Ive been a little busy the last few weeks (anyone who says that university lecturers have nothing to do over the summer doesnt know what they are talking about!) so perhaps a time for a catch up.
Getting his teeth into it
Unfortunately one of the big stories of the world cup was Suarez biting incident. He cant be held responsible, his manager told him to get his teeth into it ;D. I was in Ireland at the time and the next day I saw a restaurant whose lunchtime special was Pork Shoulder in Italian herbs…a Suarez Special :)). Needless to say the internet is now full of jokes like this.
Seriously tho, the arguments went between those who thought he should be banned for life, to those who felt 4 months for getting the in match munchies was a tad severe. My view would be, why wasnt he arrested? I went and bit someone, what would happen? FIFA should have handed the matter over to the Brazilian police. And knowing what Brazilian prisons are like, I suspect a few days of a privileged footballer like Suarez used to the good life being forced to endure that would guarantee hed not be biting anyone ever again (if he was still alive!).
Well either that or make him play wearing a ski mask in future!
As always in football we have the problem of players pulling swan lake dives as a result of the slightest contact, then rolling on the ground in agony, waiting for the Priest to come on and deliver the last rites…until he gets a free kick/other guy carded, and then hop’s up right as rain. This played a direct role in several matches, notably the Dutch penalty against Mexico (admittedly the Mexicans were playing with fire, putting in lots of hard tackles like that in the box, a penalty, legitimate or otherwise, was just a matter of time).
My solution? Firstly replays on the big screen for the referee. Anyone diving not only gets sent off, but the opposition players each get to kick him as he leaves the field. Secondly, a new award for best diver. The winner being forced to wear a frogmans suit (complete with flippers and mask) for the following season. Thatll learn em!
America has been doing rather well in the world cup this time around, which means the world cup is getting a lot of attention in America this year. This should hardly come as a surprise, when you consider demographics. After all the US womens team is one of the strongest teams in the womens game. Theres some who reckon its only a matter of time before the US are actually in a position to seriously challenge for the world cup. And too be fair, they certainly did better than the English team this year!
However this success quickly attracted the ire of professional dumb blonde Anne Coulter :crazy:. She went on a rant about all these Americans supporting their teams efforts in Brazil was a sign of liberal bias, the spread of socialism within the US and Americas moral decay. Naturally she was promptly flamed by her critics.
Such comments can sound utterly insane to anyone who isnt a Tea bagging nut. You have to understand that the hard right in the US often talk in code, given that if they refer to the President using the N word people tend to get upset. Consequently when they say liberal they mean reads (and thus doesnt rely on Fox news), socialist means anyone who is to the left of them (which would technically include Ronald Reagan and both George Bushs). And moral decay refers to those who dont buy into the extreme brand of Christianity that the likes of Coulter and Palin subscribe too.
And the idea of Americans uniting and taking interest in something abroad is not to the Tea Partys liking as in many ways the Tea Party are just a re-run of the pre-war Isolationist movement. Indeed Coulters comments regarding football and its European origins is telling as it shows her assumption that everyone European is a socialist or a liberal (shes obviously never heard of Nigel the buffoon Farage or nasty Nick Griffin). Then again she is sort of the Tea Partys official crazy cat lady, which is an awful thing to say, given that I wont want to put a cat in the care of this loon.
And speaking of America, there is yet more paranoia about airport security from the Americans. Theyre worried about the possibility of new bombs that are harder to detect. While the claim to have intelligence its not clear what that is. i.e. is it intel from an agent on the inside of Al-Queda…or (as seems more likely) is it chat and bravado, theyve heard from wannabe jihadis on the internet?
Consider that much of this paranoia about liquid bombs and all the inconvenience that brought were largely based not on them catching terrorists with said devices, but that they caught some who were speculating about using them (i.e. they had never constructed a viable device although as part of the trial the authorities did helpfully fill in the blanks should anyone want to give it a go in future! :no:). Also some of the evidence for this plot may have been acquired by torture and thus cant really be considered reliable.
In truth theres good reason why liquid explosives are not often used by the military, miners or other legitimate users because theyre unstable, dangerous and often toxic! This is why reliable solid explosives such as dynamite were invented. The chances are, anyone foolish enough to try and smuggle a liquid bomb onto a plane would get blown up when his car went over a bump on the way to the airport, or hed be all too obvious to the police given the chemical burns on his face and hands…plus how the blurred vision would be causing him to bump into things!
Similarly, I worry that this plot might just be more paranoia. Although that said, it is clear that the failure of the West to act in Syria is seeing history repeating itself, raising the risk of a new round of Islamist terrorism. While this is a threat to be taken seriously, chicken little paranoia is not a good idea as it raises the risk of missing the real threat.