5 pieces of good news

December 27th, 2013 at 8:26 am by David Farrar

Cracked reports on five pieces of good news:

#5. We’re Closing in on World Peace (Seriously)

Even with wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the first decade of the 21st century saw the number of annual battle deaths at its lowest ever in history.

The number of deaths in significant conflicts in 2013 was around 98,000 out of a global population of over six billion. And 70,000 of those were in Syria alone.

#4. Teen Are Less Likely to Smoke, Drink, or Do Drugs Than Ever

The National Institute on Drug Abuse has been surveying tens of thousands of high schoolers for almost four decades, and not only is drug use down, but almost every form of substance abuse is down.

And not only are the kids not injecting hardcore narcotics any more, they’re also consuming alcohol at record lows, as binge drinking continued its five-year decline right into 2012.

In NZ also, the number of svhool age teenagers who drink alcohol is at record lows.

#3. We’re Getting More Tolerant

If compared to an ideal world free of prejudice, the current state of things is a shameful walrus orgy of a disaster. If compared to the actual world at any point in the past, things look pretty fucking good.

For example, in 2013, 87 percent of Americans surveyed approved of interracial marriage. Just 50 years ago, over 90 percent of Americans disapproved.

A long way to go, but much better than in the past.

#2. Literacy Is at an All-Time High

First, we need to point out that we live in the most literate world ever. Currently, about 99 percent of American adults can read and write. But that’s America — a better question would be how the rest of the world is doing. The answer is also pretty impressive. Take India, for example, and its 1.2 billion people. Fifty years ago, only 18 percent of them could have enjoyed the Twilight saga. Today, over 60 percent of the country can enjoy literature’s greatest love story. Worldwide as a whole, that figure is 84 percent.

It’s 94% in Vietnam.

#1. Worldwide, Poverty Is Dropping at a Shocking Rate

Yes! Even though lately it seems like the whole world is in a race to the bottom, the poorest of the poor are actually climbing out of the financial shithole. From 1990 to 2012, the number of the world’s extreme poor was cut in fucking half. In case you were wondering, that would be the first significant global decline in extreme poverty.

So how did this happen? International aid helped, but the big jump has been in the increased participation of previously isolated countries in international trade. 

Yet certain political parties continue to oppose freeing up of trade barriers.

No tag for this post.

69 Responses to “5 pieces of good news”

  1. Graeme Edgeler (3,216 comments) says:

    In NZ also, the number of school age teenagers who drink alcohol is at record lows.

    This strikes me as unlikely to be true. School age used to be very much lower than it is today. When the majority only attended primary school, perhaps leaving school at 14, was alcohol use among school age teenagers (those 13 and 14) really lower than it is among 13-18 years-olds today?

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  2. hj (5,674 comments) says:

    WHY THE PLUTONOMY WILL GET STRONGER WHERE IT EXISTS, PERHAPS ATTRACT NEW COUNTRIES

    We posit that the drivers of plutonomy in the U.S. (the UK and Canada) are likely to strengthen, entrenching and buttressing plutonomy where it exists. The six drivers of the current plutonomy: 1) an ongoing technology/biotechnology revolution, 2) capitalist friendly governments and tax regimes, 3) globalization that re-arranges global supply chains with mobile well-capitalized elites and immigrants, 4) greater financial complexity and innovation, 5) the rule of law, and 6) patent protection

    At the heart of plutonomy, is income inequality. Societies that are willing to tolerate/endorse income inequality are willing to tolerate/endorse plutonomy.

    So an examination of what might disrupt Plutonomy – or worse, reverse it – falls to societal analysis: will electorates continue to endorse it, or will they end it, and why.

    Report no. 2

    The second report begins by identifying three things that have enabled the creation of plutonomies in the US, UK, Canada and Australia: “Asset booms, a rising profit share and favourable treatment by market-friendly governments”. (emphasis added) Further on it considers:

    What Could Go Wrong

    . . . the rising wealth gap between the rich and poor will probably at some point lead to a political backlash. Whilst the rich are getting a greater share of the wealth, and the poor a lesser share, political enfrachisement remains as was – one person, one vote (in the plutonomies). At some point it is likely that labor will fight back against the rising profit share of the rich and there will be a political backlash against the rising wealth of the rich. . . . . We don’t see this happening yet, though there are signs of rising political tensions. However we are keeping a close eye on developments.

    http://rwer.wordpress.com/2012/03/14/the-plutonomy-reports/

    Claims to be a Citigroup Report. Property = asset boom.

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  3. Harriet (4,002 comments) says:

    “……#5. We’re Closing in on World Peace (Seriously)
    Even with wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the first decade of the 21st century saw the number of annual battle deaths at its lowest ever in history…..”

    No shit…………….we didn’t start fucking surrendering till the 21st Century! :cool:

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  4. PaulL (5,774 comments) says:

    @Graeme: nitpicking much? I think the point is that those in their teens are binge drinking less, which is a good thing. Perhaps the description of “school age” is not a good one, but I think the point is reasonably clear.

    @Harriet: I don’t think it’s surrendering. There’s a fair bit of not getting involved in every conflict around the world, and not choosing to escalate conflicts that didn’t need escalating. It’s hard, and hindsight is much better than foresight. Syria probably should have received intervention and didn’t. Other places that might have got intervention in the past didn’t, and were the better for it. The bottom line is that a few failed wars by the US has diminished their appetite for military adventurism around the world. Europe never had that appetite (at least not in the second half of the 20th century, perhaps their experiences before them tired them out). I think this is largely due to the currently fashionable view that you should be able to run a war without casualties, and without spending money. So the US is trying to run wars on a shoestring, and to run wars in which one US life is worth 100 of the opposing civilian population. So they’ll bomb their target with a bunch of civilian casualties, instead of sending in some troops with risk of loss of life. And at the end of that, the population you’re “protecting” don’t like you much. Not exactly a recipe for success.

    @hj: off topic much?

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  5. Andrei (2,428 comments) says:

    The world looked a safe and benign place where things were improving for all at a rapid pace in January 1914 and then a few months later …….

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  6. hj (5,674 comments) says:

    This is the longest of the three reports. Significantly it notes that:

    The rise of this inequality is not universal. In a number of other countries – the non-plutonomies – income inequality has remained around the levels of the mid 1970s. Egalitarianism rules. (p.9)

    It singles out Japan, France, Switzerland and the Netherlands as examples and dubs them “The Egalitarian Bunch”. Their deviance is then illustrated with a graph titled “The Income Share of the Top 1% Is Relatively Small Compared to Plutonomies”.

    Further on, after reminding the readership that “plutonomy countries” are those with “economies powered by a relatively small number of rich people” and geared to “financial wealth creation”, and noting that the previous week a “Plutonomy Symposium” was held in London, “the risks to plutonomy” are, as in previous reports, considered.

    Perhaps the most immediate challenge to Plutonomy comes from the political process. Ultimately, the rise in income and wealth inequality to some extent is an economic disenfranchisement of the masses to the benefit of the few. However in democracies this is rarely tolerated forever. One of the key forces helping plutonomists over the last 20 years has been the rise in the profit share – the flip side of the fall in the wage share in GDP. As plutonomists or capitalists tend to be long {on} the profit share, they have benefited from trends like globalization and the productivity revolution, disproportionately. However, labor has, relatively speaking, lost out. We see the biggest threat to plutonomy as coming from a rise in political demands to reduce income inequality, spread the wealth more evenly, and challenge forces such as globalization which have benefited profit and wealth growth. [emphasis added]

    I suppose you could say Labour and the Greens are useful fools in helping to usurp the democratic process by taking sides in the immigration debate, whereby, the Productivity Commision’s terms of enquiry were limited to what would be relatively uncontroversial given the desire to establish broad political support for the Commission? Unlike the Australian Productivity Commision which laid it out straight .

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  7. ChardonnayGuy (1,023 comments) says:

    Unfortunately, despite the downscaling of hostilities in Iraq and Afghanistan, there’s still the Syrian Civil War, Central African Republic and South Sudan’s miseries to consider. So the outbreak of world peace is sadly somewhat premature…

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  8. Harriet (4,002 comments) says:

    “…..In NZ also, the number of svhool age teenagers who drink alcohol is at record lows….”

    So ? Most 12ylds in France do drink. With their mums and dads. Is that child abuse then?

    The whole of France abuses children then – seriously? No one would fucken believe that rubbish!

    The statistics are meaningless as drinking alcohol is not harmful at all.

    Misusing alcohol is harmful, infact very harmful, and it is the statistic that really only counts!

    Kids should drink with their mums and dads more often. Lots of male doctors and police officers give their young sons a sip of beer from time to time. Lawyers too.

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  9. kowtow (6,685 comments) says:

    World peace and tolerance……..hmmmmmm,let’s see……

    The so called Arab Spring ,much vaunted by the MSM and made worse by Obama,Camoron and Hollande’s interventions have resulted in shit places becoming even shittier and ungovernable,creating massive problems in Libya,Egypt,Syria with continuing unrest in other Muslim shitholes.
    Saudi is oppressive,Somalia,South Sudan,Chad and CAR are in civil war ,while South Africa is a hell hole of murder and rape.
    North Korea is the world’s largest open concentration camp whose leader threatens nuclear war when the South dare to smile!While China is arming itself to the teeth.

    Last little point……I don’t believe that shit about teens and drink and drugs.My guess is they’re more cynical than before and couldn’t be arsed to fill in the forms honestly……why would they?

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  10. ChardonnayGuy (1,023 comments) says:

    Sorry, I’m a teetotaller. I’ve never indulged, nor do I ever intend to do so, despite my ironic handle. Despite that, it is obvious that alcohol can be used responsibly, but we still have idiots driving under the influence that result in traffic offences, booze-fuelled domestic violence, interpersonal assault et al. Some regulatory curbs on alcohol availability do seem desirable compared to others, such as excise tax rises, alcopop availability restrictions, liquor-free zone local body ordinances, further alcohol advertising restrictions or other public health measures. Unfortunately, much of the debate seems to centre on the minimum age for liquor consumption instead of other amenable policy reforms.

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  11. ChardonnayGuy (1,023 comments) says:

    To be fair to the world leaders in question cited by KT, the problem with the Arab Spring was that the erstwhile authoritarian tyrants of Egypt, Libya et al didn’t exactly encourage the development of a pluralist and stable civil society or history of authentic parliamentary democracy. Somalia, Sudan, Chad and CAR, Pakistan, ad nauseum have all had histories of vile regimes before the interventions in question. Moreover, what about Putin and Chechyna, Russia’s interference in the sovereignty of the Ukraine and its preferred international relationships, and its own hamfisted interference?

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  12. wat dabney (3,423 comments) says:

    We’re Getting More Tolerant

    The problem is that too many posters here don’t see this as good news.

    They revel in their bigotry.

    It is part of their identity.

    kowtow,

    The item talks about violence declining in relative terms. It doesn’t say there is no violence.

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  13. Andrei (2,428 comments) says:

    Ah yes Wat – that tolerance thing.

    We live in tolerant times

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  14. kowtow (6,685 comments) says:

    I post facts……Muslim terrorism and destruction,no lies,no propaganda.They hate Christians (and atheists).They kill them at Christmas in their churches.

    You talk of tolerance.Your posts prove you are a bigot. You hate Christianity.

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  15. ChardonnayGuy (1,023 comments) says:

    Yes, one can get arrested for freedom of expression like that in Russia, because it never underwent a proper Enlightenment experience and developed an authentic civil society, did it, Andrei? And sentenced to ridiculous prison sentences within the Holy Ukase of Tsar Vladimir the Great…

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  16. kowtow (6,685 comments) says:

    Muslim tolerance……try publishing a cartoon these days…….

    a once proud ,free and independant media cowed by a bunch of ragheads.

    But they’ve no problem attacking their own religion,history and culture……tolerance in the west is newspeak for cowardice.

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  17. ChardonnayGuy (1,023 comments) says:

    KT, the problem is that while terrorism and destruction undoubtedly do occur within Muslim majority societies, Islam is a global faith and has diverse expressions and political shades, given its one thousand four hundred year global history. Much of it is directed against Muslims of the “wrong” denomination, such as Sunni Muslims within Shia-dominated Iraq and Shia Muslims within Sunni-dominated Afghanistan. Moreover, in places like Nigeria, Christian factions aren’t exactly the soul of restraint and tolerance either, whatever the ghastly behaviour of insane cults like Boko Harum might indicate. It’s not all “christians good/muslims bad.” What about Bosnia in the nineties, for instance? And do you think the Russians are behaving like boy scouts in Chechnya?

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  18. kowtow (6,685 comments) says:

    chardon

    Try something on in Saudi Woggabia.

    At least Russia is getting there,if we help,instead of hinder. Saudi never will.

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  19. ChardonnayGuy (1,023 comments) says:

    Moreover, South Sudan is predominantly Christian- which is why it seceded from North Sudan in the first place. Unfortunately, tribalism appears to be having its wicked way there. Much as it did in Rwanda twenty years ago.

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  20. wat dabney (3,423 comments) says:

    kowtow,

    You post selective facts. That’s the point.

    I simply post additional evidence which demonstrate that Christianity’s true nature – i.e. when it is in a position of power – is no different from Islam.

    Put another way, if you despise Islam you must also despise Christianity. At least if you are being objective, fair and consistent.

    On the other hand, if you simply wish to indulge in blinkered, partisan name-calling and finger-pointing, then knock yourself out. Just try not to be too surprised and upset when you are called on your childishness.

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  21. ChardonnayGuy (1,023 comments) says:

    No, KT, Russia is not “getting there.” Much like its Afghan War experience, it is contributing to the radicalisation of its indigenous Muslim population through war atrocities and contributing to the corruption and militarisation of its own society- such as the assassination of courageous independent journalists who speak out about those atrocities. Not that I condone the acts of Chechnyan ” black widow’ reprisals against innocent Russian civilians, I do not. But nor do I condone what is going on behind the facade of intensive media censorship in Chechnya. You’re correct about Saudi contributions to the insurgent forces, but then, that happened in Afghanistan in the eighties, remember? Oh, that’s right. The ‘radical Islamists” were on “our” side, then.

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  22. Sonny Blount (1,829 comments) says:

    “……#5. We’re Closing in on World Peace (Seriously)
    Even with wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the first decade of the 21st century saw the number of annual battle deaths at its lowest ever in history…..”

    No shit…………….we didn’t start fucking surrendering till the 21st Century! :cool:

    Afghanistan needs a generation or two of imperial colonialism.

    It needs to be made a dominion of the US with US and UK governers installed and civil institutions set up and run by westerners.

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  23. Harriet (4,002 comments) says:

    “…….“We’re Getting More Tolerant”
    The problem is that too many posters here don’t see this as good news….”

    And why on earth would we Watty:

    “In the world it is called Tolerance, but in hell it is called Despair, the sin that believes in nothing, cares for nothing, seeks to know nothing, interferes with nothing, enjoys nothing, hates nothing, finds purpose in nothing, lives for nothing, and remains alive because there is nothing for which it will die.” – Dorothy L. Sayers (1893-1957)

    Tolerance isn’t productive. It’s statism for the current generations and degenerative for the next. It’s not a standard, a value[as it holds evrything to the same value] a moral, or even a hope. Tolerance is crap. Immature crap.

    It’s for fucken dreamers. Tolerance is ‘utopia’ – where busy bodies in every crook and nanny of society run around telling other people how to behave so they don’t ever ever offend someone.
    That can’t end well, but then making sausage meat out of humans never did. :cool:

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  24. ChardonnayGuy (1,023 comments) says:

    Getting back to Graeme’s post, apparently, public health and corporate marketing data both verify the long-term decline in overall alcohol consumption, especially amongst younger age cohorts. It’s an encouraging development, offset by insidious developments such as the manipulative product development and marketing of such fare as alcopops and RTD vodka sachets.

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  25. ChardonnayGuy (1,023 comments) says:

    Sonny- if it didn’t happen under either the British Raj, or the Soviet Union in the eighties, what makes you think that renewed Anglo-American colonialism will benefit Afghanistan? Look at the current situation under President Hamid Karzai now. It’s a slight improvement, but wait until the US and allied armies have been gone for a while. It’ll take time because the Taliban and local Afghan warlords are factionalised and Afghanistan is a failed state riven by centuries of ethnic and religious factionalism, but it’ll happen.

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  26. kowtow (6,685 comments) says:

    …….a dominion of the US and UK?

    Fuck that.They’ve got enough raghead immigrants as it is.

    Give the south to Pakistan ,the west to Iran, and the north to the Uzbecks,Turkmens and Kyrgiz.

    No more Afghanistan,no more fucken trouble.

    No farting around with creating a human rights based govt in a shithole that wouldn’t know about the concept anyway.

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  27. wat dabney (3,423 comments) says:

    Harriet,

    You are very confused.

    Toleration has nothing inherently to do with the state, it simply means allowing others to pursue their own happiness according to their own lights.

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  28. ChardonnayGuy (1,023 comments) says:

    KT…how much do you know about Pakistan’s history since 1948? It’s not exactly an advertisement for stable parliamentary democracy itself. And the whole succession of Afghan War fiascos is only worsening its internal divisions.

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  29. Harriet (4,002 comments) says:

    “…..in Russia, because it never underwent a proper Enlightenment experience and developed an authentic civil society, did it, Andrei?…”

    ‘Elightenment…….authentic’ ———– what – in your eyes?

    What ever happened to tolerance hey Shoodygayguy? :cool:

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  30. Andrei (2,428 comments) says:

    Lol ChardonnayGuy,

    Much like its Afghan War experience, it is contributing to the radicalisation of its indigenous Muslim population through war atrocities and contributing to the corruption and militarisation of its own society- such as the assassination of courageous independent journalists who speak out about those atrocities

    Unlike the formally Great Britain where the indigenous Muslim population, radicalized by Britain’s war in Afghanistan, apparently, saw the heads off British Soldiers in the street while the indigenous non Muslim population film the action on cell phones and post it on YouTube

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  31. kowtow (6,685 comments) says:

    Why would I despise Christianity?

    There is a war of civilisations or cultures going on right now.I know whose side I’m on and I also know who the enemy is.

    The logic is that of survival.

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  32. wat dabney (3,423 comments) says:

    Why would I despise Christianity?

    For precisely the same reason you keep inviting us to despise Islam.

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  33. ChardonnayGuy (1,023 comments) says:

    Wow, Andrei, so you apparently inhabit a parallel universe where Enoch Powell and the National Front didn’t provoke an equally destructive conservative Islamist response in the eighties and nineties?

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  34. PaulL (5,774 comments) says:

    Actually kowtow, the fiction that there’s a war of civilisation going on is perpetuated by grumpy middle aged white men who aren’t happy any more (most likely due to being middle aged), and are looking for a reason to tell us all that the world is a worse place than it was. The metrics say that it isn’t, the problem is that any small problem anywhere in the world is magnified by the global media, who completely ignore good news (in turn because grumpy middle aged men don’t read good news, and they’re overwhelmingly the newspaper buyers).

    Muslims aren’t taking over the world, and if we didn’t keep going to the shitholes that they live in and interfering, they’d have little interest in coming to blow us up. Even when they do come to blow us up, they generally kill far fewer people than things like road deaths do – calling it a war and dignifying what they’re doing is a complete mistake. What they are is law breakers, we shouldn’t change our way of life to deal with that, we should just beef up the police force and prosecute them when we catch them. No martyrdom, no publicity, no incessant bleating. In short, we deny them what they want, and we continue to disrupt their operations to the extent they impact on us (i.e. when they start killing people in our country). We don’t go over to their country and start killing people, that just radicalises the next generation.

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  35. kowtow (6,685 comments) says:

    Enoch Powell was a great intellectual,he clearly foretold the trouble Britain’s political elite was bringing on to it’s proud and brave population.

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  36. Harriet (4,002 comments) says:

    “……Harriet,…..You are very confused…………Toleration has nothing inherently to do with the state, it simply means allowing others to pursue their own happiness according to their own lights…..”

    No I’m not.

    And stop talking shit. Most drug addicts, and homosexuals too for that matter, could hardly define ‘happiness’ much beyond that of ‘addiction’! :cool:

    Anyway, gays got the government to steel from hetrosexuals the most important hetrosexual relationship title that they had: Marriage.

    Now it doesn’t exist at all as a hetrosexual title, but a homo/hetrosexual relationship title. The dismanteling of the ‘recognition of an intergenerational pillar that is the foundation of all societies. A biological matter.’.

    And all done in the name of tolerance, or in truth, the ‘emotional word ‘equality’.

    You are very confused. And the 120 or so in Wellington who voted for it.

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  37. Fletch (5,716 comments) says:

    “We’re Getting More Tolerant”

    That really just means we are getting so apathetic that we don’t stand for anything.

    What does it mean to be tolerant or to tolerate something? It means to put up with it. Tolerate your neighbour’s loud music, or tolerate the heat. Tolerate the perversities of your neighbour’s lifestyle – better that than confrontation. The thing is, society is so “tolerant” now that we tolerate perversity rather than kick up a fuss where we should. And the tolerance only goes one way – look at what happened to Duck Dynasty’s Phil Robertson. You’re tolerant as long as you toe the liberal line.

    Where are the people tolerant of the Christian lifestyle?

    Along with that goes the statistic about less wars. Well, of course! If the West does not stand up for it’s beliefs and traditions, if it bends over backward in submission, of course there will be more ‘peace’ and less war. Even militant Islam believes in peace – once the world is under Sharia law and the infidels and been swayed or suppressed. The same kind of ‘peace’ that North Korea has – the same kind of peace under any dictator.

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  38. Andrei (2,428 comments) says:

    Moreover, what about Putin and Chechyna Islamic Radicals and the North Caucasus, Russia’s the EUs interference in the sovereignty of the Ukraine and its preferred international relationships, and its own hamfisted interference?

    In the days when Francis Fukuyama wrote is (in)famous “The End of History and the Last Man” in the absurd belief that Western Liberalism provided the pinnacle methodology for the management human affairs and the end of the Soviet Union provided abundant opportunities to loot the treasures of the USSR and its satellites various actors, none of whom really subscribed to Fukuyama’s thesis saw opportunities to advance their own agendas.

    It suited the USA and Western Europe to separate Ukraine, Belarus, the South Caucasus from Moscow’s orbit and try and bring them into their own fold.

    But these new nations are not natural entities, historically, culturally, economically nor linguistically, their borders are somewhat arbitary and many of the people who live within those borders have no cultural affinity with the West and particular no cultural affinity with Western Liberals.

    This is why these sort of enterprises often lead to wars and civil disorder as the dismemberment of Yugoslavia in that era so chillingly demonstrated

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  39. Nukuleka (77 comments) says:

    wat dabney:

    “it simply means allowing others to pursue their own happiness according to their own lights.”

    This presumably includes pedophiles, rapists etc

    ‘Tolerance’ is a warm fuzzy word that means absolutely nowt.

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  40. wat dabney (3,423 comments) says:

    Harriet,

    The gays stole marriage from straight people?

    Do you realise just how stupid you reveal yourself to be with such laughable rants?

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  41. Fletch (5,716 comments) says:

    Actually kowtow, the fiction that there’s a war of civilisation going on is perpetuated by grumpy middle aged white men

    PaulL – WAKE UP!!

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  42. Harriet (4,002 comments) says:

    “…..We don’t go over to their country and start killing people, that just radicalises the next generation….”

    That’s not the whole truth.

    You know full well that you have to capture people who are currently ‘training AS terrorists’.

    And no government can allow it’s buildings, airplanes, and suburbs, to become the venue of warfare. Terrorist attacks are warfare.

    Going to Afganistan was the only option. It drew out a large proportion of the enemy.

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  43. kowtow (6,685 comments) says:

    Being carved up by a machete in South Sudan or the CAR isn’t a small problem (as PaulL so blithley puts it)for the victim.

    From what I can see the world’s media is more interested in Miley Someone or other’s twerk or a Kardashian bum than the travails of Africa or the minor details of how ungovernable Libya has become.

    We grumpy middle aged men (taxpayers) are interested in serious news.We pay for our government’s mistakes.

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  44. Fletch (5,716 comments) says:

    ps, the largest voting bloc at the United Nations, the OIC (made of 56 Muslim countries and the “Palestinian” territories) have issued their latest report (released 4 days ago) where they want to criminalize any free speech that is critical of Islam.

    An influential bloc of 57 Muslim countries demands that the West make it an international crime to criticize Islam. Then stop making it such an easy target.

    In its 94-page document on “Islamophobia,” the Saudi-based Organization of Islamic Cooperation lists as potential felonies: expressing “ideas that Muslims are inclined to violence” and “Islam is an inherently expansionist religion.”

    In its current report, the OIC proposes the U.S. and Europe bar from entry known critics of Islam, so they can’t take part in rallies or lectures regarding terrorism. It also wants to censor teachers and indoctrinate students by issuing “Guidelines for Educators on Countering Intolerance and Discrimination against Muslims.”

    In its report, the OIC bullies the media, too.

    It complains they play a “negative role” by propagating “stereotypes and misperceptions about Islam.” Specifically, it doesn’t like reporting on the “radicalization” of Muslims, arguing that Islam does not radicalize Muslims to the point where they commit terrorist acts.

    http://news.investors.com/ibd-editorials/122313-684020-oic-demands-west-adhere-to-islamic-blasphemy-laws.htm

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  45. ChardonnayGuy (1,023 comments) says:

    Andrei, if I recall correctly, the Ukraine, Belarus, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania seceded from the former Soviet Union when communism collapsed in 1991. When they were given their free choice of travel, trade and migration, it’s only natural that they chose the liberal democratic European Union over the increasingly authoritarian neoconservative oligarchy of Russia, governed by Tsar Vladimir with his compliant media, puppet PM Dimitry Medvedev and hidebound, backward Russian Orthodox Church.

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  46. ChardonnayGuy (1,023 comments) says:

    Oh, so we’re just *imagining* the Shia and Sunni factions in Lebanon, Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq and Pakistan blowing the shit out of each other, are we?! What “unified Islamic bloc?!” Iran and Saudi Arabia hate each others guts!

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  47. Sonny Blount (1,829 comments) says:

    PaulL (5,589 comments) says:
    December 27th, 2013 at 10:41 am We don’t go over to their country and start killing people, that just radicalises the next generation.

    Rubbish.

    You are who you are because some previously “oppressive” force occupied and civilised your ancestors and/or lands.

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  48. Harriet (4,002 comments) says:

    “…..The gays stole marriage from straight people?
    ……Do you realise just how stupid you reveal yourself to be with such laughable rants?…”

    I never said that. And no, it’s not stupid or a rant. It is fact.

    I said “the gays got the government to steel the Marriage label off straight people.”

    They never asked us. Nearly all said no anyway at the thought of it. They didn’t give us anything in return for taking it.

    We don’t have our hetrosexual title anymore. It no longer exists. The government simply took the title off us.

    Yes – most people would call it stealing.

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  49. ChardonnayGuy (1,023 comments) says:

    Oh, silly me. I thought that there were large packs of feral neofascists in the United Kingdom (the British National Party) and France (the National Front) who had provoked a compensatory but equally authoritarian response from Islamist elements in both societies. And isn’t it resorting to euphemisms to call the scumball Nick Griffin and his barely australopithecine acolytes “civilised”?

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  50. ChardonnayGuy (1,023 comments) says:

    No, Hurriut, it is not a ‘fact.” And nor has marriage been ‘stolen’ from you Aussies, whatever the democratically elected representatives of the Australian Capital Territory might have thought otherwise. Apparently in your case, grotesquely stunted IQ was no obstacle to nuptials.

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  51. kowtow (6,685 comments) says:

    War of cultures and a lack of serious reporting by the global media.

    Muslims never invaded a Christian country.Try Cyprus.

    “Secular” democratic Turkey ,as we’re always led by the nose to believe it is ,is in deep shit right now.There’s an internal Islamic struggle for control of the government.Not at the ballot box but by secret machinations.

    The only institution that kept Turkey secular was the army,hardly institutionalised democracy.
    They want to remosque Hagia Sofia.They have the most militarised border in Europe.They invaded and currently illegally occupy northern Cyprus.

    And many of the EU elite want them to be members of the European Union.

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  52. wat dabney (3,423 comments) says:

    Nukuleka,

    ‘it simply means allowing others to pursue their own happiness according to their own lights’

    This presumably includes pedophiles, rapists etc

    Seriously, you presume that?

    You think that’s what toleration is?

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  53. wat dabney (3,423 comments) says:

    Harriet,

    I can put your mind at rest on this one.

    I just checked,and apparently straight people can still get married in New Zealand.

    I guess you should apologise to the gays for falsely accusing them all of theft.

    They’re waiting…

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  54. Scott Chris (5,675 comments) says:

    Funny how the far left and the far right see good news as bad news.

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  55. Harriet (4,002 comments) says:

    “……australopithecine acolytes “civilised”?……”

    Chardonaygayguy.

    Being gay,

    Why don’t you go and live right bang smack in the middle of the Dervish hoards in the UK. Right where they bash ‘white people’ for simply buying a sixpac of beer at the local bottle shop at the end of the socialist taxing working week.

    Tell them you are on their side – to help fight ‘the bigots’. :cool:

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  56. Harriet (4,002 comments) says:

    “….I just checked,and apparently straight people can still get married in New Zealand…..”

    Stop being a fool.

    The Marriage title was a hetrosexual label. It no longer is. It no longer exists. That is what was stolen. Not the act of getting Married. That was renamed.

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  57. Harriet (4,002 comments) says:

    The Marriage title was a hetrosexual label. It no longer is. It no longer exists. That is what was stolen. Not the act of getting Married. That was renamed.

    EDIT: that is supposed to read ‘…..redefined…’ not renamed.

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  58. hj (5,674 comments) says:

    I would have to say markets are a force for good when I think of what happened to Yugoslavia under Tito and a lifting of the lid. I see an economy as an ecosystem (however) and the players (humans) as genetic bots which try to maximise their own reproduction (in tough times they have more babies not less) until they clearly associate security to having smaller families when they achieve a level of wealth and comfort. The problem is that the population in it’s former state has to achieve development in a modern world where disease and predator have been largely conquered. We may be getting there but will we get there? Places like China are still heavily dependant on fossil fuel, they are flat stick producing cars and C02 is an issue (I don’t believe market forces will draw technological solutions out of the hat – on demand).

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  59. hj (5,674 comments) says:

    Coal and water stress
    http://www.wri.org/blog/majority-china%E2%80%99s-proposed-coal-fired-power-plants-located-water-stressed-regions

    Melting Glaciers:

    Running 2,000 kilometres from east to west and comprising more than 60,000 square kilometres of ice, the Hindu Kush–Karakoram–Himalayan glaciers are a source of water for the quarter of the global population that lives in south Asia. Glaciers are natural stores and regulators of water supply to rivers, which, in turn, provide water for domestic and industrial consumption, energy generation and irrigation.
    Ice cover is decreasing in this region, as for most glaciers in the world, as a result of global warming. Between 2003 and 2009, Himalayan glaciers lost an estimated 174 gigatonnes of water1, and contributed to catastrophic floods of the Indus, Ganges and Brahmaputra rivers. Pollution is accelerating the melt. An ‘Asian brown cloud’, formed from the 2 million tonnes of soot and dark particles released into the atmosphere every year, mostly from India and China, warms the air and surface ice2.

    http://www.nature.com/news/climate-change-melting-glaciers-bring-energy-uncertainty-1.14031

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  60. Sonny Blount (1,829 comments) says:

    hj,

    You’d think they would learn. They have already been burned making proclamations about Himilayan Glaciars. They obviously feel secure in the compliance of their repeaters.

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  61. Fletch (5,716 comments) says:

    What “unified Islamic bloc?!” Iran and Saudi Arabia hate each others guts!

    Yes they do, but both are still Muslim and anti-West.

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  62. Fletch (5,716 comments) says:

    The Marriage title was a hetrosexual label. It no longer is. It no longer exists. That is what was stolen. Not the act of getting Married.

    Exactly. They have redefined what “marriage’ meant. It’s like if a restaurant decided that ‘chicken and chips’ also meant the same as the meal ‘fish and chips’. So ‘fish and chips’ would lose what it meant – it’s definition. If people were ordering fish and chips it could in actuality be one of two different things.

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  63. Tautaioleua (266 comments) says:

    China is in the business of a second aircraft carrier, India has three. In fact, on the 12 Dec Putin said in a speech to the masses that “NO ONE WILL PREVAIL OVER THE RUSSIAN MILITARY” as he announced an instant $700 billion dollar increase in defence spending.

    Japan is heading in the same direction, violating her own constitution that forbids a military (but Shinzo Abe was never elected by the people, and so his respect for the constitution is as good as a prostitute’s purity).

    There’s an arms race in Asia that almost replicates those in Europe that preceded WWI and II.

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  64. wat dabney (3,423 comments) says:

    The Marriage title was a hetrosexual label. It no longer is. It no longer exists. That is what was stolen. Not the act of getting Married.

    The term was broadened, not stolen.

    It’s no different from the way job titles were adapted as women entered fully into the workforce.

    It’s like if a restaurant decided that ‘chicken and chips’ also meant the same as the meal ‘fish and chips’. So ‘fish and chips’ would lose what it meant – it’s definition. If people were ordering fish and chips it could in actuality be one of two different things.

    I thought that was just lovely, the idea that we might end up accidentally marrying someone of the same sex because, you know, the term “marriage” no longer implies heterosexuality.

    Mum. Dad. This is Brian. Believe me I’m as surprised as you are…

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  65. Dazzaman (1,114 comments) says:

    What a childish post…..there are ebbs & flows to the good & bad in the world.

    One thing annoys me more than anything else in the article, the assumption that battle deaths are at a low.

    A couple of factors may have contributed to this, there has been an increase in the use of precision guided munitions by western military in particular over the last couple of decades or so, resulting in a dramatic decrease in collateral damage/deaths. Also, western rules of engagement have been pussified greatly, with largely only special forces troops being relatively free to slaughter enemy combatants & anyone else who gets in the way. There can’t be any real accuracy in the number of dead/wounded combatants…..sides do embellish/diminish the numbers of casualties in conflicts.

    The old chestnut of lies, damn lies & statistics comes to mind…..

    There are also a number of regions of conflict that are about to blow, or are brewing up or have never been resolved….

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  66. Harriet (4,002 comments) says:

    “……..“ The Marriage title was a hetrosexual label. It no longer is. It no longer exists. That is what was stolen. Not the act of getting Married. ”

    The term was broadened, not stolen…..”

    Two things happened in the gay marriage debate – the re-definition of Marriage – and the ‘loss’ of a hetrosexual title!

    Those are indisputable facts!

    There is a huge differance between ‘expanding the definition of Marriage’ – and ‘taking away a hetrosexual label [marriage]‘. As they are TWO DIFFERANT RESULTS!!

    Or in other words – where is the hetrosexual title now then?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    It’s gone. It was taken from us by a 120 person government decree. And we have not been compensated for that loss.

    As I said : It was stolen.

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  67. SPC (4,611 comments) says:

    I don’t think it is free trade with the developing nations that is opposed by some political parties.

    It is the top of the line corporate model of “free trade” proposed by the USA and in some areas the EU that may not be in our interest as a trading nation. Some sovereignty over economic policy should be left to the nation state.

    Free trade is what has and will enable a pay off from earlier foreign aid/development work building up third world infrastructure.

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  68. SPC (4,611 comments) says:

    As for the UK and Enoch Powell, he imagined an inability to co-exist with people who were not of the European race. Well if there was some sense of global power struggle between the European race and other races then maybe he could have been right.

    Yet the major related issue in the UK today is affording the welfare cost of migration within the EU labour market because the commonality of English as a second language makes it a favoured destination. And this involves fellow Europeans.

    Even Moslem migration does not exercise the UK government as much and this despite some seeing a confrontation between the Christian West and the Moslem for world cultural dominance. When the real struggle is between secular democracy and anything else.

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  69. wikiriwhis business (3,276 comments) says:

    The best news of 2013 for me is George Galloway MP is raising funds for The Killing of Tony Blair on Kickstarter!

    He crowd funded the revenue and has received well above the nessecary amount needed for filming.

    This film will be a total expose of Tony Blair as a murderous henchmen of George Bush and will bring international recognition of why George Bush cannot leave the US as well as his top officials.

    Tony Blair and the Bush administration should all be in the Hague facing human rights violations. This film may bring it about.

    George Galloway is highly regarded as a contender for the London mayoralty and if voted in will work forcibly against the bankers in the City of London. His committment is to have them all jailed.

    let’s hope this film will raise Galloway’s profile even larger.

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