Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Murdoch, Afghanistan, Vomiting, and Dating (Link Round-Up 7/12/11)

[via Reddit]

Can't Live Without Him
Why politicians are more afraid of Rupert Murdoch's absence
Murdoch gets the approval of politicians, then, not by frightening them—anyone frightened by Fox News would be best off staying indoors all day—but by making their professional lives so pleasant and easy, by insulating them so thoroughly from journalistic scrutiny, that they dread the removal of the protection.
Things Better Explained With Venn Diagrams
In numerous occasions Taliban leader Mullah Omar himself has characterised his struggle as a "nationalist movement". Apart from the historical record showing that Washington always fears and fights nationalist movements, Omar's comment also shows that the Taliban strategy has nothing to do with al-Qaeda's aim of establishing a Caliphate via global jihad.

So al-Qaeda is not the major enemy - not anymore, nor has it been for quite some time now. This is a war between a superpower and a fierce, nationalist, predominantly Pashtun movement - of which the Taliban are a major strand; regardless of their medieval ways, they are fighting a foreign occupation and doing what they can to undermine a puppet regime (Hamid Karzai's).
Afghanistan's ethnic divisions aren't the problem
Ethnicity matters among Afghan politicians, but it is not a reliable indicator of political affiliation or loyalty. Even party affiliation isn’t a reliable indicator of where an individual legislator will come down on a nationally controversial issue, because Afghanistan’s party system is weak and party discipline within the parliament is almost non-existent.

The president knows that his special court could, for example, replace 10 Tajiks affiliated with the “opposition” Jamiat-e Islami party with 10 different Jamiati Tajiks and still give him 10 additional supporters in the parliament. And it appears that, broadly-speaking, that’s Karzai’s plan.
Purging Toxins
"Rehab Tourism" in Bangkok included vomit therapy
The Cabin reportedly takes in 15 foreigners per month, which works out to about 180 per year. A spokesperson at Tham Krabok said they get about 120 foreigners a year, "although the peak time is between August and December when we normally have around 20 foreigners here at any one time."

"I think this is because people tend to party during the summer months and then when summer ends they start to realize that maybe they have a problem," said the spokesperson. "We get people from all over the world but the most common countries are probably the United States, U.K., Ireland and Australia."
(Patent) Rules Were Made To Be Broken
"To make them available to all countries, India will also use the flexibilities allowed under TRIPS (trade-related aspects of intellectual property rights) to ensure that people living with HIV have access to all life-saving medicines," Sharma added.
Incentives
GA crackdown on illegal labor threatens $300 million loss in agriculture sector
In short, we have turned good workers into criminals and turned criminals into bad workers, losing on both ends of the deal. Incredible.
Can't Byte Me Love
She identified two big social trends that have led to a greater reliance on online dating: an aging population, and women around the world entering the workforce, marrying later, divorcing more, moving from place to place. “Our social and sexual patterns have changed more in the last fifty years than in the last ten thousand,” she told me. “Our courtship rituals are rapidly changing, and we don’t know what to do.”

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