Another post at the Media Shack

In which I earn a T-shirt (and post on AQIM in Algeria).  If I get stopped at airports for wearing my green Arabic Media Shack T-shirt I will definitely post on that as well.  Also I just noticed they have a Middle East Media Guide, a guide to some of the more prominent newspapers in the Middle East.  Worth checking out if you (like me) don't read the newspapers regularly enough to get a feel for them but still cite them occasionally.

Hey look! It's politics & soccer!

A reader* wrote in with the suggestion that I post something about the U.S. government's takeover of AIG, since AIG sponsors Manchester United. I originally didn't want to because I don't really understand the whole AIG/giant economic meltdown. But Kevin Drum doesn't understand soccer and still posted on it, so I suppose I will write something. Here it is:


A lot of Manchester United fans were actually boycotting their club after it was bought by an American, Malcolm Glazer (owner of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and from Rochester NY!). Fans didn't only boycott because Glazer's an American, but also because he's (supposedly) a soulless businessman and bought Man Utd by giving them $850 million in debt (via financial hijinks that I also don't understand). Perhaps the debt argument stands, but these Manchester United fans weren't protesting in 1991 back when Man Utd was put on the market and thus became "for sale", only when it was bought by an American.  However, now not only is their club owned by an American, but their jersey sponsor is owned by the United States government!  Suckers.

*I won't lie, it was my mom, but my blog sounds more important if I pretend people read it who aren't obligated to.

War on Terror in the Sahara

I have a long piece on the War on Terror in the Sahara desert up at Rob's Arabic Media Shack. I wrote it before the recent attack by AQIM in Mauritania, but oh well.

Also thanks to the Western Sahara Info blog that gave me a couple links. An apparent communique from AQIM that is translated there seems to confirm what I wrote tentatively about in my piece at the Arabic Media Shack - that Mokhtar Belmokhtar is no longer the head of AQIM-South (perhaps he's relaxing on the beach in Benin) and has been replaced by Yahia Djouadi.  I believe he was previously head of AQIM's military committee, so he's likely to be on board with Droukdel's pro-bin-Ladin-ism.  That will make it interesting to see whether there are a lot of defections from Belmokhtar's former gang, as Belmokhtar reportedly was not big on martyring himself for the greater glory of the Caliphate.

Also through Western Sahara Info's blogroll I found a few more good blogs: Parmenides' Fallacy, The Moor Next Door, and Nick Brook's Sand & Dust.

Lady de Rothchild calls Obama "elitist"

This morning while I was eating lunch, these two things appeared right next to each other in my Google Reader, and make about the same amount of sense:

Matt, examining Lady de Rothchilds defection to McCain, notes that irony must be truly dead. "Lady" de Rothchilds main reason for not endorsing McCain? Obama is an elitist. More accurately elitism is dead. When a gazillionaire who insists on being IDed as "Lady" can call a black dude from the South Side, whose mother had him as a teenager an elitist, the word has no meaning.

Big Red Spanks One

The New England Revolution beat Chivas USA 4-0 in a nationally televised game on Thursday night, although it was a pretty close game until the last ten minutes. Jeff Larentowicz, aka Big Red, scored the 2nd goal of the game that killed Chivas' hope with 10 minutes left. The highlights are below the fold, with Big Red's tremendous goal starting at 2:40.

Jeff Larentowicz is the most under-rated player in the league.


As previously mentioned, my wife and I are proud owners of a new kitten. Here are some pictures.

From Oomi

Oomi likes to climb the carpeted wall in the basement so she can go play with the vents, but she does it in less than a second so it's hard to get a picture of her doing it.
From Oomi

From Oomi

From Oomi

This doesn't happen very often:

From Oomi

You couldn't write a better script

...for a political comedy:

McCain is the candidate of "experience" - picks VP candidate with zero national political experience

McCain is the candidate of "national security" - picks VP candidate with zero national security experience

McCain puts his "country first" - picks VP candidate who was a member of an Alaskan secessionist party

McCain is the "responsible" candidate - picks VP candidate without doing basic political background research

McCain is the "maverick" - picks VP candidate after being bullied out of his first two choices by the evangelical Right

McCain is the anti-corruption candidate - picks VP candidate who ran Ted Stevens' 527 group and who hired a member of Team Abramoff

McCain is the anti-pork candidate - picks VP candidate who won $27 million in pork for her town of 6000 and fought for the "bridge to nowhere"

I feel like I'm taking crazy pills!

Unfortunately for comedy's sake, Palin is too young (and not Vietnamese), otherwise the perfect ending would be finding out she had been one of McCain's captors (had you heard he was a POW in Vietnam?) Feel free to add additional contradictions between McCain's rhetoric and his choice of Sarah Palin as VP in the comments.

When a candidate's relationship with the press moves beyond hostile questioning and into ridicule and satire, big chances are needed. Perhaps a third total restructuring of the McCain campaign is in the future!