Daily Archives: June 14, 2012

This and that from re Thai r ment, by3Th. May 28, 2011

TODAY‘S FACTOID:

2011: Here are some points we’ve passed and haven’t looked back (approximate dates):

1979: Peak per-capita gross energy production
1986: Peak grain per capita
1989-1995: Peak wild fish catch
1990: Peak net energy production
2000: Peak fresh water availability
2005: Peak conventional oil production
2011-14: Peak all-liquids (conventional+unconventional oil) production

It’s possible to overshoot a resource base – civilizations have done it time and again – but only temporarily.

The list above is a small subset of what we’ve depleted or are depleting, and many of the critical ones – oil, for instance – have no real substitutes.

TODAY’S NEWS FROM (THAILAND) AMERICA:

A study, conducted by the National Foundation for American Policy, found that 70 percent of the finalists in the 2011 Intel Science Talent Search competition — also known as the “Junior Nobel Prize” — were the children of immigrants even though only 12 percent of the U.S. population is foreign-born.

According to the report, children of immigrant parents have been increasingly dominant in the fields of math and science. In 2004, for example, researchers found that 60 percent of the top science students in the U.S. and 65 percent of the top math students were born to immigrant families. Findings were based upon data from the Intel Science Talent Search and the 2004 U.S. Math Olympiad.

We need additional restrictions on immigration before we get too smart. I bet these kids believe in evolution. The next thing you know they will be voting for Democrats when they grow up.

POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN (THAILAND) CALIFORNIA:

The past few days i have stayed close to my room, not because I am unable to travel, but because, i think, i am still feeling sorry for myself.

Anyway, on my daughter Jessica’s birthday recently we were talking on the phone and she reminded me that the time she had performed at the Latin dance club that I wrote about a few days ago was not the only time in her unconventional childhood, that she engaged in an impromptu performance in a bar.

It seems that when she was about 8 years old she was staying with me and a number of friends for a week somewhere in the Sierras. One night we were returning from dinner and many of the roads were flooded from spring run off. The driver of the car, against the loud objections of his wife, drove into  part of the road covered with water and promptly got stuck in the middle in water that covered the tops of the tires and was still climbing. We we scrambled out of the car, waded through the water and retreated to a dingy road house to dry off, warm up and wait for other friends to rescue us.

The bar had a live band playing and my daughter decided to entertain us while we were waiting (and I am sure to distract my friend’s wife who had not yet given up on her verbal assaults on her embarrassed husband). She climbed on to the table and danced for about an hour.

Now I tell you all this now, not simply because I wish to relate a cute tale of my progeny, but because I always thought children grew out of their unself-conscious public performance stage when they were about 5 years old.
PAPA JOES TALES AND FABLES:

THE PARABLE OF THE JUST SOCIETY

There once was a country that viewed itself as a fair and just society. They even called themselves the “Fair and Just Society”. Like most societies they could be divided into three groups of people. One-third of the people had the least amount of the income and wealth of that society, let us say only about 20% of the income and wealth. The second or middle one-third had about what would be the average of that societies wealth and income distributed among them, say 30%. The last group, the wealthiest one-third, had about 50% of the wealth and income of that society.

Let us also assume that at some point the members of the Fair and Just Society agreed among themselves that there are certain things that they all need and should be paid for collectively, like, for example, the common defense, roads, education of the Fair and Just Society’s children and so on. And let us further assume that the members of this Fair and Just Society agreed that these collective expenses should be paid for by each section of society according to their means. The lowest one-third agrees to pay 20%, the middle 30% and the top one-third 50% because they all agreed that would be fair and just.

Now let us assume that all things have worked out reasonably well for our Fair and Just Society and that even the poorest one-third had enough to eat, clothe and shelter themselves and everyone was pretty happy. Then one day, for whatever reason, good cost control, a sudden jump in productivity, the discovery of oil or gold or whatever, the Fair and Just Society finds that they have collected more funds than are needed for their common expenditures (Defense, education, etc.) and decide to ask the people what they should do with it.

Upon hearing this everyone was happy, no one more so than the upper third and their agent who was sent to speak to the representatives of the Fair and Just Society. He told them that because his employers were the upper third in income and wealth they knew more about money than anyone else and that it was very complicated and because of that he recommended that the money be returned to the people in the form of tax relief because then each individual will be able to choose what it wished to spend it on and so they will each benefit individually and the economy would benefit in general by this infusion of money.

Some of the representatives upon hearing this could not fully comprehend why giving to each person to spend as he wishes was better than all the people deciding together on spending it on something that would benefit them all the most. After all they argued, the money still gets back into circulation and the Fair and Just Society gains an asset owned by all the people. And some even thought at least some of it should be held for a “rainy day” when it might be needed. But most of the other representatives agreed that giving the money back to the individuals seemed reasonable and fair. So they asked the representative of the upper third how he suggested that it be done.

“Well,” he says, “I was hoping that you would ask that. Over lunch I prepared this chart.” And he whips out a chart. “What this chart shows” he says, “is that you should give all this money to the upper third because, not only do they know more about money than anyone else, they, having so much of it after all, but also since they do not have to spend in on necessities like food and stuff they will have this excess cash that they will invest in new factories and the like, you know, to make shoes and canned soup.” “And” he continued “they can even take some of that money and, oh say, pay for research or start-ups and increase productivity and things like that.”

When the agent of the upper third finished speaking, the representatives of the Good and Just Society all looked at one another for a moment then broke out laughing. “You cannot be serious,” the chairman said, “no one in their right mind could possibly be so stupid as to believe what you just said. Nevertheless, as a fair and just society we do think that it is fair and just to return it equally to all in accordance with their contributions to the common good, a 10% reduction to the bottom third on their 20% contribution, a 10% reduction to the middle third on their 30% contribution and a 10% reduction to the upper third based upon their contribution.” And with that they all got up and left, still chortling and shaking their heads.

Now because this is a parable, we will assume that in fact an across the board 10% reduction in taxes is fair and just.

Of course we all know that for many reasons an across the board reduction in taxes was not fair and just at all. For example, the lowest one-third would most likely spend it on consumable necessities like food, clothing and shelter since their 10% would not be that much money. Or, as was overheard the agent of the upper one-third telling some of the representatives of the Good and Just Society outside the hearing room. “They will probably just spend it on dope and booze and taking a few days off work.”

The upper one-third on the other hand probably would also spend some of it on dope and booze, but they would still have a lot of money left over. So they will call in their advisors and direct them to take this excess cash and use it to make more. After the advisors leave, the upper third would probably take a puff of their joints, a sip of their Mai Tais and brood about the workers in their factories that did not show up for work that day. Eventually they decide that they would have their secretaries draft letters to the Representatives of the Fair and Just Society complaining about the morals of the lower one-third and a lot of the middle one-third and that in the future any tax cuts should all come to them. That done, they will leave on vacation, using some of the money they received from the Fair and Just Society, because they believed they earned it.

The representatives of the upper third then meet to plan how they will turn this cash into more cash for the upper third and along the way turn themselves into members of the upper one-third.

They reasoned that after all that money spent on dope and booze there would not be enough cash left among the lower two-thirds for the upper third to invest their money to acquire it from the lower two-thirds. Nevertheless, there would be some and so they decide to increase their marketing budgets to persuade the lower two-thirds to spend whatever money they have left on products produced in the factories owned by the upper third. But still the upper third had a lot of money left over from the gift the Fair and Just Society had given them.

“Let’s use that money to buy the assets of the lower two-thirds,” suggests one.

“But the lower third has no assets,” complains another.

“Yes, they do,” states another. “We can buy their future and their freedom. We can give them some of our money to buy more dope and booze and tell them that they can pay us back from their future wages with a sizable profit to the upper third of course, and substantial commissions for us. And then we will tell them that since we have given them so much money and we know all about economic things, we being so rich and so smart, they can trust us to keep them in dope and booze forever. And in return they will agree to vote in the elections for the representatives to the Fair and Just Society as we the agents of the upper third tell them to.”

“As for the middle one-third,” he continued. “Many of them have worked hard and amassed some assets like their houses and their small business, so we will point out to them that because of all their hard work and our knowledge of finance, their assets have appreciated and they would be wasting that value unless they put it to work. Then we will loan them some money in return for the owning their assets if they do not pay us back.”

And they all agreed that was a good plan and they put it into practice.

Now it came to pass that this worked so wonderfully well for a while that the lower two-thirds, although actually poorer, appeared to be living so much better than they had been. As a result, they thought the agents of the upper one-third were much smarter than they were. And also, so much money was flowing into the hands of the agents that they soon began to replace some of the upper one-third.

Then one day there was, of course, not enough things for the upper third to buy because almost all the assets had been purchased and almost all of the futures mortgaged and on top of it they had even more money now with nothing to do. So the agents of the upper third went to the members of the upper third and showed them how instead of making things or buying more assets they could simply gamble all this money on the economy because everything was so good and the agents were so smart things would keep getting better and better and except for a few corrections now and again they would make even more money.

Then a funny thing happened, soon there were fewer members of the upper third who actually made things, they had been replaced by the agents who really did not make anything at all.

Then of course there was what is known as a “correction,” the lower two-thirds had mortgaged all their futures and no longer had the money to buy things. So as the factories closed down the lower two-thirds began to lose their jobs and their homes and businesses.

Some of these people turned to the Representatives of the Fair and Just Society and asked them to do something about it. Unfortunately for the lower two-thirds, the Representatives of the Fair and Just Society had by now all been replaced by the employees of the upper one-third. Nevertheless they agreed to look into their concerns.

“No problem,” they said, “we can make everything better by cutting those things we have been paying for up until now and lowering taxes on the upper one-third so they can invest even more. We can pay for whatever essential community services are left (like protecting the assets of the upper one third) by borrowing from the upper one-third and it all will work out just like it was described in that chart.”

Now we all know that that’s what really happened, but since this is a parable we will assume that everyone actually did believe that the distribution of the money was fair and just and that no one could have possibly foreseen what actually did happen.

So, the representatives of the Fair and Just Society a few months or so after making the fair and just present to the people were surprised to find, that while the income and wealth of the upper one-third grew exponentially, the lower two-thirds barely held their own and their debts to the upper third increased even more rapidly than the upper third’s income.

This being a Fair and Just Society and their representatives, not yet being replaced by the employees of the upper third, understood what that meant for the future of the Fair and Just Society. So, they convened a meeting and called in the upper third and their agents and told them, “We all made a mistake and in order to avoid an economic catastrophe and to preserve the Fair and Just Society, you are all just going to have to give all the money back.”

OK, I will admit maybe that this a fantasy and not a parable. But still…

MORAL:

1. No society, if it hopes to survive, can surrender to an individual, institution or groups of individuals or institutions unbridled and uncontrolled dominance over its economic and political well-being, no matter how apparently beneficial it appears at the time.
2. We are better off as a society to agree to what we want our society look like and act to make it so than to just hope for the best or trust to our individual efforts alone.
3. A fair and just society never ever follows the advice of those with the most to gain financially.
4. A fair and just society resists giving collective funds or advantage to those with the resources to compete for them on their own.
5. There is no magic wand, invisible hand, or strong and brilliant leader that can save us from our folly. If we believe that, then Pogo was right when he said so long ago, “We have met the enemy and he is us“.
________________

JOEY’S MYSTERY NOVEL:

My apologies to fans of this series, but this post has simply gotten to long. I promise to include the next chapter in my next post.

PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

a. Chart of the Day:

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

“You must be a Republican if you believe that, the illegal alien who risked everything to better himself economically by coming to America is a criminal, but the bankers and investors on Wall Street that gambled away your pension funds and put your jobs at risk are not.”

c. From god’s mouth to your ears:

What was actually written on Moses’ tablets–The real 10 Commandments:

1) Thou shalt worship no other God.
2) Thou shalt make thee no molten gods.
3) The feast of unleavened bread shalt thou keep.
4) Six days thou shalt work, but on the seventh day thou shalt rest.
5) Thou shalt observe the feast of weeks.
6) Thrice in the year shall all your men children appear before the Lord God.
7) Thou shalt not offer the blood of my sacrifice with leaven.
8) Neither shall the sacrifice of the feast of the passover be left until the morning.
9) The first of the first fruits of thy land shalt thou bring unto the house of the Lord thy God.
10) Thou shalt not seethe a kid in his mother’s milk.
Exodus 34:14-26

Now I really could support these posted of the grounds of the nation’s courthouses. Remember, avoid bathing your goat in its mother’s milk.
Note: Thank you Cort for this item.

TODAY’S QUOTE:

“Some people are alive only because it is illegal to kill them.”
—Unknown

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

This and that from re Thai r ment, by 3Th. May 26, 2011

TODAY’S FACTOID:

Today in Science:

a. Researchers have found that most people are daydreaming 46% of the time( http://www.businessinsider.com/daydreaming-makes-2011-5#ixzz1N6ZiFBiw)

Sagittal human brain with cortical regions del...

Sagittal human brain with cortical regions delineated. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

They have also found most people don’t use their Prefrontal Cortex for 98% of the day (http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/219577#ixzz1N6cGlgdP).

(Think about that as you are driving along the freeway past your local nuclear power plant on your way to the airport. On second thought don’t until you park your car.)

b. Left-Handed People Are More Easily Frightened Than Right-Handed People( http://www.businessinsider.com/left-handed-frightened-2011-5#ixzz1N6amkyet).

I’m left-handed and I am frightened all the time [See a. above].

c. Researchers in England calculated the exact value of a smile. But sadly it’s not a quick route to riches: a smile is worth exactly one-third of a penny sterling, or $0.43.(http://thedailyedge.thejournal.ie/grin-the-money-research-calculates-exact-value-of-a-smile-134863-May2011/?utm_source=shortlink#ixzz1N6aMYEXa).

It hardly seems worth it.

TODAY’S NEWS FROM (THAILAND)AMERICA:

For those of you living in a state of panic that Mexican’s will reclaim the land we took from them 150 years ago, relax, they already have. If you are still panicked, move to Maine.

Remember, the race goes not to the swift or the strong or even to the most intelligent. It goes to those who choose to breed.

POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN THAILAND (CALIFORNIA):

Two days ago I attended my grandson Anthony’s graduation from high-school. What made this graduation different from most other high-school graduation ceremonies was that these were all students who had experienced problems at one time or another with the juvenile authorities and were considered at risk. Congratulations to you all.

Yesterday I had my initial meeting with the doctor. It appears that my schedule will have to be changed. I had hoped to be able to accompany Hayden to Italy on 10 June. One of his friends from Chiang Mai will be traveling through Italy at that time and I thought both would enjoy seeing each other again. Unfortunately, I will be in the middle of my procedure and recuperation.

My intake exam did not go as well as expected. It seems that things have progresses further than I had thought. Now there is a chance that I could be looking at, while not among the top three, probably somewhere in the top ten of things happening to my body I could do without.

Anyway, after experiencing a rather unpleasant temporary out-patient procedure, I am resting uncomfortably at Annemarie’s house. On the positive side, I am about three and one-half pounds lighter today than I was yesterday morning.

PAPA JOES TALES AND FABLES:

THE PARABLE OF THE THOUGHTFUL GLADIATOR

Gladiators from the Zliten mosaic.

Gladiators from the Zliten mosaic. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One day, long ago, a group of gladiators were getting ready to enter the arena to fight each other to the death until just one remained. He, the winner, would receive a laurel crown from the Emperor followed by a good dinner in his honor attended everyone who was someone in the Empire. Each of the gladiators believed that he was sure to be the winner and looked forward to the fame it would bring and to that dinner. Each, of course, also shared a little fear that he would not win but would die that day instead.

One of them, the oldest, wisest and among the weakest of them, realizing his chances of surviving were pretty thin, spoke up. “Wait a minute, this is all pretty silly, here we are getting ready to go out into the arena and fight to the death until only one of us is left standing. All this so that the winner gets to wear some weeds and eat a good meal. And what is really sad about that is that whichever one of us is the winner, tomorrow he will be out of a job because all the rest of us are dead. That’s pretty stupid, if you ask me.”

The others thought about what he had said and after a while agreed that it was not very sensible. “But what can we do about it,” they asked?

“Well,” said the thoughtful gladiator, “we can all agree amongst ourselves to fight just as hard as we can in the arena, but when one of us goes down, the victor will make it look like he dealt a fatal stroke to the loser and then the loser will put on a good show and act as though he actually is dying. This will go on until only one of us is left standing. He will get the laurel crown and eat the meal and we all will get to do it again tomorrow and who knows, maybe a different one of us will win that day. And maybe each of us will learn over time how to fight a little bit better and how to die a little more realistically and the Emperor may be so entertained that he will give something more than some damned weeds and a ham bone.”

All the gladiators saw the right in what the thoughtful gladiator said and they all agreed to what he proposed and they all prospered.

JOEY’S MYSTERY NOVEL:

Delayed while I feel sorry for myself.

PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

a. Eponymous laws:

Sturgeon’s revelation“90 percent of everything is crap.”

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

“Those who manage the transactions ultimately make all the money.”

c. The Mac Attack:

“… republics should make it one of their aims to watch that none of their citizens should be allowed to do harm on pretense of doing good, and that no one should acquire an influence that would injure instead of promoting liberty; “
Niccolo Machiavelli

TODAY’S QUOTE:

“If anyone should wish to know the truth with respect to you Christians, he will find your impiety to be made up partly of the Jewish audacity, and partly of the indifference and confusion of the Gentiles, and that you have put together not the best, but the worst characteristics of them both.
– Emperor/philosopher Julian (361-363)[Referred to in Christian History as “The Apostate”].

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

This and that from re Thai r ment, by 3Th. May 21, 2011

Since the world as we know it is set to end tomorrow and those of us chosen to enjoy the rapture for the next few months will be otherwise busy rapturing, I thought I would use this post to thank everyone and wish you all have a good rapture, since I have learned from my reading and analysis of Scripture that all those on my mailing list will be chosen.
TODAY’S FACTOID:

14th and 15th Centuries: According to some reports, the clergy made up about twenty percent of the clientele of private brothels and bath-houses in Dijon, France during the Fourteenth Century, and it seems the situation was similar all throughout Europe. Sixtus IV (1471–1484) was the first Pope to impose a license on brothels.

TODAY’S NEWS FROM (THAILAND) AMERICA:

POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN (THAILAND) CALIFORNIA:

Hayden and I were watching television. Rather he was watching and I was playing with my computer. Someone on the show he was watching was crying. Hayden turned to me and said, “He is crying because his grandpa died. Pookie, I don’t want you to die. When are you going to start getting younger?”

PAPA JOES TALES AND FABLES:

THE PARABLE OF THE LION AND THE GAZELLE

Once upon a time, long long ago, there was a vast savannah on which only lions, gazelles lived amongst endless grass undulating in the soft breezes that blew across the prairie. The gazelles ate the grass and the lions ate the gazelles when they could catch them.

Lion - Washington DC National Zoo

Lion – Washington DC National Zoo (Photo credit: Glyn Lowe Photoworks)

Although the lions were endowed by nature with fierce teeth, claws and strength, they were only able to catch the weak, aged, unwary or unlucky gazelles because nature, in order to maintain a balance on the savannah between predator and prey, made young healthy gazelles able to run faster than the lions and escape to eat the grasses that grew on the savannah and breed. And so, they all, lions, gazelles and grasses, thrived.

One day there was born into the pride, the biggest, the meanest, the fastest and the toughest lion of them all. One who was able to catch, kill and eat any gazelle that lived on the plain, which of course eventually he did. And the Great Lion as he was called and all the members of the pride prospered until that day the Great Lion had caught and killed all the gazelles and there was nothing left to eat.

So the Great Lion began to kill and eat all the other lions until they were all gone but one. As he was about to be dispatched by the Great Lion for the Great Lion’s last meal this next to last lion asked the Great Lion, “Why? You could have just eaten what you needed and we all could have prospered forever. Why didn’t you?” And the Great Lion looked at him with a smile and said, ” My job was only to kill and to eat. I was just following my nature. It was your job to make sure I did not run wild and destroy our grassy paradise.”

JOEY’S MYSTERY NOVEL:

Vince waited until the door closed behind the departing David Kitchen then turned to the visibly uncomfortable Foster Grenell and asked, “Well, what do you know about all that?”

Foster exhaled, clearly not wanting to involve himself in the disputes of his employers. “Not much, I know about the Red Star investigation of course. Uh..the Brotherhood thing began about three or four years ago.”

“While I was still here?”

“Yes, I think so, you were on the Executive Committee. It was all hush-hush. They would hold their…uh… prayer meetings at a mansion in lower Pacific Heights. A lot of important business men would come there now and then, politicians, state and federal too; not too many from San Francisco though. They would hold prayer breakfasts and then break up into smaller ‘prayer groups’.”

“How do you know about this?”

“Sam brought me there once or twice. He wanted to sponsor me. Said it would be good for my career.”

“So did you join?”

“No, it’s a Christian thing, I’m Buddhist. Besides, if you ask me it seemed a bit creepy.”

How so?”

“Well, you know, a bunch of powerful and successful men, there were no women, meeting to pray in secret. Why couldn’t they just go to church on Sunday like everyone else?”

“Anything more

“No, not really.”

“OK, why don’t you set up the meetings for you and me with the clients on the list we drew up. Lets see if we can get some additional work out of them, or at least keep them from leaving.”

After Foster had left Vince___(to be continued after the rapture)

PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

a. Eponymous laws:

Poe’s law (religious fundamentalism)“Without a winking smiley or other blatant display of humour, it is impossible to create a parody of fundamentalism that someone won’t mistake for the real thing.”

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

“You must be a Republican if you believe that public schools are an unnecessary government expense but prisons are not.”

c. The Mac Attack:

Niccolo Machiavelli 1 u

Niccolo Machiavelli 1 u (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“In every republic there are two parties, that of the nobles [‘rich’ — ed.] and that of the people [‘the rest of us’ — ed.]; and all the laws that are favorable to liberty result from the opposition of these parties to each other.”
Niccolo Machiavelli.

TODAY’S QUOTE:

Rapid growth is not ours by divine right; it is not even mathematically possible over a sustained period. Our goal should be to get everyone out of abject poverty, even if it necessitates some income redistribution. Because we have way overstepped sustainable levels, the greatest challenge will be in redesigning lifestyles to emphasize quality of life while quantitatively reducing our demand levels. A lower population would help.”
Jeremy Grantham

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

This and that from re Thai r mrnt, by 3Th. May 19, 2011

TODAY’S FACTOID:

2011: “Are Talking Heads Blowing Hot Air”:

Students at Hamilton College sampled the predictions of 26 individuals who wrote columns in major newspapers and/or appeared on the three major Sunday television news shows (Face the Nation, Meet the Press, and This Week) over a 16 month period from September 2007 to December 2008. They used a scale of 1 to 5 (1 being “will not happen,” 5 being “will absolutely happen”) to rate each prediction the pundits made, and then they evaluated each prediction for whether or not it came true.

What did they find? Basically, if you want to be almost as accurate as the pundits they studied, all you have to do is a) root through the cushions of your couch, b) find a coin, and c) start flipping it. Boom! You are now pretty close to being a political genius. Only nine of the 26 pundits surveyed proved  more reliable than a coin flip.

Using the students’ statistical methodology, the 26 pundits were broken down into three categories: “The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.” Here’s how they break down:

THE GOOD: Paul Krugman, New York Times (highest scorer); Maureen Dowd, New York Times; Ed Rendell, former Pennsylvania Governor; Chuck Schumer, New York Senator; Nancy Pelosi, House Minority Leader; Kathleen Parker, Washington Post and TownHall.com; David Brooks, New York Times; Eugene Robinson, Washington Post; Hank Paulson, former Secretary of the Treasury

THE BAD: Howard Wolfson, counselor to NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg; Mike Huckabee, former Arkansas Governor/Fox News host; Newt Gingrich, eternal Presidential candidate; John Kerry, Massachusetts Senator; Bob Herbert, New York Times; Andrea Mitchell, MSNBC; Thomas Friedman, New York Times, David Broder, Washington Post (deceased); Clarence Page, Chicago Tribune; Nicholas Kristof, New York Times; Hillary Clinton, U.S. Secretary of State

THE UGLY: George Will, Washington Post/This Week; Sam Donaldson, ABC News; Joe Lieberman, Connecticut Senator; Carl Levin, Michigan Senator; Lindsey Graham, South Carolina Senator; Cal Thomas, Chicago Tribune (lowest scorer)

In their executive summary, the students note:

“We discovered that a few factors impacted a prediction’s accuracy. The first is whether or not the prediction is a conditional; conditional predictions were more likely to not come true. The second was partisanship; liberals were more likely than conservatives to predict correctly. The final significant factor in a prediction’s outcome was having a law degree; lawyers predicted incorrectly more often.”

As for the factor of partisanship, it certainly didn’t help pundits if their predictions were primarily based on who they happened to be carrying a torch for in the 2008 election — Lieberman and Graham, obviously, did poorly in this regard. The students noted that, “[p]artisanship had an impact on predictions even when removing political predictions about the Presidential, Vice Presidential, House, and Senate elections,” but I still imagine that this particular script may have flipped if the period of study was the sixteen month period between September 2009 and December 2010.

TODAY’S NEWS FROM (THAILAND) AMERICA:

Hooray for us! We win.

POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN (THAILAND) CALIFORNIA:

After leaving Bill and Naida’s ranch, I spent two days with Stevie and Norbert Dall. Norbert is busy trying to write the definitive history or California’s coastal protection legislation. The amount of research he has done amazed me as did his memory of people, places and events during those times( over 30 years ago). I believe that Norbert and Stevie are probably along with Peter Douglass and perhaps Bill Geyer and Ruth Galanter the people with the longest continuous involvement with the coastal protection movement in California. In Ruth and Bill’s cases, however, for the past decade or so they have become much less involved.

As for Peter Douglass, but for the last 20 years or so controversial years as Executive Director of the California Coastal Commission, his impact on the course of things coastal has been mostly in his own mind. Peter was, by far, the earliest of all of those who have spent at least a portion of their careers in coastal protection. He worked as an aid to Senator Siroty during the failed attempts in the late 60’s and early 70’s to push coastal protection legislation through the legislature. He later attempted to take un-justified credit for drafting the initiative, known as Proposition 20 that was successfully passed by the California voters in 1972 and set up an agency to plan the future land use of the coast and regulate development so as not to impede implementation of the plan. During the period of Proposition 20, while I served as Chief Counsel for the Commission, as far as I could tell Peter’s involvement in either the planning or the ongoing regulation was almost nonexistent.

Following  completion of the Coastal Plan in 1975 and the submittal of the proposed implementation legislation to the legislature, most of us active at that time were determined to keep Peter as far away from any decision-making and participation as possible. Nearly all of us believed that not only was he incapable of understanding the complexities of the Plan, the legislation and the political strategy that was developed, but he had shown a distressing tendency to urge weakening of the protections whenever opposition presented itself. I had assigned on of the Commission’s staff members to sit with him every day and make sure he did nothing more that edit the legislation.

After the passage of the entire Coastal Program, Peter again disappeared from any involvement and for a while busied himself in an unsuccessful attempt to find work in the private sector. Ultimately he took a job as a not so respected member of the reconstituted Coastal Commission staff. Finding himself ignored, he resumed his search for other work when a series of unfortunate events, including resignation of the existing executive director, he, to the dismay of many in the environmental community, was chosen to succeed the departing director.

Over several years of ineffective management, his removal many on all sides of the development process urged his removal. Fortunately for Peter, the development community, through the inept handling of the move to remove him by the then Republican Governor, pushed the most radical members of the environmental community to rally around him and defeat the putsch, and Peter the Wishy-Washy seeing which side of his bread was buttered was reborn as an anti-development crusader.

JOEY’S MYSTERY NOVEL:

Vince felt ager boil up within him as David burst through the door. But since David appeared highly agitated, he suppressed his urge to throw him out.

“What’s the matter, David,” he inquired as calmly as he could?

“This attorney, Seamus Cohen, that you want to hire. I think it is a very bad idea.”

“Why is that,” Vince said placidly while signaling Foster, who looked embarrassed and like he was ready to leave, to stay seated.

“I checked with some of my contacts, they say that while at the DOJ he was a loose cannon.”

“What does that mean in his case.”

“He was a laughing-stock. Both you and the firm will be also if you retain him.”

“I’m sorry David, I have already retained him and the executive committee voted to approve it.” Vince lied slightly. “Perhaps if you could be more specific, we would reconsider it.”

Kitchen looked a little startled, and sat in the other uncomfortable wooden chair, ignoring Foster’s presence.

“Ah well, of course my contacts did not give specifics, but they were adamant that he would embarrass you and the whole firm as well. He also has angered some of our most important clients with his shenanigans at DOJ and since.”

“Hmm… I see where that could be a concern. But he comes highly recommended to me. I will need a little more information before I reverse our decision. Perhaps you could have your contacts and concerned clients call me and give me the facts directly.”

“Dammit Vince, why are you so eager to hire this guy? Couldn’t you wait a few days until we vetted him?”

“Look David,” said Vince his voice getting a little higher. “I do not understand the issue here. He is my lawyer and suits my needs. You have provided me with no specific facts other that concerns expressed by your contacts that are inconsistent with mine.” Then for no reason that he could think of other than to throw our something to force Kitchen on the defensive. “Does this have something to do with that Yeung woman or the Brotherhood or Red Star? Do you know that I sent someone to fly up there to find Charlie and all he found it that Charlie is missing.”

Kitchen’s face darkened, whether from anger or embarrassment Vince could not make out.

“I thought we brought you back to manage the firm through its difficulties,” Kitchen drawled. “Why are you involving yourself in these matters Vince? They are a waste of everyone’s time.”

“That’s just it,” Vince responded his anger cooling slightly. “I am trying to get back to addressing the firm’s needs, That is what I am doing here with Foster, which you interrupted and why I intend to hire Cohen to handle these other things. It seems like every time I try to settle in and work on firm matters, you, Ms. Young, or Stephanie come along hinting at something mysterious about Red Star, the Brotherhood or whatever it is or even Sam’s death.”

“OK, ok, I get your point. I will get you something more specific about Cohen. I think you should avoid both Stephanie and that Yeung bitch. They both are time-wasters'”

“Probably, I have a meeting tomorrow with Stephanie. She says she has a lot to tell me. Maybe I’ll just blow her off.”

“That would be a good idea. I have to get back to work.” With that Kitchen left the office as abruptly as he came in.

PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

a. Eponymous laws:

Shermer’s Last Law — A corollary of Clarke’s three laws, it states that, “Any sufficiently advanced alien intelligence is indistinguishable from God.”
b. Trenz Pruca’s Aphorisms, Apothegms, Epigrams and Maxims ( http:/trenzpruca.wordpress.com/):

“It is interesting to note how much easier it is today for a government to abandon its promises to its people but not to its creditors.”

c. The Mac Attack:

“Men act right only upon compulsion; but from the moment that they have the option and liberty to commit wrong with impunity, then they never fail to carry confusion and disorder everywhere. It is this that has caused it to be said that poverty and hunger make men industrious, and that the law makes men good; and if fortunate circumstances cause good to be done without constraint, the law may be dispensed with. But when such happy influence is lacking, then the law immediately becomes necessary.”
Machiavelli.

In other words, there is neither God, nor the mythical “Invisible Hand” of the self-correcting market to right things. It is up to us to create the laws that assure our society is what we wish it to be.

TODAY’S QUOTE:

“He who has bathed in Christ, does not need a second bath.”

Saint Jerome.

Jerome, you stinker, you.

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

This and that from re Thai r ment, by 3Th. 8 Capt. Coast 0001 (April 28, 2012)

TODAY FROM THAILAND:

A. POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN THAILAND:

Alas, Cordt has decided to move from BKK back to Chiang Mai. I say alas because friends are few and far between for me here. Losing one as gentle, artistic and interesting as Cordt is bad enough but it also reduces to about one the number of people here with which I can have a conversation of more that 3 words in English. Nevertheless, I wish him well.

In the good news category, the Good David has returned to BKK after receiving negative results on his state-side medical tests. Following a few celebratory days and another few required to sleep it off, he called to invite me to have lunch with him.

Now, up until five years or so ago, I enjoyed excellent dental coverage. As a result I still have most of my teeth or at least their original roots. Nevertheless, behind my 12 or 16 front teeth, my back 12 or 16 teeth are either solid or heavily plated gold. It has been pointed out by more that one person that my teeth are probably worth more than all the rest of me (they certainly are worth more than my current bank account). Even so, despite the heavy gold plating, here and there a tiny bit of the original tooth enamel peeks through and it is here that mean old Mr. Tooth Decay still lurks.

So, after accepting the Good David’s invitation, I informed him I had a toothache and needed to first stop at a dentist before proceeding to lunch. He agreed to accompany me. We found a nearby dental clinic and the David offered to treat me to a new filling. It took the dentist not much more than 5 minutes to clean the cavity and pack in the filling (all without Novocaine). David paid the approximately $30 for the service and we set off for lunch.

So, thank you Good David. My newly restored tooth now has a name, “The Good David’s Molar.” And to the remarkable but mysterious dentist who neither removed his surgical mask nor spoke a word throughout the procedure, good job.

B. NEWS STRAIGHT OR SLIGHTLY BENT:

1. What porn?

In a previous post I mentioned the sudden appearance of some porn photographs on the overhead projection screen during a debate in the Thai Legislature and the appointment of a committee to get at the bottom of it. After it was revealed that at least one legislator was enjoying some porn on his iPhone during the debate, the committee tried to pin everything on a low-level technical employee. When that failed they terminated the inquiry altogether claiming that once the screen was shut off and everything erased. Therefore no further analysis was possible.

The legislator caught ogling porn during the debate, apologized and blamed it all on some unnamed friend who sent him the photographs that he was struggling to delete when he was discovered.

2. The latest Thai Fashions:

According to Vice.com, in Thailand, braces on ones teeth are becoming a huge teenage fashion statement. Which is pretty strange considering in the West, braces are ruthlessly stigmatized and pretty much a metaphor for adolescent awkwardness.

Braces are considered a sign of wealth, status, and style. The reasoning is fairly straightforward—genuine orthodontic braces are very expensive. In Bangkok, for example, a set of tinsel-teeth will cost you roughly $1200, a substantial sum. So all the kids want to wear these things, because anything worn by the young and rich is obviously super cute. It has gotten so that in some cases the youngsters wear faux braces in order to appear fashionable.

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

In For Repairs.

PAPA JOES TALES AND FABLES:

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

The Parable of the Gazelles and the Lions II:

What! Another Parable?

Well, perhaps not really a parable. It seems that recently I have come across, in various guises the concept that the essential driving force of humanity or at least individual humans following their descent from the safety of the trees to lift their heads above the savannah was; Is it good to eat? Can I have sex with it? And, will it kill me? From these three elemental interests, it has in various ways been argued that our psychology and social arrangements can be deduced.

Now we all may agree that this is a bit simplistic. On the other hand, if we assume that these or some similar urges prompted our remote ancestors to forgo the safety of the trees and take up life on the dangerous grassy world of the savannah, then I maintain there are at least two other impulses that at this important moment marked man from the other fauna around him (more if we were to discuss women, the more subtle gender. But I will leave that for another day.)

The first is the remarkable facility of humans to confuse images with reality and find some utility in it that we call thought or ratiocination. This I also will not discuss here.

The second unique ability of humans is that when they raised their heads above the swaying frond of grass they also thought, “Now, who can I get to bring me my food, procure my sex for me and die instead of me if need be.”

What, you say that it is not separate from the first three but simply a mechanism to deal with them prompted by confusion of metaphors and symbols that we later called thinking. I disagree.

Naked Molerat Heterocephalus glaber eating

Naked Molerat Heterocephalus glaber eating (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It is distinctly rare in the animal kingdom for any species to behave in that way. Few if any species for example sit around and choose one or more of their members to die for them. Even the noble Naked Mole Rat, when the group faced with a predator too strong to deal with, refuses to send one of their number out to die. Instead one of these heroic, if decidedly ugly, creatures nobly offers himself or herself for the intruders dinner.

Humans do not behave that way. Generally with humans, only someone conditioned by others who prefer not to die will make the ultimate sacrifice and offer himself instead for their benefit.

Take the example of the lions and gazelles sharing the same grassy world as the early humans. The lions are hungry. They stalk the gazelles through the grass. The gazelles see them and run away leaving to the lions the slow of foot, the sick and the lame.

English: Thomson's gazelles in the central Ser...

English: Thomson’s gazelles in the central Serengeti (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Now suppose for some reason the gazelles are struck with the same sickness as humans and a group of them stop and say to each other. “This is stupid. All this running around so that the slowest get eaten by the lions. It is exhausting, it interferes with our grazing and it is wasteful. Let’s choose someone we do not like very much or is not, you know, really one of us, hamstring him and leave him for the lions.” And so they do just that.

Lo and behold the lions fall upon the surrogate and the gazelles go back to eating the grass.

Now assume this goes on for generations, the lions lose their hunting skills and become fat and lazy. The clever gazelles realize this and begin leaving a little less each feeding time. After a suitable number of generations the lions become little more than the gazelles pets, useless for anything more than scaring other predators off; after all they have little enough of their own food. The gazelles, recognizing a good thing, realize that they do not even have to sacrifice one of their own; they could hamstring a Gnu or a Zebra just as well.

Eventually the lions are controlled and the gazelles increase and eat the savannah grass until almost none is left but a few clumps here and there as the land begins to turn into a desert. The gazelle leaders meet to try to figure out what to do. They decide, reasonably, to reserve the remaining grass  for only the leaders. The less successful will have to shift for themselves.

“But,” cries one of the soon to be starving gazelles, “it is us, the gazelles, who turned this paradise into a desert by over eating and over populating it and unless we all, gazelles, lions, gnus and zebras get together and do something all the grass will eventually be gone.”

“Ha,” laughed the gazelle leaders, “do not be ridiculous, gazelles could not be the cause. Why a thousand years ago this land was a desert, then the rains came and the grass grew and the gazelles and the lions came and made the savannah a paradise through the efforts of the leaders who naturally and rightfully should enjoy the remaining grasslands until the rains come again.”

This infuriated the other gazelles and the lions who were listening so much that they attacked the leaders in order to take the remaining stands of grass away from them, but in so doing the ensuing battle destroyed those remaining few tufts grass anyway and the gazelles died and so did the lions.

TODAY’S FACTOID:

The richest man who ever lived:

In his book The Haves and the Have Nots, Branko Milanovic tries to discover who was the richest person who has ever lived. Beginning with the loaded Roman triumvir Marcus Crassus, he measures wealth according to the quantity of his compatriots’ labour a rich man could buy. It appears that the richest man to have lived in the past 2000 years is alive today. Carlos Slim could buy the labour of 440,000 average Mexicans. According to Milanovic, this makes him 14 times as rich as Crassus, nine times as rich as Carnegie and four times as rich as Rockefeller.

PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

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

a. Lets start here:

b. Then take a look at this:

c. And perhaps consider the wisdom of the following:


d. then think about this:

2. Feel the Christian Love:

A Christian women’s prayer group has decided to pray that all the women involved in a liberal organization called MRFF get fast-moving breast cancer.

In a recorded telephone call to MRFF’s president to inform him of their decision, a spokesman for the so-called Christian group said:

“Now for our prayer, we pray that the women who work in your MFRR and the women in your family will befall fast-moving breast cancer which can not ever be cured. …we pray this for Bonnie Wiensten (the MFRR president’s wife) and Amanda and Amber Wienstein (his female children) and the woman lawyers … and all women who work at with for Military Freedom Against Religion Foundation. know that we pray and pray hard all the days until you stop your destruction of our American army and accept Christ Jesus as Lord and join His army.”

Jesus had an army? He prayed for people to die of incurable cancer instead of raising them from the dead? I always suspected that somewhere, sometime the Commies, Muslims or Obama got hold of the Christian bible and took out all the good parts.

POOKIE FOR PRESIDENT:

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

Pookie’s statement to the No Party Party Party regarding Defense spending:

“It is time we spend our defense money on defending our country not defending other countries. I propose using the defense budget to build a 20 foot wall entirely around the US with only a few easily secured gates, none of which opens on to Mexico. Then I would pass a national “Stand your Ground” law that would authorize any American citizen to shoot anyone he believes is a threat to American security. In this way we can increase our homeland security and reduce the Defense budget at the same time. No one can defend America as well as its well armed citizenry carrying concealed weapons.”

TODAY’S QUOTE:

A. Louis C.K.:

B. Kitten Natividad star of “Eroticise”:

“Any guy who says he doesn’t like a pair of plastic tits can go fuck himself.”

Now some of you may ask what is a statement like that doing in a family publication like this. Well, it is here for two reasons. The first is to see if you have actually read this far. The second is to highlight the sheer brilliance of Ms Natividad’s observation.

The magnitude of the commonplace acceptance by modern society of plastic mammaries and vibrators (of which I mentioned in my previous post) as well as  availability of artificial insemination have altered the method of species procreation and nurturing greater than at any time since over 115 million years ago during the Mesozoic era when nature discovered the superior benefits of gestation of progeny within the body rather than inside an egg. As a result I believe this is clear evidence that we may have come to the end of the Holocene Epoch on earth, the era of the rise of mammals to dominance.

Couple that with the observation that one of the primary thrusts of evolution, in order to enhance a species ability to efficiently maximize its acquisition of energy and survival of offspring, is the ability to efficiently move about. Humans no longer need to travel the woods nor walk through the rows of ripening crops in search of sustenance. In the beginning we domesticated a few other mammals to assist our mobility, then we developed and made extensive use of artificial mechanical means of movement. Now, however, most of us pursue our energy needs sitting in a chair for 8 or so hours a day.

Recently we have progressed to creating perhaps the first symbiotic entity capable of acquiring most of our various energy needs; a symbiont between several organic beings, waves of radiated energy and a few wires and metal. We soon may no longer need to move at all.

Given the 2 to 3 hundred thousand years it takes evolution to produce significant changes to organic beings, we may see in that future that humanity becomes a species rooted to a place like a vegetable but still able to travel and experience the universe on the wings of energy waves. What we may be experiencing today is not just a change in epoch but the end of the Quaternary Period and the beginning of the fifth period of the earth. I guess it could all be considered a bit like the end of the Third Age of Middle Earth.

I am sure that the academics of that future time will look back and discovering Kitten Natividad’s observation marvel at its prescience and consider her one of the seminal minds of humanity since it is evidently true that whoever “doesn’t like a pair of plastic tits,” will undoubtedly have to “go fuck himself.” And we all know where on the road to evolutionary adaptability that inevitably ends up.

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. 5 Capt. Coast 0001 (April 24, 2012)

TODAY FROM THAILAND:

A. POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN THAILAND:

Well, some good news, my weight has dropped and has remained stable at under 200 lbs. Whether this is due to my diet or exercise regime or merely my body being catabolized by the ravages of age that will ultimately result in me growing shorter while I lose weight, I do not know. But whatever the reason, since losing the weight was a goal of mine, hooray for me.

The temperature has hovered about the 100+ degree mark in BKK and has reached as high as 108 in other parts of Thailand. No relief is in sight until the monsoon rains come. On a positive note the local weather bureau reports that so far the heat wave has been slightly less than normal in BKK for this time of year. On the other hand, the drought (yes a drought has followed on the heels of the floods) has set in hard in the north and northeastern portions of the country and could have a significantly negative impact on the area’s rice crop. So stock up on rice before prices rise.

As I have mentioned previously, I have become a devotee of Thai soaps even though I do not understand the language. My current obsession is with a soap about a team of heroic bus drivers (one of whom for some reason sometimes dresses up in a mask and a vest with no shirt underneath and beats up bad guys). There is also a ghost like creäture with tiny horns, acne, bad hair, a large mouth and over whose body red and black lights alternately play. He flies through the air and can appear or disappear at will. He seems to talk a lot but otherwise does not actually do much even though he turns up more often than any other character. Then there is the bad guy (who also bares his chest but most often wears a white T-shirt) with a pencil thin mustache who beats people up with a magic umbrella. There are also additional characters in an exceptionally large cast whose roles I cannot figure out except that the men are sometimes angry and at other times anguished and, when they are not fighting with one another, often get beat up by the masked guy or the guy with the magic umbrella. Then there are the women, some who are annoyed and yell a lot at which ever other women seems to have attracted the attention of one or another of the guys that get beat up a lot. No one appears to have had any sex in a while. Maybe that is why they are always fighting and yelling at one another. Oh, I almost forgot there is also at lot of opening of doors to rooms with no one in them, accompanied by spooky music.

(Revision: Since I wrote the above, things have gotten interesting. One of the women has gotten pregnant. So I assume she must have had sex with one of the angry guys. Her father, the bad guy with the magic umbrella, is furious. She is also a twin. She knocked out her twin sister by hitting her over the head with a telephone for dissing her about her pregnancy. She then switched clothes with her, ran off to yell at one of the guys and cry a lot. The knocked out but not up sister was then kidnapped by the horned Ghost who tied her up and hung her by her hands from a large tree. The Ghost himself has taken to inhabiting the bodies of a few of the other characters and turning their eyes red and giving them an uncontrollable urge to eat raw flesh usually stolen from a butcher shop. I guess this may be the Thai version of “The Game of Thrones.”)
B. NEWS STRAIGHT OR SLIGHTLY BENT:

1. Minimum wage:

Shortly after her election last year, Princess LuckyGirl the Thai Prime Minister announced a rise in the minimum wage from about seven or eight dollars a day to about 10 dollars per day with the predictable cries from the business community that the economy will collapse, the sky will fall and the nation will be wracked with floods. Well, in response to their concerns Princess LuckyGirl decided to ease the pain by introducing the raise gradually, starting first in those provinces most capable of bearing the claimed economic strain. As a result, minimum wage workers in those provinces not receiving raises left their jobs and flocked to those provinces that did, causing an uproar by those who now no longer could find workers unless they paid them the higher rate. So Princess LuckyGirl now has agreed to raise the minimum wage throughout the entire country. The economy did not collapse, the sky did not fall, but the floods came anyway.

2. University Graduate Pay:

In addition to raising the pay of minimum wage workers, Princess LuckyGirl increased the salary to be paid to university graduates working for the government from about $400 per month to about $500 per month. This however has been met with a more positive response from the business community, several of whose spokespersons thought it was a good thing for them to have to raise their salaries to university graduates in order to compete with the government for talent. I have no idea why they feel this way.

PETRILLO’S COMMENTARY:

Secret Service Follies:

The US media seems all a twitter about the revelations that Secret Service members engaged the service of prostitutes during the Presidents visit to Columbia for a conference with leaders of many of the countries in North and South America. Now, forgetting for a moment that prostitution is legal there in Columbia and the rather common practice world wide of cops taking advantage of something without paying for it, it seems odd that the “scandal” appeared to be such a surprise to the media and the leaders of the Republican party who pretended to be shocked. First it should be noted that, since I know that all the cops attached to the embassy in Thailand are Republicans, it is safe to assume that in all likelihood, each and every secret service member involved in the Columbian caper is also a Republican. It should also be understood that it is well known that throughout the world federal cops stationed in foreign countries whether Secret Service or DEA agents have consorted with prostitutes.

Age of Consent sv

Age of Consent sv (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In Thailand during the Bush administration’s Faith Based Initiative the DEA agents who could usually be found in the Thai bordellos when not at their desks, were removed from their drug interdiction assignments and transferred to work as contractors for a so called non-profit receiving taxpayer money to track down Americans in SE Asia who have had sex with persons below the age of consent under American law, whether or not it was consistent with the age of consent laws within the SE Asian country itself.

Now overlooking whether or not this was a reasonable use of tax money or whether it was a better use of it than for interdicting the illegal drug trade, or even whether or not the miscreants targeted were morally reprehensible, the fact was that these same, now rent a cops, at the time were also openly frequenting prostitutes in the country, many of whom were under the age of consent in the US. During this time I was told that a local Bangkok businessman was approached by these guardians of American morals and asked to set up other Americans so that they could make arrests. It was easier than tracking them down.

It has been reported that, after the arrest and subsequent conviction of an American Marine officer for having sex with underage persons in Cambodia based primarily on testimony of the alleged victims obtained through the use of an interpreter, it was discovered that one of the rent a cops was himself having sexual relations with the interpreter. Despite this, the team involved in the arrest received a commendation from the Obama administration for their exemplary work.

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

Still waiting for inspiration.

PAPA JOES TALES AND FABLES:

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

TODAY’S FACTOIDS:

1. A Socialist wrote the Pledge of Allegiance.
2. Jesus healed the sick and helped the poor, for free.
3. Jefferson Davis and Robert E. Lee were traitors.
4.The Founding Fathers were liberals.
5. The Earth is round.
6. Reagan raised taxes eleven times as President.
7. Reagan legalized abortion as Governor of California.
8. Nixon created the Environmental Protection Agency.
9. Ronald Reagan supported gun control.
10.Global warming is real.

PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

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

2. Believe it or not:

Plato described the uterus as a living being unto itself — a kind of wild animal inhabiting a woman’s body, on an endless quest to make itself pregnant. If the uterus was “neglected” by the over-stimulation of other less important female organs (i.e., the brain) it would detach itself from the pelvic cavity and go on a meandering journey throughout the body, wreaking all kinds of havoc along it’s way. Eventually, its journey would end in the brain where it would sit and greedily sponge up all of the blood-flow. By thus blocking the circulation, the brain would then atrophy, which in turn resulted in the strange neurological symptoms of hysteria; the fainting spells, the convulsions, and the trance-like alterations of consciousness. Every ailment afflicting women could therefore be attributed to a single underlying cause, a displaced uterus.

In the Nineteenth Century, in an effort to discourage the wandering uterus, the male medical establishment at the time came up with something intended to calm women down and reduce their hysteria called “pelvic massage” and created a whole new industry and profession, the “Pelvic Massage Therapist.

Alas, private enterprise ever seeking to eliminate labor costs and thereby increase profits soon developed something that is now commonly referred to as a “vibrator” causing hundreds of “therapists” to find another field of work.

Now you know the rest of the story.

It should be noted that after at least 10,000 years of treating women as not much more than domesticated animals, men the physically stronger [or at least more senselessly violent] but much less intelligent gender, presented women with the means of emancipation from the one thing that men thought they needed a women for [other than cooking their food and washing their underwear]. Don’t you think that Historians should consider the current era as the beginning of “The Age of the Revenge of the Vagina?”

POOKIE FOR PRESIDENT:

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

Buddy Roemer announced his third party candidacy for the Presidency of the United States a few weeks ago and said at that time:

“Tomorrow, I will formally end my bid for the GOP nomination for President of the United States. As the GOP and the networks host debate number twenty-something this evening, they have once again turned their backs on the democratic process by choosing to exclude a former Governor and Congressman. I have decided to take my campaign directly to the American people by declaring my candidacy for Americans Elect. Also, after many discussions with The Reform Party, I am excited to announce my intentions of seeking their nomination. It is time to heal our nation and build a coalition of Americans who are fed up with the status quo and the partisan gridlock that infects Washington. Together, we will take on the special-interests that control our leaders and end the corruptive influence of money in politics so we can focus on America’s top priority — jobs.”

Pookie also announces the end of his attempt to wrest the GOP nomination from party regulars and proclaims his third party candidacy on the No Party Party Party Ticket.

Pookie says:

“In ending my campaign for the Republican Party nomination for President of the United States and accepting the nomination of the ‘No Party Party Party’ I pledge myself to ending governmental waste by ending government. All politicians but Pookie (who is not a politician anyway) will have to find a real job just like the rest of us.”

TODAY’S QUOTE:

TODAY’S CHART:

It is fascinating how the religion with the largest number of followers in the world’s many sects all proudly trace their heritage back to a tent dwelling, slave-owning, polygamous, goat herder with a notoriously bad temper and bizarre obsessions with pigs, penises and shellfish.

TODAY’S CARTOON:


TODAY’S PHOTOGRAPH:

 

Four ex members of the 1% hold a reunion.

Categories: April 2012 through June 2012 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

This and that from re Thai r ment, by 3Th. 2 Capt. Coast 0001 (April 20, 2012)

TODAY FROM THAILAND:

A. POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN THAILAND:

The temperature in BKK over the past few days has hovered around the 100 degree mark. Even some of the Thais have begun complaining about it. I did not swim today, the water in the pool has gotten too hot, so I worked out in the air-conditioned gym. There was no one in the gym but me. Even the attendants were nowhere to be found. It was spooky. After a while I began to feel that I was a character in a movie; either a horror movie or some thriller where I find myself running for my life from a band of rogue secret service agents looking for the prostitute who ratted them out and who had taken refuge in the health club sauna. I freaked out, showered quickly and left the building only to find the streets emptier than usual. So I hurried home, turned on the AC and buried myself under the covers in the dark.

Before my exciting jaunt to the health club, I stopped at the barber shop that I like in the Arab section of the city along the route from my apartment to the health club. The barber shop charges $5 for a hair cut, $5 for a shave, $5 for a manicure, $5 for a pedicure, $5 to have the skin on your feet rubbed off and $5 to have your ears cleaned by having a bunch of sharpened metal chopsticks plunged down you ear canal and wiggled about.

The news in Thailand also seems effected by the heat. Princess Lucky Girl, the Prime Minister has left on a visit to Beijing China. It is cooler there. As for the government she left behind, little seems to be going on, as though they all are waiting for something. The only activity seems  the continuing acrimonious but desultory debate over proposals to grant amnesty to Thaksin the Terrible, deposed, fugitive, exiled ex Prime Minister and brother to Princess Lucky Girl the current Prime Minister. Thaksin the Terrible himself recently announced at a gathering of supporters held in Cambodia a few miles from the Thai border that he planned to return to Thailand for his birthday in three months or so. The debate on the matter has gone on so long that even the Thai pundit community and the opposition could barely bestir themselves to comment on it. One interesting note: during the legislative debate on the amnesty proposal, in the middle of a slide show to show something or other about the issue, a pornographic slide appeared. The speaker of the chamber promptly appointed a committee to investigate.

In good news, there has not been a bombing or a flood in a while, although there has been a flurry of earthquakes that rocked the tourist mecca of Phuket. Immediately following the earthquake swarm, the Phuket tourist bureau declared, that there will be no more earthquakes in Phuket and the tourists should feel comfortable to return.

Meanwhile Gary, who fled to Cambodia to escape Songkran, reports that the people in Cambodia seem to like aging western retirees more than the Thais do, as long as you do not tell them you are American.

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

Still awaiting either inspiration, perspiration or a desperate request.

PAPA JOES TALES AND FABLES:

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

TODAY’S FACTOIDS:

1. 8300 BC – 1700 – Today

Long-Run Growth: In 8300 BC there were roughly 5 million people in the world—with an average standard of living of about $500/year. In 1700 there were roughly 640 million people in the world—with an average standard of living also of about $500/year. Today there are about seven billion people in the world. Approximately 5 billion of those subsist on an annual income that averages about $500/year ($1-$3 per day). 2 billion people do better than that. In other words all the benefits of industrialization and technological progress of the last 300 years went into growing the total population ten-fold and increasing the wealth of a little less than 1/3 of that population. Or to put it another way, today there are 8 times as many people living at $500 a day than there were in 1700. On the other hand, there are many many more of us today living at more than $500 per day than there were in 1700. Hooray for us. That is progress.
2. 2012

Here is one thing we in the US have not fallen behind other nations. So I ask, why did the secret service have to travel all the way to Columbia? Buy American I say.

PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

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

Where have you gone cowboy?

POOKIE FOR PRESIDENT:

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

A part of a primer for social studies in our times.

And if your preference is history then how about:

TODAY’S QUOTES:

“Heroism by order, senseless violence, and all the pestilent nonsense that goes by the name of patriotism — how I hate them! War seems to me a mean, contemptible thing: I would rather be hacked in pieces than take part in such abominable business.”
~ Albert Einstein

“Upon this, one has to remark that men ought either to be well treated or crushed, because they can avenge themselves of lighter injuries, of more serious ones they cannot; therefore the injury that is to be done to a man ought to be of such a kind that one does not stand in fear of revenge.”
–Nicolo Machiavelli, The Prince

“It used to be that crazy people were more-or-less evenly divided between the (northern) Republican Party and the (southern) Democratic Party. Now they are concentrated in the Republican Party. This matters–and is a source of great terror and dismay for the non-crazy Republicans, and for us all.”
Brad DeLong

TODAY’S CHART:

This is another of those charts that I am not sure I understand what they are getting at. It seems to imply that should we significantly cut the entitlement programs we would have a lot of old and disabled people begging on the streets or competing as best they can with existing low-income workers, driving everyone’s wages down so that younger management types have a better life. What’s wrong with that?

TODAY’S CARTOON:

TODAY’S PHOTOGRAPH:

I do not know about you, but I find something unsettling about this photograph. Polar Bears are supposed to float about on pieces of ice in the middle of the ocean, not climb mountains.

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

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