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EXTREME MAKEOVER IN GAZA AND OTHER OBSERVATIONS

Send in the Queer Eye dudes. There is an unprecedented opportunity in Gaza City to do something about all those drab Soviet-bloc style apartment complex monstrosities. These days, there’s a chance to rebuild the place with some charm and style. Those buildings that are not a pile of rubble are now sporting large, airy floor-to-ceiling openings, ideal for the installation of French doors and a small balcony. And all those boxy schools and hospitals? Those eyesores are history! The beauty of the whole situation is that the building materials to construct new and attractive structures are lying around on the ground waiting for enterprising designers to remake Gaza as an attractive tourist destination. And all those dead people mean that the place will not be nearly as overcrowded as it used to be. Opportunity is knocking!

We welcome Iran to the 21st Century. There’s a very popular video making the rounds on the internet there. It is of a cleric having sex with his mistress. It’s causing quite a scandal. It seems the man’s teenage boyfriend showed the tape to the guy’s wife, who was so incensed that she left the house unsupervised, thus running afoul of the authorities. The controversy is not over the sex tape, but instead over whether a public stoning or a private honor killing of the cleric’s wife is called for. The Iranian cleric says he’s wide open and either solution will be fine with him. Sounds like a reasonable fellow.

Some guy in Long Island donated a kidney to his wife 8 years ago. Saved her life. But now, like so many other marriages, theirs wound up in divorce court. These things happen. What usually doesn’t happen though, is that the guy wanted $1.5 million for his ex-kidney. He claims that’s what it was worth to her to continue working and not having to go on dialysis. The judge wasn’t buying that argument but considered granting him visitation rights to his erstwhile body part. When the lovely wife heard that she decided to give him a large financial settlement. The kidney was relieved.

Seventy five people died from lightning strikes in Brazil last year, setting a new world record. For really, really bad luck.

Young Prince Harry of the British Royal family got himself recorded on videotape calling a Pakistani army officer a “rag head.” This tape is about three years old, about the same time he attended a costume party wearing a Nazi swastika armband. Apparently the heir to the British Throne has quite the sense of humor. Word is that the British Government cancelled plans to send Harry to Barack Obama’s inaugural ball when it was discovered he thought wearing Ku Klux Klan robes to the party might be good for a couple of laughs. Long live the Queen.

The news from China’s southern province of Guangdong proves what many observers have long suspected, that China has a considerable way to go in their bid to “Westernize” their economy. It is reported that 50 government officials have been arrested for gambling away $3 million in public funds. That’s only an average of a lousy 60 grand apiece! Western corrupt bureaucrats blow that much public dough by lunchtime every day!¬†

India, on the other hand, is moving along swiftly when it comes to large scale financial shenanigans. The men who run Satyam, India’s fourth-largest¬†outsourcing company, have been arrested for defrauding their investors of a few billion dollars by overstating their profits, their cash reserves and other assets. It is the mirror of the Enron scandal of 2003, so expect the Big Enchilada of an economic meltdown in about 5 years, when India’s CEOs really start to go hog wild with fraud and larceny.

In Salt Lake City, Utah, Mormon women are organizing protests against the Federal Government, calling on them to cease and desist in their campaign of harassing Mormons. This is not, however, a religious issue but a trade dispute. They claim the government is severely hampering their ability to make a living by outlawing the lucrative practice of auctioning off their 11 and 12 year-old daughters to the highest bidders among middle aged men looking to add to their wife collections. They are threatening to file a Restraint of Trade lawsuit, claiming that as their daughters’ pimps, they represent the world’s second-oldest profession. The government counters with accusations that the mothers are engaging in unfair business practices by not sharing the loot with the children in question. The mothers response is that the girls will have their own big payday opportunities in another dozen years or so, providing The Good Lord sees fit to grant them girl babies.

In a reflection of the dire economic times, Money Magazine will now be called Money Pamphlet, the Fortune 500 is now the Fortune 250 and Forbes magazine will begin featuring Playboy-type photo spreads of the daughters of bank executives called “Debutantes Gone Wild!”

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