There is now a new website for this blog.  It can be found at  http://www.man-in-a-desert.com/
 

This Blog

24/09/2010

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I hope there will come  a time when I am able to blog regularly, post more often, to write more frequently and more openly about the things that really matter. 
 
 
A few days away from the 2010 Commonwealth Games and India is in a lot of trouble.  A pedestrian bridge collapses, part of a ceiling in one of the venues caves in and the athletes' accommodation is absolutely filthy.  And these facilities are all brand stinking new!
 
 
Cyberwarfare is part of the modern state's arsenal in the 21st Century.  That's not exactly news but it seems industrial strength viruses are.  More in this link.
 

Lion

24/09/2010

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I always find watching nature documentaries fascinating.  It's one of my favorite pastimes. 
But somehow the footage never seems to do the King of the Jungle justice.  In terms of size, that is.  We're always told how big a mature male lion is but I've never been able to appreciate the fact, High Definition or no High Definition, it never seems to make a difference.
Until, that is, I came across the photograph below.  I'm sad it's a dead lion but this post isn't part of the anti-/pro-hunting debate.
Lions are huge.  Period.  That's the point.  Excuse the pun.
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Today marks the 28th anniversary of the Sabra and Shatila massacres. 
For nearly 40 hours, September 16-18 1982, hundreds of people were killed, women and girls raped and butchered, babies and children slaughtered, the elderly mercilessly dispatched.  Even horses were killed.  The perpetrators today lead normal lives and have never been brought to justice. 
The kill teams were rotated giving them a break from the killing...
I produced 2 episodes, 8 years apart, about the massacres and the long hours spent editing them are still fresh in mind, the terrible images
in all their gore and horror and  heart-wrenching testimonies of the survivors and their kinfolk .
 
 
The dear leader always comes out ahead, even ahead of other leaders, even if it means doing a ragged photoshopping job.  Case in point the photos below where, 2 weeks after the fact, the Egyptian president miraculously turns up at the forefront.  Anyone doubt the Arab world is suffering from a serious malaise?  Link
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Original photo, White House, September 1st, 2010, Mubarak far left
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Egyptian daily al-Ahram's version published September 14th, page 6
 
 
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I am saddened by the news that one of the great Islamic thinkers of our era passed away yesterday.  Mohammed Arkoun was the subject of severe criticism  for his constant calls  in his writings, lectures and interviews  for a modern interpretation of Islam. 
Underappreciated in his time and even ahead of  it.  But a necessary voice of reason in these dire times.
May he rest in peace.
For more on Arkoun read here and here.
 
 
 
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Now let's get to grips with this: 
The owners of an English Premier League club (West Ham United) that battled relegation for much of last season and kept their place in the top flight by the skin of their teeth fire their manager at season's end.  They then hire a new manager (and a perennial underachiever) whose last team (Portsmouth) actually finished bottom of the league and were relegated. 
So 4 games into the new season the Hammers are bottom of the table with 0 points and a -10 goal difference.
Genius!

 

9/11

11/09/2010

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Today marks the 9th anniversary of the terrible attacks of September 11th .  Let us be clear:
They were an act of terror, plain and simple.  Terrorism...  despicable, inexcusable.