Sunday, November 28, 2004

How to shed those extra holiday pounds

Ukraine seems to be moving towards a re-run of the presidential election, which is fine as far as it goes, since it is impossible to determine the true result of the last one. But what are the conditions required for a new, fair election? Yushchenko’s people are demanding that Yanukovych not be allowed to fight it as sitting prime minister, and that the electoral commission be purged. Meanwhile, the regional legislature of Donetsk has voted 164-1--repeat, 164 to 1--to hold a referendum on autonomy for the region before on Dec. 5, before any possible presidential election re-run. Clearly the regional fissures won’t go away no matter which Mr. Y becomes president.

Zimbabwe has land-reformed itself into a basket case, and millions have fled the country’s poverty and fascism (a term I don’t use lightly, except when I do: Zim has re-education camps, secret police, racist rhetoric, the forcible disbanding of every independent institution, etc). The government’s newest solution to its inability to run the farms it seized from whites: “obesity tourism.” Lure rich fat white tourists from, say, the US, to “provide labour for farms in the hope of shedding weight while enjoying the tourism experience. ... The tourists can then top it all by flaunting their slim bodies on a sun-downer cruise on the Zambezi or surveying the majestic Great Zimbabwe ruins.”

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