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From The Guardian:

‘We will be ready, inshallah’: inside Qatar’s $200bn World Cup

Can the richest country in the world buy its way to footballing glory? We joined the Qatar 2022 hopefuls to find out

While Qatar takes in refugees from American Islamophobia (which, as we all know, is the worst thing in the world, except perhaps for culturally inappropriate/appropriated Halloween costumes) like Clock Boy, the Persian Gulf state has been less enthusiastic about accepting refugees from the Middle East than Dr. Merkel * has. After all, it has $200 billion to spend to get ready to host the 2022 soccer World Cup, so the last thing it needs is excitable Syrians and Iraqis.

One problem facing Qatar, however, is that as host it automatically qualifies a national team in the World Cup in 2022. But Qatari lads are few in number and tend to be lazy, unathletic, and more interested in going to the mall than practicing soccer. So the risk of, say, Neymar Jr. scoring 7 goals in a Brazil 11 – Qatar nil rout on global television looms.

Thus Qatar’s government is paying to fly in Pele and Maradona to inspire Qatari youths to get off the couch and play soccer.

But look closer, and other parts of Qatar’s new football culture are a desert mirage. Sanchez’s team perform in front of almost empty stands; so few people want to watch club matches that low-paid migrant workers from Africa and Asia are bussed in, in their thousands, to fill empty seats. When I arrived at a match in the Qatar Stars League, the top-flight competition, the first thing I saw was a Kenyan pulling on a traditional white gown. He and his friends said they were among hundreds paid the equivalent of £5 to dress up as Qataris, fill a seat and have a stab at singing football songs in Arabic.

I used to get free tickets to “paper the house” for touring Broadway shows at a theater in the Chicago suburbs from my father-in-law, the head of the musician’s union. But it would have been even more fun if, Qatar soccer crowd-style, we were issued with free tuxedos to class up the joint.

—————

* A headline from the WSJ:

Angela Merkel ‘Deeply Shocked’ by Paris Attacks

But probably not “shocked, shocked,” like Captain Renault in Casablanca , probably just genuinely surprised. Who could have seen this coming?

And, more fundamentally, noticing patterns is wrong.

 
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  1. Much better.

  2. “But probably not “shocked, shocked,” like Captain Renault in Casablanca , probably just genuinely surprised. Who could have seen this coming?”

    The PEGIDA protesters in Dresden did, and warned of terrorist infiltrators among the refugee masses…but then they’re just evil, xenophobic, low-class know-nothings whose views needn’t be taken seriously be educated cosmopolitans who know how the world really works.
    Though on the other hand, even mainstream conservative news outlets like WELT and Frankfurter Allgemeine ran stories about IS supporters among the refugees and the danger of terrorist infiltration months ago…so Merkel (who just yesterday claimed “The refugees will be enriching for us; everyone who comes to us has a legitimate reason for doing so”) really has no f***ing excuse.

    • Replies: @AndrewR
    Might makes right. She knows that the chance of her ever being truly held accountable (not merely being forced to resign as Chancellor) is essentially zero. Then again Hitler made that bet, and we all know how that turned out for him. So who knows?
  3. France will continue it be a target of terrorist because it has no natural geographical barriers with the Middle East.Also because of its culture – it’s like a global hub, whereas other countries tend to be more insular.

  4. Are her medicines disagreeing with her? Would that be a problem with Hitlery too?

  5. Potemkin football stadia. Perhaps Qatar is nothing more than an illusion – a giant stage set populated by extras hired by a dozen rich Arabs to pretend that it’s a country.

    • Replies: @BenKenobi
    I'm fairly certain you have hit closest to the truth in your attempt at jest.

    They say truth is often stranger than fiction.
  6. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    By the way Neymar (or “Nerman” as he is known to some Barcelona fans) has gone back to his natural hair style. I don’t know if he was ever using a skin lightener, as I think Steve was previously implying. It’s difficult to say with pictures being taken in all different lighting conditions.

    Yes, I am a fan of his. He certainly is still prone to occasional immature outbursts, but he seems to generally go through life with a smile on his face and a sort of friendly, happy-go-lucky and reasonably humble attitude.

  7. Isn’t the Boy Inventor of Time, Ahmed Mohammed, now living in Qatar ? Maybe a brilliant scientist such as he can clone a soccer team.

    • Replies: @a Newsreader
    Maybe he can bridge the cultural gap and find a way to make stoppage time make sense to those of us from non-soccer countries.
  8. It’s interesting that Steve Sailer, VDARE, and Taki’s Magazine are all experiencing technical difficulties at the same time.

  9. “The refugees will be enriching for us; everyone who comes to us has a legitimate reason for doing so.”

    Some 128 Frenchmen were enriched in Paris only yesterday courtesy of “refugees,” and for reasons that the refugees consider wholly legitimate.

  10. @German_reader
    "But probably not “shocked, shocked,” like Captain Renault in Casablanca , probably just genuinely surprised. Who could have seen this coming?"

    The PEGIDA protesters in Dresden did, and warned of terrorist infiltrators among the refugee masses...but then they're just evil, xenophobic, low-class know-nothings whose views needn't be taken seriously be educated cosmopolitans who know how the world really works.
    Though on the other hand, even mainstream conservative news outlets like WELT and Frankfurter Allgemeine ran stories about IS supporters among the refugees and the danger of terrorist infiltration months ago...so Merkel (who just yesterday claimed "The refugees will be enriching for us; everyone who comes to us has a legitimate reason for doing so") really has no f***ing excuse.

    Might makes right. She knows that the chance of her ever being truly held accountable (not merely being forced to resign as Chancellor) is essentially zero. Then again Hitler made that bet, and we all know how that turned out for him. So who knows?

  11. So far two of the Paris attackers have probable IDs. One was a local French born thug, the other was a Syrian refugee, or posed as one, and entered the EU through a Greek island 6 weeks ago.

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/nov/14/syrian-greece-refugee-paris-attacks-killers

  12. Wikipedia says:

    In 2013, Qatar’s total population was 1.8 million: 278,000 Qatari citizens and 1.5 million expatriates.

    While counting the various maids, oil workers, and construction workers give Qatar a per capita GDP of $103,000, on a per citizen basis it is $770,000.

    If anything they seem a bit cocky they can maintain control of their country when they are outnumbered 6 to 1 by foreigners. The Western ones are not a problem of course, but could the south Asian laborers ever decide to seize power? The way this would happen would be they’d be mobilized by an unhappy left-wing native Qatari element. With only 278,000 citizens, however, it could be a long wait for a Qatari Lenin/Mao/Padre Hidalgo to arrive.

  13. $200 billion for a soccer tournament seems more than a bit insane. Looking at the 2015 World GDP ranking by country, $200 billion is comparable to the Gross Domestic Products of the sovereign nations of Bangladesh (202), Vietnam (199), and Portugal (198). Can we even fathom what it means to blow one Portugal on soccer games every four years? The word “malinvestment” doesn’t quite do it justice. It also raises disturbing questions about the very concept of sovereignty, as does the rise of the mega-corporations. Why doesn’t Apple, with its $600 billion market cap, have a seat at the United Nations, for instance, when it could swallow up the entire annual output of Vietnam three times over? Would anybody put it past iQueen Tim Cook to lobby for one?

    The era of Big Money is coming to a head and I don’t think such expenditures will be possible for much longer in a contracting global economy. I can see only one way that this ends: A brief period of chaotic misrule by oligarchs, followed by the return of authoritarian strongmen. I’m actually in favor of the latter, but it’s a shame we have to endure the former before we can get there.

    • Replies: @BenKenobi
    "Can we even fathom what it means to blow one Portugal"

    so much subtext and softballs, yet I have only this one bat...

    , @anonymous coward

    Why doesn’t Apple, with its $600 billion market cap, have a seat at the United Nations, for instance, when it could swallow up the entire annual output of Vietnam three times over?
     
    Because GDP measures the pressure and volume of financial currents, not assets and production.

    Yes, the world has too much money and the excess tends to pool in various appendixes like Apple or Instagram.

    This is not a good thing. Think of it as a kind of immune reaction of the global financial system to free money.

  14. Here are some impressive before and after pictures of Doha, the capital:

  15. Poop Swastika at missouri reminds me of poop walls in HUNGER by the guy who made 12 yrs a negro.

    And it was followed by a ‘hunger strike’.

    Hmmmmm.

    Any poop left for dna testing?

  16. 11-0 drubbing by the French over Qatar would be a comically sweet thing to watch. And how bout some concussive fireworks going off after each goal. Would that be asking for too much? Come on Qatar, do it.

    • Replies: @pyrrhus
    I don't think it would be that close. The Qatar team probably couldn't beat an American college 11...
  17. @Buffalo Joe
    Isn't the Boy Inventor of Time, Ahmed Mohammed, now living in Qatar ? Maybe a brilliant scientist such as he can clone a soccer team.

    Maybe he can bridge the cultural gap and find a way to make stoppage time make sense to those of us from non-soccer countries.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar


    Maybe he can bridge the cultural gap and find a way to make stoppage time make sense to those of us from non-soccer countries.

     

    Funny, when Manchester City scored two goals in stoppage time to win the Premier League on the last day a few years ago, it made perfect sense to billions of us United haters.
  18. Just as interesting to ask is who are the construction and architecture, etc firms that got rich off of this unbelievably expensive project?

    • Replies: @Lagertha
    wanna say China, but I have no proof.
  19. And, more fundamentally, noticing patterns is wrong.

    Noticing anything not approved by the official media of Obama will get you in a lot of trouble….and you don’t want trouble, boy, do you?

  20. @Hacienda
    11-0 drubbing by the French over Qatar would be a comically sweet thing to watch. And how bout some concussive fireworks going off after each goal. Would that be asking for too much? Come on Qatar, do it.

    I don’t think it would be that close. The Qatar team probably couldn’t beat an American college 11…

  21. @a Newsreader
    Maybe he can bridge the cultural gap and find a way to make stoppage time make sense to those of us from non-soccer countries.

    Maybe he can bridge the cultural gap and find a way to make stoppage time make sense to those of us from non-soccer countries.

    Funny, when Manchester City scored two goals in stoppage time to win the Premier League on the last day a few years ago, it made perfect sense to billions of us United haters.

  22. @Ray P
    Potemkin football stadia. Perhaps Qatar is nothing more than an illusion - a giant stage set populated by extras hired by a dozen rich Arabs to pretend that it's a country.

    I’m fairly certain you have hit closest to the truth in your attempt at jest.

    They say truth is often stranger than fiction.

  23. @Intelligent Dasein
    $200 billion for a soccer tournament seems more than a bit insane. Looking at the 2015 World GDP ranking by country, $200 billion is comparable to the Gross Domestic Products of the sovereign nations of Bangladesh (202), Vietnam (199), and Portugal (198). Can we even fathom what it means to blow one Portugal on soccer games every four years? The word "malinvestment" doesn't quite do it justice. It also raises disturbing questions about the very concept of sovereignty, as does the rise of the mega-corporations. Why doesn't Apple, with its $600 billion market cap, have a seat at the United Nations, for instance, when it could swallow up the entire annual output of Vietnam three times over? Would anybody put it past iQueen Tim Cook to lobby for one?

    The era of Big Money is coming to a head and I don't think such expenditures will be possible for much longer in a contracting global economy. I can see only one way that this ends: A brief period of chaotic misrule by oligarchs, followed by the return of authoritarian strongmen. I'm actually in favor of the latter, but it's a shame we have to endure the former before we can get there.

    “Can we even fathom what it means to blow one Portugal”

    so much subtext and softballs, yet I have only this one bat…

  24. Apopros of contemporary matters it is worth recalling that the French member of the FIFA Executive Committee Michel Platini , on the representations of then President Nicolas Sarkozy , voted for Qatar on the basis that it was ” good for France ” .

  25. @JVO
    Just as interesting to ask is who are the construction and architecture, etc firms that got rich off of this unbelievably expensive project?

    wanna say China, but I have no proof.

  26. @Intelligent Dasein
    $200 billion for a soccer tournament seems more than a bit insane. Looking at the 2015 World GDP ranking by country, $200 billion is comparable to the Gross Domestic Products of the sovereign nations of Bangladesh (202), Vietnam (199), and Portugal (198). Can we even fathom what it means to blow one Portugal on soccer games every four years? The word "malinvestment" doesn't quite do it justice. It also raises disturbing questions about the very concept of sovereignty, as does the rise of the mega-corporations. Why doesn't Apple, with its $600 billion market cap, have a seat at the United Nations, for instance, when it could swallow up the entire annual output of Vietnam three times over? Would anybody put it past iQueen Tim Cook to lobby for one?

    The era of Big Money is coming to a head and I don't think such expenditures will be possible for much longer in a contracting global economy. I can see only one way that this ends: A brief period of chaotic misrule by oligarchs, followed by the return of authoritarian strongmen. I'm actually in favor of the latter, but it's a shame we have to endure the former before we can get there.

    Why doesn’t Apple, with its $600 billion market cap, have a seat at the United Nations, for instance, when it could swallow up the entire annual output of Vietnam three times over?

    Because GDP measures the pressure and volume of financial currents, not assets and production.

    Yes, the world has too much money and the excess tends to pool in various appendixes like Apple or Instagram.

    This is not a good thing. Think of it as a kind of immune reaction of the global financial system to free money.

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