A View From the Cheap Seats

July 9, 2008

Around the World in 1,000 Words


By Rich Trzupek

Spanning the globe, to bring you a constant variety of mopes…

In Asia, China prepares to host the Olympics, while world-class athletes get ready to complete in the games. Some of the competitors may bring a little extra equipment this year, stuff like gas masks, oxygen bottles and water purification tablets.

It has long been a popular myth that the United States in the “world’s biggest polluter”. That has not been even close to true, in terms of actual pollutants, for decades. We have cleaned up our act so well that enviro-nerds had to invent a make-believe pollutant – carbon dioxide – in order to continue making the assertion. However, having passed us in terms of actual pollution many moons ago, China also passed us in pretend pollution last year.

All of this came as something of a shock to the mainstream western media, who “discovered” what those of us in the biz have known for quite some time: that, environmentally speaking China is a toilet, full of belching smokestacks and algae blooms. Perhaps they may want to add a “sludge medal” to the awards? Just a thought.

Meanwhile, over in Africa, Robert Mugabe, successfully used intimidation and violence to “win” what passes for an election in Zimbabwe. This was to be expected from one of the world’s most notorious thugs. What was more troubling was the fact that no African ruler spoke up in public to condemn the aging dictator. Not one.

The reason? Well, the United States and Western Europe spoke out against Mugabe, so they didn’t want it to look like they were taking “our side”. Of course. How about taking the side of justice guys? Or, perhaps, you might consider taking the side of the people of Zimbabwe, who suffer under one of the most corrupt regimes on earth.

One of the signs of maturity is the ability to be honestly self-critical. Sadly for the people of Africa, their leaders are more deficient in this regard than your average fifteen year old.

It’s the classic battle of health nuts versus dope smokers in the Netherlands. The nation is famous for its coffee bars, where patrons roll their own: a mixture of tobacco and pot, and get high while discussing the great issues of the day, or perhaps, just how that’s the bluest shade of blue on your shirt that I’ve ever seen man. Really. Man! Wait – what was I talking about?

This activity may become illegal now. The tobacco part that is. The pot part has always been illegal, technically, but not really, for reasons that your humble correspondent does not completely understand. But, while they’re not serious about pot, they are deadly serious about second hand tobacco smoke – but not pot smoke – and if that makes no sense to you, it shouldn’t. Or maybe one has to be baked to understand the logic. I’m not sure.

We are not certain how this all shakes out. But, if the coffee shops go out of business, you can be sure that the Dorito industry in Holland will take a dreadful hit. Dude.

In the good old US of A, the Best Candidate Ever twisted himself into knots over Iraq, and then blamed the media for making a big deal out of it. Senator Obama has said, as a matter of policy, the last American troops would leave Iraq 18 months after he is inaugurated. This policy pleased both liberals and Al-Quida, who are thus able to better allocate their dwindling stock of suicide bombers. (That would be the terrorists’ suicide bombers. The liberals haven’t developed that technology yet, as far as I know anyway).

Then, The Chosen One decided that he would have to confer with the commanders in the field before making any final decisions on the matter. This sensible statement (he stumbles across one every now and then) made hard-core libs foam at the mouth. Not that this is particularly hard to do, but from Barack? Golly. So he decided that he really meant 18 months – although he will confer (about what we know not) – but it’ll be 18 months and that’s it – got it? We will wait, in gleeful anticipation, for the next pronouncement from On High.

There is nothing wrong with candidates refining their positions on issues after due consideration, or when new evidence comes to light. This is not the case here. The Candidate ought to head out to Bejing, where he would be a shoe-in to take the Gold in the 100 meter backpedal.

Our most loyal ally in South America is Columbia. They are especially important these days, given the paranoia of the guy who rules one nation over, in the Peoples Republic of Venuzula: Hugo Chavez. Given that fact, and the enormous strides that Columbia has made fighting the drug cartels, you’d think that approving a free-trade pact with the nation would be a no-brainer.

Well, no. At least not for Democrats, led by Speaker Nancy Pelosi (herself a no-brainer, if you know what we mean). They rejected the agreement, for reasons too stupid to waste newsprint on. Pelosi’s idiocy and hypocrisy compete for the dominance in her peculiar world-view. We should engage Iran, so that they will like us – which is very important apparently – but a friendly nation in an increasingly unfriendly world? Screw ‘em!

Perhaps the most frightening thing about this situation is the fact that a lardhead like Pelosi is only two heartbeats away from the Oval Office. Yikes, and double yikes!

In Australia, guys drank oceanloads of beer, told hilariously crude jokes and called each other “mate” all the time. Situation normal, in other words.

And finally, in Antarctica, which is host to about 94 per cent of the world’s frozen water, the ice cover on the continent continues to build, angering global-warming alarmists everywhere if one should dare to point it out. So, let’s just keep that between us, shall we?

And that, friends, is the world in one thousand words.

Well, now it is.


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