Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Sada al-Malahim manages to get by without paid advertisements. The staff keeps costs down by having no central office. The editor sometimes communicates with his far-flung jihadi writers through the pages of the magazine itself. (In one issue, he apologized that he had too much content to run in a single issue, but he promised jilted contributors that their work would appear in the subsequent issue.) Most of the contributors are either members of al-Qaida or their relatives, and they're probably not paid for their writing.
Monday, December 28, 2009
Any consumer-products company rolling out a brand of toilet paper will agonize over marketing. The messaging will be carefully devised, tested with focus groups, revised based on polling, tested in a particular market, tweaked, and tested again. And that's for a product whose launch makes no difference for humanity. In contrast, if an aid group is trying to raise support for a new program that could save many lives, it will often rely on a hodgepodge of guilt and statistics that limit its effectiveness. It has been said that "statistics are human beings with the tears dried off." That's precisely the problem—all the psychological research shows that we are moved not by statistics but by fresh, wet tears, with a bit of hope glistening below.
Sunday, December 27, 2009
"We the children of the masses in this country, we don't know anything about terrorism because our parents are poor. They don't have the money to take us abroad," said 25-year old student and Funtua resident Usman Mati.
"So, to answer your question, who are these insurgents? Are they coming from Pakistan or are they living within the Zazi Valley?
These insurgents are living within the Zazi Valley. We have identified their commanders and members and they are not more than 35 men. Can one imagine that only 35 men are intimidating the lives of over 250,000 people?"
“Most historians don’t think much of the Dutch; they minimalize the Dutch influence and try to get out of that period as quickly as possible to get into English stuff,” Mr. Gehring said, explaining why he has spent half of his 70 years mining Dutch colonial history. “What you find out is how deeply the Dutch cast roots here and how much of their culture they transmitted to this country.”
Who knew Italian avant-garde artists and Madison, Wisconsin had such an impact on Afghan society today?
Saturday, December 26, 2009
Friday, December 25, 2009
Sunday, December 20, 2009
Thursday, December 17, 2009
Monday, December 7, 2009
The Central Bank of Iran has tried to take these banknotes out of circulation, but there are just too many of them, and gave up. For the activists’ people it’s a way of saying “We are here, and the green movement is going on”.
Sunday, December 6, 2009
Thursday, December 3, 2009
“I wasn’t very surprised when the whole subprime-mortgage thing blew up. I’m sure a loan officer never said, ‘God wants you to have a house.’ But you’ve already been taught that. Now here comes the loan officer saying, ‘Sign here, and this house will be yours.’ It feels like a gift from God. It’s the perfect fuel for the crisis.”
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Somalia's Western-backed government of President Sheikh Sharif Ahmed is pinned down battling hard-line Islamist rebels, and controls little more than a few streets of the capital.
The administration has no influence in Haradheere -- where a senior local official said piracy paid for almost everything.
"Piracy-related business has become the main profitable economic activity in our area and as locals we depend on their output," said Mohamed Adam, the town's deputy security officer.
"The district gets a percentage of every ransom from ships that have been released, and that goes on public infrastructure, including our hospital and our public schools."
(via Global Guerrillas)