Friday, April 18, 2008

You Can't Make This Stuff Up (#1)

In honor of my weekly subscription to The Economist, I'd like to share with my readers the news items that I find side-splitting. World politics is full of unintentional humor - one of the reasons studying it is so enjoyable. The best example came from an article on the rising price of pork in China last year.

The U.S. government maintains strategic reserves for a variety of commodities. The Strategic Petroleum Reserve is best-known, but we also maintain reserves of essential metals like titanium, iron, and gold (hence, Fort Knox is perhaps our oldest "strategic reserve"). Well, the People's Republic of China keeps strategic reserves of - you guessed it - pork. This Chinese strategic reserve, according to The Economist, consists of both frozen pork and live pigs.

Imagine the call from the PRC's Politburo: "Mr. Zhou, this is Mr. Liu. Go to the deep freeze! We need 5 tons of frozen pork NOW!"

The best one from this week comes from Egypt. Hosni Mubarak, faced with riots over the rising price of bread, ordered the Egyptian armed forces to bake bread and distribute it to the people. Way to increase your national debt and maintain your dictatorship all at once!

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