Archive for the Arab Spring Category


Posted in And now the snorting starts, Antique surgical instruments, Arab Spring, Artists Rights, おかしなふるまいの, अजीब, Canada, Crime and Punishment, космическая девушка, gülen yüz, good guys and bad guys, Headline, Headlines, 스타게이트유니버스, ανόητο άτομα, Joseph Bleckman, kluchtig, lächerlich, Mysterious Mysteries, News, скарлетт йоханссон, What are you sick or something?, Why do people in other countries talk funny?, טילים, الجامعة العربية, بشار الاسد, خنده, خنده دار, سكارليت جوهانسون, سياسة on July 5, 2013 by paulboylan

buried with flowers

NEWARK – Anthropologists have uncovered a 12,000 year old grave from an ancient Mafia “hit.”

“Twelve thousand years ago two bodies were dumped into a grave, a bouquet of flowers were tossed on top of them, and then the grave was filled with dirt,” said Dr. Edwina Motel, Director of the New Jersey Institute of Archeological Anthropology. “This is the oldest example of a contract killing thus far discovered,” Motel said.

“We got no comment,” said Joe Pamplionani, spokesperson for the Pamplionani crime family. “Look, it happened a long time ago. Who knows what happened? Could have been an accident,” Pamplionani said.



Posted in Arab Spring, Brave New World, Captain America, End of the World Knock-Knock Jokes, Food, Globalization, Grim Fairy Tales, Isnt nature wonderful?, Politics, The Wrath of God, سياسة on August 19, 2012 by paulboylan

It is often said that when America sneezes the rest of the world catches a cold. Even though the American Century is over, and American power and influence is declining, what happens in the United States still affects the world as a whole.  This has never been more apparent than it is right now: a drought in the United States is going to cause millions to die around the world.

Allow me to explain.

In the last century – especially after World War II – the United States used the lure of its comparative prosperity to seduce the world into remaking itself into America’s economical image. When China finally embraced the Western economic model, it became the 2nd largest economy on Earth in only a few decades.

We now know, however, that the American model was and remains deeply flawed. American-style capitalism, embraced by Europe, Asia, South America, and increasingly embraced by Africa, is essentially a shell game governments play to create the illusion of prosperity which in turn fuels consumption, leading to ultimate breaking points.

Prior to the Bretton Woods Accord, the cycle of boom and bust inherent in American-style capitalism was not much of a problem. The United States’ economy was just one economic system in a world composed of multiple economic systems typified by multiple currencies. It is well understood and accepted that the interplay of these separate economic systems was inefficient, typified by the chaos of international currency exchange rates. However, although inefficient, independent economies insulated the world from global economic crises.

That all changed after World War II. On July 22, 1944, the world’s major industrial states signed an agreement setting up the current world economic order more commonly known as the Bretton Woods Accord. That agreement established the  International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and what ultimately became the World Trade Organization (WTO).

The Bretton Woods Accord, combined with the United States’ unlateral decision in 1971 to terminate the gold standard (i.e., the convertibility of the American dollar to gold), resulted in the U. S. Dollar becoming the reserve currency for the world – which meant that all major international transactions took place in U. S. Dollars, and this essentially transformed the U. S. Dollar into the de facto world currency.

And this is why, even now when America sneezes the rest of the world catches a cold. Even though the American Century is over, and American political power and influence is declining, the entire world is still inextricably tied to the American economic system.

One of the consequences of the American economic model becoming the dominant economic model for all the world is the fungibility of agricultural products. Before the Bretton Woods Accord and the advent of the WTO nations zealously protected their food production capability. Prior to Bretton Woods, the foundation of a country’s national interest was domestic food production capability: wars were won by destroying your opponent’s ability to feed their armed forces.

However, after Bretton Woods such protectionism slowly ended and all nations aspiring to become part of the new, prosperous, economic system were required to place their agricultural production onto the world market. Prior to Brenton Woods the price of a bushel of corn depended on where it was grown and where was sold. After Bretton Woods corn production globally sets the price and a bushel of corn purchased in India costs virtually the same as a bushel of corn purchased in the United States.

Demand and the ability to purchase food dictates food availability.  For example, Dixon California is famous for its lamb production.  However, due to international demand for lamb fueled by growing middle classes in India and China, for short periods of time in 2011 people in Davis – which is a few miles from Dixon – could not purchase lamb; Dixon lamb producers were selling their entire production to Chinese and Indian meat distributors.

Nations can still play games with commodity prices and can engage in acts of quasi-protectionism, such as the recent decision of the United States government to aid American pork producers by buying their products at a higher price than the price the worldwide market imposes in order to ameliorate the effects of the American drought on American pork production. But these  protectionist manipulations only drive the price of agricultural products higher on the international market by reducing the supply.

And that is why millions of people around the world are now facing inevitable hunger and death. Millions of people around the world depend for their lives on surplus American agricultural production that keeps the price of food low enough for them to be able to buy it. The American Heartland –the breadbasket of the world –is experiencing a terrible drought causing a dramatic drop in American agricultural production. This shortage will cause the price of basic staples like rice, corn and soybeans to increase beyond the point where millions of people can afford to purchase them. And this means they are going to starve.

The international economic system dictates where this starvation will occur.  Despite the WTO rules against protectionism, nations that produce food surpluses will manipulate their agricultural systems to make sure that food supplies for their national populations remain affordable. For example, when the United States government purchases pork products from American farmers at prices higher than those dictated by international markets, the United States government supports the ability of those farmers to buy food with prices set internationally.

The same is true for nations with strong natural resource exports, such as Australia, United States, and Russia. Natural resource sales provide the liquid Capital necessary to buy food at inflated world prices.  However, this is true only for nations with robust economies.

For example, Venesuela imports food but exports oil and gas. However, Venesuela’s economy is collapsing; their oil and gas production is dropping due decaying infrastructure that is too expensive to repair.  The government of Venesuela is already bound by long-term contracts with other nations exchanging oil for food at prices set before the American drought. Consequently, Venesuela’s energy exports to not generate liquid capital that can be used to buy food at increasingly expensive international prices.

The nations that will be hardest hit by the consequences of the American drought will be nations that neither produce food surpluses nor export natural resources. Those nations will face food riots and eventual mass starvation.  These nations include Niger, Mali, Chad, Mauritania and Senegal.

We are already seeing signs of this happening. Farmers in Niger are selling their cows, goats and sheep to obtain currency sufficient to buy food.  Nomads dependent on their camels are selling them for the same reason. This is a desperate move and the positive effects are temporary. When the money runs out, they will starve.

China – despite its seeming economic strength and the flexibility of its capitalist dictatorship – is one of the nations that will be hardest hit by the American drought. Although Chinese coastal regions have experienced the benefits of unbridled capitalism in the world economic order, the rest of China is poverty-stricken. Even if this were not true, the Chinese economy is dependent on food and natural resource imports.  Egypt is also vulnerable.

So it is fairly certain that the poorest populations of our world will experience famine, food riots, and starvation. So the question is: how will the world respond?

The answer is fairly clear: the world community will do nothing substantial to prevent the humanitarian disaster that is rapidly approaching. The existing world economic order does not provide mechanisms for any meaningful response to the consequences of the Great American drought. The world’s industrialized powers that are best capable of shifting resources to alleviate world hunger are busy dealing with their own economic crisis. They simple cannot afford to respond to the pending crisis in any meaningful way.

This is not to say there won’t be a lot of activity. Certainly there will be at least one telethon where celebrities from around the world join hands and sing in the spirit of peace and harmony and ask the viewing audience to send money. Nations around the world will contribute millions of dollars toward aid relief. But, beyond the “feel-good” result of such efforts, millions will still die.

This crisis will not be remedied; it will be managed. Food will be distributed as it always is – to those with sufficient political capital to assure their survival. Those without sufficient political capital will die.

There are those who will argue that we should let them die, that all of this is for the best, that this is a result of the earth exceeding its carrying capacity, that there are just too many unproductive people and that their population must be reduced, that if we feed them now, all they will do is reproduce so that even more will die tomorrow.

So it seems quite certain that a lot of people are going to die. But before they die, they will fight. And the authorities controlling food distribution will attempt to suppress any unrest with force.

So the ultimate question is whether or not suppression efforts will succeed. If they succeed, the result is likely to be more repressive governments consequently better able to manage the next round of food riots that are sure to come.

If governmental suppression efforts do not succeed, however, it could lead Revolution.  The French Revolution was caused by food shortage. The Arab spring movement was likely started by a food shortage in Tunisia.

There is really no way to predict what will happen because American corn and soybean farmers did not meet their expected production goals. But it is fairly certain that the world is in for a bumpy ride.


Who has two thumbs and wants to free Syria?

Posted in amusant, Arab Spring, おかしなふるまいの, अजीब, Barry Goldwater, buffo, космическая девушка, gülen yüz, good guys and bad guys, greannmhar, 스타게이트유니버스, 재미, kluchtig, lächerlich, Libya, neşeli, скарлетт йоханссон, photograph, Photography, Politics, Rage Against the Machine, snaaks, Why do people in other countries talk funny?, 滑稽, מצחיק, الجامعة العربية, بشار الاسد, خنده, خنده دار, سكارليت جوهانسون, سياسة on April 19, 2012 by paulboylan

This guy.


Click on photo to enlarge. This guy is really intent on freeing Syria.

Rap Around the World – Syrian Rap

Posted in Arab Spring, Syria, الجامعة العربية, بشار الاسد, سياسة on February 4, 2012 by paulboylan


I’ve traveled through Syria.  The slaughter there shocks and upsets me.  I mean no disrespect to the dying, the dead and the desperate, but I am inspired to post this example of Syrian rap music.  They are our brothers and sisters.





Posted in American Decline, And now the snorting starts, Arab Spring, Bigotry in America, End of the World Knock-Knock Jokes, Hubris, Politics, presidential candidate, Pycho-Social Trauma, Religion and Politics, Small Town America, The Great State of Montana!, The Wrath of God, الجامعة العربية on January 8, 2012 by paulboylan

In this frankly fictitious interview, former senator Rick Santorum – the near winner of the recent Iowa Republican Caucus and candidate for President of the United States – discusses his views on birth control, gay marriage, the non existence of Palestinians and why it was an outrage for President Obama to take any credit for killing Osama bin Laden.


Rick Santorum

PEOPLE OF EARTH:  Senator Santorum, you base your platform on what you call traditional family values, and that includes opposition to any kind of sex outside of marriage.


Correcting his campaign poster to remove the word "freedom."


RICK SANTORUM:  That is correct. If I were president, I would criminalize all sex with anyone but your spouse.

POE:  But haven’t our courts recognized the right to consensual sex between adults whether they are married or not?



SANTORUM:  I don’t know of any court that has said that. But let’s say its true. If the Supreme Court says that you have the right to consensual sex within your home, then you have the right to bigamy, you have the right to polygamy, you have the right to incest, you have the right to adultery. You have the right to anything. Does that undermine the fabric of our society? I would argue yes, it does.



POE:  You are also against all forms of birth control.

SANTORUM:  Yes. If I am elected president I will outlaw contraception. And I believe that any doctor that performs an abortion, I would advocate that any doctor that performs an abortion, should be criminally charged for doing so. Contraception is not okay. It’s a license to do things in a sexual realm that is counter to how things are supposed to be. Sex is supposed to be within marriage. It’s supposed to be for purposes that are yes, conjugal but also procreative. Sex within marriage is the only way that a sexual union should happen. And when I say marriage I mean good old American red blooded heterosexual marrige.


Rick Santorum and his extremely unhappy family.


POE:  You seem obsessed with homosexuals. Why is that?

SANTORUM:  I wouldn’t say I am obsessed with homosexuals but I will say that I spend most of my time thinking about them and trying to stop our society from recognizing homosexuality as anything other than an abomination forbidden by God.



POE: So your opposition to homosexuality is religious?



SANTORUM:  It starts with my faith but it doesn’t end there. There are lots of reasons to oppose homosexuality. First of all, they’re in close quarters, they live with people, they obviously shower with people. The argument that people are born homosexuals, like black people are born black, is a lie. There are people who were gay and lived the gay lifestyle and aren’t gay anymore, like Marcus Bachmann.


Successfully choosing not to be gay.

SANTORUM: That isn’t the case for anyone that’s black. It’s a behavioral issue as opposed to a color of the skin issue.



POE:  But you deny hating gay people.

SANTORUM: You can say I’m a hater. But I would argue I’m a lover. I’m a lover of traditional families and of the right of children to have a mother and father.



POE: So you love traditional families.

SANTORUM:  That’s right.

POE:  And what is a traditional family?



SANTORUM:  A traditional family is the kind of family God describes in the Bible – a father as the head of the family married to a submissive woman who cooks for him, cleans the home and bears his children.



POE:  Okay, you love that kind of family. But that means you must hate other kinds of families.

SANTORUM:  There are no other kinds of families.  All other groupings are not families.


Not a family.


Not a family.


Not a family.


Not a family.


SANTORUM:  I would argue that the future of America hangs in the balance, because the future of the family hangs in the balance. Isn’t that the ultimate homeland security, standing up and defending the sanctity of marriage?



POE:  You are unabashedly against gay marriage and have said that, in the battle against gay marriage, it is a hill you will die on.

SANTORUM:  Gay marriage threatens my marriage. It threatens all marriages. It threatens the traditional values of this country.

POE:  You recently said in New Hampshire to a group of college students that marriage isn’t an inalienable right, that it is a privilege granted by society.



SANTORUM: And I also said marriage is a right that society grants because it provides society with benefits.

POE:  Okay, so what you are arguing is that heterosexual marriage gives society benefits, so it is good and should be allowed, but gay marriage doesn’t give benefits, so it should be prohibited?

SANTORUM:  That’s absolutely correct.

POE: So what are the benefits that marriage gives society that gay marriage does not?

SANTORUM: Children.



POE:  You don’t need to be married to have children.

SANTORUM:  Yes you do.  And if I am elected President, I will imprison all single mothers.  They all vote democrat anyway because the democrats give them money.

POE:  Are you thirsty? Hungry?

SANTORUM:  I’m a bit thirsty.

POE:  Okay, drink this.

SANTORUM:  Oh Jesus, I thank thee for the beverage this godless sodomite has given me to slake my thirst so that I may proclaim the wickedness of homosexuals and prevent our children from even learning that homosexuals exist so that they don’t ever get the idea and decide to turn gay.

POE:  You just referred to me as a “godless sodomite.” You think I’m gay?

SANTORUM:  Yes. You are clearly a liberal defender of sodomites who hates America and Christendom.

POE:  And you’ve come to this conclusion how?

SANTORUM:  You have a beard.



POE:  So all people with beards are gay atheists who hate America?


POE:  We are getting away from the interview, but I really think I need to point out that I am not gay, I’ve been married for over 22 years, have a son, and am a baptized member of the Greek Orthodox Church.

SANTORUM:  But you have a beard.

POE:  My priest has a beard.

SANTORUM:  Then he’s gay, too.



POE:  And a liberal atheist who hates America?


POE:  Because he has a beard.


POE:  Moving on – oh, how was the mineral water I gave you?

SANTORUM:  Very refreshing. Praise Jesus.

POE:  I’m glad Jesus provided it.  Anyway, you also said recently that prohibiting gay marriage isn’t discrimination it is only discrimination to deny rights and marriage is a privilege and not a right.

SANTORUM: That is absolutely true.  The only rights any American has are those clearly described in the Constitution.

POE:  What about the right of privacy?

SANTORUM:  Privacy is not mentioned in the Constitution, so no one has the right of privacy.

POE:  So the police can tap our phones and read our mail without violating our rights?

SANTORUM:  Yes. Only those with something to hide have something to fear from being watched by the authorities. 



SANTORUM: Do you have something to hide?

POE:  No, but I want to be able to scratch my testicles without the police watching me do it.

SANTORUM:  It is against the Laws of God to scratch your testicles.

POE:  You’ve never scratched your testicles?

SANTORUM:  No. Never.



POE:  They certainly must itch.

SANTORUM:  They do.  Every blessed minute of the day.  Every second of the night.  But suffering is a good thing.

POE:  Yes, I’ve read where you use that to support your argument that the Government shouldn’t try to help poor people.

SANTORUM:  That’s right.  It doesn’t matter if someone is suffering.  Suffering is part of the human condition. Suffering is nature. And it is a punishment from God.  God punishes the wicked and makes them suffer.  Poor people are being punished by God for being lazy.


A bread line during the Great Depression (1937)


POE: How are you feeling?


POE: You don’t look fine.  You look all clammy and you seem to be holding your stomach.



POE: I’m fine. Please get on with the interview.

POE:  Okay.  So, according to you, marriage isn’t mentioned in the constitution, so it isn’t a right, so it isn’t discriminatory to let heterosexuals marry while forbidding gay people to marry.


POE: What about civil rights?  Are civil rights found in the Constitution?

SANTORUM:  There are no “civil” rights.  The Constitution only recognizes criminal rights, so there are no civil rights.

POE:  Ah. So the “rights” recognized by the Civil Rights Act are really privileges.

SANTORUM:  Exactly.

POE: And, because they aren’t rights, it isn’t discriminatory grant some people those privileges while denying them to others.

SANTORUM:  Yes. Exactly.

POE:  So let’s say it is a privilege to be able to go into a diner and order a cup of coffee.

SANTORUM:  Yes, that isn’t right. It is a privilege.

POE:  So it is okay for the owner of a diner to choose not to serve homosexuals?


SANTORUM:  Yes.  That’s his right.  Can we take a break?  I really need to use the bathroom.

POE:  Not quite yet. What about black people?  Is it discriminatory for the owner of the diner to refuse service to black people and serve only white people?

SANTORUM:  No.  Discrimination only happens when someone is denied a right. Being served isn’t a right because it isn’t included in the constitution. It is a privilege. So denying service to someone based on their race, or gender, or sexual orientation, or place of national origin, or whatever, isn’t discrimination.




POE:  And you want to be President.

SANTORUM:  Yes, God willing.

POE:  Okay, moving on…. You’ve also said that there are no Palestinians.

SANTORUM:  That’s right. There aren’t any.

POE:  What about all those people who identify themselves as Palestinians?



SANTORUM:  It doesn’t matter what they call themselves. They live in Israel so they are Israeli.  Palestinians are a myth.

POE:  Are there any other myths you want to talk about?

SANTORUM:  Yes.  Global climate change is a myth.

POE:  Why do you say that?

SANTORUM:  Because I refuse to believe it.

POE:  Like the existence of the Palestinian people?

SANTORUM:  Yes. Exactly.

POE:  So if you don’t believe in something, it doesn’t exist?

SANTORUM:  Yes. Life revolves around faith, and faith is belief. I don’t believe that  man-made CO2 is responsible for climate change. I don’t believe there are any Palestinians. I don’t believe in the theory of evolution. And I don’t believe that anyone is born homosexual.  So none of those things are true or exist. And I don’t believe the Crusades happened.

POE:  Do you mean the Crusades in the middle ages when European kings raised armies to invade Palestine to retake Jerusalem from Muslims?

SANTORUM: The idea that the Crusades and the fight of Christendom against Islam is somehow an aggression on our part is absolutely anti-historical.  Are we almost done here?  I really have to go.

POE:  We’re almost finished.  You also argue that President Obama deserves no credit for the killing of Osama bin Laden.

SANTORUM:  Obama didn’t do it. He ordered other people to do it. Obama didn’t do the hard work. The people he’s going after did the hard work. And that is an outrage.

POE:  So you are saying that people who make decisions and give instructions don’t deserve credit for the result?

SANTORUM:  I really have to go.

POE:  Actually, by my clock you have a few hours before the explosive diarrhea kicks in.

SANTORUM: What are you talking about?



POE:  That mineral water you drank was laced with a chemical that causes stomach cramps followed a few hours later by explosive diarrhea.

SANTORUM:  You did this?

POE:  Don’t blame me. Remember, you thanked Jesus for that mineral water.

SANTORUM:  I need a doctor.

POE:  Suffering is a good thing, remember?

SANTORUM:  What are you doing?

POE:  Relax, big boy. I’m reaching into your pocket to take your wallet. Nothing more.

SANTORUM: You’re looking through my wallet!

POE:  Why not?  There is not right to privacy, remember?  Hey! What’s this I’ve found?

SANTORUM:  I can explain!

POE:  I thought you were against contraception.

SANTORUM:  It’s been there since high school!

POE:  Looks new to me.

SANTORUM:  Please stop!

POE: No. You certainly have a lot of photos in your wallet. Who is this guy in the cowboy hat and chaps?



SANTORUM:  No one!

POE: I would like to thank Rick Santorum for being our guest today, and would like to remind everyone that he came within eight votes of winning the Iowa Republican Caucus, which means a whole lot of people agree with everything he said in this interview.  To all my fellow American citizens, I wish you the best of luck. To all my foreign friends, please pray for us, but please do not pray to the God Santorum worships.






HEADLINE – Arab League Keeps Syria as Member

Posted in And now the snorting starts, Arab Spring, Dogs, good guys and bad guys, Headline, Headlines, News, Politics, ruthless dictator knock-knock jokes, Syria, Travel, What are you sick or something?, Why do people in other countries talk funny?, טילים, الجامعة العربية, بشار الاسد on October 17, 2011 by paulboylan

SUQ MADEEK, Lebanon –  The Arab League has decided not to expel Syria as a member to punish Syria for using the Syrian Army to kill protesters.

“The Syrian delegation always brings the best hors d’oeuvres,” said Abu Salla, Lebanese Delegate to the Arab League. “The hummus is to die for.”



HEADLINE – ‘Inherently racist’ bake sale by UC Berkeley set for Tuesday

Posted in Arab Spring, Barry Goldwater, dada, Headline, Headlines, Is that really Ellie Goulding?, News, The Wilhelm Scream, Uncategorized, טילים on September 27, 2011 by paulboylan

FRESNO, California – The University of California, Berkeley, will  be holding its seventh annual Inherently Racist Bake Sale to raise funds for environmental projects.

The tasty treats offered for sale will include Buckra Crackers (sort of bland and very expensive; they come with a side of mayonnaise),  Jigaboo Chews, Wop Drops, Spic on a Stick, Chocolate Frogs (coco treats shaped like Frenchmen), Hymie-Limeyade (a refreshing citrus beverage served by a Rabbi with an English accent ) and Fig Gobbler Cobbler.

Lunch items will also be available, such as the always popular Jap Wrap and Seppo Salad.

Complementary Bamboo Coon balloons will be given out to children.


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