Big Smoke

’cause it’s hard to see from where I’m standin’

Why do I pay my subscription fees?

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The NYTimes wrote an entire article on Egypt’s legal crackdowns on nine American NGOs working in their country without actually mentioning what it is those American NGOs do. It uses phrasing like “the prosecution relies on laws left over from the authoritarian government of former President Hosni Mubarak” as a way of influencing opinion over the incident before actually explaining the incident.

So let me: Those NGOs, like the National Democratic Institute, International Republican Institute, and Freedom House, are proxies of American political interests and are attempting to influence Egyptian politics. One would think there’s a sovereignty issue there, considering that just about every nation has laws against foreign financing of campaigns. This is especially damning considering that the US government’s reaction to these trials has been to threaten cuts to development aid to Egypt, which will do little but draw criticism as it can hardly be interpreted as anything but strong-arm imperialism.

I’m reminded of how news reports where “X number of civilians, Y of which are American, were killed in Z warzone,” were propagated because they fed support for direct (military) intervention in those areas. The only problem was, hardly any of those civilians were travelers or tourists. Dollars to donuts, if you get a news story like that, the civilians in question were likely mercenaries or missionaries. I wouldn’t be so cynical, but I honestly expected that our foremost paper of record might actually have shed some light on this ongoing situation instead of whatever euphemistic hackjob that article was.

At least Madonna can sing

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Super Bowl: A clever enterprise where-in people pay thousands of dollars to descend upon a ridiculously overcapacity arena in the middle of nowhere to witness a gleeful smorgasbord of commercialism bookended by celebrities of yesteryear, swaddled in a cloak of unfounded patriotism. In it, players who represent cities they’ve never been citizens of compete for the entertainment of fans who don’t play the sport.

All in all, a fantastic American tradition, because Boston loses again!

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