“My friends and I have been coddled long enough by a billionaire-friendly Congress. It’s time for our government to get serious about shared sacrifice.”
POOKIE FOR PRESIDENT:
Please see the blog: http://papajoestales.wordpress.com/
1997: A mastodon tooth and camel jaw from about 280,000 BC were found in tunnels under Los Angeles.
They also found outtakes of the movie “1 Million BC,” a pair of Cecile B. DeMille’s
monogrammed undershorts and an empty bottle of Gloria Swanson’s mascara.
TODAY’S NEWS FROM THAILAND:
Interestingly, all those immediately pressing foreign and domestic crises that existed before the Thai general election that the press found so urgent have proven to be not so critical since the election, resulting in a lack of apparently newsworthy events (e.g., war and threats of war and the like. Murders and dismemberment however still receive their share of newsprint) while the new government organizes itself.
Even the horrific flooding in the North and Northeast of the country appears less noteworthy than whether some minor appointed functionary is or is not a hand-picked crony of the deposed Prime Minister. Meanwhile the new Prime Minister responds to all inquiries with the promise that everything will be done according to law and proper procedures.
The first act of the new government has been to allow the exiled fugitive prime minister and the newly elected Prime Minister’s older brother to travel from his hideout in the Persian Gulf to Japan for a “business conference” with a brief side trip to Cambodia to investigate offshore oil drilling.
The opposition party has gone apoplectic over the action while, except for a few dramatic headlines, the rest of the country seems fairly apathetic.
POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN THAILAND:
Recently, I have realized that I may be bored. Not the existential boredom that leads to anxiety, impulsive behavior or catatonia, but the type of quizzical boredom that comes when I am writing in my journal what I had done that day and recognize that I am writing the same thing that I wrote the day before and the day before that. I then wonder if I am bored or simply unobservant.
I believe I am quite content. My days usually consist of an early morning breakfast in my room and a brisk mile or so walk through the urban jungle of the Soi Nana/Sukhumvit Road area to the health club, sometimes stopping along the way at Starbucks for a Cafe Latte and to read the newspaper. After exercising, I return home, grab my computer and walk around the block to the open front restaurant where I eat lunch and sometimes dinner while playing on my Mac.
Then I return to my apartment where, if I had not done so already, I eat dinner or go out to another small local eatery. Following dinner, I watch television. Either the Star Movie channel that shows some of the most abysmal American movies ever made (e.g., Anaconda or anything with Jennifer Lopez) or the Thai soaps to which like most Thai’s I have become addicted even though I do not understand the language and haven’t the slightest idea about what is happening. Then I have my massage and go to bed.
What has gotten me concerned about my life lately is that I am having a difficult time identifying any adventures to write about in “Pookie’s Adventures in Thailand.”
Where, for example, are the further adventures of Pookie and “Gun Girl” as they criss-cross the breadth of Central Thailand searching for something, anything? Is there nothing to replace my observations of my morning beach front walks through “Little Siberia?” And what has happened to the Geriatric Knights of the Oval Table and the rest of the lost tribe of old white males, whose company I enjoyed so much, hiding in the alleyways of the Outskirts of Hell ?
Now, as I have explained before to those of you who mistakenly and probably foolishly have read this far, “This and that…” is a self-indulgent conceit for my own amusement and not intended necessarily to entertain or edify any reader. As such, for the next few issues I intend to explore my typical day (with photographs – See below) to see if I can understand this conundrum of being bored and happy at the same time. Beware…
(Maybe to be continued and maybe not…)
PAPA JOES TALES AND FABLES:
JOEY’S MYSTERY NOVEL:
When Vince returned to his office he was shaken. He never considered himself physically brave and now as crazy as it seemed to him then when Russell explained it to him and now that he has had a moment to contemplate it in his office, it was possible, although he believed unlikely that his life was in danger. Resigning and returning to Thailand did not appear to be an alternative since, if he was in physical danger, that appeared to offer no additional protection
To his annoyance, his suggestion to request protection from the police or the Feds in the person of Russell was dismissed almost without comment. He suspected that Russell and his people, including Isabella, were simply using him just like David, Red Star and the mysterious Brethren. In speaking with Ike after the other two had left, Ike seemed to agree with him.
“I know all this is a shock Vince,” he said. “It is to me. But, I am sure that you must realize that we, you and I, have no idea if Mr. Russell is being honest with us. I suspect he is not, at least not entirely. Although I know the organization we refer to as the Brethren exists, we have no evidence that they are involved in Red Star, or that they have any interest in you.”
“What we do know, or at least suspect is, first we know that Red Star is under investigation by the Federal Government for at least billing irregularities and perhaps fraud and theft of public property. This we know.”He lapsed into silence for a moment picked up his tea-cup and stared into it as though contemplating its texture and then continued.
“We know that several members of your firm were involved financially in the company and undoubtably violated the Bar Association’s conflict of interest laws and perhaps defrauded the other partners in the firm. We know that your managing partner who intimately was involved in the creation and subsequently in the legal affairs of Red Star for some reason committed suicide, or at least we have no information available to us to believe it was not suicide. Although his despair, if that were it, may have had something to do with Red Star, we also know that he possessed embarrassing information on many people and organizations that may or may not have influenced his action. We know that the Red Star and other files possessed by Sam Coign were missing, presumably removed by Mr Bauman, who subsequently disappeared under unusual circumstances. Mrs Coign also died under mysterious circumstances, and of course you were attacked, whether it was intentional or random we can only guess at this time.”
He took another sip of his tea looked off into the unfocused distance and continued, “We have only a suspicion and Russell’s story that the Brethren may be involved or even other members of your firm or whether any of them has developed a plot with you as a target. What I strongly believe is that Russell and whoever he is involved with wants you to stay put for some reason.”
“So this is what I pay my taxes for, some game among bureaucrats,” Vince exploded.
Ike smiled. “We pay our taxes for them to protect us from those who would take away our liberty and threaten our welfare. The question always is choosing who it is that threatens our liberty and who decides what is in our welfare. Unless there is a semblance of public debate and transparency, It is in those dark space’s that the rat’s have room to play.”
a. Eponymous laws:
Wagner’s Law predicts that the development of an industrial economy will be accompanied by an increased share of public expenditure in gross national product, and is named after the German economist Adolph Wagner (1835-1917).
Never trust those Germans.
b. Trenz Pruca’s Aphorisms, Apothegms, Epigrams and Maxims ( http:/trenzpruca.wordpress.com/):
“The outsourcing of essential governmental services is the road to tyranny.”
c. Profiles in Presidential Courage:
“Powerful influences strive today to restore that kind of government with its doctrine that Government is best which is most indifferent.
For nearly four years you have had an Administration which instead of twirling its thumbs has rolled up its sleeves. We will keep our sleeves rolled up.
We had to struggle with the old enemies of peace — business and financial monopoly, speculation, reckless banking, class antagonism, sectionalism, war profiteering.
They had begun to consider the Government of the United States as a mere appendage to their own affairs. We know now that Government by organized money is just as dangerous as Government by organized mob.
Never before in all our history have these forces been so united against one candidate as they stand today. They are unanimous in their hate for me — and I welcome their hatred.”
President Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1936
d. Rick Perry’s Flock or Birds of a Feather :
John Hagee, a planner in Perry’s recent “Prayer Rally” that preceded his announcement of his intention to run for the Presidency of the United States, claimed that God sent Hitler to be a “hunter” of Jews to usher in the establishment of Israel and “do God’s work,” lamenting that Jews are no longer “spiritually alive.”
He followed that up by referring to the Catholic Church as ‘The Great Whore,’ an ‘apostate church,’ the ‘anti-Christ,’ and a ‘false cult system.’
On a somewhat more positive note, he has demanded that,“ wives submit yourselves to your husbands” and said that the “husband has a God-given role as leader of your home.”
Go Johnny go!
e. Testosterone Chronicles:
There’s a study running soon in the journal “Global Environmental Change” called “Cool dudes: The denial of climate change among conservative white males in the United States.” It analyzes poll and survey data from the last 10 years and finds that … are you sitting down? “… conservative white men are far more likely to deny the threat of climate change than other people.”
Among the reasons given for the poll results is, the “white male effect” — generally speaking, white males are less concerned with a variety of risks. This probably has to do with the fact that they are less exposed to risk than other demographics, what with running things and all.
“A hard man is good to find.”
RUSSEL BRAND’S COMMENTS ON THE BRITISH RIOTS:
Why am I surprised that these young people behave destructively, “mindlessly”, motivated only by self-interest?
How should we describe the actions of the city bankers who brought our economy to its knees in 2010? Altruistic? Mindful? Kind?
But then again, they do wear suits, so they deserve to be bailed out, perhaps that’s why not one of them has been imprisoned. And they got away with a lot more than a few fucking pairs of trainers.
These young people have no sense of community because they haven’t been given one. They have no stake in society because Cameron’s mentor Margaret Thatcher told us there’s no such thing.
If we don’t want our young people to tear apart our communities then don’t let people in power tear apart the values that hold our communities together.
An interesting take on values. I have often wondered why those who most support the tooth and claw morality of the market place get so upset when it is brought out into the streets. Instead of sending representatives of government into the streets, shouldn’t we allow the miracle of the market to operate? Obviously after everything is looted, the riots will stop, the aggressive and vigorous will amass wealth as they should, and we who sat idly by are left to pick up the pieces as always)
This is a view from one of the windows of my apartment. The other window has a better view of the freeway, but I like this photograph because is shows a small restaurant that is surprisingly popular and makes what I consider the best Thai omelet in the neighborhood.