Friday, November 30, 2007

Sex, for a good cause

The term "Commercial Sex Work" doesn't cut it any more.
A Chilean prostitute has auctioned 27 hours of sex to raise money for the country's largest charity during an annual fund-raising campaign.

Maria Carolina became an overnight celebrity in the conservative Roman Catholic country, making news headlines and appearing on talk shows since she made her unusual donation to the televised charity event, which runs for 27 hours starting on Friday evening.

"I've already auctioned off the 27 hours of love," Maria Carolina told Reuters on Wednesday, saying she had raised about $4,000. "One of my clients already paid. It seemed like a good deed to him. [More..]

Lesbian Wine

Lesbo is an island apparently..

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Explainations for Sunday Leader Burning..

Some unidentified masked men burned down the Sunday Leader printing press yesterday, the building was located in a high security zone.

So there can be only two explanations,
  1. The security arrangements in HSZs suck so bad that the forces doesn't know until a bunch of goons burn down a building.

  2. Or His Excellency, or one of his brothers gave instructions for (or otherwise blessed) the bonfire.
I'm willing to bet on the latter..

Gurcharan Das on Gujarat

Interesting post from Das on the dilemma of the Gujrati electorate.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Authoritarianism 2.0

Ajay Shah has an interesting post on Authoritarian Capitalism :
... a series of countries have now embarked on what I term `Authoritarianism 2.0' : a blend of free markets with authoritarian politics. This aims to produce good resource allocation and high growth rates through sound economic policy, while retaining one-party (or one-person) rule, denying the rule of law, and supressing the rights of individuals. Rowan Callick has written an article titled The China Model which reviews this style of design of the State, where individuals are seen as consumers but not citizens; where individuals have some economic flexibility but weak political rights. This model is being attempted in Russia, China, Vietnam, UAE, etc. In some ways, Singapore also exhibits some of these features. These countries do not see their political systems as illegitimate way stations on the road to democracy. The effort is to make Authoritarianism 2.0 work; liberal democracy is not even the long-term goal.

The question we really face is about the soundness of the `Capitalism and Freedom' hypothesis. Does the growth of a free market economy inevitably generate pressures to modernise the political system? Or is it possible to combine 21st century economic policy with pre-enlightenment politics? [link : Authoritarianism 2.0]
From recently i have been inquiring into the inadequacies of democracy, but i think i still hold economic freedom would yield greater political freedom, now that political freedom might not necessarily produce a functioning democracy, but it would certainly make authority less coercive thus delivering more political freedom.

In the case of china, they've not brought in market reforms in where its politically disadvantages to the Communist Party i.e. media, telecom, the internet - all avenues which market decentralization would have made censorship difficult and contributed to greater political freedom.

The question is of course whether it is sustainable ? I can only speculate. The reason for its partial success is, to my mind, that people attach a greater value to economic freedom than political freedom because they are more affected by it. You may support Gay/Lesbian Rights, but if you're not gay, it doesn't really affect you. But if you have to queue in the morning to get bread, which you might or might not get, you're bound to be more pissed.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

No Sir, No Porn!

Bike Uncle : No Sir, No Porn! hondata ballanna..
Police Uncle : hmm.. ehemada? (is that so) , now put down your trousers, we have had reports that you have a concealed weapon between your legs used for immoral purposes.

For an irrelevant Democracy

‘Democracy’ and ‘Crisis’ are words we have come to associate them in the same sentence.

In this site and elsewhere, many people have lamented over the conduct of the present administration; Its blatant disregard for anything remotely ‘democratic’ – be it in a lack of accountability in public finances, due process of parliament or a total disregard of the freedom of the press, the Rajapakse administration have both directly and indirectly communicated that such democratic nuisances are too much of an inconvenience, especially ‘when fighting terrorism’.

One can, being good citizens of what is still, at least a quasi-democracy; place the blame squarely on the President, his brothers, the hundred-something ministers and hope the blame game would lead to some sort of a balancing effect. This could well be the case. But could it be that the conduct of the Rajapakse regime is just a manifestation of a very old problem which keeps on repeating itself? Could it be that the problem is in not just the conduct of the ruler, but of democracy itself?

Read the rest of the post in Groundviews.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Ron Paul Raises $4.2 Million in a day

Now this is quite something...

From Associated Press
Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul, aided by an extraordinary outpouring of Internet support Monday, hauled in more than $4.2 million in nearly 24 hours.

Paul, the Texas congressman with a libertarian tilt and an out-of-Iraq pitch, entered heady fundraising territory with a surge of Web-based giving tied to the commemoration of Guy Fawkes Day.

Fawkes was a British mercenary who failed in his attempt to kill King James I on Nov. 5, 1605. He also was the model for the protagonist in the movie "V for Vendetta." Paul backers motivated donors on the Internet with mashed-up clips of the film on the online video site YouTube as well as the Guy Fawkes Day refrain: "Remember, remember the 5th of November."

Paul's total deposed Mitt Romney as the single-day fundraising record holder in the Republican presidential field. When it comes to sums amassed in one day, Paul now ranks only behind Democrats Hillary Rodham Clinton, who raised nearly $6.2 million on June 30, and Barack Obama.

Go Paul!