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

In a study published by the journal Psychology, Crime and Law, Belinda Board and Katarina Fritzon tested 39 senior managers and chief executives from leading British businesses. They compared the results to the same tests on patients at Broadmoor special hospital, where people who have been convicted of serious crimes are incarcerated. On certain indicators of psychopathy, the bosses’sscores either matched or exceeded those of the patients. In fact, on these criteria, they beat even the subset of patients who had been diagnosed with psychopathic personality disorders.

I bet every one of the “senior managers” voted for and contributed to the Tory party. On the other hand, I would not be surprised if the Broadmoor patients voted Labor. [They probably contributed no money to Labor, however]

TODAY’S FACTOID:

A. The First Century AD:

1. Prior to the first century, most of what was written could be found on scrolls of parchment. But once the AD era started, the practice of stringing together wooden tablets into a “codex” began. The precursor to the book as we know it today, the codex became popular once it was co-opted by a new religious group — called the Christians — for their holy book: the Bible.

2. There are still variations in prices between urban and rural areas today, but nothing like it was in the first century. For example, fruit was three to six times more expensive in Jerusalem than in the rural areas surrounding it. Livestock was also costlier in the city, and doves (for sacrifices) were sold at a premium.

3. There were some strange jobs in the first century world. You could work as a camel driver, pigeon contest organizer, and dog dung collector. The list of jobs that were looked down upon by the general public included the shepherd, “the dealer in products from the sabbatical year,” butchers, and doctors.

B. Sir Isaac Newton:

Newton believed doomsday would be in the 21 Century, calculated from clues in the Bible.

C. Who is our enemy:

1957: Samuel Cummings and his US company Interarms, in a transaction sanctioned by the CIA, supplied weapons to the forces of Fidel Castro in Cuba.

Ah, the wonders of privatization and outsourcing. Wait this was during a Republican administration. They would never sell arms to an enemy and a Communist one no less. This factoid is clearly a liberal plant.

TODAY’S NEWS FROM AMERICA:

New American Art Form:

POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN CALIFORNIA:

I have returned to SF for the Thanksgiving Holiday to spend it with as many of my family members as I can. I leave for Thailand Saturday morning. I arrived early Wednesday and since I am now living life as a homeless vagrant, I spent the morning in a downtown Starbucks waiting for my son to get off work so that I could spend the evening at his apartment.

There was a bit of an incident yesterday. Hayden had cut his finger (paper cut) earlier that day as we toured the local Toy’s R Us making a shopping list for Santa Claus. That evening before Hayden and I left for our dinner with Norbert and Stevie Dall, he took a bath. While bathing, apparently he got soapy water into the cut and it started to sting, providing him the opportunity to whine and cry in hopes of garnering some attention and comfort. It failed. SWAC upon hearing him assumed he had injured himself while playing in the tub and ah.. strongly remonstrated with him for being careless. He, frightened and insulted at the false accusation, denied he had hurt himself in youthful exuberance while in his bath. This led to an ever increasingly loud argument and even more crying from the boy. By the time I had intervened, he had suffered a nasty scratch on his shoulder where SWAC had grabbed him in her fury. After quieting things down, he and I set off for dinner. I tried to explain to him it was not his fault and that both of them had a misunderstanding. He said, “No,” he said. “It was all my fault. She said it was and therefore it was. She doesn’t like me.”

The morning before he and I spent a few delightful hours at Bill and Naida’s ranch next to the Cosumnes River in the middle of Rancho Marietta. Hayden and Naida visited Acorn, the pony he is so fond of, and they fed him. I talked with Bill who is recovering from open heart surgery and peppered him with questions about it. Later we all went for walk along the river. Naida mentioned that she was thinking of writing a prequel to her magnificent historical trilogy. It would be set at the time that the first people entered the Cosumnes River Valley. She also mentioned she had discovered new information about Perry McCoon’s (the evil bastard of her novels) death. She may include the new information in a revised version of the novels for e-book publication. Again, if you have not had the opportunity to read her novels, I urge you to do so. You will not be disappointed.

I returned to SF by train and spent the night at my son Jason’s apartment where I watched a seemingly unending run of reality shows on TV. Since I have not seen much US TV for the past 18 months, this came as a revelation to me. My son explained that reality shows are the new popular entertainment for the masses.

They are not the reality shows I was used to. You know a group of half-naked people in a jungle screwing each other literally and figuratively. Instead, for example, my son is fascinated by cooking shows, not some chef showing you his or her favorite recipes, but bizarre competitions among cooks; like competitions using strange combinations of ingredients (octopus, tortillas, kumquats and marshmallows) with which the featured cooks have to create something edible.

Jason explained to me that the cooks on these shows generally are all media stars in the foodie society, each owning their own string of restaurants, sharing appearances on each others cooking shows and running their own foodie empires. I could not help thinking that perhaps there should be an “Occupy” of these cooking moguls who control so much of our taste buds (octopus and marshmallow?)..

We also watched shows featuring realtors and home remodelers and I sat through shows featuring u-tube type video snippets of people and animals doing generally stupid things. I topped it all off by watching the most recent Shrek before falling asleep. I liked Shrek.

JOEY’S MYSTERY NOVEL:

RED STAR

Chapter: Another interlude.

“Ha,” squealed the Isabella character. “Hitting on the dyke. You must really be hard up.”

“Bisexual,” responded the Vince character softly while staring into the make-up mirror.

“Huh!”

“Bisexual, she is bisexual,” he repeated.

“Whatever,” she laughed.

“Tonight,” he said with a smile looking at her through the mirror.

“What’s tonight?”

“Our date is tonight. I am sure we get it on.”

“You wish,” she responded. “I’m your bodyguard, remember.”

“I see he killed off David. Good thing, I never liked the guy,”she continued. “When do you think he will get around to offing us?”

“We do not know if he is dead. We only know he did not cross the street. He could have been picked up by someone or have changed his mind about his dinner appointment or lying wounded in the gutter. He could show up again, like Charlie Bowman.”

“That seems stupid,” she opined and pouted.

PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

a. Strange Apocalypses:

DEATH BY EUPHORIA

Many of us use drugs such as caffeine or nicotine every day. Our increased understanding of physiology brings new drugs that can lift mood, improve alertness or keep you awake for days. How long before we use so many drugs we are no longer in control? Perhaps the end of society will not come with a bang, but fade away in a haze.

Danger sign: Drugs would get too cheap to meter, but you might be too doped up to notice.

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

1. inequality:

2. Waste in Defense Procurement:

According to Dina Razor, investigative journalist:

For decades, the DoD has decided what each new weapon will cost by looking at what historically similar weapons “did cost” in the past. So, if you decide to buy a new fighter plane, you look at what the previous plane cost as the baseline, and then add on more for all the new advances and gadgets you plan to put on the new plane. This has been disastrous because all of the contractor’s fraud, waste and fat that were tolerated in the past plane’s costs by the ever-appeasing DoD bureaucracy now become the baseline for the new plane. This makes every generation of weapon more and more unaffordable as the waste and fraud from generations before is rolled over to the new weapon. The result is that the bloated costs are expanded exponentially and we have fewer and fewer weapons for more and more money …

(In other words, military contractors and DOD contracting procedures are not making you safer, but they are making you poorer.)

c. Excerpts from Bill Moyer’s speech to Citizens United:

” I was one of the poorest white kids in town, but in many respects I was the equal of my friend who was the daughter of the richest man in town. I went to good public schools, had use of a good public library, played sand-lot baseball in a good public park, and traveled far on good public roads with good public facilities to a good public university. Because these public goods were there for us, I never thought of myself as poor. When I began to piece the story together years later, I came to realize that people like the Moyers had been included in the American deal: “We, the People” included us. It’s heartbreaking to see what has become of that bargain.”

d. How To Talk Like A Republican (the new American Lexicon):

From Frank Luntz Republican Party consultant in a memorandum to Party leaders and regulars:

Hmm, do Conservatives really like “international” more than “foreign?” 

e. Testosterone Chronicles:

• Women were twice as generous in a game that involved dividing $10 with a stranger (Eckel and Grossman).

Write your amusing and clever comments here _______________________.

f. Barry Goldwater, American:

“You don’t need to be straight to fight and die for your country. You just need to shoot straight.”
~Barry Goldwater

g. Department of abasement, apology and correction:

Recently, I have been criticized by some readers of these posts. They seem to believe that I have been urging radical redistribution of wealth or shudder, Communism by publishing such things as charts showing various inequalities in income and wealth, excerpts from Bill Moyers’ speech to Citizens United and quotes from such militant socialists as Dwight Eisenhower and Barry Goldberg. I assume that some of those who so criticize me can be included within that class defined by both Political Parties as Low Information Voters and unfortunately often mistake fact for opinion. As Low-information Voters, they flood the internet and my inbox with drivel usually written by conservative PR firms and that is often inaccurate, un-referenced, bizarre or usually all three. (I am amazed at how upset they get when I quote one of their own who, in periodic fits of self-awareness that sometimes strikes even the most hypocritical, express even the slightest criticism of the right’s madness.

Nevertheless, I noticed that among the changes that I have made to my posts over the past month or two has been to expand the “Pookie for President” section to include quotes by and comments on the current candidates for the GOP nomination for President. Since I assume that most readers give up reading after one or two sections anyway, I decided to spare those of my readers whose sensitivities are offended by my quoting the actual words of those whom they may believe alone represent the American heartland, by moving that section to later in the post.

Anyway, I am returning to Thailand for a while, and the obsession of the media with the minutia of American political dispute is thankfully absent, and the rich vein of humor contained therein, diminished. I now must settle upon writing about, Thaksin the Terrible, Abhsit the Unready, Princess Lucky Girl, the dastardly Military General Staff and Benetton inspired T-shirts of many different colors

Americans wrap themselves in the American Flag. Thais change the color of their T-shirts. After all, fashion is politics.

POOKIE FOR PRESIDENT:

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

A. Republicans, in an email blasted around by House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), identified “twenty wasteful spending programs” that they have proposed cutting in the new federal spending bill released this week. The GOP claims that it’s using the bill to “make hard but necessary cuts to help reduce the nation’s deficit.”

However, all 20 of the programs combined cost less than the tax loophole that allows corporate jet owners to write off the cost of their jet over five years (as opposed to seven years for a commercial passenger jet).

B. “He’s a fat, repulsive pig! I hate to be so harsh. You go out in the woods and find a piece of old, dead wood, you lift it up and underneath there’s a bunch of bugs crawling around and white stuff … that’s Newt Gingrich.”
Conservative talk show host Don Imus on this weeks flavor GOP candidate for President of the United States.

(Liberals, unfortunately, shy away from using such colorful language.)

C. Megyn Kelly, Faux News anchor person (apparently hired for her looks rather than her brains) recently insisted that pepper spray is “a food product, essentially”

I understand that a diet of pepper spray has been demonstrated to increase ones IQ up to 10 points. You should try it Megyn (does she really spell her name like this?), it may increase your IQ to as high as 80.

The blog TPM reports, One thrilled “customer” notes, “I used to have to exert my gray matter or work my mouth to keep people from saying anything I didn’t want to hear. Now I just shake and aim Defense Technology’s 56895 MK-9 Stream Pepper Spray, and half the time I don’t even need to depress the trigger! My teens and my dog all go silent when I merely lift the can–no more claims that I’ve suppressed free speech when they quake in fear and CHOOSE to be silent! Not just for intimidating students–it works on crabby old people, too!”

OMG, she must be planning to use it on me next; after all I am a COP (Crabby Old Person)

TODAY’S QUOTE:

“Harald had this stone erected in memory of Gorm his father and Thyra his mother—that Harald who won all Denmark and Norway and made the Danes Christian”
Translation of a rune on Gorm the Old’s grave erected by Harald in 958AD.

TODAY’S CHART:

Why, when cutting budget deficits are all the rage with the GOP, are they still supporting subsidies to the oil and gas industries? Does any one believe those industries cannot turn a profit without taxpayer money? Shouldn’t they get a dose of free market economics for a change? Why do self-styled Conservatives complain so loudly about a poor person who cheats on welfare and is silent when an energy company steals billions in taxpayer dollars? Now you may believe they so because the energy industry does so much for our economy we should look the other way when faced with their rampant thuggery, however, I suspect that if you believe that it is more often because a lot of people are paid to make sure you do.

TODAY’S CARTOON:

TODAY’S POSTER:

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Categories: October 2011 through December 2011 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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