Has China Shot Itself In The Foot By Vetoing The Resolution On Syria?

February 9, 2012

Has China Shot Itself In The Foot By Vetoing The Resolution On Syria?

Martin McCauley writes from Beijing: China’s veto of the UN Security Council’s resolution on Syria was greeted with jubilation in Damascus. However, it produced the opposite effect in many Arab capitals. For the first time, China’s policy of non-interference in the domestic affairs of other countries may cost it dear. The guiding principle of Beijing’s foreign policy since the death of Mao Zedong in 1976 has been to promote harmony and stability worldwide. The main reason for this is that the Middle Kingdom has a voracious appetite for energy and raw materials to promote its rapid economic development. Its economy is energy intensive. For example, China needs four times the amount of oil as the United States to increase production by one unit. It is opening a new coal fired power station... 

Pointing Out That Underwear Should Be Just That: Worn Under Wear

February 7, 2012

Pointing Out That Underwear Should Be Just That: Worn Under Wear

Ben Delicious writes from Milan: There’s way too much underwear visible these days – way, way too much. Men and women parade their underpants and bras, obviously thinking they look cool, while actually resembling total retards. The whole point of underwear is for it to be hidden from view, worn under your wear, if you pardon the complicated play of words here. Just because a bunch of sick and twisted fashion designers had decided about a decade ago that showing off your underwear is cool, doesn’t mean that it’s actually like that. Fashion designers know s..t about fashion. Just look at what sort of crap they show on the catwalks and how they manage to make men look like idiots and women like sluts. These guys and girls think it’s their job to shock, not to make people look... 

It’s Not A Good Time For Enthusiasts Of Quick Fix Democracies

February 6, 2012

It’s Not A Good Time For Enthusiasts Of Quick Fix Democracies

Ted Obvious writes from Cairo: The thing you need to remember as you cheer all those so-called pro-democracy revolutions and uprising across the Middle East and North Africa is that the biggest crimes in the history of mankind were committed in the name of freedom. So you’d better keep this in mind next time you’ll be getting all excited about violence breaking out in some country, with protesters beating the freedom drum. But I digress: it’s not a good time to be a keen enthusiast of a quick fix democracy, if you’re living in Egypt for example. It’s even worse if you reside in Libya, Iraq or Afghanistan, but let’s stick with Egypt on this occasion where the last couple of weeks have not been exactly a great promotion for the benefits of democratic rule, especially after nearly... 

War In Afghanistan Proves That The Era Of Western Imperialism Is Over

February 3, 2012

War In Afghanistan Proves That The Era Of Western Imperialism Is Over

Martin McCauley writes from Kabul: The worst kept secret about the war in Afghanistan is out: a classified NATO report from senior officers in Afghanistan -  State of the Taliban – has concluded that the Pakistanis have been aiding and abetting the insurgents all along. The Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency has been running the Taliban since its inception. They have also been working with al Qaeda and other terrorist groups to destabilise Afghanistan. So, where do these revelations leave the international force? High and dry. The dismal conclusion is that the blood, sweat and tears devoted to that unhappy country have been a colossal waste of time and money. ‘Why are we here?’, one can hear the NATO commanders asking themselves. The answer is very simple: ‘We should... 

The Solution To World Poverty? Set Up Free Economic Zones

January 30, 2012

The Solution To World Poverty? Set Up Free Economic Zones

Martin McCauley writes from Honduras: A bold experiment is under way here in one of the poorest countries in Central America. Last July, parliament passed legislation setting up Special Development Regions. Nothing original in that, you might think. We’ll, you’d be wrong. The original concept is to invite foreign judges to take over courts in these regions. This will ensure that corruption is kept under control. Foreign investors will feel that they will not be ripped off. Honduras is following a model adopted by Dubai in 2003 when it set up an International Financial Centre. It has been highly successful. The reason is that English law applies and English commercial judges adjudicate disputes. The late Deng Xiaoping, when he launched the capitalist revolution in China after 1978,... 

People Pushing For Drug Laws To Be Relaxed. There Must Be A Catch In It Somewhere

January 27, 2012

People Pushing For Drug Laws To Be Relaxed. There Must Be A Catch In It Somewhere

Adam Lovejoy writes from London: Here’s a brain twister for you: why would people push for the relaxation of drug laws if they’re not into dope themselves or if their loved ones – horrible term ‘loved ones’ – aren’t into it? Think about it for a moment. Doesn’t really make sense, does it? The House Commons Home Affairs Committee, headed by that weird looking Keith Vaz – there’s a certain contradiction in him presiding over that specific committee – has held hearings this week on drug policy and asked Sir Richard Branson of the Virgin group of companies to give his view on the matter. Sir Richard, so that you know, is a member of the UN backed Global Commission on Drug Policy that has come up with a report last year, claiming that the current arrangement isn’t working... 

Living Longer. And Making Everyone Else More Prosperous

January 25, 2012

Living Longer. And Making Everyone Else More Prosperous

Martin McCauley writes from Tenerife: People live longer these days, that’s a fact and we should all be happy about it. Yet, there are a lot of cynics around who insist that the older you get, the greater the burden on the economy you become. This is rubbish. Research shows that the longer we live, the better off everyone else is. Life expectancy in the United States in 1850 was 43 years. Nowadays it’s almost 80 years. That’s almost a doubling of lifetime. Of course, there were always folks who lived longer than the biblical span of three score years and ten (70 years). The surprising news is that the disability rate, for instance in the US, has also declined as the number of golden oldies has grown. The genome project is making great strides and scientists are working on reverse... 

Definition Of A Classy Broad Sure Has Changed With The Years

January 21, 2012

Definition Of A Classy Broad Sure Has Changed With The Years

Ted Obvious writers from Paris: How things change with time. Fifty years ago the term ‘classy broad’ meant an attractive, well dressed, intelligent woman who possessed an air of mystery about her and took a shower every day. Nowadays it’s mostly about an occasional shower – and pretty much nothing else. Yes, a classy broad now stands for a plain looking chick who dresses like a hooker, likes to get pissed on a Friday and Saturday night and have sex with as many men as possible. A modern classy broad likes to insert a juicy swear word into her conversation, has a tattoo or a couple of them, reads The Hello magazine to keep abreast of world events and has her first Botox when she’s still a teenager. She watches the box a lot, to pick up stuff to be able to keep a conversation... 

So What About The End Of The World In 2012? Well, The Chances Are Slim Really

January 20, 2012

So What About The End Of The World In 2012? Well, The Chances Are Slim Really

Dan Majestic writes from New York: There’s been a lot of talk about the end of the world coming in 2012, as supposedly predicted by the Mayan Indians and other gatherings and groups of people. The scenarios are roughly the same: a natural disaster triggers a whole chain of disasters that eventually destroy the Earth and kill everyone on it. Yes, everyone, even the annoying celebs who seem to never go away. Most of the forecasts about the end of the world in 2012 seem to imply that the final catastrophe would happen in the first month of the year. And now that the chances of that happening are receding fast, the word is that the years to look out for would be 2015 or 2020. There are some who are still sticking to their guns, pointing to the current year as the time of reckoning, but it... 

You Know What’s Wrong With British Comedy? It’s S..t Really

January 17, 2012

You Know What’s Wrong With British Comedy? It’s S..t Really

Ben Delicious writes from London: You know what’s wrong with British comedy? Despite all that supposed diversity and choice and readiness of loads of people to pay good money to go and hear stand-up routines – it’s all s..t really. The stuff British comedians come up with is just not funny. In fact, most of the time it’s so cringingly bad that you actually hope that someone puts them out of their misery. That’s the one occasion when assisted suicide would probably make sense. The big problem with comedians in Britain, both stand-ups and sit-downs and ones who show their mugs on the box with frightening regularity, is that there are still people out there who laugh at what they say. Yes, unfortunately there’s a hard-core audience of dimwits who are prepared to laugh at anything... 

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