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Total number of comments: 13 (since 2013-11-28 16:32:53)


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  • Saudi Arabia: Foreign Workers Burn Buses After Massive Layoffs
    • It should be made very clear that the lay-offs have been due to the Saudi government's non-payment of their contract with the Binladin Group. BG's lay-offs represent just the largest example of what is happening all throughout the country. Riyadh is impossible to pass because of congested traffic from construction sites that have been long-abandoned, due to the same reasoning. Friends of mine are affected: their companies have been forced to shut down in the wake of non-payment of long ago signed contracts, forcing them to let go of the staff, and pack up and evict their office buildings. Almost everything built in Saudi is ultimately paid for by the government, who then uses their preferred contractors/companies to implement the projects, and I've not spoken to one owner/manager who has been paid within the past 5-6 months. This example is the most visible therefore, but don't overlook the knock-on effect, and the thousands of smaller companies that are genuinely suffering.

  • More US Muslims favor Bernie Sanders than do US Jews
    • I find it rather more revealing that a significantly higher percentage of Muslims support the female candidate. After all, the mainstream media would have us believe that surely women are (to be) oppressed and prevented from any form of independence!

  • Russian Annexation of Crimea, Israeli Annexation of Palestine
    • I would argue that the Isr/Pal analogy is backwards. The Israelis came from Europe into the ME, and took the land from the historical inhabitants. Crimea was only recently 'gifted' (some say in a drunken moment) to Ukraine - itself only a recent creation in history. How can you say that this annexation was by 'force', when a clear overwhelming 97% majority voted to return to Russia? I remember the voting in Gaza re: Hamas, and that majority was rejected also.

  • Defecting Saudi Prince: Royal Family in Panic at Arab Revolts, Thousands imprisoned
    • Perhaps people ought to suspend some judgement on Saudi Arabia until they have been there personally, for more than a weeks' visit. I choose to live there and have for years; one tends to give up setting the record straight.

      MEMRI and others will always find footage to demonise. If Saudi Arabia chose to, there is no shortage of footage about atrocities in the US. The Zimmerman trial, Weiner's latest sext, school massacres on a frequent basis...these could be used as propaganda against America as being a barbaric dangerous country. But they are not. The return courtesy is never granted: media stories are *far* easier to swallow whole. That saves any intellectual rigour.

      Those in glass houses...

    • It is important to know that this prince is from the farthest branch of a tree that extends far and wide and is considered a nobody. Until this publicity, no one had heard of him. The king stopped subsidising every member of the royal family back in 2005, so it is easy to see how some don't like having to find employment. He has - according to my source from the group he claims to have joined in London - taken funds for taking this public action, by the anti-Saudi dissidents.

      The footage by RT shows a repeating loop of demonstrations from last year that did not spread. They must assume that by repeating it viewers will believe Saudi Arabia is suffering protests and riots. It is not. One protest a year ago does not equate to 'under riots'.

      Lastly, RT including footage of Afghanistan or Pakistan doesn't exactly bolster credibility. Anyone familiar with Saudi Arabia will know this is a borderline clown-car show.

      There is repression of free speech regarding the royal family and Islam, and I have several friends who have ended up in prison for such - on both sides of the spectrum: too liberal or too 'extreme'. But the Saudis look at the NSA/DEA/FISA issues in the US, the 'Pussy Riot' protest in Russia, etc (pick a country under perfection and name it), and ask, what is everyone's problem? One couldn't criticise the royal family in England until recently in history; this is not unusual. Quaint, but not worthy of implying a military driving around the streets of Riyadh, machine guns cocked and ready. BMWs yes, but not a tank or armed vehicle in sight.

  • Republicans Tip world off to covert CIA Role in Libya
    • >>There is no US consulate in Benghazi ... [Clinton] never used the word “consulate.” ... she used instead the words ‘U.S. diplomatic post ... There is (and was) no US consulate in Benghazi. No consul. No consular officials.<<

      False. A "diplomatic post" means 'consulate'. Or posting. Or Embassy. Or letter.

  • Muslims are no Different, or why Bill Maher's blood libel is Bigotry
    • Maher has never ever been funny. Here in England - where we are somewhat known for our humour - we have a truism: if a comedian needs to pause before his laugh line/response, he is not funny.

      Keep that in mind next time you watch him pause, wait for his adulation, and continue in his racist rants.

      And shame on all so-called liberal guests (Rachel Maddow, Lawrence O'Donnell, Michael Moore, etc.) who appear on his programme. It's tacit support of - as David Moore points out - 21st century 'Sambo' mockery.

  • Romney, and Aryan Racial Theory as a basis for Foreign Policy
    • The Scots would be deeply offended to be referred to as English, and vice versa. Ditto the Welsh, and Irish. Furthermore, we have the Northern Irish (part of the UK), and Irish from the Republic of Ireland (Eire) which is not a part of the UK and is certainly part of the EU. Everyone makes a strident point to correct anyone of one of the other countries in the UK if they assume, for example, someone from N. Ireland is from Scotland; they go out of their way not to correct foreigners who make the same assumption - that would be impolite.

      The UK is a nation of nations, with four separate countries but all four, are British citizens (subjects). However, Great Britain only refers to three countries (England, Scotland and Wales) above - in part. The British *Isles*, however, does include Northern Ireland (but, not the Republic of Ireland/Eire of course). The Outer Hebrides and Shetland Islands of Scotland are *not* part of Great Britain, and in fact the OH doesn't even consider itself part of Scotland much of the time (I am often there; it's a sore point of discussion).

      England is the largest country in the UK and the centre of Parliament with London as the capital, although Scotland, N. Ireland and Wales have their own seats of government also.

      See, easy isn't it?

      Point being: Not even we get this right, so I think it's a bit much to castigate Romney for saying he's visiting England.

      Is *is* misleading, in my humble opinion, for both Romney and Obama to gloss over the very obvious point of 50% of the president's heritage. It was quite the sore point here in the UK, to feign being all-black or 'the first black president' as though he was attempting to hide half his ancestry. As the parent of children who are of mixed (another) race, I would be deeply offended if my half, or my spouse's half, of DNA were avoided as though a political embarrassment.

      Political correctness or expediency seemingly knows no bounds, on either side.

    • Indeed, Romney's notion of understanding us as a people based on fallacious logic (Obama's skin colour a division), is patently absurd.

      Under no circumstances can the Republican party members of Congress or ex-Governor(s) claim to be sympatico with us.

      Unless Romney wishes to align himself (back) with a national health care service, as we happily cling to with pride.

    • I'm not quite sure I understand the objection to Anglo-Saxon as a definition. *We* use it all the time over here, in every day parlance. There is no connection whatsoever to Nazi Germany, and in truth this is a first, reading here that the term is wrought with Nazi overtones.

      We are terribly proud of this part of our heritage, which has managed to produce some pretty astounding people and history. We aren't about to let one man in a very short period in very recent history alter that fact in the least. It simply has never been an issue. Nor should it be now.

    • "Well, I thought, the other parts of the United Kingdom– Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland– are going to be miffed that he only came to see the English. People in the UK are still probably not entirely used to being called Britons, but most would prefer that to English where that is not what they are."

      As an Englishman, I would rather disagree.

      We don't refer to ourselves as Brits over here; that is left to others to do, labelling us because there is little distinction between an Englishman, Scot, Irishman or Welshman.

      We proudly call ourselves exactly what we are: English. Or Scot.

      So although we are all in shock and awe that America is actually putting forth Mitt Romney as the Republican candidate, we are not offended in the least that anyone visiting England would say precisely that. If Romney's not travelling to Wales, Ireland or Scotland, he is - in fact - correct. And no offence taken by us, so a bit surprising it caused comment over there!

  • Saudi ban on women’s sports blamed for rising obesity (Zambarakji)
    • The problem here in Saudi is not the exercise per se, and conflating such with increasing obesity misses the point.

      First, it is *absurd* to restrict exercise programmes, gyms, sports and any other health related activity. The ignorance of those screeching about 'appearance of lost virginity' is no different to every culture in history, who restricted women from all manner of freedom using this insane argument. Women always rode horses and camels, and the physical exertion required would have certainly caused broken hymens in a good percentage of women! (And the elder women would have known precisely how to circumvent that potential 'problem' on the honeymoon...)

      Second, the heat of the desert lends itself to a sedentary lifestyle no matter what, and thus a tendency towards obesity. Thus, it is even more important to implement sport/health programmes.

      Third, the Western diet has become far too popular with the under 30s, and fast-food is replacing the traditional foods rapidly.

      Finally, the relatively recent phenomenon of sleeping and eating in reverse, particularly at Ramadan, has led to an entire society working well into the night and not beginning work until noon or later, as well as sleeping all day when one is supposed to feel the effects of fasting. The point of it all is being missed when you reverse schedules in order to 'pig-out' before sleeping through the day because it's otherwise too much hardship.

      The first responder is correct, in that the Saudis seem hell bent on managing to undermine progress. It's hard enough countering the genuine myths, let alone the uneducated religious clerics who are so afraid of women that their solution is to prevent them from being seen, heard and independent. And yes, it is getting worse.

  • Rubio Calls for War on Iran, Syria-- as Israeli Army Rejects Strike
    • Professor Cole,

      Whilst I have been referring to your original translation of the mythological 'wipe Israel off of the map' claim since you first made us aware, I find I nevertheless face incredulity whether amongst Iranian ex-pats, or ought-to-know better colleagues.

      'The Huns were bayonetting babies' lasted throughout WWI in Great Britain and repeated for WWII. No doubt there are a few old-timers who remember their parents insisting it was true long after proved false by anyone who spoke German, an officer who defected or was caught, and/or later field reports made public.

      Surely you know, therefore, that the main stream media (MSM)- and the White House - cannot afford to walk back their collective repetition of the Iranian mistranslation [sic] now.

      Let us therefore try a little academic exercise: Now that Dan Meridor is on record confirming the comment false, we must document every single time the MSM, campaign staff, think tank staffers, administration officials, or candidates for the presidency continue to repeat it.

      Then let us see just who is perpetuating an intent.

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