabe, has weighed in, calling the existing system of Internet governance a form of neocolonialism.

How did such a welcomed technology become the source of such discord? Everyone understands that the Internet is crucial for the functioning of modern economies, societies, and even governments, and everyone has an interest in seeing that it is secure and reliable. But at the same time, many governments are bothered that such a vital resource exists outside their control and, even worse, that it is under the thumb of an already dominant United States. Washington's answer to these concerns -- the Commerce Department's four terse paragraphs, released at the end of June, announcing that the United States plans to retain control of the Internet indefinitely -- was intended as a sort of Monroe Doctrine for our times. It was received abroad with just the anger one would expect, setting the stage for further controversy.
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guest author: Frank IBC in Discarded Lies - Hyperlinkopotamus:
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evariste in Discarded Lies:
The epitome of manhood
Peter Sprenger was in the 101st Airborne, and he lost an eye in Iraq to a suicide bomber. Now he's back as a Ranger.
On the morning of December 9, 2003, Peter Sprenger was 2 weeks from the end of an eventful tour in Iraq. He'd been at the "tip of the spear," in army parlance, spending the preceding 10 months roaring through the invasion of Iraq, occupying Baghdad, securing other restive towns. As a member of the 101st Airborne Division, he had a clear mission: to probe for trouble and take care of it. But on that particular morning, the trouble found him.

Corporal Sprenger drew radio duty that day in company headquarters in Tal Afar, 60 miles southwest of Mosul. He felt relatively safe in the shadow of a two-story guard tower, behind barbed wire and barricades, sheltered by a 12-foot-high cinder-block wall. The front doors of the building were open to the morning air. Sprenger wore no flak jacket, no helmet.

At 4:40 a.m., he heard gunfire and suspected that it issued from neighboring buildings. But, no, it had come from the guard tower, and the bullets and barricades had failed to halt a suicidal insurgent bent on delivering 1,000 pounds of TNT to the 101st's doorstep. The bomb detonated 10 to 15 yards from where Sprenger was standing.

Knocked down and blinded by the explosion, he crawled back to his position and patted himself down for missing parts. He felt warm blood, punctured flesh, and a confused tangle of facial features. He peeled back a tattered eyelid and saw a spiderweb of lines radiating out from a bloodred center. He remembers thinking, Yes, well, we'd better let a professional deal with that one.

The eye that Corporal Sprenger sacrificed that morning, the seven units of blood he left on the walls and floor, are real costs. "Going through all that changes you," he notes, with typical understatement. For a lot of men, it would embitter or destroy them. But in Sprenger's case, it focused his vision of who he is and what he hopes to gain from his life. "People don't look far enough into the future," he says, "and gauge what's realistic for them to accomplish."

But he has. And that vision drove him to rehab his many wounds, turn down the desk job the army offered, and gear up for the most rigorous training any infantryman can endure: Ranger School.

Sprenger not only passed it, but was also singled out as the epitome of the Ranger creed--"Readily will I display the intestinal fortitude required to . . . complete the mission, though I be the lone survivor"--and asked to recite that creed at his graduation ceremony last July.

Since the army began keeping records a quarter century ago, he is the first man with his kind of physical disability to earn the Ranger patch. And by the time you read this, he will have returned to Iraq. As he puts it, he needs to finish what he started.
You can't keep a good man down. Read the whole thing.
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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: mauro in Discarded Lies - Hyperlinkopotamus:
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guest author: Dances With Typos 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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