Posts Tagged ‘doesn’

Romney in the Land of the Anglo-Saxon Uncertain Olympics: Not Ready for Prime Time

July 27th, 2012 Comments off

Mitt Romney, astonishingly, managed to turn what should have been an easy set of photo-ops and feel-good platitudes into a diplomatic comedy of errors that raise strong questions about his readiness for the presidency.

First, an adviser to the Romney campaign referred to “our” common Anglo-Saxon heritage with the United Kingdom, and said that President Obama doesn’t share that sentiment (apparently because one drop of African blood not only makes one African, it wipes out empathy for all other racial groups). Romney said that he did not agree with whoever the official in his campaign was, who made that observation. Note that Romney appeared to acknowledge that some official close to him did say it.

Then, Romney said, in an interview with Brian Williams, of London’s Olympic games,

“”You know, it’s hard to know just how well it will turn out. There are a few things that were disconcerting, the stories about the private security firm not having enough people, supposed strike of the immigration and customs officials, that obviously is not something which is encouraging. Because there are three parts that makes Games successful.”

Why would you use language like “disconcerting” and “not… encouraging” about the London Olympics on a diplomatic tour? Is Romney so competitive that his Salt Lake City Olympics has the be the best ever? Is he also running for Prime Minister of the UK against his host David Cameron? Is he just better than everybody else?

The government of Prime Minister David Cameron was furious at Romney’s slam at London. A senior British foreign ministry official told the Guardian: “What a total shocker. We are speechless.”

Cameron had been put in a difficult position by Romney’s visit, because protocol does not allow the British government to treat him as it would an elected head of state. But Cameron bent over backwards to accommodate Romney, only to be blindsided.

Then David Cameron was, like, “We are holding an Olympic Games in one of the busiest, most active, bustling cities anywhere in the world. Of course it’s easier if you hold an Olympic Games in the middle of nowhere.” He was having fun with Romney’s boasts about his role in the Salt Lake City Olympics, in Utah.

Then a spokesperson for the mayor of Salt Lake City, Ralph Becker, said: “(David Cameron) can stop by any time. We’d love to have him and are happy to send a map so he doesn’t run into any trouble locating the middle of nowhere.”

Then Romney met secretly with the head of MI6 (British overseas intelligence), which was supposed to be a secret meeting. He casually announced that he had met with the official. That sort of thing is supposed to be kept confidential in the UK.

Imagine that you were hiring a consultancy firm to go in and make good relations with a foreign concern. And imagine that the guy you sent in starts a shouting match between that company and your own because of his incompetence.

Would you later on hire the same consultant to prepare the way for an even bigger deal with multiple companies?

While it is all in good fun, there is some real annoyance being generated here.

If Romney couldn’t get the UK right, you wouldn’t want him leading the free world.

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Clients of Russia?

May 28th, 2012 Comments off
“The Russians now consider President Assad a liability,” said Dimitri K. Simes, a Russia expert and president of the Center for the National Interest in Washington. “But Putin doesn’t like having his clients removed one after another by the United States, and he considers Assad his client.””  So Mr. Smies: were Bin Ali, Mubarak, Salih, and Hamad all clients of Russia?  And when Qadhdhafi was overthrown, was he closer to US or to Russia? Enlighten us, please. 

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Al-Qa`idah’s media contact

May 10th, 2012 Comments off
Saad sent me this:  “I recently read of the selective releases of Bin Laden document stash by CTC, and found an article naming several western journalists that Al-Qaeda had supposedly listed as media contacts. Among them I found Gywnne Dyer – hadn’t heard of him before – and I decided to check him out. Here’s his work: and about him:. I was wondering whether you had heard of him before. And what you thought of his work. Couldn’t figure out whether he was working an angle or was genuine. He worked at Jerusalem Post (fired in ‘97), so that was an alarm bell. And several of his articles seem to give Israel and the U.S. a free pass on crimes I find despicable. Also, he keeps praising Rabin and Oslo. On the other hand, his recent articles on Syria exposing the opposition (i.e.)  and his (dare I say it) ‘realist’ approach to geopolitics looks good. Again, you may pick up something that I can’t but he doesn’t seem to pandering to any one side. I especially like his articles on Pakistan/India (i.e. ), where he doesn’t succumb to general India love affair in western journalism. Anyway, please let me know what you think. Looking forward to your reply.”

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Al Wasl coach Maradona hints at resigning if transfer of funds doesn't go his way

April 25th, 2012 Comments off

Al Wasl coach Diego Maradona has said that he might soon leave the UAE Pro League club if an imminent board meeting to discuss extra transfer funds doesn't go his way.
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AH-64 Apache Helicopter Crashes in Afghanistan

March 23rd, 2012 Comments off

Apache helicopter crash in Afghanistan– incredibly no one was hurt.

Apparently this video was leaked, and we don’t hear about woundings, crashes and other negative news in the US military in Afghanistan, only actual deaths. Unfortunately, our press doesn’t report much on even those deaths, and most Americans seem not to know or care that the US is at war in Afghanistan.

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Syrian constitutional referendum starts, but violence doesn’t stop – CNN

February 26th, 2012 Comments off

Globe and Mail

Syrian constitutional referendum starts, but violence doesn't stop
By the CNN Wire Staff A Syrian woman wearing a scarf with pictures of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad casts her vote on a new constitution at a polling station in Damascus on February 26. (CNN) — In what the government touts as a move toward reform,
Violence across Syria as constitution vote beginsThe Associated Press
Syria votes on new constitution referendum amid unrestBBC News
Syria referendum goes ahead amid military onslaughtHindustan Times

all 1,997 news articles »

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February 9th, 2012 Comments off, Q&A: Gloria Steinem on ending rape in war "It doesn’t matter where you look; sexualized violence is intrinsic to conflict. Gaddafi’s soldiers committed rape in the last days of Libya’s regime. The Egyptian military has been sexually violating female journalists and protesters in that revolution. Across the Democratic Republic of Congo, hundreds of thousands of women
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Graphic of World Military Spending (Iran’s too Small to Show up)

January 25th, 2012 Comments off

World military spending in 2010. Note that Iran’s is not a big enough proportion of world arms spending to show up on this map, which doesn’t show countries that are lower than 2% of the global total.

Courtesy Democratic Underground.

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Justin Bieber on Sen. Klobuchar’s Criminalization of the Internet: She should be put away in Cuffs

October 29th, 2011 Comments off

Justin Bieber went off on Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) on Friday, slamming her proposed legislation imposing criminal penalties for copyright violations on the internet and saying that she should go to prison. He said, “Whoever she is, she needs to know that I’m saying she needs to be locked up, put away in cuffs.”

He added, “People need to have the freedom…people need to be able to sing songs. I just think that’s ridiculous.”

He was asked if it was all right with him if fans sang his own songs on the Internet. He replied, “Are you kidding me? I check YouTube all the time and watch people singing my songs. I think it’s awesome.”

The interview can be heard here

Although Klobuchar’s office denied that her legislation would affect Bieber, the senator’s staff seems unaware that Bieber got his start covering other people’s songs and uploading the performances to YouTube. The bill, if passed, would not only make that illegal but would make it a felony, not just a misdemeanor.

See Fight for the Future‘s press release.

Copyright in the United States was conceived by the Founding generation as something that should last for a few years and give the originator a reward for originality: “To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries.” Extending it to a century and allowing endless extensions, as was done by Congress at the bidding of the Disney Corp., actually discourages innovation and creativity. Unfortunately, the Supreme Court is also in the back pocket of the corporations, and accepted the silly argument that anything slightly less than infinite extensions of copyright is compatible with the constitutional language about “limited times.”

Bieber knew exactly what he was saying, which is that when he sang songs in copyright written by others and uploaded them as a child, under Klobuchar’s bill he’d have been in juvie instead of a global idol. His passion on the issue is admirable.

Our corporatocracy is annoying enough when it insists on usurping the public airwaves and then charging us for the privilege by pushing the bilge of commercials at us, or charges us for “packages” including monopoly-effect nonsense channels like Gardening instead of letting us order a la carte. But for it to seek to put us in jail for sampling things on the internet is just mean, and the last straw.

Almost all bloggers quote copyrighted works of others from time to time (I would argue that the authors and publishers are richly paid in resultant link traffic). Despite a provision for “fair use,” it is vague and there are no real protections if a corporation wants to go after a blogger for copyright infringement. Klobuchar is trying to put the whole blogosphere in jail, not just the people uploading their shower singing performances. (The RIAA has the same attitude to music as the Portuguese empire used to have to the world’s oceans– it all belongs to them and everyone has to pay for ever using it in any way).

If Klobuchar doesn’t realize the Draconian nature of her own bill, she doesn’t deserve to sit in the senate. And her staffers should stop lying about its consequences.

And, when Occupy Wall Street gets our money back from the 1%, it might consider addressing itself to the FCC on the issue of our stolen airwaves.

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Tony Blair

September 18th, 2011 Comments off
Mr. Blair doesn’t sound like a neutral interlocutor. He sounds like an Israeli diplomat sometimes.””

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