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Wednesday, May 25, 2011


Television and the internet have educated the world.  Say you are from one of the Arab League countries, and see your country near the bottom on democracy, corruption and press freedom.  For example, THE ECONOMIST, from their 5February2011 issue:

It's obvious why many of these countries are revolting.  Of course, Hosni Mubarak (right) has since abdicated and will now be on trial in Egypt.

The "democracy" column is for the Democracy Index, where Norway is #1, the USA #17, UK #19, Israel #37, Singapore #82, China #135 and North Korea #167.

Next, "corruption" refers to the Corruption Perceptions Index, where Denmark, New Zealand and Singapore are tied for #1, Qatar #19, USA #22 and China #78, North Korea did not make the list, whatever that means.

Finally, press freedom is the Press Freedom Index:  #1 Finland, U.S. #20, China #48, Singapore #136. North Korea #177.

Hmm...I thought the USA was the ultimate (and broken government) democracy, we were honest and had world class press freedom.  I guess not, but we are better than the Arab League.

Let me share one more index, the Human Development Index, where Norway is #1, USA #4, China #89 and Zimbabwe #169.  The three countries with the most improvement from 1980 to 2010 were:

#1  Tunisia
#2  China
#3  Egypt

Do you see a trend here?  #1 and #3 have fallen.  Is China next?  Sometimes, being good is interpreted by the masses as a weakness.  On this basis, Morocco, India and Pakistan could well be next to go.

The Dow Jones Industrials rose 38 to 12,395, and world markets were also mostly up.  Gold increased a buck to $1425/toz and crude is at $10l and $115/ barrel (NYMEX/Brent Spot).

Typhoon Songda, now at 130 MPH, is on the verge of attaining Category 4 status, and should crash into Okinawa on Saturday:


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