This and that from re Thai r ment, by 3Th. April 27, 2011

TODAY’S FACTOID:

2011: Although the percentage of foreign-born individuals in the US population is about 12%, forty percent of Ph.D. scientists working in the United States were born abroad, the great majority of them not of European descent.

What does this mean? Could it mean that native-born Americans are incorrigibly stupid? Maybe, after all about half of them voted for the Republican Party in the last election. Or perhaps it means if we do not put a stop to this flood of PhD’s across our porous borders soon all the smart people in the country will be foreign-born. Do you really want to live in a country like that?

TODAY’S NEWS FROM THAILAND:

a. The Faux War:

The phony border war over ownership of an ancient temple continues. Each side claims the other fired the first shots and that they were only defending themselves from aggression. The armies of both sides have begun removing their national civilians from the area; all the better to assure no-one but the respective militaries report what is going on. The removal of civilians also provides a clear field to expend large amounts of ammunition so that the respective military budgets can be augmented to replace that lost as well as provide additional reserves just to be safe. A few dozen soldiers on each side will of course give up their lives so that their deaths can be used as symbols of national courage for making the ultimate sacrifice for country and King. Of course no one asked either the King or the citizens of the respective countries, if they actually wanted these young men to bravely give up their lives for a pile of old ricks.

b. Malaysians can dance:

The government of Malaysia announced that it will allow its citizens to dance the “Poco-Poco” if they want to.

c. The Easter Bunny refuses to visit New Zealand for Easter. Threatens never to return:

During the Easter Holidays 24,000 bunnies were shot dead in the annual rabbit hunt on the South Island of New Zealand.

d. The Hell with the Women and Children, Save the Dammed Beer First:

Recently, a group of men in Australia were riding in a pick-up truck loaded with cases of beer. The beer and one man riding in the back of the vehicle fell off the truck as it rounded a curve in the road. The other members of the group stopped the truck, salvaged the beer, reloaded it on to the back of the truck and drove off, leaving the man, who had fallen off, behind to die.

e. Lese Majesté:

A Thai senior government official, supported by the Army Chief of Staff, threatened to charge a well-respected academic who proposed an “Eight-point proposal” to reform the monarchy in a lecture, with violating Thailand’s Lese Majesté law for insulting the monarchy. No one asked the King if he was insulted by the proposals.

For your information, what I have just written here could also be construed as a violation of the law, making me a criminal. All of you reading this have also probably violated the same law. See you in jail. It could be fun.

POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN THAILAND:

This is probably my last post from Thailand for a month or two since I will be returning to the US tomorrow.

While sitting in the apartment watching the children play and laugh, I thought back to my childhood to see if I could remember laughing. I could recall times that I cried, some of them very clearly, but laughter, nothing came to mind. I must have laughed, all children do. My childhood was not so grim that it never could have happened. Perhaps happiness is just something we assume as children and so, at best, vaguely remember it when it happens, but sorrow is so unanticipated it sears itself into our memories.

JOEY’S MYSTERY NOVEL:

It was one of those sunny days becoming more and more common in the Bay Area perhaps one of the few more welcome effects of global warming, so Vince decided to walk to Fat Al’s office and give himself some time to try to think things through. He walked up Market Street. He had been told that it had been called by the old timers as “the slot”. It has traditionally been considered the City’s main street.

When he arrived at the Bush Street its junction with Market, he turned right on to Bush and began the long climb up and along the side of Nob Hill, skirting Union Square. Beyond Union Square as he walked along he could look to his left along the streets that intersected Bush down into San Francisco’s Tenderloin, the repository of the City’s lost souls undergoing a make over by the Asian immigrants moving in sensibly to take advantage of the relatively cheap rents (and property values) of an area close to the City’s downtown.

Finally he arrived at the crossing of Bush and Larkin. Fat Al’s place of business was located on the top floor of a small four-story brick building perched on the southwest corner.

Fat Al operated out of the top two floors, while the bottom two floors were occupied by a small civil engineering firm owned by an attractive Iranian-American woman who also owned the building.

Vince pressed the button beside the entrance that announced “Pischotti Investigations,” heard the buzzer magnetically unlocking the door, pushed the door open, walked to the small elevator and took it to Fat Al’s office on the fourth floor.

Upon exiting the elevator into the cramped office space Vince was greeted by Marge, Fat Al’s wife and office manager. Marge is a big woman every bit as tall as Vince, with a round smiling face that matched her personality and a bushy head of what was once dark blond hair beginning its metamorphosis to grey.

“Hy ya Vince,” She called out. “Great to see ya. The big man’s all excited about you comin by. Go right in. He’s waiting”

Vince smiled, winked and waved at Marge and walked into Fat Al’s office.

Fat Al, upon seeing Vince enter immediately rose from his old wooden office chair, circled his cluttered desk and grasped Vince in a suffocating bear hug. “Vince,” he shouted. “You’re back home. How’re ya doing? You look great. How’re those Thai girls treating you? What can I do for you?” he rambled on not giving Vince the time to answer even if he could, crushed as he was in the bear hug.

He released Vince but still held him by the shoulders and looking into Vince’s eyes said in a little softer voice, “You look good amico. Glad to have you back.”

Then dropping his arms and returning to his chair which squeaked loudly as he dropped his great bulk into his chair, inquired, “What’s up buddy”

Unlike the seeming bowling ball hardness of the equally endomorphic Ike, Fat Al’s adipose tissue seemed to cascade from his narrow shoulders to settle happily and loosely about his gargantuan hips, buttocks and lower belly. Vince thought for a moment that perhaps he was surrounding himself with all this heft in reaction to the health club fitness induced anorexia of the First and David. “Shakespeare was right,” he thought. “About skinny people, not attorneys,” he amended quickly.

Fat Al Pischotti at one time had been the head of the City Police Department’s Homicide Division. He still likes wearing his police special in a little holster affixed to bis belt. After putting in his 20 years to qualify for retirement, he took his pension and left the force to become one of the legion private investigators in the Dashiell Hammett Sam Spade tradition for which the City is so proud and whom they treat of celebrities. His business consisted mostly of skip traces and domestic squabbles, not the type of things Vince and his cohorts in the large law firms needed for the type of private investigations required by their corporate clients. For those matters they hired new style PI firms, usually large multi-office enterprises staffed by accountants and people with the word “forensics” contained somewhere in their title.

But for Vince’s purposes Fat Al was just what he wanted and needed now.

PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

a. Today’s Chart.

Migration of seniors from the US to Mexico:

Interesting, Mexico gives us their young and we in turn give them back our old. Perhaps we can arrange an exchange. For every unemployed teenage Mexican receiving unemployment benefits we will accept the return of one American senior living on a social security pension inadequate to cover their living expenses in the US.

b. Trenz Pruca’s Aphorisms, Apothegms, Epigrams and Maxims ( http:/trenzpruca.wordpress.com/) :

One of the most important goals for any democratic government should be to avoid removing risk from enterprise. Yet it currently appears that just about the only function of government has become to shield enterprise from risk.”

TODAY’S QUOTE:

“A woman simply is, but a man must become. Masculinity is risky and elusive. It is achieved by a revolt from woman, and it is confirmed only by other men.”

Camille Paglia as quoted on Masculine Virtues site.

As much as I may have to admit it, on this Camille may have a point. If she is right, we men may be dumber than I thought. According to her, unlike women who have no choice in the matter but to be as strange and bizarre as they often are, we men do, yet we do nothing about it but ask some other guy what he thinks)

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Categories: April 2011 through June 2011 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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