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ODI no. 3147: India v Pakistan

You don't drop the modern Bradman four times and expect to win the match. Pakistan's fielding was atrocious. They dropped Tendulkar four times and ended up losing by 29 runs.

I really don't know what goes on in Misbah's mind. In that Twenty20 final, he tried to be needlessly cute and today he batted like a zombie -- which put unnecessary pressure on his less talented teammates to hit boundaries.

Anyway, it's interesting that the two losers from the 2003 and 2007 finals will now face each other. I'd love to see India win for one simple reason: Tendulkar's legacy. I used to watch his batting with awe in the the early 90s. He would slice the fields so superbly. It would seem that not a fielder was within a mile to stop the ball as it raced to the boundary. His combination of talent and commitment is unrivaled today.

So, what better place to win the World Cup final than in your own home? What better time to smash the most epic of centuries -- the 100th hundred!?

The Rules to Serfdom

An illuminating post:

Between the crappy economy and the fall of chivalry, there seems to be some real confusion around money and dating. While every single girl I’ve talked to expects the guy to pay on a date, it seems there are a lot of guys who are still quite unsure on the rules.

Let's see some of these rules.

> If it is a first date and you called her and asked her out – You pay
> If it is a first date and she called you and asked you out – You pay
> If it is a first date and you called her but she suggested the restaurant – You pay
> If it is a first date but you’ve already hooked up – You pay
> If it is a second date and you payed for the first date – You still pay

I dare say, I do you sense a pattern here, my dear Watson.

Lot of Pain

Greg Mankiw writes the bitter truth.

We have to cut Social Security immediately, especially for higher-income beneficiaries. Social Security will still keep the elderly out of poverty, but just barely.

We have to limit Medicare and Medicaid. These programs will still provide basic health care, but they will no longer cover many expensive treatments. Individuals will have to pay for these treatments on their own or, sadly, do without.

The reason most politicians don't cut these programs is because most of the voters, the elderly, benefit from such schemes.

We will increase the gasoline tax by $2 a gallon. This will not only increase revenue, but will also address various social ills, from global climate change to local traffic congestion.

Good luck.

The Chokers of Cricket

South Africa have one of the strongest cricket teams walking this Earth. Their win/loss ratio in the late 1990s was the best. South Africa was like a well oiled winning machine which would always seem to just stop working during a prestigious global event.

South Africa has now played in six World Cup tournaments. They have yet to make it to the finals! They have wonderful players. They thrash lesser teams in the usual cricket series but when it comes to big tournaments they are like the anti-Australia: they crumble under pressure.

Citizens of most nations remember the great victories of their teams. South Africans, however, have a history of famous defeats.

ODI no. 3143: India v Australia

God wants us to be happy. Next Wednesday, India will play Pakistan in the semi-final of the World Cup.

As of right now, the top batsman in this World Cup is an Indian. And the top bowler? A Pakistani. It'll be a game of awesome batting firepower versus a terrifying bowling force. Whoever wins that epic match will go on to win the 2011 Cricket World Cup.

Who will win? I really can't say. Both Pakistan and India have defeated Australia who were the defending champions. So, they're both fine but in very different ways. Usually the better bowling team has an advantage which would be Pakistan but then India is playing on home soil. So ... we'll see.

ODI no. 3142: Pakistan v West Indies

I expected Pakistan to win. What I didn't expect was the annihilation of the West Indies.

A ten-wicket win is an utter humiliation. It's stunning that Pakistan actually managed such a feat at the World Cup for their openers have been atrocious. They finally clicked.

They've reached the semi-final of the ODI World Cup for the sixth time -- a joint record they now hold with Australia.

The victory means their first journey to India since 2007 to face either the co-hosts or defending champions in Mohali. Pakistan won't care who the opposition are, it will take an exceptional performance to stop them.

Pakistan will either face India or Australia in the semi-final. I want to see India's batting going against Pakistan's bowling. It's likely that over a billion people agree with me on this matter.

Stay in the West

Some jobs aren't worth it:

When it held jobs fairs in cities like Miami and Houston, only about 50 people showed up, "compared to a global average of about 150 and as many as 1,000 at some events in Europe and Asia." The jobs don't require much in the way of education, and they come with benefits, free accommodations, and a starting salary of $30,000. But you'd have to move halfway around the world, to Dubai—an alien and expensive place. Would you uproot yourself and your family for $30,000 a year?

The average annual salary for an American is above $30,000. So, it's surprising that Emirates Airlines is offering Americans a below-average salary to work in Dubai -- a land with a demented culture, a different language and a dastardly hot atmosphere.

ODI no. 3139: Australia v Pakistan

The last time Australia were defeated in a World Cup match was in 1999. Who beat them at the time? Pakistan. Today, it was the same deal:

The first team to beat Australia in a World Cup in 35 games and 12 years was always going to have to play a big game to do it.

Another amazing coincidence: Australia were not knocked out of the tournament as a result of their defeat in '99 and it's the same today.

Pakistan's bowling won them this game. It is what always wins them games and what always makes them a contender.

So very true.

Let's see if Australia can handle India next. I bet that they don't have the firepower to stop the Indian batsmen in their home turf. Yes, the Aussies will not make it to the semis for the first time since 1992!

A Cursed Land

One of the best articles I've ever read about the ugly nature of Dubai:

The Gulf is the proof of Carnegie’s warning about wealth: “There is no class so pitiably wretched as that which possesses money and nothing else.” Emiratis are born retired. They waft through this city in their white dishdashas and headscarves and their obsessively tapered humorless faces. They’re out of place in their own country.

Almost the entire Arab society in Dubai is like this -- spectacularly spoiled.

Westerners go there for the money. Then there's the largest population group in Dubai:

The workers. The Asians: Indians, Pakistanis, Sri Lankans, and Filipinos. Early in the morning, before the white mercenaries have negotiated their hangovers, long before the Emiratis have shouted at the maid, buses full of hard-hatted Asians pull into building sites. They have the tough, downtrodden look of Communist posters from the 30s—they are both the slaves of capital and the heroes of labor. Asians man the hotels; they run the civil service and the utilities and commercial businesses; they are the clerks and the secretaries, the lawyers, the doctors, the accountants; there isn’t a single facet of this state that would function if they didn’t maintain it. No one with an Emirati passport could change a fuse.

How are these Asians treated in Dubai?

They can’t become citizens, though some are the third generation of their family to be born here. They can be deported at any time. They have no redress. Many of the Asian laborers are owed back pay they aren’t likely to get.

My father legally lived and worked in Saudi Arabia for over three decades. Upon his retirement, the company gave him his pension and told him that he had a few months to pack up and leave the country. Such a warm and wholesome bunch these Arabs.

Link via Instapundit.

Can The Blind See?

Bruce Thornton says it like it is:

Islam does have a theology of violence attested in numerous scriptures from the Koran, as well as in the collection of Mohammed’s deeds and sayings called the Hadith, and in fourteen centuries of Islamic jurisprudence and theology. This injunction to “slay the idolaters wherever you find them, and take them captives and besiege them and lie in wait for them in every ambush,” as one Koranic verse has it, clearly does not refer to some Dale Carnegie-like course of self-improvement, or to a mere spiritual struggle. One of Shiite Islam’s most revered figures, the Ayatollah Khomeini, certainly didn’t see it that way: “Those who know nothing of Islam pretend that Islam counsels against war. Those [who say this] are witless. Islam says: Kill all the unbelievers just as they would kill you all!” So too Hassan al-Banna, founder of the Muslim Brothers that many now believe are “reformers” struggling for liberal democratic freedom in Egypt: “Fighting the unbelievers involves all possible efforts that are necessary to dismantle the power of the enemies of Islam including beating them, plundering their wealth, destroying their places of worship, and smashing their idols.”

It's stunning that after fourteen hundred years of aggression, some still call this blood-soaked religion peaceful!

No Spring in Arabia

Classical Liberal asks:

I wonder if you have any insights or thoughts about the various uprisings going on in the Arab world, and specifically about the big "Day of Rage" in KSA?

I'm very pessimistic about all these protests and possible revolutions. I don't think that the status quo is going to change. Even if there were regime changes, the new thugs would not be much different from the current crop.

Why? I've three reasons.

1. In Islam the state and the religion are the same. The new governments would be theocracies. They won't have any legitimacy in the eyes of the majority public if they weren't. Of course, this also gives the possible new governments tremendous power: To criticize them is to criticize Islam. Off with your head!

Therefore, the possibility of democracy and human rights are not rosy.

2. Oppression of women. Western feminists bitch and moan about the patriarchy whenever they're faced with avenues of life where men, overall, are far superior. These women wouldn't know what oppression is if it bit them on the ass.

One finds true, horrendous misogyny in the Islamic world. This is what all women must look like in public in Saudi Arabia:

Islam Respects Me!

This, I fear, will (continue to) be the fate of women if revolutions were to occur in the Arab world. There, men have little control over their own life -- but they have tremendous power over women. They will not relinquish that. There might well be some cosmetic improvements (hey, you can wear a white abaya!) but nothing significant.

3. The hatred of Jews. New regimes will not get street-cred without loudly loathing the Jews. It's in the DNA of Islam. To be merely neutral towards them is to be a bad Muslim. So, the new thugs will spew venom on the Jews and by extension on the United States. The regimes won't be explicitly at war with the West but they'll certainly create the right conditions for hundreds of horny terrorists.

The Jews, the infidels, will always be hated. They are a great stress outlet for all the failures of Islam and its peoples.

Those are my reasons. I will be very happy to be proven wrong.


Vox Popoli skewers the Keynesians:

the U.S. military should set off a series of nuclear explosions in the Atlantic, the Gulf of Mexico and off the California coast to trigger a series of tidal waves that will trigger instant economic growth all along the coasts.

Who knew that all the building codes hinder future economic growth.

ODI no. 3128: India vs. South Africa

South Africa chase again:

Five years ago, to the day, South Africa successfully chased 434 to beat Australia at the Wanderers. It was a historic win, featuring the highest run-chase in ODI cricket. It was a day to remember and when Graeme Smith was in the field against India on Saturday afternoon in Nagpur, memories of that game came back to him for all the wrong reasons.

I blogged about that epic match at the time.

Poor Sachin Tendulkar. The guy scores a beautiful century, lays a granite foundation and after he gets out the rest of the team utterly combusts. Had the Indians simply played out the 50 overs, they could have just possibly won.

Prostrating Infidel, Rising Sharia

Raymond Ibrahim:

A jihad-waging, sharia-enforcing caliphate represents a permanent, existential enemy — not a temporal foe that can be bought or pacified through diplomacy or concessions. Such a caliphate is precisely what Islamists around the world are feverishly seeking to establish. Without active, preemptive measures, it is only a matter of time before they succeed.

The West won't change its behavior before then. For now, it's stuck in the appeasement stage. Just look at the whole Muhammad cartoon situation. So many newspapers and magazines -- self-proclaimed bastions of free speech -- censored themselves and refused to show the viewer exactly what the whole drama was about.

How can we resist the barbarians if we refuse to mock their idol?

I like bananas!

Free Will

Dr. Helen:

A reader (thanks!) sent me this interesting video with a panel of female students from the University of Georgia talking to a reporter at MSNBC about college guys and their slacking. When the conversation turned to their personal lives, the women talked about how hard it was to find a high-level guy, how guys had the advantage and just didn't care and showed up for dates in a dirty t-shirt holding a bag of condoms while they were taking their time trying to dress up and look nice for the date.

This was one of the most confusing aspects of my early life in the West. I was around 15 and studying at an American high school. There were a few wretched resident kids there who smoked not just tobacco, drank, broke curfew, reeked like a party of skunks and yet had some of the best looking girls in their orbit. I just didn't understand how and why so many girls would choose such horrible characters as their boyfriends.

Then there were the hard working students who took Advanced Placement courses, were members of the National Honor Society, earned numerous awards and yet most girls treated them like lepers. (Awww, you belonged to this group, didn't you? -- Ed. Shut up! -- Isaac.)

Today, I understand the "logic" more clearly but still it's a sad state of affairs.

Is It Inevitable?

Vox Popoli:

Most Americans recognize that having the federal government pay 100 percent of the nation's wages and salaries is not possible. At this rate, it will have to pay 50 percent or more by 2020, which I note tends to correspond nicely with my long-standing prediction that by 2033, the U.S.A. will no longer be an independent, sovereign nation.

That's a bold prediction. I wonder if there is anything that can be done by the American people that would halt this vicious decline ... that is if most even recognize the problem.

ODI #3123: Pakistan vs. New Zealand

For a change, the Pakistani opposition exploded. Pakistan's bowling was excellent for the initial 44 overs of the game. Then, out of the blue, began an epic annihilation of their historical strength. Ross Taylor smashed seven(!) sixes and plundered 114 runs in 6 overs. Pakistan simply didn't recover from that shock. They lost by a mammoth 110 runs. Their top five batsman scored a combined 30 runs.

I sometimes used to play as a wicket keeper. So, it was just painful to watch Kamran Akmal drop the second chance. Pakistan isn't going to progress beyond the quarter-finals with such an atrocious performance.

Expensive Sex

John Leo via David Thompson:

Northwestern is getting much more publicity than Skidmore in the second-term campus sexual Olympics. A course on sex taught by psychology Professor John Michael Bailey recently featured a naked woman being worked on by a man wielding a sex toy. The man was described as “a Chicago sex tour guide.” The 600-student course, which for some reason is one of the largest at Northwestern, features all kinds of sexual expression and guests that include swingers and convicted sex offenders. The optional, after-class sex-toy demonstration, Bailey said, “helps us understand sexual diversity”—possibly the first time a state-of-the-art vibrator demonstration was stuffed in under the campus diversity umbrella.

I'm sure there will be tremendous market demand in the future for such, er, knowledge. Or maybe, these kids should stop caring and learn to love their debt.

No Fun in Islam

Mike T left a link to my blog in the comments at What's Wrong With The World. Thanks!

However, the subject matter is very depressing: child abuse. I lived in Saudi Arabia for over a decade and in that time I attended a Pakistani school. Beatings at home and in the school were the norm.

In Darkness:

... the teacher had had enough. He got up. The entire class went silent. He went over to the student and started slapping him. The student covered his face. The teacher started to slap and punch him on the neck and the back with each hit more forceful than the last. The kid sitting next to the student got up from the desk and stepped away. The teacher kept on brutally beating the student. The student started crying and fell to the ground within the desk. The teacher grabbed the front of the desk with his left hand and the back with his right. He then started to kick the bawling student. He kicked him for about 20 seconds. He then went to his desk while swearing. No-one said a word.

The whole process of learning is associated with physical pain. Most of my classmates, myself included, would simply memorize material to avoid beatings. We didn't understand or comprehend much of anything.

This is one of the many reasons why the Muslim world is an intellectual wasteland.

ODI #3116: Pakistan vs. Canada

The Canadians just didn't have the batting firepower. However, they did scare Pakistan by getting all of them out cheaply. It was shocking to see Pakistan not even bat out all their overs. Their historical strength has been bowling and they showed that today by getting the Canadians out for even a cheaper score. This result means that Pakistan will make it to the quarter-final.

But before that they'll face the nightmare from the 1999 final -- the Australians -- who're number one because they perform spectacularly well under pressure.

On the bright side, Afridi is enjoying writing his name in the history books. He should win the Player of the Tournament award if he takes Pakistan to the ultimate match.

I want an India vs. Pakistan final: No matter who wins, someone will die! Muhahahahaha.

ODI #3114: England vs. Ireland

The Irish are partying:

Kevin O'Brien stunned England with the fastest hundred in World Cup history as Ireland secured their greatest victory with a monumental three-wicket triumph in Bangalore. O'Brien clubbed a magnificent 113 off 63 deliveries as Ireland earned the highest World Cup run-chase with four balls to spare. After he'd added a match-changing 162 with Alex Cusack, John Mooney joined him to play the innings of his life and help write another famous chapter in Irish sport.

The English have a bad habit of getting beaten by their former subjects. They bloody invented cricket but they've yet to win the main World Cup!