discarded lies: saturday, december 16, 2017 8:26 pm zst
an octopus, full of judgement
daily archive: 12/29/2005
guest author: barnstorm ברנסטר? in Discarded Lies - Hyperlinkopotamus:
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guest author: barnstorm ברנסטר? in Discarded Lies - Hyperlinkopotamus:
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zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
You went where?!
If I was Farris Hassan's mom, I would slap him. Well, I would hug him first but then I would slap him. U.S. Teen Runs Off to Iraq by Himself.
Maybe it was the time the taxi dumped him at the Iraq-Kuwait border, leaving him alone in the middle of the desert. Or when he drew a crowd at a Baghdad food stand after using an Arabic phrase book to order. Or the moment a Kuwaiti cab driver almost punched him in the face when he balked at the $100 fare.

But at some point, Farris Hassan, a 16-year-old from Florida, realized that traveling to Iraq by himself was not the safest thing he could have done with his Christmas vacation.

And he didn't even tell his parents.

Hassan's dangerous adventure winds down with the 101st Airborne delivering the Fort Lauderdale teen to the U.S. embassy in Baghdad, which had been on the lookout for him and promises to see him back to the United States this weekend.

It begins with a high school class on "immersion journalism" and one overly eager — or naively idealistic — student who's lucky to be alive after going way beyond what any teacher would ask.
Someone is going to make a movie out of this story, I know it.
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guest author: evariste in Discarded Lies - Hyperlinkopotamus:
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guest author: Ed Mahmoud abu Beach Season is Over! in Discarded Lies - Hyperlinkopotamus:
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guest author: Stormi in Bloggies Of Our Lives:
The Saga of Stormi and RIP Ford
(originally featured in these comments)
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guest author: evariste in Discarded Lies - Hyperlinkopotamus:
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evariste in Discarded Lies:
Hezbollah's missile barrage is made in Russia
The IDF's outgoing intelligence chief says that Hezbollah's rockets of choice are made in Russia, sold to Syria, and passed on to Hezbollah. Anyone surprised? I guess old Russian rockets are still better than the Iranian's Islamic technology.
Oh, those Russians: Hizbullah has been using Russian-made RPG rockets purchased by Syria to target Israel, outgoing IDF Intelligence Chief Aharon Zeevi-Farkash charged in a special interview with Israel's leading newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth.


In his farewell interview, Farkash chose to blast the Russians for their contribution to the war waged by Hizbullah terrorists against Israel.

"The Russians' and Syrians' true face has been exposed, (they) buy and sell weapons with a commitment not to pass it on, yet those weapons are used against us in a blatant manner," he said.

Farkash noted that Hizbullah terrorists involved in the attempt to abduct soldiers on the Lebanese border about a month ago fired RPG-29 rockets. "Those are Russian-made rockets purchased by the Syrians in recent years and handed over to Hizbullah," he said.

"We are talking about a high-impact weapon because it has deep penetration capabilities," Farkash said. "The usage of rockets against us explains why Israel strongly opposed the sale of SA-18 missiles to Syria."

Turning his attention to the rockets fired on the northern town of Kiryat Shmona two days ago, Farkash said they too were Russian-made but came from older shipments.

"We know that in April 2005, ahead of the departure of Syrian forces from Lebanon, (President) Bashar Assad made sure to transfer military equipment and combat means to Palestinian groups and to Hizbullah," Farkash charged.

"And there it is…weapons Syria purchased from Russia are being handed over to elements that are acting against us," he said.
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zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
Clandestine Romances
Talk about complicated relationships: some border patrol agents fall in love with illegal aliens. One would think that guardians of the border would be a bit more circumspect. Then again, maybe it's not so easy to ask the person you're dating to show you their papers.
DOUGLAS, Ariz. — The forbidden romance between the Border Patrol agent and the illegal immigrant began in a gym.

Maria Terrazas, 31, met Jose Ruiz three years ago at LM's Body Builders in this remote border town. Terrazas, a waitress and mother of two, knew Ruiz was a catch. As a Border Patrol agent, Ruiz belonged to an elite class in town: available men with good jobs and an education.

The two began dating, and their relationship continued even after Terrazas was deported to Mexico in November 2004. She quickly bluffed her way through U.S. customs and back to Ruiz.

Terrazas, who said several of her illegal immigrant girlfriends have relationships with border agents, saw nothing unusual about dating a man whose job was to keep people like her out of the U.S. "He had his own job and I had mine," Terrazas said in an interview. "I never thought it'd cause problems."

But it did.

Terrazas faces deportation again and Ruiz, 30, is on leave from the patrol. A second agent has been charged with felonies for giving Terrazas a short ride across the border from Mexico. It is one of four felony cases stemming from a federal crackdown against corruption on the Arizona border.

That push has highlighted an open secret along the border: romance between illegal immigrants and those responsible for deporting them.

Some locals say that such relationships are inevitable in a town where the nearest movie theater is 51 miles north and the nearest nightclubs lie just across the border in Agua Prieta, Mexico. The clandestine romances, they add, also make a mockery of efforts targeting illegal immigrants, such as laws being considered by Congress that would mandate fences along sections of the border and fine employers who hire illegal aliens.

But such lines between the legal and illegal can be hard to draw on the southwestern border. For generations, families have easily moved back and forth between the U.S. and Mexico, and even Douglas' mayor says he doesn't know whether longtime residents are in the country legally or not. Border Patrol agents, often young, single and new to the area, can get caught between the clear dictates of U.S. immigration law and the ambiguities of the heart.

"The absurdity of it gets played out in the day-to-day lives of Border Patrol agents," said Jennifer Allen, director of the Border Action Network, an immigrant rights group based in Tucson. "Everybody knows somebody [in the U.S. illegally] who has some kind of relationship with a Border Patrol agent. Either someone in their family is married to one, or they're sleeping with one. People's lives are very complicated and intertwined and they're not very clear-cut."

To the U.S. attorney's office in Phoenix and Border Patrol officials, the issue is clear-cut, especially after the Sept. 11 attacks highlighted the importance of securing the nation's borders.

Agents aren't expected to inquire about the citizenship of women they meet socially, said Gustavo Soto, a Border Patrol spokesman in Tucson. "That's one of the last things a young lady wants to hear — 'Hey, you have any papers?' " he said. "But once that information is found, that the person is here illegally," the patrol expects the relationship to end.

Paul Charlton, U.S. attorney for the district of Arizona, said it's especially important to be diligent about enforcing immigration law in a state where 52% of all illegal immigrants caught entering the country are detained.

Charlton said of the agents: "These are individuals who have put aside concern, both for immigration laws and the security of their own country, for their own interests."

Border agents, or any U.S. citizen, who wish to marry foreigners can get approval to bring them into the country legally, Charlton said. But that approval doesn't always come smoothly.

Pablo Berry was a 17-year-old student at Douglas High School when he met the only woman he ever dated: classmate Claudia Veronica Vasquez-Banda, 18. Like many at the school, Vasquez-Banda, court records show, was an illegal immigrant.

After graduating, Berry held a series of minimum-wage jobs that reflected the paucity of opportunities on the border — picking chiles, cooking at a Kentucky Fried Chicken — before securing an $11-an-hour post at a resort in Sedona, Ariz. In March 2003, the couple's daughter, Emily, was born. Berry needed better pay to support his family.

In southern Arizona, there was only one growth industry: the Border Patrol. Berry's hometown of 17,000 was opening a new station with 500 agents and entry-level wages of $40,000 a year.

Berry joined the patrol in July 2003, stating in his application that he had no illegal immigrants in his household.

"He was blinded by love," said Berry's attorney, Gary Spector. "If you have a family member [who's an illegal immigrant] you don't feel it's as egregious as someone who's trying to sneak across the border."

In October 2004, the couple went to U.S. customs to apply for citizenship for Vasquez-Banda. But a customs supervisor saw them enter the post from the Douglas side of the border and determined that Vasquez-Banda had been in the U.S. illegally, Spector said.

Earlier this month, Berry, 23, who pleaded guilty to making a false statement on his job application, apologized to a federal judge in a Tucson courtroom. "I know what I did was bad," said Berry, who resigned from his job that day. He had in the meantime married Vasquez-Banda.

"I took a chance," Berry said, "but I love my wife — I won't leave her."

He was sentenced to two years' probation. His wife now has a permit to work in this country.

Assistant U.S. Atty. Mary Sue Feldmeier praised Berry for admitting his guilt, but called his behavior "the ultimate hypocrisy — while deporting other illegal aliens, [Berry] goes home to an illegal alien every night."

Sometimes after agents fall in love unwittingly with an illegal immigrant, they're too committed to the relationship to end it. Ramon Sanchez Jr. was fresh out of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement training academy when he met his girlfriend at a Tucson music shop in August 2004. Court records indicate that Sanchez, who worked for the agency that handles deportations, did not realize she was in the U.S. illegally until four months later.

Three weeks after their wedding in February, the Department of Homeland Security got an anonymous tip that Sanchez had married an illegal immigrant. Sanchez was arrested at his desk the following month and pleaded guilty to harboring an illegal immigrant.

Sanchez, who is awaiting sentencing, did not respond to a request for an interview and his lawyer declined to comment.

Charlton, the U.S. attorney, said that agents like Sanchez violated the law when they knew their partners were in the country illegally yet did not act.

Ray Borane, the mayor of Douglas, said agents had reason not to. He said he knew at least two illegal immigrant-Border Patrol couples who wanted to remain secret. Agents developed such relationships naturally.

"They're very much available, they're out socializing," Borane said.

Whether the people they socialize with are legal U.S. residents can change from week to week. Terrazas insisted she was in the country legally when she met Ruiz but that that permission expired two years later, just before she was deported.

Ruiz could not be reached and his attorney had no comment.

Terrazas said her relationship with Ruiz soured after her return to the U.S. Ruiz became jealous when Terrazas accompanied another agent to nightclubs, she said, and he threatened to deport her.

On Jan. 22, police responded to a domestic violence call at Ruiz's apartment. Terrazas said Ruiz had hit her, and prosecutors charged Ruiz with assault.

But that charge was dropped in September after Terrazas' testimony raised questions about her credibility, court documents show. Authorities have initiated deportation proceedings against Terrazas, who said her two children, U.S. citizens who attend Douglas public schools, might suffer if she left the country.

The only person facing criminal prosecution in the case is Ephraim Cruz, an eight-year Border Patrol veteran who, with another off-duty agent, gave Terrazas a ride from the Mexican border to the U.S. side where her car was parked. Cruz said he saw Terrazas at Border Patrol functions and knew she was the girlfriend of another agent.

He contended the prosecution was retaliation for his complaints to Congress last year about what he called the abuse of detained immigrants in Douglas.

Interactions with illegal immigrants are inevitable, Cruz said. "How about the [Border Patrol] chief and his family when they eat out? Are they not served by illegal immigrants?"

Charlton would not comment on why Cruz, and no other agent, had been charged in the Terrazas' case.

Despite the fact that locals now know she is in the U.S. illegally, Terrazas said, she still gets asked out by agents.

One agent assured her that "my job is my job, and when I leave I can do what I want to do," she said.

But Terrazas is not interested anymore. She said, "I don't trust any of them."
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guest author: evariste in Discarded Lies - Hyperlinkopotamus:
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Chanukah V - They tried to kill us, we won - nu, let's eat!
The custom is to eat foods fried in oil on Chanukah, to commemorate the miracle with oil - typically, latkes (potato pancakes), and in Israel, sufganiyot (jelly donuts). In my house we also usually make french fried potatoes, eggplant parmesan, and batter-fried chicken cutlets on different nights of Chanukah.

Combining the oil with the custom to eat cheese that I mentioned yesterday, I thought that my favorite Shavu'ot recipe would fit both customs nicely:
Cheese Blintzes

BATTER
4 eggs
½ c milk
½ c water
1 c flour
¼ c sugar
1 package (around 2T) vanilla sugar
pinch of salt
1 T oil

In a large mixer bowl combine eggs, milk, water and blend well. Gradually add flour, then both sugars, salt and oil. Beat well until there are no lumps in the batter.
  • Using a paper towel or basting brush, apply a thin coating of oil to a 7" skillet. Place over medium heat till hot but not smoking.
  • Ladle approx. 1/3 cup of batter into the skillet. Tilt pan to swirl the batter to cover the bottom of the skillet.
  • Fry until bubbles start to form and top is set. Bottom should be golden brown.
  • Carefully loosen edges and slide onto plate.
  • Repeat until batter is used up.

FILLING
½ lb. Farmers cheese
4 ounces cream cheese
4 T honey or maple syrup [I use 2T of each :)]
Juice of ½ lemon
1 egg yolk

Combine all ingredients and beat well.

To Prepare:
Turn each crepe so that golden brown side is up. Place 3 T of filling towards one edge in a 2½" long by 1" wide mound. Fold bottom of crepe over filling. Fold in sides and then roll crepe up. Repeat until all filling is used.

Fry in oil on both sides till golden brown. Serve with sour cream.
I usually double the recipe and freeze some of the rolled and ready-to-fry blintzes for later.

I'm looking for a good recipe for Sufganiyot, so let me know if you have one that's tried and true (and authentic).
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evariste in Discarded Lies:
NYTreason
The New York Post hits hard at the New York Times's flirtation with outright treason:
Does The New York Times consider it self a law unto itself — free to subversively undercut basic efforts by any government to protect and defend its citizens?

The Times, it appears, is less concerned with promoting its dubious views on civil liberties than with undercutting the Bush administration. The end result of the paper's flagrant irresponsibility: Lives have been put in danger on the international, national and local levels.

The ability of the nation to perform the most fundamental mission of any government — protection of its citizens — has been pointlessly compromised.

The Jayson Blair and Judith Miller fias coes were high-profile embarrass ments for The Times, but at the end of the day mostly damaged the newspaper alone.

The NSA, CIA and NYPD stories are of a different order of magnitude — they place in unnecessary danger the lives of U.S. citizens.

The New York Times — a once-great and still-powerful institution — is badly in need of adult supervision.
The NYT is nothing but a trashy leftist slambook. And it deserves about as much respect as a news source as a typical teenage girl's slambook does.
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