TODAY FROM 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:
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.
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.
What “Occupy” is all about and what it really wants:
Where have you gone cowboy?
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:
“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.”
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?
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.