Independent thinking can sometimes be an icky feeling! That's why you should let the news media think for you! All you need to feel is fear itself!

In the previous episode of "You Got a Problem, Yo, I'll Solve It," I pointed out how the award-winning, population-scaring news outlet CNN recently attempted to raise the National Shit Your Pants Alert Level by informing us that we should not only fear the Axis of Evil, but additionally the Ten Trouble Territories of Terrible Terror. Yes, that's correct, the media has once again decided that we aren't sufficiently frightened enough and we should either immediately become very scared or decide to watch CNN more frequently than we already do, whatever option ends up generating them more money. After all, the entire goal of the news industry these days is simply to make us realize how powerless and vulnerable we all are - unless, of course, we decide to depend on the the news media like a newborn baby sucking milk from its mothers, uh, whatever they call it. Boob gland, I guess.

In today's episode of "You Got a Problem, Yo, I'll Solve It," I will take a brief look at the remaining five countries we should all worry ourselves to death over: Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Zimbabwe, Colombia, and the Phillipines. Actually, I'm not going to even bother discussing Colombia and the Phillipines because I'm fairly sure my next door neighbors would shoot me in the balls if they found out I was insulting the company where their father's cocaine and dead baby-producing factory resides.

Uzbekistan

Country Description: Uzbekistan's name derives from two words, "Uzbeki" meaning "we're very cold here," and "stan" meaning "sincerely, Stan." It used to be part of Russia back when the Russian government could afford to hire people to conquer plots of land larger than an average hot tub. Unfortunately, the Soviets decided to simply plunder this country for all its precious cotton and grain resources, leaving it a barren, bleak, desolate wasteland with a significantly less amount of cotton and grain. Uzbekistan is located to the west of Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, and if you can locate either of these god-forsaken hellhole countries on a map then you should probably try out for "Jeopardy: Smarty Pants Edition." Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Afghanistan, and Pakistan are all part of the "Stan Land" block of countries, a gigantic portion of land which used to be considerably larger before the collapse of Russiastan and Mississippistan.

A computerized simulation of the Berlin Wall, something which honestly has nothing to do with Uzbekistan.

Problem: Living standards plummeted after Soviet Union collapse in 1991. Authoritarian government has stifled democracy and human rights. Some Uzbeks have joined radical Islamic movements, seeking relief from social and economic problems. Political climate suits radical and terrorist groups. Contaminated groundwater and toxic dumps endure because of lack of funds and effective cleanup programs. Birth defects linked to environmental degradation, especially in the Aral Sea region, are on rise. Assassination attempt made on President Islam Karimov in 1999.

Solution: The economic downturn of the Soviet Union and ultimate dismantling in the early 90's had a broad affect on the entire world. For example, the Zangief Wall Cleansing Service was forced into bankruptcy after their main source of income, scraping "WE ENJOY FREEDOM" spray paintings off the Berlin Wall, disappeared with the remaining 13 cinder blocks that were carried off by pro-anarchy football hooligans. Although the Berlin Wall technically had something to do with Germany, many notable historians (read as: "retarded webmasters") often consider Germany and Russia to be pretty much the same country in the 1980's and early 1990's. The financial crisis that Uzbekistan is currently going through reflects Russia's economic crisis, which Wall Street Journal experts dub as, "Russia be one broke ass bitch niggah." Here are the three leading sources of income in Russia:

1) Crime
2) Crime
3) Leaving Russia

Since Uzbekistan has already been so heavily influenced by Russian politics, their government should adopt a "pro-crime" platform. Every citizen will receive a check for $100 each month. If a thief successfully manages to steal somebody's check, they criminal will be awarded $100. However, the government will have a "$100 Crime Tax," which will deduct $100 for every $100 stolen. This will create a steady flow of revenue through both the private and public sector while simultaneously providing an exciting new set of statistics for future historians to look back upon and collectively sigh.

While Uzbekistan lacks the precious natural resources of cotton and grain, they do have a bountiful supply of nuclear waste lying around. These contaminated deathtraps could be converted into "Superhero Mutation Camps," based off the popular comic book scientific fact that standing in radioactive waste with a nearby animal will give you all the beneficial powers of that animal. Citizens would be charged $10,000 to stand in nuclear waste with a deadly tiger, $5,000 for a menacing porcupine, $1,000 for time with a particularly mean turtle, and $15 for Drew Curtis. Before leaping into the "Superhero Mutation Chamber," which is simply a filthy bathtub full of toxic waste and gasoline, the applicant must sign a contract which has the following line of fine print: "NOTE: Governmental studies have shown no direct correlation between radioactive waste and mutating into a crime-fighting superhero." Nobody would bother paying attention to this line because who the hell in Uzbekistan can understand English? After a few brief weeks in the Superhero Mutation Chamber, the customer will be given a spandex cape and set of matching leotards, as well as a heroic name reflecting their new superpower, such as "Dying of Cancer Man" or "Oh God, the Burning, the Burning Pain Man." I'm not really sure how this would spur the economy, but perhaps it would involve the Information Superhighway in some fashion.

Possible Problems With the Solution: After the first hundred or so people come out of the Superhero Mutation Chamber with no visible superpowers besides the ability to spread radiation poisoning, I think harmful gossip might spread regarding this new service. The government should crack down on these anti-radiation activists and place them into "Government Dissident Rehabilitation Camps," which are Superhero Mutation Chambers with friendly spikes lining the bottom.

Venezuela

Former Philadelphia Phillies star John Kruk, who honestly has nothing to do with Venezuela.

Country Description: Venezuela, named after famous South American pitching sensation Teddy Higuera, is a moist and humid nation parked alongside the Caribbean Sea. The citizens have been battling their arch-enemy, the rainforest, for decades now, and are finally conquering them through the creative use of slashing and burning techniques. The rainforest is the only thing blocking the Venezuelans from obtaining the precious, precious oil beneath them and the precious, precious cocaine across the border in Colombia. Once this country has free access to both oil and cocaine, who knows what they'll do? They'll probably invent a gas station that funnels drugs into your nose while you pump gas into your car!

Problem: Dissatisfaction with President Hugo Chavez's rule, especially failing economy and autocratic tendencies, culminated in failed coup attempt in April 2002. Strike at state-run oil companies, which account for 50 percent of Venezuelan budget, called in December 2002 in effort to force referendum or Chavezs resignation. In early 2003, price of petroleum leapt from international trading average of $25 per barrel to more than $30. Possibility of martial law raises potential for more violence. Economic losses due to strikes estimated in the billions of U.S. dollars.

Solution: Anybody with half of half a brain can obviously see that Venezuela's dependence on oil is causing all kind of domestic turmoil, most notably the chance of "martial law" where the citizens are subjected, under military rule, to marry each other. In addition, 96% of the country is Roman Catholic, which means drug dealers have to wear gold crucifix Jesus neck chains while selling heroin. The solution to this problem is simple: the Catholic Church must proclaim oil to be "Satan's Moisturizer" and declare it against the religion. If the Catholic Venezuelans fail to stop fucking around with their oil, then they will go to hell. If they switch religions, then they will go to hell as well. The only chance they have to survive is by giving up the oil industry and deciding to exploit another natural resource. According to my research, they can begin raping the land of the following precious, precious items:

1) Natural Gas - This is different from oil in the fact that natural gas explodes, while oil just catches fire. Remember that scene from "Phantasm 2" where Reggie blew up the house because it was full of those little Yoda creatures? That was natural gas at its best, my friend! This resource is not limited to blowing up your house, as it can also heat it and kill your loved ones when it begins leaking.
2) Bauxite - Many people don't know what bauxite is, even if they were being beaten to death in the middle of the street with a sizeable chunk of it. Although it sounds like an alien race, bauxite is simply aluminum ore and is used to create things which are composed of aluminum ore, which is also known as bauxite. Such items include pots, pans, dishes, foil, and other cooking tools which are necessary for Ron Popeil to assert his horrible dominance over mankind. According to something I read on the bathroom wall at Denny's, many road signs are also created from aluminum, so next time you speed by and ignore a stop sign, you're speeding by and ignoring a little part of Venezuela my friend!
3) Hydropower - This is the mysterious and shady science of converting water to pure energy. I'm not sure exactly how this works, but I imagine it has something to do with how the wizards could create all those goddamn Water Elementals in Warcraft.

If Venezuela ceases their silly, unholy pursuit of oil and instead follows this advice, soon they'll be the world's leading exporter of exploding houses, "YIELD TO PEDESTRIAN" signs, and horribly murderous water creatures. Quite frankly, that's a step in the right direction for them.

Possible Problems With the Solution: Water Elementals tend to spontaneously explode at times, so people who order them overseas may not receive anything but a cargo crate full of water by the time it arrives at their doorstep. Additionally, I'm not sure how anybody could order natural gas from Venezuela over the Internet, as I don't think most computers support the transmission and upload / download of natural resources. Blame Microsoft.

Zimbabwe

An obese, naked, African American individual fleeing from a rollercoaster composed of food and clowns. This may or may not have something to do with Zimbabwe.

Country Description: Located in southern Africa, between Zambia and South Africa (I know, that doesn't make any sense to me either, but that's what the webpage said), Zimbabwe is a country that is deeply rooted in strife and confusion. For example, this country used to be named "Rhodesia" before the state of Rhode Island sued them for trademark dilution. Zimbabwe was forced to change their country's name overnight, dumbfounding their 11 million residents, who were already dumbfounded to begin with. Their largest national export is birth defects and AIDS.

Problem: Economic and political turmoil rose after country gained independence from Britain in 1980. Political violence raged throughout President Robert Mugabe's two-decade tenure. White farmers were forced from land during redistribution scheme in 2002, which fueled economic crisis. Since 1999, economy has shrunk 15 percent and inflation has risen more than 100 percent. International investment has fallen during Mugabe's rule. Severe drought and land-redistribution program put 46 percent of population at risk of starvation. European Union and United States imposed sanctions, further isolating regime.

Solution: Apparently there is some kind of racial problem going on down there, and if Russell Simmon's "Def Comedy Jam" has taught me anything, it's that all racial barriers and blockades can be broken through the sheer power of African American comedy. Black comics have the ability to tackle any and every racial issue without being labeled a racist because it's scientifically impossible for black people to be racist. Therefore, I believe we should adopted a bartering system with Zimbabwe: for every displaced white farmer they send us, we'll give them one African American comedian who specializes in a particular theme of racial comedy. We'll get some moron who harvests corn, and they'll receive a black guy who points out how uptight white people are when harvesting corn. Then, through the powerful medium of laughing at sweeping generalizations which may or may not be based in reality, Zimbabwe will soon find themselves devoid of meddlesome white farmers... and chock full of laughter! Their government will eventually take the hint by disassociating themselves with the genocidal, murderous, warring tribes, and instead appointing hilarious, cutting edge, sassy American African-American comedic geniuses! The amount of red tape and stabbed citizens will be slashed as each and every governmental meeting will turn into a loving laugh-in!

PRESIDENT MGBVUMNDBSE: "Greetings staff members. I have called this meeting so we may discuss the current economic problems our dear country of Zimbabwe is facing."
AMERICAN AFRICAN-AMERICAN COMIC #1: "Staff? You talkin' bout staffs? Then you talkin' to the right man, cus us black men got some big STAFFS, if you know what I'm talkin' bout!"
AMERICAN AFRICAN-AMERICAN COMIC #2: "See, now white folks, they get all nervous when they see a crazy niggah like me in the urinal next to 'em. They be trying not to look over an shit at me cus they know if they try to look over, they gonna get a big eyefull of my beautiful black rod, you know what I'm talking about!"
AMERICAN AFRICAN-AMERICAN COMIC #3: "Us black people we all cool and shit when we peein'. White people, man, they actin' like peein' is some kinda BUSINESS, they all like 'ERUMPH, HRUMPH, let me call this meeting to order, Mr. Johnson, you are now at the head of the table.' Us niggahs, we just pee, you know what I'm sayin?"
PRESIDENT MGBVUMNDBSE: "I wish the next coup would hurry the hell up."
AMERICAN AFRICAN-AMERICAN COMIC #1: "Coup? Yeah, thas coo', we black people are all coo' an shit, we be sittin' round and just relaxin', but white people, man, they be some crazy folk!"

Possible Problems With the Solution: With all the African American "observational humor" comedians deported, we will be left with an abundance of white "observational humor" comedians who will incessantly rattle on about airports and people who use cellphones. This means we will have to deport those white comedians as well, preferably to the bottom of the ocean or the center of the sun.

Whew! I have solved all of the planet's problems in two days, something which will look really good on my resume when I eventually get enough courage to apply for the tech support job at Bonzi Buddy. Well, I've solved every problem except whatever the hell is going on in Colombia and the Phillipines. I'll leave that one to my neighbors, whom I assume will brainstorm something that involves getting a few 30,000-watt subwoofers to play the latest "MC Magic Marker" CD at 4:30 AM every goddamn morning. They'd better not fuck up Colombia; I'm going to need the drugs.

A Killer Inside Me!

Zack "Gap Irrigator" Parsons here with a spanking, gleaming, pulsating new edition of SA Story Time. I know it requires a stretch of "ye olde attention span", but head on over and check out this serial killer themed installment entitled "Seven Deadly Seasons".



"Whatever!" Screamed Chief McMillan. "You're a loose cannon Armstrong and you're going to get me fired with your crazy shenanigans. You may think the ends justify the -"

Chief McMillan paused and looked at an index card he withdrew from his pocket.

"Oh shit," he laughed. "Sorry Dirk, that second part is for Detective Mayer. You're not retiring and you're not a loose cannon, but you're still getting a new partner. He'll be down here later this afternoon."

Dirk sighed with relief and the chief began to walk away. When he was roughly three steps from the door of his office he spun on his heel and stomped back to within an inch of Dirk's face.

"DIIiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiirk ARM STRONG! What the cuntwhore of a motherfucking Christ beast did you do to my birthday cake?!"

I think my fingers are bleeding from writing all this EXTREMELY SEXY PROSE! I suggest you set course for aritcle ID 1250! All ahead flank!

– Rich "Lowtax" Kyanka (@lowtax)

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