Take a look at the video at about 0:40 seconds in. Then ask yourself: To what degree should Romney be pilloried for "disrespecting" the British Olympics organizers, in comparison to the performance of those organizers?
This rates right up alongside NBC's "monkey on the rings" gaffe.
Mitt got some money from me last month, but how he reacts to ankle-biting like this will determine if he gets more. If he backs off, he's toast. If he leans into it, continues to state the obvious, not apologize, and snark back, he'll get more from me.
Of course, it will be pure, wishful thinking to hope that he says something like "I understand that their judicial system values feelings over truth. I shall make it a point, when I visit Europe, to go to DEFCON 3 to ensure my unmolested return."
I don't think the real story is the USA flag coming off, though that should be embarassing. None of the flags had a weight rod on the bottom as if nobody asked the question what if it is windy? And that is the point, if the organizers are sitting around a couple days out going, yeah we got this, then they are not doing their jobs. Nobody should feel 100% about any job until the job is over, especially an international fiasco like the olympics. Anyone who does is either a liar or a fool or both.
Making it nearly impossible for Joe Normal or Olympic Kid's parents to attend should be up front.
As far as I'm concerned, I do not think NBC is doing a bad job covering the events. I do think their commercials suck, from the poorly executed self-promotion to their actual comedy show lineup it is no wonder I missed whatever the animal hospital ad deal was - I do want to point out rings is a men's event, and Gabby is not the only dark skinned gymnist to compete, and that every one of the animal show commercials is stupid - if the wailers had any integrity they would have had those commercials shut down a week ago for promoting poor sexism and homophobic insults as comedy.
Since the Arab uprisings began, four governments have fallen, and several others have been seriously tested. The United States has felt obliged to respond to and occasionally to participate in this drama, but it has still not answered fundamental questions about its direction: Do we have a vision of what strategic equation in the region serves our and global interests? Or of the means to achieve them? How do we handle the economic assistance which may be the best, if not the only, means to influence the evolution?
The United States can and should assist on the long journey toward societies based on civil tolerance and individual rights. But it cannot do so effectively by casting every conflict entirely in ideological terms. Our efforts must also be placed within a framework of U.S. strategic interests, which should help define the extent and nature of our role. Progress toward a world order embracing participatory governance and international cooperation requires the fortitude to work through intermediate stages. It also requires that the various aspirants to a new order in the Middle East recognize that our contribution to their efforts will be measured by their compatibility with our interests and values. For this, the realism and idealism we now treat as incompatible need to be reconciled.
The United States can and should assist on the long journey toward societies based on civil tolerance and individual rights. But it cannot do so effectively by casting every conflict entirely in ideological terms.
"Ideological terms" as defined by polite western society that is. We're just seeing it all wrong once again, eh Henry ?
[Dawn] FIVE army officers, including a brigadier, have been court-martialled and handed down prison sentences for their links to an jihad boy organization, Hizbut Tahrir ...an al-Qaeda recruiting organization banned in most countries. It calls for the reestablishment of the Caliphate... . Whenever the subject of religious extremism within the army's officer corps and its rank and file comes up, opinion tends to break down into two extremes. One side argues that it points to some sort of creeping coup, a pernicious radicalisation of the armed forces that threatens Pak state and society given the army's influence over national security and foreign policy. The other side argues that whatever instances of radicalised officers have come to the fore, they are isolated incidents and dealt with professionally and quickly and as such pose no threat to discipline and unity of command in the armed forces. Arguably, neither side is right.
Policy choices aside, the armed forces are relatively well-disciplined and internal checks and controls are fairly strong. While it is an insular institution, there is reason to believe that neither is a serious rebellion inspired by Islamist causes likely, nor would it succeed were a small group of officers to attempt one. Hysterical opinion and analysis in the international media that appear occasionally and decry the imminent takeover of Pakistain by radical Islamists directly or by proxy via its armed forces is just that: hysterical and far removed from reality.
But that does not mean the armed forces do not have a very real problem within their ranks. While information is tightly controlled, there are enough dots to connect that paint a picture that is reasonably worrying: be it numerous refusals by soldiers to fight forces of Evil and forces of Evil in Fata and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa ... formerly NWFP, still Terrorism Central... , or regular investigations and arrests of officers suspected of jihad boy affiliations or intermittent plots to launch attacks against the army leadership that were foiled before or during execution, the Pakistain armed forces do have an extremism problem. Unpalatable as the suggestion may be for its leadership, it is more than likely that the army's security paradigm has helped create a problem within its own ranks. When patronage of or sympathy towards turban Islamist groups is part of the army high command's strategy for protecting this country from perceived external threats, it is almost inevitable that what is embraced as a hard-nosed policy by some will be embraced by others for the ideology that keeps the fires of hate burning. And then there are the effects on wider society -- from where the next generations of army officers have been recruited -- which is increasingly susceptible to right-wing and jihad boy rhetoric and propaganda. Acknowledging the problem is the first step towards addressing it. Denial could sink the armed forces, and the country too.
[Dawn] IT is a tragedy reported with more distressing regularity in this country than in the UK: the murder of a young girl at the hands of her family for having brought dishonour to them. But the euphemistically named 'honour killings' seem to be becoming an issue in the West too. The crucial difference is that unlike here, in those countries every effort is made to prosecute perpetrators and hand down severe sentences. In the most recent such trial, on Friday a London jury sentenced a Pak couple to a minimum of 25 years in prison for having suffocated their daughter to death in 2003. Reportedly, the 17-year-old Shafilea did not want to live her life by her parents' strict -- and conservative -- rules. Earlier this year, three members of an Afghan family were sentenced by a Canadian court for the drowning of three sisters and another woman because they defied the family's strict customs. Just weeks earlier, in December 2011, a Brussels court sentenced four members of a Pak family for the 'honour killing' of a family member in 2007.
It would appear, then, that the argument often heard in Pakistain that such crimes, when committed here, are the result of ignorance, lack of education or the sheer lawlessness of society is far from the truth. Going by the examples mentioned above, such murders are not restricted to people who are out of touch with modernity or unaware of the law and the consequences of transgressing it. A more plausible answer may be found in the words of the Canadian judge, Robert Maranger, who sentenced the Afghan family: he described the crimes as "cold-blooded, shameful murders" resulting from a "twisted concept of honour".
Reflect on the term 'honour killing' and it appears that popular discourse has adopted the language of the criminals. This provides a measure of defence, though not in legal terms, to the act. Were such crimes to be referred to as what they are -- murder -- some of the cultural barriers behind which the perpetrators try to hide may begin to crumble.