Daily Archives: June 9, 2012

This and that from re Thai r ment, by 3Th. 22 Joey 0001 (April 12, 2012)

TODAY FROM THAILAND:

A. POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN THAILAND:

At last the remnant of whatever virus inhabited my lungs has dissipated leaving me free to get on with my normal and rather pedestrian days. I have begun swimming again. The water in the hotel pool, I am pleased to report has been at that perfect temperature for me, not too cold as to be chilling nor too warm to be enervating.

I recently, I had a few drinks with my friend David, often referred to as the Good David or the bad David depending upon how SWAC feels about him at the time. He has left for the US for some medical tests. I wish him well. David along with Cordt, Gary and the Little Masseuse make my time here in Thailand tolerable.

Songkran, the Thai Spring festival of water begins today and continues for a week. It is a time when Thais splash water of one another as a sign of good luck. It has become the tourists favorite festival. As much as I love the Thai Autumn festival of lights, I hate Songkran. While to most Thais it is a time to rejoice in the cleansing power of water, to the farang (western tourist) it has become a blood sport in which to revel in the shock and humiliation of a sneak attack on the unwary with a high power water gun.

Yesterday I received the distressingly sad news that Stevie Dall’s daughter Cynthia died suddenly. About 10 years ago Cindy was an up and coming pop music star. My heart goes out to Stevie and Norbert and the rest of the Dall family.

B. NEWS STRAIGHT OR SLIGHTLY BENT:

1. US Election 2012: I guess the 2012 US national election will present the voter with a clear choice between the “Nanny” State and the “Daddy” State.

2. Fair is Fair: A Republican State Senator, head of that State Legislature’s budget committee who receives over $600 per month disability payment himself, has proposed denying state disability payments to others because unlike himself who has a legitimate disability, everyone else receiving disability payments are drunkards and lay-a-bouts.

3. A Cautionary Tale: “The National Review one of America’s leading magazines for conservative intellectuals has recently published an article advising white people to avoid places where there are a lot of black people. In response to the outcry that followed the publication, the magazine fired the writer.

Why is it among conservatives that when something gets screwed up they always fire the worker? Does anyone believe that the writer would have written the article if he did not believe the editor and the publisher would approve it for inclusion in the magazine? In China when something goes wrong in an organization they often execute the managers. In Japan the executives accept blame and are fired.

Don’t you think we could use that here? You know, when bankers are discovered to have made a stupid decision affecting their company or collectively the economy, instead of firing some workers in a fit of belt-tightening and rewarding themselves with bonuses, shouldn’t they be fired instead? It would probably save the bank and the country more money in the long run.

4. Stand Your Ground: Under Florida “Stand Your Ground” law, would a black person dressed in a “hoodie” carrying a concealed weapon be justified in shooting any white person he encounters on the grounds he was in fear for his life?

MOPEY JOE’S MEMORIES, THE NAKED MOLE RAT CHRONICLES and JOEY’S MYSTERY NOVEL:

Still in transition.

PAPA JOES TALES AND FABLES:

See: http://papajoesfables.wordpress.com/

TODAY’S FACTOIDS:

1. Hooray we’re number one!

What’s interesting about this chart is that most of these American prisoners are in the pen for violating our “substance abuse laws”(see below). While in the pen they are supported by our tax money (see below) instead of working and paying taxes.

Even though crime rates have decreased by over 25% over the past decade, our prison population continues to increase (note: this trend appears to parallel the increasing “privatization” of our penal system). 68 billion dollars was spent on corrections in the US in 2006. Over 50% of America’s prison population was jailed for non-violent crime; overwhelmingly for marijuana and similar laws. Do either the Republican or Administration budget proposals suggest that some savings here may be appropriate?

2. Notice a trend here?

The United States incarcerates more of its youth than any other country in the world. In the sixteen southern states incarceration of persons 55 years or older increased by 145% (see below and above) from 1997 through 2007 while the national prison population increased by only 8%. Most Departments of Correction report spending more than 10 percent of the annual budget on elderly care.

PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

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

How about a little balance:
a.

b.


2. Good Ideas Department.

3. Another Pookie fail:

While surfing through the web recently I came upon an item about the old Stanhope Hotel located across the street from the Museum of Art in New York City. About 20 years or so ago it had just been converted from a hotel to a hotel which one could buy their suites as an early condo-hotel. I looked into purchasing a suite as a future retirement home there for a while. At that time they were available for about $1.2 million. Simple laziness resulted in my failure to follow-up on my interest. Today the article mentioned that the last of those suites sold recently for $30 million.

4. Pookie’s periodic public service:

POOKIE FOR PRESIDENT

Please see the blog: http://papajoestales.wordpress.com/

TODAY’S QUOTE:

TODAY’S CHART:

It looks like the lawyers, lobbyists and consultants are doing ok during this recession. We can all be thankful for that. Think of how bad things would have been had they done as poorly as their clients.

TODAY’S CARTOON:


TODAY’S PHOTOGRAPH:

Admit it, with those ears there is an uncanny resemblance to Spock.

Categories: April 2012 through June 2012 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

This and that from re Thai r ment, by 3Th. (17 Joey 0001) April 7, 2012

TODAY FROM THAILAND:

A. POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN THAILAND:

Following the usual interminable and uncomfortable plane ride, I arrived back in Bangkok. The sky was overcast, but the temperature was a welcome change from the weeks of cold and rain I had experienced in California. When I got to my apartment, I discovered that the Little Masseuse had also been ill. She was suffering from some form of sciatica that radiated down one of her legs leaving painful blisters. I keep hoping that somewhere I can find a place where I can revel in my own misery without discovering someone close to me who has it worse.

The next day, after sleeping off the jet lag, I went to the gym and tried to drive the crud from my lungs with a roasting in the sauna.

When not coughing and lying baking in the sauna, I continue to work on the business plan I am helping my sister prepare.

With the clearing of the skies, the “Mad Dog” days are upon us making it unfit to spend much time too far away from air conditioning. I sat by the pool today and did not go in for a swim. I reasoned I was already too wet from sweat so I took a cold shower instead.

I spoke by telephone with Hayden, he is with SWAC and they plan to drive to San Francisco for the weekend. Given her recent emotional breakdown and medication regime, I am somewhat troubled by it all.

B. NEWS STRAIGHT OR SLIGHTLY BENT:

1. The Land of Smiles:  I do not know if anyone has noticed this, but I have the impression that since the Thais have gotten into remedial orthodonture procedures in a big way they smile a lot less.

2. There is something about a man in uniform: In the study of Semiotics (Umberto Eco et al.) the worthy dons waxed eloquent over the language of fashion. Recently, as I walked back to my apartment from the gym and I passed several of BKK’s finest standing on the corner, I got to thinking about the message in the way cops wear their uniforms.

In the US, the policeman’s generally slovenly outfit and arbitrary arrangement of paraphernalia about their body always signified to me the image of an overweight enraged redneck on the verge of violence. On the other hand the Thai cop is rather elegantly turned out in his starched and tailored uniform, shiny helmet without scratch or dent, shoes or boots polished to perfection while his accessories shined and arranged just so hang in a well-organized arrangement from the unblemished belt tightly binding his slim waist (as opposed to the layers of adipose that decorate their American counterpart’s mid-section). I tried to understand the semiotic message I was receiving from their particular way of wearing their uniform. As I walked on by Nana Plaza I noticed other individuals in different but also equally well turned out attire; hair shiny and perfectly laid out, de collage arranged to provide their precise message to the passers-by. Could it be these ladies and ladyboys of the day and night and our guardians of law and order were sending somewhat the same message?

On the other hand (thanks to the ever observant Gary), in Thailand female cops look like this:

Now don’t you all feel like driving safer?

3. There are no terrorists here: When I left BKK a few months ago, the Thai military, after indignantly denying terrorists could be at work in peaceful Thailand, were embarrassed by police discoveries of caches of explosives. This was followed by a series of bomb explosions over the next few months. In the south of Thailand where this sort of thing has been going on for twenty years or more, there was a succession of explosions last week that rocked the southern Thai city of Hat Yai. This city interestingly enough lies about 100 miles north of those provinces where the muslim majority has spawned a violent resistance movement. It is also a tourist center servicing primarily muslim tourists from Malaysia and residents of Singapore fleeing those more staid locales for the fleshy entrepots of Thailand.

In typical Thai style, the military announced the almost immediate arrest of the supposed miscreants. You see, in Thailand no crime goes unsolved. If a crime makes the news, within a day or two someone will be dragged before the cameras confessing his guilt and demonstrating exactly how he did the deed. In Hat Yai one of the accused terrorists was identified from a video cam showing him driving a car in traffic somewhat behind the van carrying the terrorists. In addition, a mysterious pair of pants that the accused denied were his were discovered in his house. They looked suspiciously like the pair worn by one of the terrorists (not the accused) caught on another video tape.

The General in charge announced that it is inconceivable to him that there could be additional terrorist activity in the city and that the tourists should feel comfortable and safe in returning to enjoy the sordid pleasures of that rather run down but always fascinating metropolis.

The restaurants in Hat Yai feature the regions best birds nest soup made from the nests of tiny birds who roost in the caves on some of the islands in the nearby Andaman Sea. Maybe the tourists come for the soup.

If someone enquires, I will be happy to describe the process of obtaining the nests in my next post,

MOPEY JOE’S MEMORIES, THE NAKED MOLE RAT CHRONICLES and JOEY’S MYSTERY NOVEL:

Returning soon.

PAPA JOES TALES AND FABLES:

See: http://papajoesfables.wordpress.com/

TODAY’S FACTOID:

I am not sure what this chart means, but don’t you think that is an awful lot of money spent on electing people most of us would not want deciding things on our behalf (or for that matter invite into our homes) had we really a choice? I am sure most of these people would not be spending this much money unless they hope to get something in return. What would that be? I do not think the answer is good government.

PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

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

Both parties are at fault.

2. Imagine, today Reagan would be considered a liberal to his party.

3. Department of abasement, apology and correction:

a. Fashion accessories: Before leaving for the US a few months ago with my suitcase filled with wool scarves knitted by the Little Masseuse, I commented that I questioned that Thai’s would even know what to do with a wool scarf given the Thai tropical climate. Imagine my surprise when after my return when turning on the television I was presented with the image of almost every television personality sporting, you guessed it, a wool scarf. So I apologize to the fashion industry for underestimating their ability turn discomfort into a fashion statement.

b. Economists: In my last post I posted a chart and commented to the effect that economists seem to consistently get their predictions wrong or at least as often wrong as right. Alas, I was reminded that David Frum and other pundits have pointed out that Nobel Laureate in economics Paul Krugman consistently gets things right, but like Cassandra no one ever believes him. So to Professor Krugman, even though I am sure he couldn’t care less, I apologize.

POOKIE FOR PRESIDENT:

Please see the blog: http://papajoestales.wordpress.com/
TODAY’S QUOTE:

Not only is evil banal but it is often frighteningly realistic and practical.

TODAY’S CHART:


TODAY’S CARTOON:

TODAY’S PHOTOGRAPH:

Categories: April 2012 through June 2012 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

This and that from re Thai r ment, by 3Th. (13 Joey 0001) April 4, 2012

TODAY FROM AMERICA:

POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN CALIFORNIA:

I made it to Mendocino, but whatever illness it is that I caught laid me low, so I spent almost two days in bed hoping for it to pass while outside the wind and the rain battered the house. It rained ever since I arrived, so I felt it was just as well that I curl up under the blanket and feel sorry for myself. I also thought about Bill and Naida and how much more serious and real were the difficulties they now are facing than mine.

On my last night in Mendocino following a pleasant game of scrabble at which I lost horribly, I made my way to bed feeling a bit better in that the cold, flu or whatever I had been laboring under for the past few days appeared to sit a bit lighter upon my chest .

I stacked the blankets, electric and conventional, to cover me so as no hint of chill could penetrate. For the first time in about a week I fell asleep without tossing about from coughing and other discomforts.

I dreamt deeply about the events of my last week in El Dorado Hills in that metaphorical, time place and character shifting way with dreams. There even appeared a character who announced that he had just returned from a week of introspection on the Iles of Tikkun who promised to aid me in some way but who I deeply distrusted. It did not matter, it all ended in frustration, sadness and despair anyway. And so it went on interminably replaying the same things over and over until some stray morning light penetrated my cocoon and I awoke, rolled over recovered my head and drifted back to sleep where shards of despondency attacked my reverie like angry crows. And so I gave in, got up and went downstairs for coffee.

After weeks of cold, overcast and rain, the sun was shining and for the first time in weeks I went for a walk. I hiked a short way along the Mendocino Headland bluffs and stared down at turmoil of the glaring white waves breaking upon the dark rocks.

Back at the house my sister and I worked on the business plan for a while and then we drove back to Berkley where we had dinner with Brendan my sister’s son, his girl friend, a Hastings law student, and two friends. I was pleasantly surprised by a quick succession of telephone calls I received from Jason, Jessica and Hayden. Whatever melancholy I had been feeling for the past few weeks dissipated.

We all watched the first episode of the second season of Game of Thrones,” and then George and I dashed off to the airport for my flight back to Thailand.
PETRILLO’S COMMENTARY:

The above chart represents the responses of a large group of economists to the question about the efficacy of current economic policy. It demonstrates what I and many other people have been saying and what many others believe, that economists do not know that they are doing and to bestow upon their area of study the title of a “science” whether modified by the word “social” or not is ludicrous. In fact, to me the predictive power of their field of study is not appreciatively greater than divination of the future from goat entrails. It has all the indicia of a religion. One might just as well flip a coin as ask an economist for advice on what policies to pursue to achieve a healthy national economy.

MOPEY JOE’S MEMORIES, THE NAKED MOLE RAT CHRONICLES and JOEY’S MYSTERY NOVEL:

Still in process.

PAPA JOES TALES AND FABLES:

See: http://papajoesfables.wordpress.com/

TODAY’S FACTOID:

1.

2.

PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

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

Alas, Obamacare will probably end our splendid isolation wherein we in America pay far more for health care and die younger than in those awful socialist nations. Just another example of Obama’s anti-American policies. Paying more and dying younger is one of the things that made America great.

2. THE BANALITY OF EVIL:

World War 2: March 27, 1942, Joseph Goebbels’ Diaries:

“Beginning with Lublin, the Jews in the General Government [of Poland] are now being evacuated eastward. The procedure is a pretty barbaric one and not to be described here more definitely. Not much will remain of the Jews. On the whole it can be said that about 60 per cent of them will have to be liquidated whereas only about 40 per cent can be used for forced labor.

The former Gauleiter of Vienna, who is to carry this measure through, is doing it with considerable circumspection and according to a method that does not attract too much attention. A judgment is being visited upon the Jews that, while barbaric, is fully deserved by them. The prophesy which the Fuehrer made about them for having brought on a new world war is beginning to come true in a most terrible manner.

One must not be sentimental in these matters. If we did not fight the Jews, they would destroy us. It’s a life-and-death struggle between the Aryan race and the Jewish bacillus. No other government and no other regime would have the strength for such a global solution of this question. Here, too, the Fuehrer is the undismayed champion of a radical solution necessitated by conditions and therefore inexorable. Fortunately a whole series of possibilities presents itself for us in wartime that would be denied us in peacetime. We shall have to profit by this.

The ghettoes that will be emptied in the cities of the General Government now will be refilled with Jews thrown out of the Reich. This process is to be repeated from time to time. There is nothing funny in it for the Jews, and the fact that Jewry’s representatives in England and America are today organizing and sponsoring the war against Germany must be paid for dearly by its representatives in Europe – and that’s only right.”

POOKIE FOR PRESIDENT:

Please see the blog: http://papajoestales.wordpress.com/

TODAY’S QUOTE:

TODAY’S CHART:

TODAY’S CARTOON:

TODAY’S PHOTOGRAPH:

Categories: April 2012 through June 2012 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: