1494 Columbus meets the Arawak Indians in Jamaica. The Arawak used allspice to smoke and season meat and it is this recipe that Jerk seasoning is based upon.
(That’s funny, I alway’s thought that jerk was one of the many names the Arawak had for Columbus.)
“As to marriage or celibacy, let a man take which course he will, he will be sure to repent.”
(Not only was Socrates a misogynist, but he was also a pedophile and once slept with Alcibiades who almost single handily destroyed Athenian civilization. This latter tragedy should not be blamed on his and Socrates’ single night of passion.)
Today’s news from Thailand:
In some previous emails I described the ongoing conflict between Thailand’s military general staff and the other institutions of government. Except for one short interlude after WW II, from 1932, when the Thai military and some civilian leaders overthrew the absolute monarchy, until 1973 Thailand was governed by a military regime similar to that which exists in Burma today. In 1973, to some extent in response to a dispute regarding the ever-increasing size of the military budget, a form of civilian rule was instituted. Nevertheless since then, no civilian government, except for that of Thaksin in his original election and that of his party following the 2006 coup has taken office except as a result of an uprising of sorts, usually led or abetted by the military. No matter what one thinks of Thaksin, a corrupt, greedy opportunist or the second coming of FDR as a traitor to his class, one cannot deny that the military general staff remains the dominant political institution in Thailand. Recently the Bangkok Post in an article about the 2006 coup quoted a political science professor at Chulalongkorn University opined:
“Since Sept 19, 2006, the military’s budget has almost doubled – going from 85 billion baht at that time to 154 billion baht this year. That number is set to jump to 170 billion next year. There are some 1,100 generals in the army. There has not been such a consolidation of power by a single class of army graduates since the rise of Class 5 led by another coup-maker Gen. Among our neighbors, military power has only reached this level in Burma. The increased role of the military overtook the space for a civilian government. In fact, the army has actually taken on a new role as political manager.”
Pookie in Paradise:
I have attached hereto a photograph of the skinny woman who I mentioned in my previous email I saw by the pool. She is sitting on the beach today. In the background one can see one of the fishing boats heading in and several others on the sand preparing to go out at high tide.
Now some of you may think that I am prejudiced against the corpulent. Far from it. As a charter member of the bleached, whale like, rotund, blubber filled sedentary class, I reflect only sadness at my own lethargy.
I have also included a photograph of the white dog that I referred to in my previous email. Irwin wondered if it could be a descendent of “Petey” the white dog with the black spot around his eye that appeared in “The Little Rascals” movies. I responded that I thought that it was Petey himself who after his career in cinema retired to the beach in Thailand.
You may believe that all dogs are retired, but that is not so. Dogs work hard, scratching for fleas, marking their territory, finding food, licking their genitals, having sex, sniffing rectums, barking and so on. It’s a dogs life I tell you.
Now Petey as I have named him, really is retired. He does none of that aforementioned stuff. During the day all day he lies in the sun on the beach road next to the food vender stalls forcing the cars traveling along the road to detour around his supine body. And at night he sits on his spot of sand starring at the waves. He appears so content that I am considering joining his daily routine.