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Total number of comments: 10 (since 2013-11-28 16:32:53)

Jason Kennedy

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  • Arabs and the Olympics (Majid)
    • It's marvellous to be topical, but there just isn't enough evidence in this post to make the argument stick.

      "The Arab world is comprised of 22 nations, with a combined population of approximately 350 million. That’s more than the population of the United States. Yet all these nations together were not able to get more than 12 medals, mostly bronze ones (8). Only three medals were silver and one gold. One."

      It's not good enough to compare the US with the Arab world by population.

      A quick search reveals that the US allocates 1bn $ per year to recipients of athletics scholarships and that these students make up 1-2% of the total student population (20 million), so that's 200 - 400,000 individuals enjoying excellent facilities and engaging in strong competition with one another.

      The Arab world has an enrolment rate of 21% in its universities and it seems these do not offer comparable facilities for sports.

      There is also the fact that the sport the Arab countries are most fanatical about, football, sucks up much of the best athletic talent and only offers two gold medals in what is one of the most fiercely contested sports.

      It's not clear how the second part, interesting as it may be, relates at all to the issue of the Arab countries' performances at the Olympics.

  • On Human unity and the "Curiosity" NASA Control Room
    • " I don’t see only one race or gender. I see human beings of various shades and cultures and both sexes"

      That's a keen eye you must have. A woman, a man from the Pacific Rim, Gandalf. If I missed a hobbit or two, forgive me.

  • White Terrorism at Oak Creek: The Paranoid Style in American Violence
    • Thanks, Juan, most useful thoughts I've seen yet on this.

      Your parallel between the shooter hitting the wrong target and the US invasion of Iraq is striking.

      On reflection, given the hateful atmosphere that has been whipped up within the US for a full decade, the vast majority of Americans must be commended for remaining models of restraint.

  • Looking out from the Misrata War Memorial Museum, Libya (Photo)
    • Yes, it was in 1966, and it happened before England won the World Cup, so it wasn't inspired by that particularly moment of national success.

  • Syria Spirals down
    • "the Syrian state is systematically practicing torture on a significant scale, and points out that this policy is a crime against humanity."

      I'd have preferred for this to be pursued. It would have added credibility to the WH denouncements of Syria's actions.

      As it is, even if Syria is torturing, so what? Maybe they simply put their 'big boy pants' on.

      link to

  • Flow Chart of Authority in Today's Egypt (!!!)
  • Uncertainty Grips an Egypt on the Brink
    • Calm down, son, it's called being cautious.

      Juan Cole is one of few Western venues to actually get some nuance on what's happening.

      If you are Egyptian and can access a wider range of media with your language skills, then good for you.

  • Minority Births the Majority? On how the whole idea of White People is Made Up
  • Top Ten Ways the US Military can Avoid Teaching Hatred of Muslims
    • This post doesn't manage to address the question of whether this was a glimpse into the reality of the DoD mindset toward Islam, ie: an implicit but almost always suppressed posture, or if it is genuinely the work of a few fringe kooks.

      Most of the commenters are going for the kooks version, but then, how was such material successfully produced and disseminated? What process is followed? And doesn't the fact that this process was successfully negotiated offer strong evidence that the content of the material is congruent with DoD thinking?

      It is the same question as lingers over Abu Graib - aberration, or something sanctioned by the entire system.

      We can argue either scenario, but please, let's not immediately jump to the conclusion that this problem is simply the instructor or the producer of the training manuals - they clearly felt themselves to be expressing a view that was consistent with the aims and thinking of the US military and it is that which requires far greater pause for thought re: implications.

  • Basic Facts on Clothing and Murder for American Bigots
    • A free society has always been a wager on the essential decency of the average citizen. What on earth is going wrong with the US? From the guy on a corner with a handgun, meting out 'justice' to America's enemies, to that guy at the top, Mr Obama, similarly meting out 'justice' when compiling his latest kill list of US-citizens for the CIA to dispatch by drone. It seems impunity is all the rage, and damn tolerance of any stripe, that's so pre-9/11.

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