Thursday, March 04, 2010

Links For Friday

Stuff to read as you count down to the weekend:

The U.S. House of Representatives has passed a non-binding resolution on Turkey's (really, the Ottoman Empire's) conduct against the Armenians in World War I, calling it "genocide". Fair enough actually. But I do eagerly await the U.S. government terming the mass murder and relocation of Native Americans also as "genocide". Not naive in the slightest to expect that, yes? Keep your eye on that ball, kids, we should hear on this very soon.

Ad of the year, right here, from Pepsi, featuring Messi, Henry, Fat Frank, Evil Drogba, Kaka and Arshavin. The last shot of Messi is priceless -- "Thierrry?". Hahahaha. Classic stuff.

This story was all over the Twitterwebs this week. It's hilarious. Pakistan is billing the U.S. for services offered in the so-called war on terror, and is not being paid in full, because they think we're lying. Honestly, I wouldn't put it past us, though I obviously don't know which side is right. But isn't it hilarious that bargaining on the international stage replicates my mother talking to her darzi?

Osman has a fantastic column laying into the PCB administration. Must read.

Good news! AIG is going to pay out executive bonuses. Again. After suffering losses of billions of dollars. Again. Just an all-round classy crowd, these guys.

It's the final countdown on health care reform. Will it go through? Who the hell knows? But it's been a long, bumpy ride, and one hopes it gets over the line. Read Ezra Klein's reaction to Obama's "Let's finish this thing" speech.

This was probably my favorite read of the week, an in-depth look at the intersection of local crime and local politics in Karachi from Newsline. Really superb piece. It's really sad that there aren't book-length treatments of this stuff out there (trust me, I've looked). It is my aim to write a political history of Karachi one day. I don't know when -- there's at least two or three other book projects I have in mind that would probably take priority over this -- but if I remain in good health in fifteen or twenty years or so, it will be done.

If you're an IR or Poli Sci student, you've seen these quantitative-qualitative methodological battles before. Doesn't make them any less entertaining every time they happen.

Freakonomics tries to figure out if men are better drivers than women. Please. Anyone who's ever seen a woman try to parallel park should know that this is a stupid question.

Even by Tom Friedman's standards, this was a really perplexing and inane column; basically, we're supposed to take the word of a corporate CEO that cutting corporate taxes and giving corporate subsidies is a good thing. Yglesias' take on this is excellent.

Carlos Tevez says that if John Terry had done what he did to Wayne Bridge in Argentina, well...let him tell it. "In my neighbourhood if you do that, you lose your legs, or more – you don't survive."

A piece in Slate that our London-resident readers will relate to. It's on how easy it is to get lost in London, and how the signs aren't exactly super-helpful. My view on this is that "old" cities are always more difficult to navigate than "new" cities, because the latter are built on a grid. Growing up and watching Hollywood movies, I never understood how the cops knew they were going north or west or whatever when in a car chase; in Karachi there's no conception of this stuff (in fact, back home it's even worse than that, because all directions are given with reference to landmarks, not street names). It took me about 17 seconds to get to a grid city to figure out how intuitive it really is. If you get lost in America, you're an idiot, I'm sorry.

And finally, did you know that Barack Obama is a 130-year old Pakistani? Don't believe me? Check out his ID card.

Happy weekend, everyone.


Naqiya said...

Please! It is supremely easy to get lost in downtown new york. But that supports your 'getting lost in old cities' argument, so wash.

Ahsan said...

Um, what? Isn't something like 95% of Manhattan on a grid? What're you talking about?

JJY said...

hahahahahaahhaah. Thierry?


Naqiya said...

not 95%!!

EVERYTHING below houston isnt on a grid, and some parts above it as well. Thats 90% of downtown manhattan. and lets not forget brooklyn and queens (also new york, you know). they aret on a grid either, for the most part.

Naqiya said...

how about we settle at 75%

Ahsan said...

Naqiya: I think your understandings of percentages is ridiculous. But this is an inane debate, so I'll let it slide.

Naqiya said...

fine fine. you are right. the problem (i realized after i got all upset) is that i live downtown. so clearly it is way bigger than it actually is in my head.

and fuck you i work with statistics for a living! which is why i can graciously accept that i was wrong

Smci said...

This "non-binding" waste of time has more to do with measuring the effective influence of the loose coaltion of organizations that constitute the "Armenian Lobby," than anything else. Mostly California lawyers and businessmen of Armenian descent.

And even still, it didn't pass in the House, it passed the Foreign Affairs Committee.

Some guy wrote in the Huffington Post today that it passed as a 'shot across the bow' by Pro-Israel groups that want to send the AK Party a message and get it to shutup about Gaza and what not.

All in all, just another sleazy example of the cancerous grip that Lobbies have on our 'public servants.'

Sheila Jackson-Lee's abstention was nice though. Too many politically savy Muslim Houstonians back in her constituency to answer to for voting for this kind of junk legislation.

Alpha Za said...

On the Carlos Tevez quote:

Hmm, does anyone wonder if say Shoaib Malik hooked up with with say Kamran Akmals Ex, what would happen to him?

A: High Fives for slutty girls?
B: Fist Fight?
C: A Discussion on if threesomes are Islamic?
D: Kamran Akmal Retires, before coming back and being named Captain
E: Shoaib Malik runs for Parliament
F: Passing the girls number to the rest of the cricket team, except Shoaib Akhtar, because of the herpes.

karachi khatmal said...

@ Alpha Za:

bwahahahaha1 brilliant!

anonymousgirl said...

sorry, women cant drive. period.

Nabeel said...

Ahsan...what happened to being moderate? Decide. Are you the voice of doom or unadulterated optimism? (I missed the game AGAIN. Got home 15 minutes after it was over!)

It's a mixed result,and Sevilla is still hanging onto a lead (albeit by the skin of their teeth). This season is going to be very,very close.

Oh,and the ad is also pretty mixed. All the footballers look and act SO, SO gay! But I love the crowd.

Ahsan said...

Nabeel: It was one of those game that Barca were utter shite, Ibra got sent off, they got pissed off and starting playing aggressive but it was too late. They're just not playing very well, and frankly, my patience with Ibra is running a little thin now (I've defended him all season, but sooner or later, strikers have to threaten).

And Real look like a side possessed. Their comeback today was so predictable -- they're far and away a better side than Barca right now.

Anonymous said...

America CANNOT be taken seriously. Is it a hypocritical JOKE !!!!!! The world is finally seeing this.

Anonymous said...


Could you please point out any blog that writes about India, that you consider analogous to your blogs about Pakistan? Maybe I did not look hard enough, but India Uncut is not updated as often as I'd like; and there are a couple of others; but not the same quality as Five Rupees.


Anonymous said...

haha! obama's 'shanakhti alamat' ... aasteen ka saanp....

Sputnik said...

On the whole male vs. female drivers, just read this:

As a social scientist, you have to acknowledge when you have no data for your claims....