Monthly Archives: March 2012

This and that from re Thai r ment, by 3Th. (16 Cold Tits 0001) MARCH 5, 2012



For the past week or so I have spent my time baby sitting Hayden and preparing for his birthday on the 7th of March. The rain and bitter cold has effected me greatly, robbing me of what little energy my aging body still possesses. Dick in whose house we are living has taken on most of the heavy lifting of food preparation and the like while I have concentrated on getting Hayden off to school and picking him up in the afternoon.

Nikki arrived on March 1 and stayed until Sunday.

I recently learned that Bill Geyer is back in the Hospital as a result of another heart attack complicated by kidney failure and septic shock. Naida, his wife, indicated that his chances of surviving do not look good.

I am at that age where the loss of friends and family becomes a sadly regular feature of life. I am especially affected by Bill’s struggles, not just because he had been a friend and a mentor, but because of what he is. Bill is the kindest and most considerate person I have ever known. I hope for his quick and complete recovery, but if not, wherever he goes will be a better place for having him there.


On Vacation





What “Occupy” is all about and what it really wants:

a. Lets listen to the public for a change and end welfare for the oil companies.

b. Lets try to balance out priorities a little better.


Please see the blog:

a. The Bible Speaks: On environmental protection.

“The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.” (Genesis 2:15)

“Is it not enough for you to feed on the good pasture? Must you also trample the rest of your pasture with your feet? Is it not enough for you to drink clear water? Must you also muddy the rest with your feet?” (Ezekiel 34:17-18)

“The land shall not be sold in perpetuity, for the land is mine; with me you are but aliens and tenants. Throughout the land that you hold, you shall provide for the redemption of the land.” (Leviticus 25:23-24)

“You must keep my decrees and my laws…. And if you defile the land, it will vomit you out as it vomited out the nations that were before you.” (Leviticus 18:26, 28)
“You shall not pollute the land in which you live…. You shall not defile the land in which you live, in which I also dwell; for I the LORD dwell among the Israelites.” (Numbers 35:33-34)

“If you besiege a town for a long time, making war against it in order to take it, you must not destroy its trees by wielding an ax against them. Although you may take food from them, you must not cut them down. Are trees in the field human beings that they should come under siege from you?” (Deuteronomy 20:19)

“I brought you into a plentiful land to eat its fruits and its good things. But when you entered you defiled my land, and made my heritage an abomination.” (Jeremiah 2:7)

It is interesting how easy it is to use or misuse the bible to justify or condemn just about anything. Perhaps that was one of the reasons why our founding fathers were so adamant about separating church and state.

b. S**t Santorum says:

“In every society, the definition of marriage has not ever to my knowledge included homosexuality. That’s not to pick on homosexuality. It’s not, you know, man on child, man on dog, or whatever the case may be. It is one thing. And when you destroy that you have a dramatic impact on the quality —”
— AP Interview, April 7, 2003

Wow, Thanks for clearing that up Rick.


“[I]deals come to life in dozens of political transactions every day. Some of those transactions aren’t pretty. You can understand this and try to work with this knowledge, or you can look away. But ignoring politics will not make it stop. It will simply go on without you—and sooner or later will happen to you.”
–Richard Brookhiser, James Madison

Perhaps one of the more insightful things ever said by one of our founding fathers. Nevertheless, I am unsure what “ignoring politics” means any more. Liberals and conservatives bitch about how awful politics and politicians are and how turned off they are by the politicians antics. Often, they believe they actually participate by sending cartoons or slogans throughout the email (like I do) or unverified screeds as alas too many of my more conservative friends do. Perhaps that is all that can be expected.

Rather than voting, campaigning or even running for office, so many of us have “deputized” so-called activists (from the right or the left) or media pundits or moneyed interests to speak for us. Instead of direct representative democracy (if it ever existed) our elected representatives are actually these “deputies” to whom we have delegated our futures. Interestingly enough these “deputies” are not the rich, nor the poor, often neither liberal nor conservatives, but members of what I like to call the “Parasite” community; lobbyists, consultants, political commentators lawyers and the like whose income depends not only on the largess of those that pay them, but their ability to persuade their paymasters of the need for ever greater use of their services.

Yes, of course most of them work for so-called moneyed interests or for well-funded conservative causes, but what else can one expect when one allows the creation of a morally ambiguous fee based institution to mediate between various public interests.

Do not blame the rich, nor the workers they at best are merely the instigators and at worst costumers of the services marked to them. Once created, like any parasite it grows sucking off the life force of its hosts until they both die. Strangely enough, with each victory the parasite community brings to their wealthy hosts, they may very well be hastening the demise of both.

Isn’t it time we examine this community to see if it provides any real benefit at all. Are businesses really advantaged by the huge expense represented by this community? I would think that in many cases, given the financial returns received or many businesses would be better off tasking their engineering and marketing departments to find ways to achieve competitive advantage in the changed environment than paying a small fortune for some intermediary to battle some perceived threat to their bottom line.

Oh yes, many of them have achieved unbelievable returns over the past decade or two but how much of those returns were diverted into the pockets of their advisors and so-called middlemen. In fact, studies show that the rich have not benefited in terms of wealth or income increases anywhere as much as the leaders of the parasite community. Even worse these so-called “advisers” may very well have “advised” their clients themselves right up to the edge of the abyss.

Recently Democratic Senator Max Baucus is reported to have “warned” the denizens of “K Street,” one of the major haunts of this parasite community (another is Wall Street) against encouraging their clients to contribute to the Republican Party; echoing the warnings of Republican Congressional leaders when they were in power to the same community. At first I thought this tit for tat was unseemly. Upon reflection however perhaps it is a good thing. If the employers of the parasite community recognize they would be better off directly petitioning their government than funding political party based lobbying company, maybe the K Street mob will begin to shrivel up and we all will be better off.




Categories: January 2012 through March 2012 | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

This and that from re Thai r ment, by 3Th. (15 Cold Tits 0001) February 29, 2012.



Every once in a while, one feels as though he has stepped off of H. G. Wells time machine and bumped into himself in another age. No, it is not like running into dark-haired, swarthy skinned chthonic creatures snacking on clueless blond blue-eyed babes and their androgynous curly-headed boyfriends (although it often seems like that). It is more like meeting the you you never knew.

It all began with entering the Cafe Internationale with its intermittent hint of freshly lit joints floating through the air and the funky sounds of the “Jug Band” as background for some light flirting with someone whom I was convinced had slipped into my bed one stoned night 40 years or so ago.

Then a few evenings later at my sister’s home on the bluff above the clashing waves of the Pacific Ocean in the tiny picturesque town of Mendocino, I took another voyage into my past.

My father’s obsession for most of his life was to take, or assemble, family photographic images and organize them (mostly, if truth be known, organize) obsessively in one way or another. My sister had acquired them and now in a converted water tower on her property that serves as a guest house, much of one room is devoted to the collection.

Although the collection itself includes films and photographs, its bulk is made up of perhaps a hundred boxes of slides (after all it had been the golden age of slide photography), meticulously arranged and labeled in the circular holders that fit into the ubiquitous slide projector of the time. My sister chose five or six from the horde at random and we sat down to review them.

The images were all from the mid sixties to the early seventies. The first thing I noticed (preoccupied as I am with myself) was that I was much better looking that I ever thought I was. My own self-image at the time, as I recall, was of a sallow young man with an enormous clown like nose, great baggy eyes and a slack and sagging jaw. Now, although that may be very much what I in my emerging decrepitude look like now, I certainly did not look like that then. The young man I saw then was actually somewhat handsome in a minor movie extra sort of way. I was skinny though. I did not simply lack the beefy look of modern fashion, but had the emaciated look of the depression years. I was very very skinny, skinnier than Fred Astaire.

Among the almost forgotten influences of my late teen and early adult years were Margaret and Tony Pannicci, or “Panneech” as we referred to them, and Ruby and Arnold Maurizio.

Margaret Panneech was one of those loud hyperactive people who often dominate their environment and everyone around them. The Paneeches owned two homes on a large single lot in Yonkers NY. One of which they lived in and one which my parents rented. She suffered from what appeared to be a bi-polar disorder, diagnosed at the time as female hysteria and treated with massive overdoses of various medicines, primarily steroids leaving her moon-faced and jovially divorced from reality. Tony on the other hand appeared to me much more reserved in a slightly spooky way. My sister and I spent some time discussing whether or not Paneech was having an affair with our mother given the excessive amount of time he spent lurking around our house “fixing things.” My sister suspected he may have and I thought he was simply a hopeless voyeur.

Ruby and Arnold were to some extent fashion icons to my sister and I. Not because of any slavish devotion to current fashion trends but for their unapologetic obsession with large, clunky, sparkling jewelry and loud flashy colors. They had a daughter, Judy, they feared would not get married because she was both overweight and dressed in a more subdued manner than that favored by her parents. One day however she lost some weight, put on some Day-Glo colored garments, rhinestone jewelry and multi toned silk scarves and brought home a young man who, to everyone delight, she eventually married.

The slides also chronicled family trips to Italy and family vacations in the Catskills that loiter on in the mind as more amusing than they actually were at the time.

The following day, and still wrapped in a lingering dream like fog inhabited by the screaming ghosts of a smiling Paneech carrying a jar of happy pills and the bouffant teased raven haired Ruby, rhinestone sparkling and encased in a scarlet black and Chartreuse gown, I drove with Mary and George up the coast to visit a winery in the tiny town of Westport. Along the way, I pointed out projects I had worked on and told interminable stories about them, especially the brilliance of my analysis and effectiveness of my actions. Whether incessant pressured speech is one of the effects not speaking to anyone during the months I reside in Thailand, or merely to keep the ghosts at bay, I do not know.

We arrived at the winery, perched above one of the most magnificent wave battered coasts I have ever seen. Perhaps 50 yards or so off shore the St. Andreas fault runs through a cleft 90 feet or so deep before it dips below the Gorda plate and disappears, marking the point where the Pacific Ocean swells unhindered by a coastal shelf batter the continent.

We walked into the winery tasting room where behind a row of planks on wine barrels the winery’s owner stood serving the dozen or so visitors sips of the winery’s products. Looking down at the tasting list I read the word that made my heart stop: CHARBONO.

CHARBONO, a wine varietal that I thought died about the same time the denizens of Cafe Internationale departed the Bay Area and disappeared into the mists of history. Although at one time a somewhat common varietal in Italy and California, following prohibition it had been reduced to the provence of a single winery Inglenook in Napa County where it had been a staple of their line. When Francis Ford Coppola purchased the winery with his profits from “The Godfather,” he bulldozed the vineyard in front of the winery to enhance his view not knowing it contained perhaps the last Charbono wines in the world.

Sally, the owner, who looked like the mature Fara Fawcett in unruly windblown hair explained that a few years ago she discovered the aged and diseased vines of the last three or four Charbono vines in the world, had them restored by the scientists at UC Davis and now has about 80 or so acres of the variety under cultivation. (For more on Charbono see Charbono Appreciation Society)


1. Extreme privation strikes The Street:

Recent reports in the American press have highlighted the extraordinary hardships forced upon Wall Street bankers as the impact of their diminished bonuses sink it. The Business Insider compiled some of the most heart rendering:

Hans Kullberg, a trader at hedge fund Falcon Management Corp: Had to turn down a trip to see a friend judge a wet t-shirt contest at Mardi Gras because it was not the “most financially prudent thing to do.”

Andrew Schiff, director of marketing for broker-dealer Euro Pacific Capital Inc.: “I can’t imagine what I’m going to do…. I’m crammed into 1,200 square feet. I don’t have a dishwasher. We do all our dishes by hand.” He said he wants “a room for each kid, three bedrooms, maybe four… Imagine four bedrooms. You have the luxury of a guest room, how crazy is that?”

Wall Street headhunter Daniel Arbeeny: Recently, he drove to Fairway Market in Brooklyn’s Red Hook to buy discounted salmon for $5.99 a pound. He also now scans supermarket ads for the cheapest price on his favorite cereal, Wheat Chex.

M. Todd Henderson, a University of Chicago law professor who wrote two years ago his family was barely getting by on $250,000 a year: “Yes, terminal diseases are worse than getting the flu…. But you suffer when you get the flu.”

Alan Dlugash, a partner at accounting firm Marks Paneth & Shron: “People who don’t have money don’t understand the stress… Could you imagine what it’s like to say I got three kids in private school, I have to think about pulling them out? How do you do that?”

Hedge fund manager Richard Scheiner: Remarked that Wall Streeters don’t usually save, but he and his wife certainly do! By the way, he also “spends about $500 a month to park one of his two Audis in a garage and at least $7,500 a year each for memberships at the Trump National Golf Club in Westchester and a gun club in upstate New York. A labradoodle named Zelda and a rescued bichon frise, Duke, cost $17,000 a year, including food, health care, boarding and a daily dog-walker who charges $17 each per outing.”

Read more:

(I understand the stress. Really I do.)

2. Religion in America:

Ed and Lisa Young, founders of Texas-based Fellowship Church, recently spent 24 hours in bed on the church roof and streamed themselves discussing sex live on the Internet to encourage married couples to see firsthand the power of a healthy sex life as prescribed in their new book, “Sexperiment.”

Two days after their book, Sexperiment: 7 Days to Lasting Intimacy with Your Spouse, was released, the Youngs took part in a 24-hour “bed-in.” The book encourages married couples to have sex for seven straight days – a challenge that made headlines in 2008 when Pastor Young first introduced it to his church – with the promise that the “amazing results” will last far beyond the week.

“Tragically, culture has kicked the bed out of church and God out of the bed,” says Ed Young, who has been “happily married” to Lisa for almost 30 years. “It’s time to bring God back in the bed and put the bed back in the church. That’s what this bed-in is all about.”

(This is a religion I can get behind…so to speak. I always found that seven straight days of sex is amazing in itself what ever the results are.)


Delayed while I attend to other things.




1942, February 22:

British Air Chief Marshal Arthur Harris, newly appointed head of Bomber Command:

“The Nazis entered this war under the rather childish delusion that they were going to bomb everyone else, and nobody was going to bomb them. At Rotterdam, London, Warsaw, and half a hundred other places, they put their rather naïve theory into operation. They sowed the wind, and now they are going to reap the whirlwind.”

2012, February:

According to a report from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD):

The wealthiest Americans have collected the bulk of the past three decades’ income gains. The share of national income of the richest 1% more than doubled between 1980 and 2008: from 8% to 18%. The richest 1% now makes an average US$1.3 million of after-tax income (compared to US$17,700 for the poorest 20% of US citizens). During the same time, the top marginal income tax rate dropped from 70% in 1981 to 35% in 2010.

The rising incomes of executives and finance professionals account for much of the rising share of top income recipients. Moreover, people who achieve such a high income status tend to stay there: only 25% drop out of the richest 1% in the US, compared to some 40% in Australia and Norway, for instance.


1. What “Occupy” is all about and what it really wants:

2. The real reason why local governments often have to raise taxes or revenue or go bankrupt:

Case study: “Free roads’ are a myth”:

A group of high-value lake properties petition the city to take over their road. They agree to pay the entire cost to build the road — a little more than $25,000 per lot — in exchange for the city agreeing to assume the maintenance. As one city official said, “A free road!”

Question: How much is the repair cost estimated to be after one life cycle and how does that compare to the amount of revenue from these properties over that same period?

Answer: It will cost an estimated $154,000 to fix the road in 25 years, but the city will only collect $79,000 over that period for road repair. To make the numbers balance, an immediate 25% tax increase is necessary along with annual increases of 3% with all of the added revenue going for road maintenance.
(See Strong Towns for more)

3. : Testosterone Chronicles (Sometimes referred to as “Male chutzpah”):

A lawyer for Mr. Strauss-Kahn (Disgraced former head of the IMF) appeared to confirm that he had attended the events containing naked women, saying that his client would not have been aware if the women who entertained him were prostitutes.

“He could easily not have known, because as you can imagine, at these kinds of parties you’re not always dressed, and I challenge you to distinguish a naked prostitute from any other naked woman.”

(I agree. I never could tell the difference.)

4. Department of abasement, apology and correction:

In a prior post I referred to Tom Friedman and a “Well Known Conservative Pundit.” Ruth indicated that she thought that he actually was a so-so liberal pundit. If that is the case, than I stand corrected and withdraw his criticism of the current Republican Party, since liberals, being brainwashed by their theology, are incapable of understanding the truth.


Please see the blog:

1. Try to parody this:

Minister Patrick Wooden a well-known conservative religious leader and supporter of Republican candidates:

“The God of the Bible made the human sperm, the God of the Bible designed it and it was not designed to be emptied into an area that is filled with feces, there is nothing for it to germinate with, it will most certainly mean the extinction of the human race. My belief is that if the medical community would just step forward and just would share with the American people what happens to the male anus, the problems that homosexuals have with their rectums, the damage that is done, the operations that are needed to sew up their bodies if you will, and how many of the men don’t even give these stitches time to heal before they are back out there practicing that wicked behavior. Some are bleeders, men who are not turned off by ingesting the feces of other men.”

Also he claimed that gay men, “have to wear a diaper or a butt plug just to be able to contain their bowels.”

(No Republican candidate, as far as I know, has criticized his remarks as they did the minister that stated that as a black person he could not be thankful for what America had given him. On the other hand, in speaking for “God the Proctologist,” the Reverend Wooden could be admired for his liberal like concern for the health of members of the homosexual community.)

2. On the other hand he claims to be a Republican:

A congressional candidate running as a Republican in the upcoming Illinois primary claims the “Holocaust never happened.”

Arthur Jones, 64, a Lyons, IL, insurance salesman who organizes family friendly, neo-Nazi events around Adolf Hitler’s birthday, hopes to be the Republican candidate chosen to run against Democratic Congressman Dan Lipinski in Illinois’ 3rd Congressional District.

“As far as I’m concerned, the Holocaust is nothing more than an international extortion racket by the Jews,” Jones said. “It’s the blackest lie in history. Millions of dollars are being made by Jews telling this tale of woe and misfortune in books, movies, plays and TV.”

“The more survivors, the more lies that are told.”

(I suppose the reason why no other Republican has yet to reject his assertion is Reagan’s Eleventh Commandment, “Speak no ill of another Republican.”)


“I do not write this in any way to excuse myself. I ought to have known. My advisers ought to have known and I ought to have been told, and I ought to have asked. The reason I had not asked about this matter, amid the thousands of questions I put, was that the possibility of Singapore having no landward defenses no more entered into my mind than that of a battleship being launched without a bottom.”
Winston Churchill: The Hinge of Fate

“Rick Santorum says kids who go to college are snobs. His program is Every Child Left Behind.”
David Letterman.


(The good and the bad: renewable energy [excluding nuclear] contribution to total energy use in the EU increased by about one-third over what it was 10 years ago while Hydrocarbon based energy use nevertheless increased by over 35% in line with the 35% increase in total energy use. Since Nuclear and Hydro sources remained static, the renewable growth came out of their share of growth. In other words, renewables have had no effect on fossil fuel growth but are simply replacing nuclear and hydro and non-fossil fuel sources of energy. My conclusion: at this time nothing appears to be capable of stopping or replacing fossil fuel energy growth and therefore priority should be given to the equally futile task of preparing to deal with the effects of climate change.)



Categories: January 2012 through March 2012 | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

This and that from re Thai r ment, by 3Th. (1 Cold Tits 0001) February 15, 2012



Odds and ends:

(Yesterday was one of the two free days in my new calendar during which one can do whatever they want. I hope you enjoyed yourself.)

The day before yesterday was Valentine’s Day. I trust it all worked out for you.

It rained as I wrote this, so I spent the day in my room and worked a bit. I have now completed the entries of “This and that…” from January through March 2010 into my blog of the same name. They can be viewed at “This and that….”

A few days ago my grandson Aaron cooked dinner. He barbecued several different kind of meat. It was quite good. He was proud of himself.

Here is a photograph of the Villa in Umbria that we are considering renting for the family vacation during spring of 2013. What do you think? It is located a few miles from a little village with the quaint name of, Bastardo. The town grew around an inn and stabling station in the 17th or 18th centuries, and was once known as Osteria del Bastardo, or “Bastard’s Inn.” For some reason the village’s residents are reputed to be quite proud of that name.

News from Thailand:

As I mentioned in a previous post, notwithstanding capturing a muslim terrorist and finding thousands of tons of explosives in BKK, the Thai government furiously condemned the US travel advisory to her citizens traveling in Thailand. The Thai’s steadfastly maintained that there is no evidence of terrorist activity aimed at tourists in the country.

Yesterday in BKK, an Iranian man carrying hand grenades tried to flag down a taxi following the detonation of explosives in the man’s lodging, leaving him injured and bloody. The Taxi driver refused, the Iranian threw a hand grenade at him which bounced off the car exploded and blew off the throwers legs.

Darwin is at work again.


In my last post I mentioned my current infatuation with the stand up comic appearing on late night cable TV named Louis (not the Fat Louis but the bald one with a fringe of red hair). I thought it would be amusing to some of you especially those lacking the pleasure of late night US cable TV if I relate one of the episodes.

It seems Louis had gotten a job appearing in the lounge of the Trump casino in Atlantic City. His act consisted primarily in warning the customers who tire of his act and walk out, not to gamble and lose their money in the casino, insulting “The Trump” and telling his audience to fuck off. Later the casino manager read him its policies prohibiting such behavior and insisted he agree to avoid it in the future or be fired. He refused and resigned.

That evening he attended the performance of the ancient (she must be approaching 100 years old by now), widow humped, marble faced comedienne, Joan Rivers, headlining in the casino night club. He went backstage after the performance to tell her how much he enjoyed her show. She invited him to “hang out.” They went to her suite in the casino hotel for drinks and to talk. When Joan learned that he had quit his job, she went off on a riff about how people in their business did not quit and went on at length about her own career ending with the question, “Do you know how many blow-jobs I had to give to get where I am?” Finally in response to the crone’s panegyrics about their profession, he became overcome with passion and tried to jump her aged bones. She resists him, arguing that she is old enough to be his great-grandmother. She later, however, relents and leads him off to the bedroom warning him not to tell her daughter because, “She still believes her mom is a virgin,” and informing him that she is up for anything but, “sado.”

Could Seinfeld top that?

Now I owe everyone an apology. Louis who goes by the moniker Louis C. K. is more well-known than I thought. He just won the Grammy for “Best Comedy Album” beating out Weird Al Yankovic (who may be outrageous but also is definitely not funny). Obviously living in the jungles of Thailand has severely limited my exposure to modern American culture.

Apparently Louis recently self published a new album on the internet and made $500,000. He rewarded each person who paid him five dollars to download the album with the following personal message:

“Hi. This is LOuie. It seriously is me. Im even going to leave the O stuipdly capatalized because who would pay an intern to do that?? Okay so you bought the thing with my fat face on it and you clicked the button that said i could email you. And i know that now you are thinking “aw shit. Why’d i let this guy into my life this way?” [sic].


On the Edge: Stories about the Creation and Early Years of California’s Monumental Coastal Protection Program.

1. In the Beginning: an oft told story (continued).

The first meeting of the California State Coastal Commission.

The meeting was to be held in Southern California. Despite living in the State for almost three years, I had never been to Los Angeles, or for that matter south of Big Sur, so I looked forward to the trip almost as much as to the meeting.

Joe Bodovitz and I flew on PSA. As we passed over the LA basin, I looked out of the window and saw something puzzling. I could see the grid streets running off into the horizon and the freeways, but diagonally crossing the northernmost section of the basin from the ocean almost to the mountains was something large and grey, like a giant freeway with no cars.

“What is that?” I asked Joe.

“The Los Angeles River,” he replied.

I was stunned. Coming from the Northeast where the rivers were broad, even the smallest brooks had water running through them as well as vegetation littering their banks until they disappeared under some urban detritus, a cement river was beyond imagination. I sat back and thought, perhaps things were the same back east, but the great northeastern forest hid the ravages of human occupation like polite conversation masked the violence of normal economic pillage. Here, I thought, nothing was hidden, rape was out in the open. No one needed to hide behind a veneer of civilization or the abstractions of financial paper. I thought it was cool.

I do not remember the conduct of the meeting too much except that whenever a new agenda item began, Joe would inquire of me in a whisper to tell him what it was about. As I whispered back, something wonderful occurred. I could hear my words come out of Joes mouth literally as I spoke them, but transformed into things of elegance and beauty. I was stunned. There are many talents abroad in the world, but this I thought was transcendental. To be able to instantly transform bureaucratic dross into poetry, to me ranked right up there with creating sublime music from pieces of thin over-varnished maple, cat gut and horsehair.

The Commissioners themselves were pretty much as one would expect representatives of the establishment would be. A basically relatively self-satisfied lot with almost no particular axes to grind other than to be cognizant of and responsive to the wishes of their appointing authorities and otherwise act in a public-spirited, but not too spirited, manner. Except for Jeff Frautschy, a scientist from Scripps Institute that seemed to have almost a monopoly on those making a living from studying coastal processes and teaching them to those hoping to also achieve tenure at the Institute, who I always suspected saw himself as the guardian of that monopoly. Ellen Stern Harris was another Commissioner who slightly varied from the norm. As far as I could tell at the time, she seemed to be a wealthy matron from LA’s West Side who occupied herself by playing at politics and pursuing whatever causes were dear to her heart, in this case the coastal environment. She represented that species of upper middle class cause oriented women that were beginning to transform the Democratic Party.

The unquestioned leader of the Commission was Mel Lane, publisher of Sunset Magazine, the quintessential California magazine for those hoping to acquire enough money to make their homes and gardens pretty enough to photograph and to vacation at elegant pseudo-rustic resorts like the Ahwahnee Hotel in Yosemite National Park. (to be continued)


1. Chronicles:

The soldiers nosed about waiting for word from the Queen on the creatures request. The healer moved closer, rubbed her body against the creature’s, nosed it to make it more comfortable and then moved a short way off.

“What is your name,” Gladys IV asked gruffly. Gladys IV was one of the larger females and one of the leading contenders to replace their aging Queen once she dies of grows too feeble to reproduce. She was also the captain of the Queen’s Own Guard.

“Gorys XIV,” he whispered.

By now every member of Barrow Burrow sensed the alien smell of the intruder and all wondered if this marked the beginning of an attack by a marauding clan looking to take over the tunnels.

The soldiers cautiously had surrounded Gorys to inhibit either his escape or his movement deeper into the burrow. Other soldiers had cautiously nipped in and out of the breach checking for predators or to see whether Gorys’ had come alone or was accompanied by a band of marauders.

Workers had begun squeezing into this stretch of tunnel, climbing over or crawling under the others as they began to go about their business of closing the breech.

Gladys IV discerned the tremor and the subtle eddies of tunnel breezes indicating someone rushing through the tunnel towards them, isolating them from all the other breezes, tremors and smells that surrounded her. She recognized the distinctive odor of Glabtorix II the Queens eldest consort and recognized how agitated the Queen must be to risk him rather than one of the other workers.

Glabtorix II squeezed by the mass of seething soldiers and workers and without a glance at Gladys IV said to Gorys, “What do you want?”

“The Queen, the Queen, danger, I will only speak with the Queen,” Gory’s wheezed.

Glabtorix II stared for a moment, scratched the ground to inform the Queen, than waited a moment more and said.

“Bring it along then. Carefully. Gladys, take your cohort back to guard the Queen. Others will transport it.”

2.Heterocephalus G awards: Awarded to those who most contribute to paving the way for the rise of The Naked Mole Rat.

To Calvin Breisner, creator of the Cornwall Alliance and a self-declared “expert” adviser on environmental maters to conservative and right-wing religious organizations for opposing the new animated film, “The Lorax” about a tiny creature created by “Dr. Seuss” who “speaks for the trees” and fights environmental degradation. According to Breisner:

“What you’ve got there is the mixing of taxpayer dollars into the promotion of a clear ideology that has a particular religious flavor to it,” the Cornwall Alliance spokesman concludes. “And frankly, I think that this is a violation of the separation of church and state.”

Way to go Cal.


RED STAR: Chapter, Vince gets a surprise (continued).

Light is not the fastest thing in the universe. It is the operation of the mind when faced with the conflict between ones rational mind and emotions in situations like that now faced by Vince. Often in these cases the pressure is so great both ones mind and emotions shut down as they did with Vince at the restaurant earlier in the evening. In the moment between realizing what it was that he saw and Isabella’s almost imperceptible shrug and lowering of her eyes in preparation to bending down to retrieve her discarded pajama bottoms, he experienced something comparable to the Lincoln-Douglas debates over his soul. His militant liberalism went to war with his long suppressed adolescent fears; the strident demands of childhood with the social mores of adulthood while some bizarre chivalric ideals lay ready to ambush all to assuage his overwhelming panic.

Before she could get beyond whispering, “I expected as much,” he had crossed over to her, wrapped his arms around her shoulder and said, “I wanted you from the moment I saw you come into my office. An now, I have you and a little bit more.”

He prayed she could not hear the screams of the disintegrating pieces of his psyche.

The next morning he awoke in her bed. She was gone but a tray containing hot coffee and a bagel with lox and cream cheese lay on the table. He guessed Lina must have just brought it in. He did not move but let his mind wander over the images of the most amazing, frightening and disturbing night of his life.




19th Century:

Some late 19th-century authorities and physicians believed very sincerely that any woman who was interested in having a man perform oral sex on her was a sadist, and any man who complied was dangerously passive and submissive. Performing oral sex on women, they believed, was a “gateway drug” that led inevitably to ever more depraved acts of submission, and could possibly drag men all the way down to what they saw as the bottom of the heap, making them into the kind of men who provided oral sex to other men.

20th Century:

Though men and women have engaged in various forms of non-intercourse sexual activity since time immemorial, the idea that there was a necessary opening act to sexual intercourse called “foreplay” is something we owe to Sigmund Freud and a handful of other psychologists and medical types around the turn of the 20th century.


Never mind the question of whether there’s such a thing as distinctively “gay genes” or “gay brains”; we don’t even know if there’s such a thing as straight ones. Physical and biomedical science have yet to define or even confirm the empirical existence of heterosexuality… no one’s ever even tried.

This means that scientific research being conducted on the question of what makes people gay is being done without a properly characterized control to compare with. That’s bad science.


1. What “Occupy” is all about and what it really wants:

The wealthiest Americans have collected the bulk of the past three decades’ income gains. The share of national income of the richest 1% more than doubled between 1980 and 2008: from 8% to 18%. The richest 1% now makes an average US$1.3 million of after-tax income (compared to US$17,700 for the poorest 20% of US citizens). During the same time, the top marginal income tax rate dropped from 70% in 1981 to 35% in 2010. This is not only perceived as unfair and a harbinger of social unrest but may have exacerbated the effects of those perceptions and fears by diminishing the potential for sustained growth as shown in the following chart:

2. The real reason why local governments often have to raise taxes or revenue or go bankrupt (Hint, it is not from spending on social programs, education or public security):

The first generation of suburbia was built on savings and investment, but the second was built and maintained using tons of borrowed money – we are now in the third cycle.

(The above chart applies to countries also. What we build and pay for with debt [whether public or private] generally has not included accounting for replacement costs or operation and maintenance beyond the infrastructure’s estimated life cycle, which as a rule is less than the payback period on the bonds used to build it in the first place. This would be like borrowing for your weeks food agreeing to pay it back in installments over two weeks, then borrowing the following weeks food on the same terms hoping that somehow the nourishment can be converted into increased earnings. The syndrome compulsive gamblers suffer resembles this.)


Please see the blog:

“President Obama is for income equality. That’s socialism. It’s worse yet, it’s Marxism.”
— Des Moines Register, December 20, 2011


1. “The Intuit shall inherit the earth.”
Peter Grennel

2. “There is no ‘Tree of Life,’ life more resembles a cancerous tuber.”
Collaboration with PG.

3. “The pride of man makes him love to domineer, and nothing mortifies him so much as to be obliged to condescend to persuade his inferiors.”
Adam Smith “Wealth of Nations”

4. “Spinoza was the first to argue that the Bible is not literally the word of God but rather a work of human literature; that “true religion” has nothing to do with theology, liturgical ceremonies, or sectarian dogma but consists only in a simple moral rule: love your neighbor; and that ecclesiastic authorities should have no role whatsoever in the governance of a modern state.”
–Steven Nadler, A Book Forged in Hell: Spinoza’s Scandalous Treatise






Categories: January 2012 through March 2012 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

This and that from re Thai r ment. June 30 2010

I have just returned from my weekly Wednesday afternoon BBQ. The feast is held at a place called the Jade Palace owned by a German expatriate and caters to mostly American white males. In addition to the copious amount of BBQ meat oozing the melted fat of various species of ruminant (A cuisine favored by the American bull male but treated with disgust by the Thai), the bar was flooded with scantily clad young Thai women who cluster around, like flies on offal, the mountainous flesh of the American whales gathered there . My age and limited financial resources (and no, not the common sense that my mother always told me I have in short supply) prevented me from indulging in anything more than consuming my weekly ration of burned animal flesh.

Nevertheless as I ate I grew contemplative. Why that scene prompted such meditation I refuse to guess. However a number if the emails I have sent and received these last few days have got me thinking about life and my role in it (always a bad sign). I thought, that for me at least, life was in the experience and not in what I have done or what has been done to me. I guess, as I have mentioned before in these emails, the words of one of my favorite philosophers Scarlett O’Hara rings ever true “Tomorrow is another day.”

Speaking of tomorrow or thereafter, I plan to go back to Chiang Mai at the end of next week to visit Hayden. Since his mother plans on returning with him to San Francisco in September, this may be one of the last chances I will get to see him, or even communicate with him. His imminent departure has presented me with a quandary. Do I stay here in Paradise by the Sea attending my weekly BBQ and enjoying the occasional massage or do I do something else?

It has been suggested by some (mostly by me) that I move around a bit, to live for a while in other low-cost jurisdictions. I have found that it is the traveling and governmental fees that tend to break my budget but if I stay in the same place for two or three months, I actually save money.

I would like to spend some time in India and Srinagar where I have never been, believing I was not yet mature enough to experience India. I have also been looking at New Zealand and Australia as places to stop for a few months along the way. Ghana has been suggested as a good place to live for a while before proceeding on to Megiddo where I have planned to meet my friend Irwin on December 21, 2012, to watch the world’s end play out below us on the Plains of Armageddon, not so much because I believe the world will actually end but because it gives me something to plan for.

If the world does not end, I can make my way back to Thailand along the silk route.

Maybe I can find a sponsor. AARP may want to sponsor me in return for an article on “How far can a 70-year-old go on social security go before he starves to death, dies of exposure or some dread disease or is slain by bandits.”

Or I can just take a nap…Which I think I will do now.


Categories: April 2010 through June 2010 | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

This and that from re Thai r ment. June 29, 2010

In the last few days I read in the editorial pages of the Bangkok Post, one of the two major english language newspapers in Thailand, that, as I surmised, the military is in firm control of the governmental process through an organization set up following the Red Shirt demonstrations to manage the post demonstration investigation process. This probably means that any reconciliation process must go through the military and assure its interests are protected. Also, several articles over the past month have criticized the Police, competitors to the military in the Thai governmental system for their less than enthusiastic behavior in putting down the protests.

Today’s photograph. While trolling the internet, I came across a site that pro-ported to identify the 10 or so best restaurant views in the world. One of them was of the Lorelei Hotel in Sorrento, Italy. What makes this significant to me is that at least 5 generations of my family have stayed at this hotel, most recently my son and daughter. In my last visit I stayed in the room on the upper left. My daughter and Margaret Azevedo stayed in the room behind that one. The Hotel, when we stayed there almost 20 years ago, had fallen a bit on hard times.


Categories: April 2010 through June 2010 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

This and that from re Thai r ment. June 28, 2010

The wi-fi internet hot spots have been down in the lobby and in my breakfast cafe. They tell me they will be up and running tomorrow (today is Sunday). I think I will try to find another spot in the area this evening. Otherwise I do not know when this will get posted. Obviously, if you received this, I found a place.

The conflict between the condominium association and the developer has taken a nasty turn (I guess we can call this the “Lesser Game” as opposed to the “Great Game” I mentioned in a prior email). Apparently when the new Board of the HOA assumed control, it was unaware that the developer never granted to the condominium control over the only access road to the building. The developer still owns the road and is threatening to close it off if he is not reinstated as the manager of the building or paid blood money in compensation. I guess the developer is within his Thai property and capitalist rights to bugger his neighbor.

It was this tendency of the traders and land owners in the middle ages to screw each other with impunity that forced them to turn to whichever biker gang was in control of the area at the time, to enforce rules of fairness in commercial conduct that allowed the capitalistic system that we all so pledge our allegiance to thrive. I wonder if the masters of finance today have the wisdom of the burghers of old or do they see themselves as the successors to the biker gangs instead?

Whoa Joe— that was quite a trip — from an obscure conflict over an access road in Paradise by the Sea, through the middle ages and ending in the board room of Goldman Sachs. That’s what happens when ones mind becomes unmoored and he is reduced to talking to himself.

Having lost access to the internet and become less and less fond of talking to myself, I have abandoned all common sense and flung myself into watching Thai television. Not the english language channels mind you but the Thai soap operas and historical epics. I do not understand what is being said but I find that I have begun to understand the story lines. Unlike in American stories where plot generally is the traditional boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl again, in Thailand the plot appears to be boy meets girl, second girl plots to separate boy from girl while an older woman is up to no good and an older man acts like an idiot.

I hope your day has been at least as rewarding as mine,


Categories: April 2010 through June 2010 | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

This and that from re Thai r ment. June 26, 2010

I have returned from Paradise in the Mountains to Paradise by the Sea. That trip was a sad one for me. Hayden appears to be doing better. One can see the growing maturity on each visit. He was still cool towards me, the residue of his mother’s antipathy. Nevertheless, he appeared to warm up to me as our time together progressed although when I left, I could see another disappointment in his eyes.

His mother plans to take him to live in San Francisco in September and I assume with that, that chapter of my life will be closed. The house in Paradise in the Mountains is up for sale. Hayden tore down the “For Sale” sign twice and told his mother that is was his home, and asked where would he keep his toys.

On the other hand, the trip provided the occasion to visit with friends I made in Chiang Mai these last few months. I had dinner with an acquaintance from San Francisco who introduced me to a pretty good French Restaurant in downtown CM. My friend lives in CM and plays guitar in a band that performs in a club called “Guitar Man” located near the French Restaurant. And of course it is always great to visit with the principal at Hayden’s School and her husband and son. The son, Leo, is Hayden’s best friend. Gerry, the husband, is from New Zealand and my source for all things about Northern Thailand, Music and Old Movies. The Missionaries who befriended me in the vain hope of saving my soul are off in India for a month or so saving souls for the “nailed god” and the Southern Baptist Convention. I was also introduced to a retired DOJ agent who lives with his Thai wife in Paradise in the Mountains. I sometimes amuse myself contemplating what a DOJ agent in a foreign country actually does.

Back in Paradise by the Sea, nothing much changes. The condo now offers, for charge, connection to the internet in the units. The free internet connection in the lobby where I am writing this remains.

Since I have returned, I spend some of my time listening to “Old Time Radio” thanks to cuzin Irwin who turned me onto the sites. I still feel a bit of the thrill of fear I felt as a child when the CBS Mystery Theater came on with the squeaking door and e.g. Marshall would, in his sepulchral voice, introduce the nights mystery. That is when I used to turn the radio off and hide under the covers. Now, I still hide under the covers, but I leave the radio…Computer audio…on.

I guess the news scares me more than Mystery Theater now. I have taken to turning off the TV when the news comes on and hiding under the covers.


Categories: April 2010 through June 2010 | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

This and that from re Thai r ment. June 18, 2010

This is the so-called slow season in Thailand, heat, monsoon storms and a dearth of tourists. All three are ok especially the last. Not that I have anything special against tourists, but with their declining numbers the prices decline as well. It also appears as though everyone has lost about 100 pounds. I guess it is good for the Thai environment if not so for the economy.

I plan to travel to Bangkok on Sunday to handle some business at the American Embassy and then I am off to Paradise in the Mountains for a few days. It seems as though Hayden is having some minor problems and since SWAC is not there, I will try to help out. I will probably return depressed.

Nothing on the Thai political front of note. Even “Red Shirt Gossip” network has been silent.

Not too far away, it looks like the “Great Game” is afoot again in the too many consonant Stans. For those who have not taken world history in a while, in the 18th, 19th and early part of the 20th Centuries, Russia, Great Britain and China engaged in an extended game of “Spy vs. Spy” over control of the passes through the high mountains between north and south Asia, a portion of which was called the Hindu Kush. It seems they are at it again except the US has taken Great Britain’s place at the table.

The latest flare up on the road to Armageddon is in the what I call the lesser Stans, Kyrgyz, Uzbek and Tajik ( As opposed to the Greater Stans. Afghan, Pak and Kazakh–I do not know whether Turkmen is a Greater or Lesser Stan).

Old Joe Stalin, the almost forgotten beloved “Uncle Joe,” did not have enough white Russians to resettle on this portion of the Russian Border to protect mother Russia from the Turk or whomever. Remember at this time 20 million or so of them were busy being slaughtered in the most recent Slavic-Teuton struggle over who would have the right to kill the jews in the Pale. So crafty old Uncle Joe took a large fertile valley, the only piece of land in the area worth anything since most of the rest was mountain. and gave it to the Uzbeks, except that the Uzbeks lived on the other-side of the mountains and the only way into the valley was through a very long narrow pass that that scamp Uncle Joe gave to the Tajik and to add to the hilarity of the situation, Joe the Comedian gave the foothills surrounding the valley to the Kyrgyz who although they could look down on the Uzbeks in their happy valley from their towns on the foothills they could not defend those same towns because they also lived on the other-side of the mountains from the valley on the side opposite the Uzbeks .

Now the USA , assuming the role of merry old England in the Greater Stans of Afghan and Pak (The role of winning the battles and ultimately losing the war) decides to put its supply bases in the land of the Kyrgyz over the mountains from Happy Valley and make many of the Kyrgyz rich. The Kyrgyz than take that money and begin a pogrom against the Uzbeks living in the foothills overlooking their brethren working their farms below. The new Kyrgyz government although gaining power through a nationalist revolution claims surprise at the continuing turmoil. They also need help to stop the pogrom before the Uzbeks decide to assist their oppressed cousins across the border.

What to do? What to do? They cannot ask the Americans because the Americans being the new English do not see the Lesser Stans as in their interest and it would piss off the Russians to wake up with the Anglo-americans acting on their turf so to speak, so they have asked the Russians for help. What happens next? Will China, with its already unhappy Uzbeks and Kyrgyz in its western provinces feel threatened? What the hell is everyone fighting for anyway? The great game was about trade routes. Is this all about mineral resources? Is it another man-thing? Stay tuned for as the world turns.

Meanwhile in the Greater Stans the Nato forces are engaged in a war of attrition to punish and retaliate against the ex Afghan government for allowing their country to shelter a tall skinny ex CIA operative lunatic on dialysis while he was plotting to send citizens of an ally of the US using funds obtained from that same ally to launch a terrorist attack on the US for the purpose of creating enough turmoil the US would respond as Russia did in the same area and destroy itself economically by spending too much money on war and the things of war.

Meanwhile,….. is it getting hotter or is it just me?……

Categories: April 2010 through June 2010 | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

This and that from re Thai r ment. June 13, 2010

I few of you have wondered why I have not written in a while. I thank you for the reminder and for helping me break from my ennui.

I am not sure why this past week or so I have been so lethargic. It could be that the heat keeps me indoors for most of the day. I have become a bit of a recluse sitting on my balcony in Paradise by the Sea and staring out across the landscape to the Outskirts of Hell. Somedays, I promise myself to travel those two miles so that I may fall from grace, but in the end I choose to watch re-runs of Law and Order or the Sci-fi Channel which seem to be the only english language stations with programming other than news.

The news channels are relatively bereft of american news. Except for Faux News, my choices are Al Jazeera, a French station that reads the news in english with a heavy French accent, a Japanese english language news channel, one from Australia that I can understand no better than I can the french channel. Every now and then there is a BBC and CNN broadcast but they are not regular broadcasts for some reason. I have been surprised that of them all, Al Jazeera seemed the most professional and its production quality was second only to Fox Noise.

As for my writing I have been a little disappointed in the response to my political diary on the left-wing blog. After a promising start my readership began to fall off. I guess my harangues began to become tiresome. So like all entertainers, I decided to try to become more outrageous in an effort to recapture my fading fan base(all 20 or 30 of them).

With the recent contretemps on the high seas off of Israel, I, like everyone else, thought I found a subject on which I could burnish my reputation for sharp-eyed insight and analysis. And, although my analysis was confirmed by later reports and almost everyone else writing for the blog on the subject readership skyrocketed, mine remained mired in mediocrity.

So, undaunted, realizing that those events occurred not too far from Megiddo where the final battle of Armageddon is to occur, I wrote a short piece on Marching to Armageddon that demonstrated clearly that, as many in the previous administration prayed for and predicted, we were clearly entering the final days. This produced the comment from one reader “So what, we all have to die sometime. Hahahahahahaha!.”

Undeterred by this response, my next post contained the argument that the problems affecting the world were caused a massive human induced testosterone poisoning of the globe (Global testosteroning) occasioned by the existence of too many men in the global environment. From an evolutionary standpoint, I maintained, the world would be much better off if they were reduced to only bout 1% of the population. I then pointed out some of the improvements that could be expected with the reduction in these mobile testosterone emitters, like fewer BBQ’s resulting in less meat consumed and… well you know where that is gong. I included other similarly appropriate examples. This received a relative outpouring of comments (10) from irate men whose sole argument seemed to be that women could be just as bad as men. They then usually mentioned Sarah Palin and Ann Coulter as examples of the evil to which women can aspire. Now given the ambiguity of Ann’s sex, I have to dismiss that example since after all she may only be in disguise. But as for Sarah, even though I am no fan of hers, as the exemplar of evil in the same class as Vlad the Impaler, Hitler and all those paragons of maleness, really now……

Anyway, since then I have temporarily halted publication of my submittals to that esteemed blog while I reconsider this career path. Nobody understands me……


Categories: April 2010 through June 2010 | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

This and that from re Thai r ment. June 3, 2010

Despite the wonders of my newly invented calendar, I have begun to lose track of time.

The Thai political situation has devolved into posturing. Abhsit the Unready, the current prime minister beat back an attempt by the Red Shirt party in the Thai legislature to force a no confidence vote over the government’s handling of the protests. Abhisit the Unwilling is now playing coy with the promise he made during the protest to hold new elections before his term expires.

Meanwhile, Charlern the New Pretender, the leader of a faction of the Red Shirts who strategically withheld support for the protestors during the riots, has now moved into the position of the most likely Prime Minister should elections ever be held and prepares for his presumed ascendency.

And what of Thaksin the Omnipresent, the deposed prime minister and the putative cause of it all? Well, the government with great fanfare branded him a terrorist and threatened to contact Interpol to find him so that he could be extradited and stand trial in Thailand as a terrorist. Subsequently, the threats have mostly disappeared from the press as the government promises to study the issue. And of the man himself, Thaksin the Nonpareil what of him? He is reputed to be purchasing an island off the coast of Montenegro from where he may settle and like Napoleon at Elba to plot his eventual return. Sic transit gloria.

And of the Red Shirt masses little is heard. My masseuse, however, belongs to some type of cell phone group called “Red Shirt Gossip”. Her phone rings every 10 minutes or so with the latest “gossip”. She refuses to tell me what it is. Very annoying.


Categories: April 2010 through June 2010 | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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