Category Archives: Emerging Issues in the World

Information garnered from periodicals, both in America and from every corner of the globe.

Muslims Have Mixed Reactions To Globalization

A recent study by the World Public Opinion(WPO) organization revealed mixed feelings among Muslims throughout the world regarding the impact of globalization on their lives. A majority in most nations support the idea of becoming part of the international economy while at the same time fearing taking such action will negatively impact their own cultural and religious views. Steve Kull of WPO, notes, “In the process of economic globalization, Muslims are not separatists. Economic integration within the world they say is a positive thing, but they don’t want it to undermine cultural identify.” Of the 5,200 people surveyed in Muslim nations such as Pakistan or Egypt or Indonesia or in societies such as Nigeria which contains many Muslims, the majority opted for participation in the world economy.

The WPO survey reveals a common view among those who seek to retain their cultural and religious values, they want to be part of the world and they want to stay away from world trends toward cultural change. Muslims blame “western values,” but those changes most probably transcend a particular nation or area of the world. They are part of modernization regardless of which group fosters the process. It is the price of living in an international community.

War Breaks Out In South Ossetia As Russians Enter Area

The president of Georgia, Mikheil Saakashvill said his nation was in effect now engaged in a war with Russia after troops from that nation crossed over into Georgia. Russian jets carried out bombing raids in South Ossetia and in Georgia supposedly hitting Georgian troops. There are reports two Russian jets were shot down. Georgian sources say 30 people were killed by the Russian bombardment while a minister in the separatist administration of South Ossetia says their capital has virtually been destroyed and more than 1400 people died as result of Georgian attacks. Mr. Saakashvill claimed his nation had gained control of the entire area which broke away and is now confronting Russian forces.

President Medvedev has promised to defend Russian “compatriots” and told the world “we will not allow their deaths to go unpunished.” Of course, the people of South Ossetia are not Russian, but some observers believe the strong Russian reaction stemmed from anger against the desire of Georgia to join NATO. Medvedev is taking the approach that Georgia launched an attack and Russia is merely going to the defense of the South Ossetians.

There is no doubt Russian tanks are in the country and they are attacking the Georgian army. The Georgian attack came after Mr. Saakashvill had declared a unilateral cease fire, but when South Ossetia refused to also agree to end fighting, the president sent in Georgian troops.

Ironically, Russia has been the main opponent of Kosovo because it allegedly opposes separatist movements to create independent nations. But, for some strange reason, it is now supporting a separatist movement to create an independent nation.


Each week we offer headlines that appeared in the world press with some accompanying comments of our own.

England, Manchester Guardian: “Bears Eat Two Workers in Russia”
I think this is fair given how many bears are eaten by Russian workers.

Sweden, The Local: “Serial Killer Gets Life For Gay Killing”
I gather he was rather unhappy at hearing the news.

Qatar, Gulf Times: ‘Memorial To Bomb Victims”
I am curious, exactly how will the memorial bomb the victims?

Australia, West Australian: “Ghost Ship Relatives Want Answers”
I don’t think there is a ghost of a chance they will get them.

Kuwait, Kuwait Times: “Deported Workers To Get Rights”
In Kuwait, we give rights to workers after they are deported.

Norway, Aftenposten: “British Trawlers Dump Fish”
The Catholic sailors realized it was not Friday.

Sweden, The Local: “Motorcycle Hit By Flying Elk”
The Elk had the right of way.

Denmark, Copenhagen Post: “Chicken Recalled”
To where?

Australia, Sydney Morning Herald: “Missing Link Found In Sydney Harbor”
It was lying right next to the missing WMD.

South Africa, Mail & Guardian: “A Fool’s Game”
The one played by Bush in Iraq.

Canada, Toronto Star: “Top Prosecutors Form Child Death Unit”
I gather it’s task is making sure enough children get killed this year.

Malta, Malta Today: “Only In It For The Money”
American housing lenders who bilk the public.

Bangladesh, Daily Star: “Criminal Snatched From Police”
At least they were nice enough not to snatch any police.

Qatar, Gulf Times: “Prisoners Sleep On Toilets”
This allows them to flush away their dreams.

Australia, Canberra Times: “Pope Bids Farewell To Australia”
Let’s give three Hail Marys for the event.

Russia, Moscow Times: “Good Theater Is Bad For Stock Market”
Heck, I’ll take bad theater to get a better stock market.

South Korea Beef Riots Continue

Among the great mysteries to people in the United States of America is the outbreak of riots and demonstrations against importation of beef from our nation. As a people we feel responsible for the inept behavior of our president who has caused so much turmoil throughout the world by his disastrous policies in the Middle East and his refusal to respect our Constitution, but– beef? Exactly, what is the beef by South Koreans regarding American beef? Tens of thousands of South Korean automobile workers have gone on strike to protest the importation of American beef on grounds it is somehow connected to mad cow disease. As far as we know here in the mid-west, there has not been a reported outbreak of mad cow disease anywhere around these parts.

We gather that American beef is much cheaper than beef that originates in South Korea which may account for some aspect of the riots. An automobile worker was quoted as saying the strike was “not a political strike, but is aimed to protect our health.” There really is a simple solution– don’t buy American beef and live a healthy more expensive life. Strikes and demonstrations are simply a storm in a teacup having no rationale other than mass hysteria.

Headlines From The World’s Press

Each week we offer a review of headlines that appeared in the world’s press with our accompanying comments.

Denmark, Copenhagen Post: “Wozniacki Face Wozniak”
I believe the better “eye” will win.

Australia, West Australian: “Stocks Close Higher”
“Stocks Sharply Lower”
Do I go up or down to check my rising-lowering stock prices?

Saudi Arabia, Saudi Gazette: “Baby Born On Train Get Free Life Time Pass”
So, what do I get if I die on a train?

Norway, Aftenposten: “No Room At The Inn”
Sorry, Mr. Jesus we are all filled up, but how about the barn across the street?

Qatar, Arab News: “Brown’s Chutzpah Pays Off”
I think its chutzpah for an Arab paper to print the word chutzpah.

Japan, Japan Times: “What To Expect From North Korea”
North Koreans?

Sweden, The Local: “Public Urination Leads To Fines”
What about if I urinate in my pants in public?

Denmark, Copenhagen Post: “Christian Democrats Drop God From Platform”
Is there new name, the “Atheist Democratic Party?”

Australia, Sydney Morning Post: “Small town Left Reeling From Fake Policeman”
Big deal, he was only handling fake crimes.

Oman, Arab Times: “Flying Carpets Smuggle In Heroin”
I believe when Aladdin gets high he can take off in a minute.

Sweden, The Local: Woman Dies In Collision With Deer”
And, no concern for what happened to the deer?

Switzerland, Basel Zeitung: “Basel Has Too Many Restaurants”
I believe the issue is quality over quantity.

Bhutan, Bhutan Times: “Harnessing The Tibetan Sun”
We want to make certain it doesn’t appear over China.

Australia, West Australian: “Leave It As You Found It”
Gee, I wish George Bush could have followed that advice.

China, China Daily: “Reveal Five Year Corruption Plan”
How do I get in on the corruption plan?

Kuwait, Kuwait Times: “Man Auctions His Life”
For you, I have a special deal, would you believe $9.99?

Headlines Of The Week

Each Sunday we offer some headlines that appeared in the world press along with our satirical comments.

Belgum, Belgium Expactica: “International Day For Homophobia”
I think they mean “against.”

Netherlands, Dutch News: “Hospitals Ask Patients For Donations”
You patients out there, have any bandages, medicine, gauze, needles, etc..

Australia, Sydney Morning Herald: “Tourist Strips To Defy Wolf Whistles”
I believe this is termed baiting the trap.

Bhutan, Bhutan Times: “Kremlin Critic Gets Genital Reminder Who’s In Charge”
Putin wants to make certain he stands upright for being the head boss.

Finland, Sanomat: “Smashes Wheelchair Racing 100m And Sets World Record”
He wll now be entering the high jump contest.

England, Manchester Guardian: “Donkey Jailed for Wild Behavior”
Oh, have they finally caught up with Bush for his presidency?

Denmark, Copenhagen Post: “Japan Imports Elder Care”
They will be exporting dead bodies.

New Zealand, Herald: “New Zealand Pilot Lands On Wing And A Prayer”
The plane will shortly follow.

Bhutan, Bhutan Times: “Potato And Onion Counter Inflation”
We need some food for thought to get rid of inflation.

Australia, Brisbane Times: “Reptile Expert Fined For Reptile Scam”
Mr. Rattle and his associate Ms. Rabbit were fined by Judge Boa for
acting like snakes in the grass.

Australia, Brisbane Times: “Japan’s Buter Spread Too Thin”
Oh, Leo, please watch the margine when you spread the butter.

Sweden, The Local: “Kinky Swedish Mums Want More Sex”
This story really gets me tied up in a chain reaction.

Norway, Aftenposten: “Climate Change Threatens Moose”
I think we are moosing around too much with the atmosphere.

Sweden, The Local: “Cheese Thief Caught”
The Swiss man was goudaad into confessing.

Switzerland, Basel Zeitung: “Basel Has Too Many Restaurants”
I don’t think it’s the quantity of retaurants that counts so much as the quality.

Saudi Arabia, Saudi Gazette: “Chairs With Talking Points”
Gentlemen, I move that we table this point.

I hope you enjoyed the week in review.

The Reds Are Coming, Says Indiana Jones!

The latest episode in the ongoing saga of Indiana Jones has upset leaders of Russia’s Communist Party who describe ‘Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” as nothing more than cheap anti-Soviet propaganda which distorts history and should be banned in Russia. The film is set in 1957 where Indie confronts an evil KGB agent played by Cate Blanchett and they fight over a skull with mystic powers that can change the course of human destiny. Naturally, communists are the bad guys and Americans represent all that is good in the world.

Viktor Perov, a Communist Party member, bitterly commented:”What galls is how, together with America, we defeated Hitler, and how we sypmpathized wthen Bin Laden hit them. But, they go ahead and scare kids wtih communists. These people have no shame.” Sergei Malinkovich who heads the St. Petersburg Communist Party, is upset because young people “will go to the cinema and will be sure that in 1957, we made trouble for the United States and almost started a a nuclear war. Rubbish.”

Unfortunately, World War II, if it is taught, is taught poorly, and only represents the view of one nation about what happened. The youth of today are essentially ahistorical and have scant interest in anything other than what is currently operating and how it impacts their lives. I doubt if many young Americans have a clue about communists and as far as they are concerned, 1957 is some time shortly after the Middle Ages.

Johannesburg Devastated By Riots

Downtown Johannesburg resembles a war zone after angry mobs of anti-foreign demonstrators ripped through it with their anger and hatred. Many downtown areas look like a wasteland as one sees makeshift barricades of rusty barbed wire, tires and chunks of concrete and shops stand open after being looted despite being protected by iron shutters which collapsed under the fury of mobs bent on their campaign of anger and hate. Police officers in bulletproof vests, with shotguns slung over their shoulders, stand guard at intersections, firing warning shots over the heads of woud-be looters. Overhead, one can hear the clatter of helicopters and in the distance is the sound of sirens blaring their signals of distress.

Nicole Jonston and Percy Zvomuya, reporting for the Mail & Guardian, saw groups of drunken men who smiled with glee at the sight of foreign workers forced to flee their homes. Sylvia Khumalo sits on a bench watching in disbelief. “This is terrible, we don’t understand what is going on. I don’t like it… I am a human being, they are also like me.” Not everyone shares her compassion to the foreigners, a group of young women pass by laughing scornfully as they shout, “Abahambe. Manje sizohala emarumini abo mahala, Let them go. We will live in their rooms for free.”

Compassion has not been a plentiful commodity as mobs go door to door, burning and beating, stealng e verythng from beds to food. The only safe place for the foreign workers is in the shelter of a police station. Admire Makhll, mourns “How can they take clothes from a baby? as he points to his 16-month old baby who is barefoot and bareheaded.

The reporters repeatedly heard from demonstrators they expected the election of Jacob Zuma to the ANC presidency means there now will be government action against the foreigners. The mobs question people in Zulu and if there is no response in that language he individual may be beaten.

President Mbeki has organized a panel to investigate the mob action. Of course, he refused to help the people of Zmbabwe in their fight against his old friend, Robert Mugabe, which resulted in a million fleeing their homeland for work in South Africa.

Next Olympic Nightmare-Russia In 2014?

The Olympic Games were resurrected at the end of the 19th century in an effort to foster world cooperation and peace. Since that moment of hope, there have been repeated examples of politics impacting the sporting events and the current situation in which angry protestors batter those carrying the Olympic torch. The Olympic committee awarded the 2014 winter games to Russia which intends to have events unfold in Sochi. The original estimate was for a $12 billion expenditure, but now, according to Russian dissident, Gary Kasporov, the cost will be closer to $20 billion. The Russian government insists it has the right to confiscate any land in the area in order to construct Olympic facilities.

Kasparov claims Russian leaders use their power to accumulate vast amounts of money at the expense of Russian citizens and the Sochi effort will entail massive transfer of money from the average citizen to the oligarchs of wealth. Kasparov notes: “Three weeks ago, I and other Rusian opposition members held a press conference with residents of Sochi. We read aloud from a new law pertaining to the Olympic site. It gives the State the abillity to confiscate as much land as it wants in the area, with no possible appeal. With one decisioin, the people will lose ttheir homes and businesses and will have no avenue of protest.”

One can envision protestors following the Olympic torch or disrupting Olympic ceremonies when 2014 rolls around in Russia.

Mildest Swedish Winter In Years!

Sweden is experiencing a rather unusual winter this year, in fact, it is the mildest in the history of the nation since temperature records first began being recorded in 1756. If the remainder of the winter continues at the present rate it will mark an unheralded warm period for the cold months of the year. The temperature only once went below -10 degrees Celsius during the entire winter. Meterologist, Bengt Lundstom noted what differentiates this winter from those of previous years is the consistency in temperatures.

We are not experts in global warming, just ordinary observers in what is occurring in the world. Undoubtedly, those who decry the existence of any such notion as global warming will put forth explanations. We continue to be fascinated that a record was set for warmth.