Out of Left Field
WE LOVE OUR GOVERNMENT!!
Two typical Isaacstani citizens express their opinion of why their government is so stable. At left, camel dealer Youssef Ben Scuzpat says it's because their Premier has promised a yak in every garage, even though most Isaacstanis do not yet have garages. At right, yogurt dealer Ali Bin Gonna believes it has something to do with the public's faith in the expected return of their Messiah, a mysterious figure known only as Captain Spalding, the African explorer. Their scriptures say he will be back soon if no one screws things up by calling him "Schnorra!"
Democratic Republic of Isaacstan Stands Strong
By STAN ISAACS
and part-time premier
This is a column of hope and glory. It is written to reassure the admirers of the newly discovered democratic republic of Isaacstan that there is no need to worry about the winds of change in the Stans spreading to bring down the government of Isaacstan. Some people call Isaacstan a legend in my own mind, but I choose to ignore that.
The alarm for the preservation of Isaacstans rulers stems from the toppling last week of the government of neighboring Krygyzstan. Protestors in the capital city of Bishkek, alleging corruption, repression and electoral fraud, forced the longtime president of this central Asian country to flee his palace.
It was the third time in a year-and-a-half that a government of a former Soviet republic has been toppled in a popular uprising. Revolutions have claimed the leadership of the former Soviet republics of Georgia and the Ukraine. And the events in Krygystan has led analysts to suggest that authoritarian regimes in the region, including Tajikistan and Kazakhhstan, are vulnerable to uprisings.
There is no need to worry about Isaacstan, though. As the premier of the nation that I dreamed up one fanciful day, I conjured up a country that lived up to the ideals of Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Tom Paine and Groucho Marx, to name a few. Isaacstan believes in truth and justice, the golden rule and the sanctity of the old-fashioned belly laugh. People in this democratic republic are having too good a time to take to the streets for anything but a street fair.
For those who have been remiss in keeping up with Isaacstans entrance upon the world scene, here are some facts: The capital of Isaacstan is Stantinople. The second largest city is Islamagood. The country covers some 95,000 square miles, about the size of Oregon. It has a population of some 480,000--about the same as Wyoming.
Isaacstan is unique for being 33 per cent Muslim, 33 per cent Catholic, 33 per cent Atheists-and it has some former Protestant missionaries who were converted to Judaism in the city of Jalalagood.
Its monetary unit is the brick. There were 10 million bricks to one American dollar at its inception, but now that oil countries have devalued the American dollar, it takes only nine million bricks to equal the once almighty dollar.
Isaacstans chief industries are yogurt processing, farming and the production of goatskin clothing. It is rich in livestock with 13 million goats, 10 million chickens, 209,000 pigs, but not many sheep. There is a plan to import thousands of yaks to inaugurate the sport of yak racing.
Nobody is perfect, but as far as anybody knows, there is no corruption in Isaacstan. Yet. For sure there would not be anything like the uproar that greeted the full-page spread in an opposition newspaper in Kyrgyzstan that showed a palatial home under construction for President Askar Akayev. Premier Isaacs commutes between the United States and Isaacstan when the national legislative body, The Bath, is in session. He stays at a modest B & B (standing for Bed and Bialys) in Stantinople. There is nothing in Isaacstan to rival the Hyatt Regency in Bishkek, the capital of Kyrgyzstan.
While thrashplotz is the national sport of Isaacstan, the arts are also encouraged. The country awaits the emergence of a major work of art like the acclaimed novel about Kyrgyzstan, This Is Not Civilization, written by the American, Robert Rosenberg. Its first sentence reads, The idea of using pornographic films to encourage the dairy cows to breed was a poor one.
Isaacstan is always keenly aware of what is happening among the group known informally as the SevenStans: Uzbekistan, Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and, of course, Isaacstan. One expert who keeps a close eye on developments in the SevenStans suggests that uneasy lies the head of Turkmenistan Pres. Saparmurat Niyazov; he recently had his Parliament declare him president for life. And Russia, from whence several of the Stans sprung, has a situation in which chess champion Garry Kasparov resigned from the game to devote himself to ensuring that President Vladimir Putin doesnt run again.
This is worth noting because of the rumor that Isaacstan had offered asylum and citizenship to Bobby Fischer to escape jail in the United States, and that he turned it down to become a citizen of Iceland instead. This was denied by C.W. Heart, presidential press secretary, who said, Most of our citizens are still learning to play Tic, Tac, Toe.
©2005 by Stan Isaacs. The Stan Isaacs caricature is ©2001 by Jim Hummel. Thne illustrations are from IMSI's Master Clips Collection, 1895 Francisco Blvd. E., San Rafael, CA, 94901-5506, USA. This column first posted April 4, 2005.
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