TODAY FROM AMERICA:
A. POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN CALIFORNIA:
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].
MOPEY JOE’S MEMORIES:
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)
THE NAKED MOLE RAT 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.
JOEY’S MYSTERY NOVEL:
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.
PAPA JOES TALES AND FABLES:
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.
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 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.)
“POOKIE FOR PRESIDENT”
Please see the blog: http://papajoestales.wordpress.com/
“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.”
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