Thursday, February 3, 2011

The Morning Blog

Scenes from the violence in Egypt: It's pretty clear that the pro-government forces were organized ahead of time and went looking for a fight. Tellingly, the government isn't even denying that they were paid to be there, they're just saying that they weren't the ones doing the hiring.

Interestingly enough, the article provides a schedule for coming protests in the Middle East that were circulating on Twitter. Mark your calendars:

Algeria, Feb. 12th
Bahrain, Feb. 14th
Libya, Feb. 17th

Meanwhile, Israel has claimed that Iran seeks to turn Egypt into another Gaza. May or may not be true. I think it'd be extremely difficult for Iran to pull that off given that Egyptians are responding to an entirely different set of circumstances than Palestinians. That said, I don't know that right now is the best time for Israel to voice criticisms of the Egyptians opposing Mubarak. It might be better to just keep their head down and wait and see what happens.

Um....uh.... here's one way to look at this mess. I guess...Sorta...If you're a completely insane person.

That said, as awful as things are in the Middle East right now, this is very cool. Very cool indeed!

a 17 year old boy has been arrested for blasphemy in Pakistan. My take is this: The only reason for blasphemy laws is to protect faiths and religious convictions that are so profoundly fragile that they might be completely obliterated by mere words. There's no justification for them in a society of people who are confident in their beliefs.

Scenes from the snow. The last image in the slide show is pretty amazing. I have to say that we were pretty lucky where I live. We got hit with a big blizzard late last night but nothing on the scale of what they're looking at in Chicago.

I wasn't aware of this: The owners of the Steelers are opposed to an extended regular season. I can support that. It really is just a money grab. The players are all uniformly opposed to it and frankly, it's a bit hypocritical for the league to talk about its concerns for player safety and then put them at risk of injury in a couple more games a year. Also (and I may be alone here), I really enjoy the pre-season! It's a chance to get a sense of where the new guys are, some of whom you may very well never see play again.

The stupid AP has named Belichick the NFL Coach of the Year for the third time in a row. Let's see...Unlike Belichick, Steelers coach Mike Tomlin made it to...ahem...the Super Bowl while contending with a starting quarterback who was out for a quarter of the season, a raft of player injuries and frankly vindictive officiating. Yeah, Belichick totally deserves it. Again. Of course.

I guess these people like football too. I have to confess that I only watch soccer during the World Cup, mostly because it's an excuse to drink beer at odd hours. And like most Americans, I really know nothing about the sport so generally pick teams for reasons completely unrelated to athletics (hence my unending support of the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon. Whatta name!). It did leave to an interesting conversation during the last World Cup though:

Some Guy: "Who are you rooting for?"
Me: "The Netherlands"
SG: "But why? Are they good? Is there any reason to like them better than anyone else?"
M: "Hookers and pot!"

The health care bill may provide "no cost" contraceptives as part of preventive medicine. Naturally, the Catholic church is opposed which is something nobody should be surprised at at all. Personally, I'm vigorously in favor of contraceptives and would like to see more people use them in their family planning. That said, describing them as 'no cost' is fallacious. Clearly, unless someone has grown a condom tree, they will have to cost something.

Rich bitches.

Mentioned the other day that scientists have created...invisibility! Here's video.

It's almost my birthday and this is what I probably don't want!

I try to avoid vulgarities but HOLY SHIT! WE JUST RAN THE FUCK OUT OF INTERNET!

Speaking of the internet we just ran out of: Proposals are being mooted to develop a Geneva Convention for Cyberwarfare. Pretty interesting stuff...One of the things that's being discussed is a re-definition of what it means to be a nation-state on an electronic level.

Your Song of the Day. Makes me think of a more orchestral Belle and Sebastian. Anyways, thanks NPR.

Happy New Year! Let's hear it for the Rabbits and a bit of tranquility, hopefully!

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