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March 09, 2007

fee simple: Five or Twelve. What's the Difference?

Posted by fee simple:

A Presidential Determination was published Friday, March 9, 2007, in the Federal Register (72 FR 10881) concerning the top five importing and exporting countries of certain chemicals which are precursors to the manufacture of the psychotropic substance methamphetamine.

Astute readers will note that the determination refers to "five" countries, but the list names "twelve" counties.

Questions: Does this apparent discrepancy represent:

A) Use of psychotropic substances of the type covered by the Determination?

B) A math-challenged White House?

C) A deep plot by the State Department to count China and Taiwan as one country?

Of course, following the line of reasoning of consolidating countries from twelve to five for the sake of convenience, State would also have to group South Africa and South Korea together (because there are both "South" of something). Furthermore, since Germany has invaded Belgium several times, there is probably no real reason to suspect it couldn't do so again, so let's just lump those two countries together also. Might as well throw in Switzerland to that group as well, given what we've learned since World War II about the extent of their collaborations. Likewise, Indonesia and India both begin with the letters "Ind" and Foreign Service Officers may have difficulty telling the natives of these countries apart.

Revised List of "Five" Countries"

South Africa Korea
Greater Germany
United Kingdom (at least until Scotland, secedes)

Singapore isn't a country, but a cocktail "precursor" -- i.e., the Singapore Sling.

Mexico -- of course -- for purposes of immigration, language, border control, obtaining of drivers licences, and of credit cards, voting rights (coming soon), etc. is already a part of the United States, so it is really a little condescending to list it as a "foreign" county.