At the time of writing this edition of Punch Bag, the mid-term elections in the U.S. were only a few days away so we had no idea whether America had turned blue or red, or something in between. However, what was abundantly clear in the period leading to the elections, were the sickening innuendos, pathetic lies and objectionable hate speeches of Republican president Trump, which culminated in the scaremongering decision to send 15,000 soldiers to "fight" the "caravan" of asylum seekers still weeks away from reaching the southern U.S.-Mexico border.
Critics claim that military deployment threat is a cynical political stunt designed to fire up his mostly white political base concerned about immigration.
But at the very same time this shameless scenario orchestrated by Trump unfolded, pipe bombs were delivered to Trump critics by a lunatic, while another deranged supporter of the U.S. president mowed down 11 Jewish churchgoers with automatic weapons. Welcome to the country of immigrants.
The ill-advised, 100% political tariff war with China and the rest of the world by the self-styled saviour of the U.S., has obviously taken a backseat under this avalanche of hate speeches and lies. But the tariffs still stand and according to recently released figures, some tariffs already in place have resulted in slower economic growth, notably in China.
Trump's threat of tariffs on all remaining Chinese imports by early December are creating further uncertainty in already jittery global markets. Possible talks this month between Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping may ease the trade war, but nobody is holding his breath that meeting will take place.
An interesting consequence of the trade war is that some countries are benefitting from the tensions - Southeast Asian nations such as Vietnam, for example, are attracting investment as companies seek alternative production bases to China.
Despite a trade war - in essence an ill-advised, U.S.-led political battle to contain China's global economic, political and military expansion - we again have a wide selection of funny, weird and stupid items in this month's edition of Punch Bag.
So sit back and relax and enjoy this new edition of Punch Bag.
Nol van Fenema