discarded lies: friday, june 23, 2017 11:40 am zst
daily archive: 12/22/2004
zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
The Fundamentalists
Every year these fundamentalists renew their assault on Christmas and its Christian meaning. Sometimes they claim the Constitution bars any expression of religion in government venues (it doesn't). Or they speak of "sensitivity" to those of other faiths. Or they couch their censorship in the language of "tolerance" and "diversity." Or they simply oppose any reference to Christmas at all.

One way or another they end up demanding that America's vast Christian majority keep its religious feelings to itself. It's an outrageous demand, and it leads to outrageous results:

- In Maplewood and South Orange, N.J., the school board has banned all Christmas carols, even instrumentals, from holiday concerts.

- In Denver, the city's annual Parade of Lights included German folk dancers, a gay and lesbian Indian group, and belly dancers -- but a Christian-themed float was banned because it would have included a message reading "Merry Christmas."

- In Southwest Florida, the rule against celebrating holidays in so rigid that one middle school principal told the Sarasota Herald Tribune: "You won't see any Christmas trees around here. We keep it generic."

- In New York City, official school board policy authorizes displays of "Christmas trees, menorahs, and the [Muslim] star and crescent" -- which it describes as "secular holiday symbol decorations" -- but prohibits depictions of the nativity.

- In Franklin, Mich., the annual Holly Day celebration has been renamed the Franklin Winter Festival. "Holly Day," the sponsors decided, sounded too Christmassy. "We wanted to try to make it more inclusive."
A Jew wishes a "Merry Christmas"
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guest author: Sine in Discarded Lies:
Anyone But Hillary
Joan Vennochi of the Boston Globe is planning ahead. Who should the Dems run for president next time?

The political year ends with Democratic Party leaders searching for a new moral compass -- and concluding, foolishly, that morality is only a focus group away. Blaming the November loss on issues like abortion, they want to be for and against it. With finesse and spin, Democrats long to believe red-state voters will return to them in 2008 -- even though it didn't work in 2004.

It definitely won't work if Hillary Clinton is leading the charge.

Whether you view her as Bill Clinton's victim or co-conspirator, she helped take the country down the path of half-truths and bold lies, from "I didn't inhale" to "I did not have sexual relations with that woman . . . "

The bumper stickers are correct. No one died when Clinton lied. But something was extinguished: respect for the office, the man, his wife, and the truth.

For everyone who looks at Hillary Clinton and sees a fund-raising superstar, remember: Money was not the deciding factor in Bush's reelection.

This year, the Democrats ran an anyone-but-Bush campaign. They should begin their 2008 quest thinking about a candidate other than Clinton.

Vennochi also looks briefly at alternatives to Hillary and concludes that John Kerry might be a reasonably good contender. How lame are the Dems, anyway?

Who Can Lead the Democrats?
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zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
An Anniversary of Shame
On December 22, 1971 a Nazi was elected to be in charge of peace and justice in the world. Kurt Waldheim served as United Nations Secretary-General for eleven years.
Waldheim claimed that he spent the rest of the war studying law in Vienna, but it is now known that he was an interpreter and intelligence officer for German army units stationed in Nazi-occupied Yugoslavia and Greece from 1943 and 1945. Waldheim's units engaged in brutal reprisals against Yugoslav partisans and civilians and deported most of the Jewish population of Salonika, Greece, to Nazi death camps.
From Israpundit: A typical UN anniversary

(many thanks to our papijoe)
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ev and zorkie in Discarded Lies:
A Polyethnic, Diverse Regional Culture Of Intolerance
He had a deal with Pakistan's largest Islamist movement, and he's reneging, and they're furious. That's kind of interesting, but more interesting is the tangent this set us off on.
The Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal now does not accept General Pervez Musharraf as president or army chief, Qazi Hussain Ahmed announced at a rally in Liaqat Bagh here on Sunday.

“Now we do not accept him as president or chief of army staff because he has damaged all the prestigious institutions of the country, including, parliament, the judiciary and the armed forces,? Qazi said in an address to some 5,000 supporters in the rain. “Musharraf has become a security risk for the country.?

The MMA leader threatened to hold a sit-in in front of Parliament House if Gen Musharraf did not quit as army chief by December 31, and also announced that the alliance would observe January 1 as a “black day? throughout the country.

The MMA and the government reached an agreement over the 17th Amendment that allowed Gen Musharraf to hold his civil and military offices till December 31, but parliament later passed a law allowing him to keep both offices beyond that date, and the president has confirmed he will retain his uniform.

Maulana Fazlur Rehman, the secretary general of the MMA, did not attend the rally, even though he was in Islamabad. Hafiz Hussain Ahmed, the MMA deputy secretary general, refused to comment on his absence.

Qazi criticised Gen Musharraf for partnering with the United States in its “war against the Muslim Ummah?.

He claimed that Musharraf removed the column for religion from the new passports at the instigation of Washington and urged clerics to protest the issue on December 24.
Interestingly, Greece had large-scale social unrest over the same issue earlier. It seems traditional religions don't like it when their ability to identify, and cause trouble, for minorities is curtailed...The Greek Orthodox church raised hell! The Greek Jewish community predicted that it would face attacks in the wake of the Greek Orthodox church's scapegoating...and it did. It's not just Muslims and it's not just Christians, it's the broader regional ur-culture that is the problem, and change is coming very, very slowly, in fits and starts. We saw another interesting parallel in the Greek ID cards brouhaha:
On 2000-MAY-26, Ecumenical News International (ENI) reported that leaders of Jewish, Muslim, Roman Catholic, and other minority faith groups in Greece had expressed support for a government decision to scrap thr religious affiliation data. They felt that it would help reduce religious discrimination in the country. Until recently, Jehovah's Witnesses and Jews were barred from senior government jobs. Non-Orthodox faith groups have traditionally had difficulty obtaining building permits in the country.
Kind of like what the Copts have been complaining about in Egypt, they're not allowed to build churches by the authorities! Their longstanding complaints gained international prominence in the strange case of Wafaa' Constantine that we've covered here lately. The nature of the oppression is intriguingly similar while only the labels attached to the oppressors and the oppressed vary.
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zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
Christmas Wishes
From Eric the Unread and the Waiting Socialists: (no, they're not a rock band...)
In December 1948 a Washington radio station telephoned various ambassadors in the capital and asked what each would like for Christmas. Their replies were duly recorded and broadcast in a special programme the following week. “Peace throughout the world,? the French Ambassador requested. “Freedom for all people enslaved by imperialism,? his Soviet counterpart intoned ... Then came the voice of the British Ambassador, Sir Oliver Franks: “Well, it’s very kind of you to ask,? he politely remarked. “I’d quite like a box of crystallized fruit.?
[Source: Geoffrey Moorhouse, The Diplomats]
I'm with Sir Franks on this one. I love the stuff.

And here we have Mr Austin's suggestion, also very interesting:
One day in 1948, Warren Austin, America's Ambassador to the United Nations, urged the warring Arabs and Jews to sit down and settle their differences... "like good Christians."
Like, with a nice ham dinner and a good merlot perhaps?
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zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
A Stage, Not A Roadblock
I think peace takes more than treaties and speeches and leaders. Peace takes small acts of everyday kindness and appreciation. And more than anything, peace requires good hearts to take root.
On Thursday, West Bank resident Wissam Tayyem plans to carry his violin past the same IDF checkpoint where six weeks ago he was allegedly forced by an Israeli soldier to play a tune. But this time he is going at the invitation of an Israeli music center to participate in a three-day master violin class that brings together Jewish and Arab musicians.
Read it all after the jump.

(with many thanks to semite5000)
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guest author: Semite5000 in Discarded Lies:
My First Day of School
I had my first day of school today, although I did not do any teaching. It was more of an introduction to the faculty and 1,600 strong student body of Bonpo Elementary School. Nyeema and I were given tea and coffee and introduced to the School Master. A woman wearing a traditional "kimono" type outfit translated for us, and then gave us a tour of the classroom we will be teaching in. It's quite a class room. There were about 40 computers in there, a projector attached to a main computer and other types of computerized gadgets and electronics to make the Korean children's' English learning experience as hi-tech as possible. Like the Japanese, the Koreans are in love with hi-tech gadgetry.

Then we were taken to a class room with a stage festooned with balloons and ribbons. There was a desk off to the side where a little girl sat. A video camera faced her and another was aimed at the stage. Nyeema and I were seated on the stage along with a Korean guy who was starting his first day of work at the school.

Anyway, I'll finish the email later because John has to study and he has a week of exams coming up.

Stay tuned for the next installment of: Zak gets greeted at Bonpo Elementary and then taken out to a men's only dinner of traditional Korean food and drink!


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