Monthly Archives: August 2012

This and that from re Thai r ment, by 3Th. 6 Shadow 0001 (June 25, 2012)

 

Support Dunnghi Jansaunmoi

 

TODAY FROM THAILAND:

 

A. POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN THAILAND:

 

1. A Day in the Life:

 

a. Pookie contemplates while at the health club.

 

While exercising I realized that although death is never very good, if one was going to go one of the best ways is during vigorous exercise; the flood of endorphins makes one not particularly care. On the other hand, attempts to commit suicide by exercise are doomed to fail. Anyone so depressed as to contemplate it, is probably too depressed to exercise in the first place. Still, I decided to redouble my efforts.

 

b. Where Pookie confronts himself on the sidewalk.

 

“It’s always something.”

 

Roseanne Roseannadanna

Roseanne Roseannadanna (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Roseanne Roseannadanna

 

While on my way to the health club that same morning that I experienced the above insight, I walked by a man lying on the sidewalk. He looked dead. Sitting on his haunches next to him and shaking him back and forth was another man who kept on repeating something in Thai over and over again. I assumed it was something like, “Hey buddy, you ok?” I would think that is what one says in similar situations everywhere.

 

They both appeared to be street people and were filthy. I believed the man lying on the sidewalk was either dead or paralyzed since, as the other man shook him, he seemed quite stiff.

 

I stood there presented with western civilization’s eternal quandary: How do I evade involvement without feeling guilty? My first predicament was how to avoid getting down and touching the possibly deceased. Not only was he filthy, but I have a phobia about touching dead things. Probably generated by my mom’s warnings to never touch the dead rats, dogs and cats that were often lying about in my neighborhood because they probably were carrying a dread disease, it  nevertheless ended medicine and biology as career choices.

 

Thankfully, I reasoned, getting down and touching him would do no good since I had no medical training and could not speak the language. So I then thought I could start screaming something like, “Help, help, call an ambulance” or something. I hoped I would not have to do that either since I would probably feel embarrassed. When I looked around however, I noticed at least 20 Thais within 10 yards of me with perhaps 10 times more within shouting distance, none of whom paid the slightest attention to the scene going on next to me. It was not as though they were simply averting their eyes to avoid getting involved, but instead they simply continued on doing their business as though a dead or dying man on the sidewalk was an everyday occurrence. So, I decided that my screaming and yelling likely would do no more good than getting down on my knees and shake the guy also and ask him if he was OK.

 

I then decided that the best thing I could do was go find a cop and tell him of the situation. Of course, I recognized the language barrier remained and given my experience with the Thai police it was questionable whether he would care or do anything. There was also the quandary of what would I do if he demanded a bribe before acting. As an American, I had to face the dilemma of whether my humanitarian obligations extended to paying for someone else’s problem. Nevertheless, with that still unresolved, I set off in search of a cop.

 

Although there was a police post a few blocks back, I decided to continue in the direction I was heading since I recalled that about a block away the tourist police often had a card table set up for some reason with one or two cops sitting there. They never did anything that I could ever discern except sit there. I thought that chances were better that the tourist police spoke english.

 

Alas, no police card table appeared, so I continued to the place where I intended to have breakfast to think about what to do next. While sitting at the counter, I decided that there really was not much left for me to do since by now whatever was going to happen or not happen had already happened. So I ordered breakfast, tried to convince myself I had done all that I could and contemplated Scarlett O’Hara‘s insight, “Tomorrow is another Day.”

 

c. In which Pookie gets a massage.

 

In an effort to relieve the aches generated by my exercise and assuage my distress from the mornings events, I decided to get a massage. Now normally the Little Masseuse gives me my massages, but for the last few weeks she has been telling me that she is too tired from folding towels at the health club. Given my diminished sexual capacity, I consider her excuse as the functional equivalent of “I have a headache.” Anyway I went to a spa owned by a woman who I have known for over 10 years. She lives most of the time in Singapore with her husband and new baby. Her husband, an American, and she were both friends of mine when they lived in the Bay Area.

 

I decided on a one-hour foot massage. I generally forgo full body massages because in Thailand a foot massage is more an entire leg and foot massage and includes massage of hands arms, shoulders and head. In fact the only things missing from a whole body massage is the rubbing of the abdomen and the buttocks; and you know where that leads. The massage cost $13 including tip. That was most of my daily budget. But it was worth it. I felt much better.

 

d. Pookie ends his day in outer space.

 

Later I met up with LM and we went to the movies at a new mall named Terminal 21. I like going there because it is nearby (two blocks away) and each floor themed on a different world city with two floors dedicated to San Francisco complete with a replica of the Golden Gate bridge stretched across the food court and full-sized copy of a cable car teetering over the escalators.

 

We saw “Prometheus,” which I did not understand that well, since I found the narrative and motivations confusing. Why for example do robots always seem to be pissed off at their creators for creating them? “Robby the Robot,” never got pissed off, although it did seem he too often panicked, swung his arms about and screamed “Danger, Will Robinson, Danger.” Modern cinema robots never panic. That is what makes them so creepy.

 

Anyway the movie seemed based upon the concept that the operative principle in the universe is revenge. I disagree, I think the universal operative principle is confusion. Too many beings thinking they know what they are doing, when in fact they are lucky if the figure out which ends the food goes in and the shit comes out.

 

In any event, a lot of people and aliens died. The robot survived, but not the black guy. I am sure you guessed that.

 

2. Schedule Change:

 

Although I planned to return to the US through Italy on the 1st of August, as expected plans have changed. It seems that SWAC received notice that a custody hearing will be held in Sacramento on July 5, so she Joey and Hayden will leave on the 28th of this month. Although she has not been served, she refused my advice and has decided to return. Her planned defense borders on the deranged. Although she has claimed the baby was conceived by artificial insemination, she plans to claim rape and refuses to obtain the documents from the Thai hospital that supposedly performed the procedure because when the baby was born in SF, she claimed he was not so conceived*. When I asked what independent evidence she had for the alleged rape, she answered his friends know. She added that they all thought that she was a ladyboy and somehow after the doctor told them she was a women that caused him to rape her. At least I think that is the story. She also insists that her breasts are real. Maybe the Thai soaps dramatize life as it really is lived in Thailand.

 

I still intend to venture back at summer’s end or in early autumn provided I can find some places to stay.

 

Since he returned from Koh Samui, I have not seen Hayden. It seems he is now of that age where he prefers to spend his time with children of his own age than with a morose old man. I guess it is time to put him into the past. I expect I will be seeing little of him in the future whatever it is that is the future at my age.

 

*Oh, by the way this is the corrupt American Cop I mentioned recently attached to the US Embassy in BKK and who along with his co-workers threw orgies in their apartments (probably supplied by the US taxpayers), and who probably set up the busting of American citizens for sexual relations with underaged persons (legal in the country but not in US). In one bust, it turns out the interpreter who supplied the only evidence against the person arrested the cop was screwing at the time. He also had lost custody of his prior child following allegations of repetitive violence. I assume he was vetted for his high paying federal government job by the same people who vetted the Secret Service people who had so much fun recently in Columbia.

 

B. NEWS STRAIGHT OR SLIGHTLY BENT:

 

1. Thailand’s got tits.

 

Recently during the “Thailand’s Got Talent” a contestant, Dunnghi Jasaunmoi, surprised everyone by stripping to the waist and painting a large canvas with her breasts. The two male judges gave her the highest scores while the female judge walked off in disgust. A spokesman for something called the “Culture Ministry and Family Happiness Support Group,” complained that it was a bad example for the nations children. The official Thai Ministry of Culture indicated that they were concerned and would look into the matter. Since it involves a Thai media business, no-one expects the government to do anything.

 

Meanwhile the same Ministry of Culture continues to go gaga over Lady Gaga. This time because she appeared in a skimpy outfit wearing a nun’s cowl and trailing a Thai flag. The ministry threatens to lodge a complaint with the US government on the grounds that the skimpy outfit sets a bad example for the nation’s children while  the Thai flag is an insult to the nation.

 

2. Right vs. Wrong.

 

The poll, constructed by Dartmouth government professor Benjamin Valentino and conducted by YouGov from April 26 to May 2, found that fully 63 percent of Republican respondents still believed that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction when the US invaded in 2003. By contrast, 27 percent of independents and 15 percent of Democrats shared that view.

 

The Republican disinformation machine’s response to this report has been to allege that Saddam’s use of AMERICAN supplied biological and chemical weapons on the Kurds meant they had those same weapons a decade later and that they had the means of delivering them. First the AMERICANS stopped delivering weapons of mass destruction, if one wants to consider what we supplied to Saddam as such, following Gulf War I. Second, repeated inspections over the 12 years or so that followed, by both American and international weapons inspection teams, consistently reported not only were there none in Iraq, but also that Iraq did not have the ability to manufacture them.

Unlike the view espoused by Faux News speak, this is not a difference of opinion requiring “balanced” public exposure, one position is clearly factually wrong and a real news organization should be reporting that fact. The question that should be asked is, why are Republicans so prone to believe as true something that is manifestly false? Another question is why are Republicans leaders and spokespeople so willing to lie?

Remember Pookie says, “liberals exaggerate, conservatives lie.” There is a difference. If a conservative says Barak Obama is a socialist, it is a provable lie. He is actually a 1950 style Republican masquerading as a Democrat. If a liberal claims that we are all going to die from the effects of global warming by 2100, that is an exaggeration. It will not occur until 2120 and some of us probably will survive.

 

TODAY’S FACTOIDS:

 

1. July 25, 1841 – Mary Cecilia Rogers, a young woman known popularly as “The Beautiful Cigar Girl”, disappeared and her dead body was found floating in the Hudson River three days later. The details surrounding the case suggested she was murdered. The death of this well-known person received national attention for weeks. The story became immortalized by Edgar Allan Poe in his story “The Mystery of Marie Roget.” Despite intense media interest and an attempt to solve the enigma by Poe, the crime remains one of the most puzzling unsolved murders of New York City.

 

2. July 13–17, 1863 – Approximately 50,000 people riot in protest of President Abraham Lincoln’s announcement of a draft for troops to fight in the American Civil War. Over 100 are killed and many African-Americans flee the city. The movie Gangs of New York takes place during the draft riots.

 

3. September 13, 1899 – Henry H. Bliss becomes the first person killed in an automobile accident in the United States when he steps off a streetcar at 74th Street and Central Park West and is struck by a taxicab.

 

PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

 

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

 

 

TODAY’S QUOTE:

 

 

TODAY’S CHART:

 

 

TODAY’S CARTOON:

 


TODAY’S PHOTOGRAPH:

 

 

Categories: April 2012 through June 2012 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

This and that from re Thai r ment, by 3Th. 1 Shadow 0001 (June 20, 2012)

 

TODAY FROM THAILAND:

A. POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN THAILAND:

Hayden is off to Koh Samui with SWAC and a “friend.” I do not know if Joey is still in BKK. LM and I plan to spend a few days next week at “Paradise by the Sea, one mile from the Outskirts of Hell.” In the meantime, I feel myself slowly slipping into one of my periodic bouts of gloom and boredom. Perhaps watching the Thai soaps will cheer me up.

Speaking of Thai soaps, the one starring the scenery chewing Master Slapper Stepmother alas, has come to an end. Finally, all the young women slapped around by her; the men and older women she beat over the head with logs; ex-husbands (one rich and one poor) she betrayed and those others she had kidnapped or beaten (including one of her own daughters) got together and told each other what they already knew. They still refused to do anything except agree to tell her that they talked to each other and that her rich husband was very angry.

When she learned this the Master Slapper went off the deep end, became hysterical, ripped the iv out of her arm and fled, the hospital she was in for some reason; but not before slapping her two daughters silly. She was not upset so much because she feared everyone else would somehow punish her but because she was embarrassed that they all talked to each other about her.

She ran off into the darkness and was promptly hit by a truck and died. When everyone heard about this the two beaten daughters cried a little but cheered up as they paired off with the men of their choice; the insipid daughter with the poor but nice boy and the daughter from the poor husband with the rich but stupid soldier. The multi-beaten ingenue step-daughter who the father (the rich husband) following DNA testing finally acknowledged as his daughter, making her rich also, finally was united with the other rich but clueless hero. Ingenue and clueless planned to marry immediately. I do not know the reason for the rush but suspect in had something to do with the show ending.

Unbeknownst to them all the Evil Stepmother did not die. Instead, some completely random woman for no reason had run into the street in front of the Great Slapper and was killed by the truck. The Evil Stepmother than changed clothes with the dead woman and ran off again into the night swearing to kill everyone who shamed her. She promptly was set upon by a thug who tried to rape her. She eventually beat him off by smashing his head in with a log, but not before he had managed to disfigure her with a piece of broken glass.

She then set off on her revenge by killing a few of the poor people and minor characters. She showed up at the wedding between ingenue and clueless and strangled the poor young maid who had done nothing but serve the Slapper during her various rampages. When the wedding guests found the dead girl, everyone ran out into the yard and confronted Mom. No one seemed to want to get too close to her. So they all shouted at her from a distance. It seemed that everyone in the neighborhood began showing up and standing around also.

Finally the “poor” ex-husband rushed forward and grabbed her arm thereby allowing her to reach into his pants and grab the gun he had hidden there. Everyone started shouting again and the poor husband retreated. She shot him in the shoulder. The daughter of the poor ex husband and the Slapper jumped in front of her father offering up her life instead. After a lengthy (from one advertising break to the next) discussion she was persuaded to step aside and Mom promptly pumped the poor bastard body with five more bullets and ran off into the street while the by now 100s of onlookers stood by.

Mom ran into someone, I no longer remember who, who tried to stop her, and she shot him or her also and was out of bullets at which point the police arrived and took Mom into custody.

Everyone went back to the wedding and the series ended like “The Lord of the Rings” with each main character’s interminable separate farewell. In this case each of the lovers telling each other how lucky they were things ended up like this and each of the parents telling their maids how relieved they were that their kids were finally growing up.

After this, having enough of Thai murder and mayhem, I turned on a comedy soap.

The Little Masseuse has been quite sad recently. She said that she was unhappy because she was old and ugly and people, mostly men, do not use her massage services anymore. “I used to massage 3 or 4 hours every day,” she explained. “Now, I only massage for one hour or so a week. The rest of the time I fold towels, play the games on my mobile phone and nap when no one is looking.”

I responded to her distress by mentioning that I believed that business is off everywhere and competition for masseuses’ has grown more fierce in BKK. “Besides,” I added. “I suspect the real reason the men in the health club use the male masseurs had less to do with your age or beauty than with your gender.”

She then told me that a few weeks previous, the woman behind the Health Club check-in desk asked LM to give her a free massage. When LM declined saying that she was hired by the Hotel to give massages to paying guests only, the clerk shouted at her, “You are old and ugly and no one will ever love you.”

B. NEWS STRAIGHT OR SLIGHTLY BENT:

1. Oh my!!

2. What can I say?

PETRILLO’S COMMENTARY:

Meet the man the Republican Party wants to run your Country:


Sheldon Adelson

This is the man the modern Republican Party proposes to run your country. I guess a rich casino owning mob guy from Vegas who implied his primary loyalty is to a foreign country is who they have been looking for all along.

He also is the type of patriot modern Republican’s seem to like. For example Adelson said, he regrets his own service in American uniform.

For all those American’s who proudly wore the uniform and fought for our nation and our freedom the Republican party has sold you to someone who thinks you are all jerks.

He also claims that he would prefer that his children serve in the Israeli army to the American one, and “All we care about is being good citizens of Israel.”

Under normal circumstances someone who claims allegiance to another country might be considered a traitor, but not if he is a wealthy contributor to the modern Republican Party.

In an interview in Forbes magazine he said he was,“against very wealthy ­people attempting to or influencing elections. But as long as it’s doable I’m going to do it.” How’s that as an example of someone who stands by his beliefs. If he said something like, “I am against stealing, but as long as it is doable I am going to do it,” would it really be much different. Oh yes, stealing is illegal, “Well then I am going to put my money to work making sure the stealing I want to do is legal. Everyone is doing it, why shouldn’t I?”

He originally was a Democrat but became a Republican as his wealth grew. “Why is it fair that I should be paying a higher percentage of taxes than anyone else?” There’s a good example of situational ethics for you. Once you’re rich forget where you came from. (By the way he was educated at public expense.)

Oh, he is willing to give his money to support a foreign country, but is opposed to paying additional taxes to support the country of which he is allegedly a citizen.

Finally he makes most of his money in China, a Communist country, yet he fears socialism and unions here. He has not pledged $100 million to defeat Chinese Communism. Why not?

MOPEY JOE’S MEMORIES:

Louis in Taos:

Louie (stage name, “James Oliver”) left New York City and Tuckahoe for LA. On March 8, 1964, I wrote in my diary:

“Lou did not get married. Susan, his girlfriend decided to go back to California the day before the wedding. Lou was distraught. He decided to return to California also. Not to follow her he says, but because New York has suddenly become lifeless for him. He said he needed a new life.”

And so he left a week or two later and that was the last I ever saw of him. Years later he ended up living as an artist in Taos. A reporter for the local Taos newspaper recently wrote of him:

“James Louie Oliver is one of the most fascinating people you might ever meet. He’s an artist, a former stage and screen actor, builder of model airplanes and one helluva storyteller. You’ll see what we mean when Oliver makes an appearance Friday (March 30), 7 p.m., at Bareiss Gallery, 15 State Road 150, north of El Prado.

Oliver will read from his writings, ‘Howie’s Chair’ and ‘Marilyn Monroe and the Shoeshine Boy,’ and he will also display his intricately detailed assemblages and handcrafted model airplanes.

Oliver was born Dec. 17, 1937, in a cold-water flat on the Bronx-Mount Vernon border in New York. Growing up, he says one of his first jobs was as a shoeshine boy, something he told us about in a story we did on him in April of 2011. He also worked in his grandfather’s barbershop, sweeping up hair and doing anything that was needed. His face goes dark, though, when he talks about the abuse he suffered as a child, but he doesn’t dwell on it.

‘I grew up old, but I’m younger now,’ he says with a touch of humor.

He studied for and did quite a bit of stage work in New York. This also led to film work in Hollywood.

‘My first movie was ‘Hells Angels on Wheels’ (1967) and I played a guy named ‘Gypsy.’ And Adam Roarke was in it, he passed away, and Jack Nicholson too. It’s an underground film. Then I did a TV show where I met Johnny Barrymore. We became very good friends before he passed away. That was another motorcycle TV thing that starred Ben Gazzara called ‘Run for Your Life.’’ ”


Louie with one of his handcrafted model airplanes.

TODAY’S FACTOIDS:

A. June 14, 1942:

Ann Frank receives a diary on her thirteenth birthday.

This is one of the most poignant factoids I have ever posted. June 14 should be declared a public holiday to honor the human sprit.

B. For those who long for the “Good old Days,” here is what life was like in 18th Century NYC:

1702 – Yellow fever epidemic kills more than 500 people.
1776, September 21 – Approximately 1000 houses, a quarter of the city, are destroyed in a fire a week after British troops captured the city during the American Revolution. Arson is speculated (with George Washington and the British being among those blamed) and, during a round-up of suspicious persons by British forces, Nathan Hale is arrested.
1778, August 3 – Fire near Cruger’s Wharf destroys 64 homes.
1794 – Minor yellow fever epidemic leads to creation of Bellevue Hospital.
1795 – Yellow fever epidemic kills 732 between July 19 and October 12, from a total population of about 50,000.
1796, December 9 – The “Coffee House Slip Fire” burns from the foot of Wall Street and East River to Maiden Lane.
1798 – The “great epidemic,” a major yellow fever epidemic, kills 2086 people from late July to November. Epidemics occur in several other years, but this was the worst of them all.

The over 2000 deaths in the yellow fever epidemic of 1798 amounted to almost 5% of the City’s population.

PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

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

This chart gives one a good idea about how one segment of the“parasite” community’s fee based economy works. The chart describes a typical secured loan, like mortgages and a lot of corporate debt. The people with “money” in the game, the borrowers and investors, pay fees to a host of parasites (lender, insurer, issuer, trustee and on and on).

The chart does not include the lawyers and lobbyists and the like, all of whom take their cuts. Although These latter do not appear on the chart their costs are included somewhere in the expense side of the balance sheets of every entity identified in the chart. These reams of parasites appear even though the regulatory and legal burdens they claim justifies their fees has not changed substantially for 40 years and in fact in many cases has eased.

If things go wrong, the investors and borrowers take the loss, all the others walk off with their fees intact. Each one of the parasites seek to increase their fees or sell additional services. It does not matter to them if the deal fails. They all argue that they perform beneficial services. They all have a conflict of interest.

So why is this happening? One reason is size. As the size of the entities and the deals increase, as with any bureaucracy, the individual bureaucrats involved seek to enhance their own security and to avoid personal responsibility. So they retain parasites upon whom they can lay off some of the responsibility for making the decision to finance the deal. Among the downsides for the parasite community is that as the entities and the deals get larger, there are fewer of them so they must either raise prices, increase services or die.

This system is not “economic” in nature, but “biologic,” and therefore probably more readily explainable by biological formula and analysis than those currently relied upon by economists.

B. Colbert Wisdom:

Actually Colbert is wrong. It is not just young people, liberals generally behave like this.

TODAY’S QUOTE:

When the Democratic Party was the “Red Neck” party:

“Let no man delude himself into the belief that the success of Samuel J. Tilden (Democratic Party candidate for US President 1876) as the leader of the Democracy does not mean Southern supremacy. I was born in the South, and have spent my whole life, nearly three quarters of a century, among the Southern Democratic leaders, and I know that I understand them. I speak forth the words of truth and soberness when I say that they intend to accomplish through the ballot box what they failed to achieve on the bloody field.”
EX US-SENATOR BROWNLOW in a letter to the Tribune, sometime during the 1876 election, warning the nation of the danger to the country from the “solid South.”

TODAY’S CHART:

Although this chart raises the question of why is it that Japan and the UK are not yet failed states (too much public and private debt) and shows that the US debt situation is relatively benign, it sends an additional message. What this chart seems to indicate is that, in most cases we do not have a “public” debt crisis but we do have a “private” debt crisis (e.g., Spain).

It is interesting to note that in Greece where it is arguable that the government spent too much money (not on so-called costly social programs but on economic development [infrastructure] programs) the German bankers demanded governmental austerity requiring slashing social programs, that were not responsible for much of the debt on the first place, in order to pay off mostly German bond holders. In Spain’s case where the problem is clearly not “public” expenditure but failures of the private banking system, caused in part by governmental negligence in adequately regulating them, the German bankers recently shoveled money to Spain to disburse to the private banks with no requirements that the banks clean up their act or that the government increase their oversight.
Why is it that Bankers believe that the discipline of the private market wherein private entities that bet wrong fail, applies only to the rest of us and not to them?

TODAY’S CARTOON:

Dude, if they paid us enough so that we could afford to fly off in one of their flying saucers and do to another world what is being done to ours, why would we care? It wouldn’t be the first time we soiled our nest and moved on.

TODAY’S PHOTOGRAPH:

 

Image unavailable at this time
“Rochester Panorama” – Rochester, New York – Neil Kremer

(I’ve been to Rochester. It looks nothing like this, ever.)

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

This and that from re Thai r ment, by 3Th. 31 Jo-Jo 0001 (June 15, 2012)

TODAY FROM THAILAND:

A. POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN THAILAND:

1. Waiting for the Queen

Last week Thailand celebrated the Buddha’s enlightenment (or perhaps it was the King’s birthday or Buddha’s, I never did catch which). In addition to celebrations scheduled throughout the country, a ceremony was planned for the large park area in front of the palace compound in BKK. LM persuaded me to accompany her to watch it.

After the almost one hour ride on the inexpensive but non-air-conditioned number 2 bus, we arrived at the site with thousand’s of others. We found a place alongside a large open area surrounded by temporary pavilions where we thought we would have a good view of the proceedings. In the center of the enclosed open space in front of us, a large stepped pyramid structure, all red and gold, had been constructed. LM said we were waiting for the Queen.

Facing the pyramid was a gold throne that I assumed was there for the Queen to sit in during the usually interminably long official buddhist ceremonies. Although the various pavilions had chairs in them, there were no others in the enclosure. Neither were there chairs for the spectators. Most people kneeled or sat on the ground. I don’t do kneeling or sitting on the ground, so I stood at the back of the crowd in front of one of the pavilions. The general public was not allowed into the pavilions.

Although there were a few people in suits and uniforms with mobile phones pressed to their ears scurrying around within the enclosure, the first organized group to arrive were a few dozen or so military or police, all spiffy in their brown starched and pressed uniforms. Each had hand guns by their side. They took up positions around the periphery of the open space facing the crowd. They soon were followed by a lot of people in white uniforms, many of which sported gold braid. These people milled about aimlessly, now and then bowing and weiing to each other. Then the band arrived, they had white uniforms also, only the conductor had braid, however. It was red. They marched around a bit but did not play music. Their instruments were all silver, unlike American bands that often mix gold and silver-colored ones.

Next to arrive was a squad of soldiers dressed in white wearing white metal helmets with gold spikes rising out of the top. They carried rifles. You know that it is a serious ceremony when guys with gold spikes rising from the tops or their head arrive carrying guns. Their job seemed to require them to be placed by their officers around the grounds in teams of two and to remain standing there without moving a muscle no matter what happens. Their fortitude was demonstrated when one or another of their officers would march up close behind each trooper and goose him. The statue soldiers did not flinch. I watched this in amazement for a while, until I realized that they were not goosing them but grasping the bottom of the troopers jacket and pulling it down to remove wrinkles.

I never understood why many of the worlds militaries maintain squads of similar types of statute soldiers. If anything happens are they still required to stand immobile? Why not use real statues?

After this, every few minutes or so, a limousine would drive up and disgorge a white uniformed person with lots and lots of gold braid. From among them, Princess LuckyGirl the current Prime Minister and sister to the deposed, exiled, fugitive Prime Minister Thaksin the Terrible, with her entourage emerged to a smattering of applause. She also had a white uniform, but I did not see any gold braid. She is not really a Princess and her name is not LuckyGirl. I just call her Princess because she is the sister of the man who actually runs the country from exile. Her real name is Yingluck. Ying in Thai refers to a young person, usually female and luck is well,…luck, and after all, she could be considered very lucky being born rich and then elected Prime Minister without ever holding a real job before.

She appears to be a tall woman towering over most of the men clustered around her. Either that or she just likes to be surrounded by short men. Better to see what is going on; probably a good idea for a Prime Minister, especially in Thailand.

After about 10 limousines let out their passengers, we stood waiting for the Queen and watched as thunderstorms moved across Bangkok toward where we were assembled. The thunderstorms arrived before the Queen and pelted us with their fury. Many spectators wisely brought umbrellas. I had not. Along with several other of the unprepared, I sought refuge beneath the banner attached to the side of the nearest pavilion.

When the rains let up a bit, the Queen arrived in a large gold limousine that seemed to be a cross between a sedan and a SUV. Following her vehicle were about 10 bright red limos. I do not know why they followed her, who was in them or why they were all red. Since the rain prompted the removal of the outdoor chair or throne, they ignored the pyramid and drove directly to a pavilion at the back of the enclosure and stopped. There then seemed to be a lot of rushing about and bowing and more weiing. Apparently, the Queen, unseen to me and most of the other spectators, disappeared into the pavilion and out of the rain.

I signaled to LM that it was time to go. Since the ceremony would be hidden from view, I believed there was no more to see and besides I was wet and tired. We made our way through the throng to the exit only to find it gated and guarded by some of the sidearm wielding, brown shirted soldiers who told us we could not leave until after the Queen does.

This upset me very much. Here I was drenched, 72 years old, exhausted from standing with nowhere to rest and trapped like a member of the band on the deck of the Titanic. I began to panic. LM recognizing my distress, dragged me back to where we had spent the last hour in the rain and tried to calm me down by suggesting that I sit on the sopping wet ground until I felt better. Meanwhile a very short Thai woman sidled up to me and attempted to pick my pocket and one of the brown shirts insisted that I remove my hat out of respect to the Queen who I could not see and now was convinced had never arrived. (To be continued, perhaps)

2. Hayden

SWAC said that Hayden arrives in Thailand for summer holidays on June 12. After that I am not sure about the schedule except that at the end of July or early August I am planning to accompany Hayden to Italy and then back to the US. I hope to be able to stop off on the East Coast for a few days to see my daughter and go for a ride on Terry’s sailboat.

Since I wrote the above paragraph, Hayden arrived in BKK and I reprised my nanny duties. After one day, despite the apparent success of my exercise regime in restoring some sense of vigor to my aging body, I was exhausted. SWAC agreed to relieve me and keep him with her for the evening at AVA. I am sure it will be more interesting for him, music, noise, pretty, sweet-smelling young women hugging him whenever he walks by. It could be worse.

My current travel schedule is to depart for Italy about July 15 and remain there for two weeks. SWAC and LM if she decides to travel with me will go to Sacile and Tamil just north of Venice at stay at the farm where Hayden and I spent a month together. Nikki, Hayden and I plan to travel to Naples and then by boat to Sicily for a week; I to visit relatives in Cannicatti outside of Agrigento and Nikki friends in Catania. None of this will probably happen but I like to write about it anyway.

B. NEWS STRAIGHT OR SLIGHTLY BENT:

1. Gaga over Rolex:

During her stay in Thailand for a performance, Lady Gaga tweeted that she, “Might buy a fake Rolex.” The Thai agency in charge of dealing with counterfeit goods, demanded an apology and threatened to launch a campaign against her appearance for insulting Thailand and interfering with their effectiveness in their fight against piracy. They also logged an official complaint with the US government.

When faced with almost universal ridicule based on the common knowledge that fake Rolex’s and just about any other brand of anything are blatantly sold by Thai’s on every main street in BKK, the agency proved that their effectiveness battling the illicit trade by promptly and publicly busting a dealer who openly sold fake watches for over 5 years. As expected, the dealer was a foreigner. The thousands of Thai purveyors in counterfeit products continue on without fear of official interference.

2. Your morning coffee:

In Singapore, a maid mixed her menstrual blood into her employers morning coffee in hopes that it would make him treat her better. When the employer discovered this, he had the maid arrested for assault.

(I do not see what he is complaining about, all that extra iron I am sure made him feel better. It was free too.)

3. So Gay:

Also in Singapore a man named Gay was accused of sexually harassing a woman.

This passes for news in Singapore.

4. It may or may not be difficult to comprehend:

In Thailand applicants for an entry-level job with the police department paying all of $250 per month, paid up to$10,000 each to a gang to provide them with the answers on the entrance exam.

According to the news reports, the exam takers received the answers relayed from gang members to radio receivers hidden “deep” within their private parts.

I still do not understand either why or how. Perhaps the East is even more inscrutable than we ever imagined.

TODAY’S FACTOID:

Every once in a while I believe it is worth returning to contemplate Tomyris and the Massegetae.

“Now listen to me and I will advise you for your good: give me back my son and get out of my country with your forces intact, and be content with your triumph over one-third of the Massagetae. If you refuse, I swear by the sun our master to give you more blood than you can drink, for all your gluttony.”

This was Tomyris Warrior Queen of the Massegetae’s response to Cyrus the Great, Emperor of Persia, conqueror of the greatest empire of the ancient world and leader of the largest and most technologically advanced army of the time, after he demanded that Tomyris and the Massegetae surrender to him. Cyrus refused Tomyris’ advice. So, she personally led the charge of her forces that destroyed his army. After her victory, she searched the battlefield herself until she found Cyrus’ body, then she cut off his head and made his skull into her favorite goblet.

This leads me to conclude that one should never mess with a woman named Tomyris, or for that matter a Massegetae who some ancient historians believe became the Huns. I heard that there is a biker gang in South Dakota named the Massegetae whose leader is a six-foot six-inch transsexual named Tomyris. One is well advised to avoid visiting Mt. Rushmore.

For those interested in learning more about the Massegetae, this is what the ancient Greek historian Herodotus had to say about them:

“In their dress and mode of living the Massagetae resemble the Scythians. They fight both on horseback and on foot, neither method is strange to them: they use bows and lances, but their favorite weapon is the battle-axe. Their arms are all either of gold or brass. For their spear-points, and arrow-heads, and for their battle-axes, they make use of brass; for head-gear, belts, and girdles, of gold. So too with the caparison of their horses, they give them breastplates of brass, but employ gold about the reins, the bit, and the cheek-plates. They use neither iron nor silver, having none in their country; but they have brass and gold in abundance.”

“The following are some of their customs; – Each man has but one wife, yet all the wives are held in common; for this is a custom of the Massagetae and not of the Scythians, as the Greeks wrongly say. Human life does not come to its natural close with this people; but when a man grows very old, all his kinsfolk collect together and offer him up in sacrifice; offering at the same time some cattle also. After the sacrifice they boil the flesh and feast on it; and those who thus end their days are reckoned the happiest. If a man dies of disease they do not eat him, but bury him in the ground, bewailing his ill-fortune that he did not come to be sacrificed. They sow no grain, but live on their herds, and on fish, of which there is great plenty in the Jaxartes. Milk is what they chiefly drink. The only god they worship is the sun, and to him they offer the horse in sacrifice; under the notion of giving to the swiftest of the gods the swiftest of all mortal creatures.”

I have a few concerns and questions about the Massegetae life-style:
1. How does one have one wife held in common? Does it mean that you can only sleep with one woman each night?
2. How old do you have to be before they come for you and boil you up with a cow or two? Brisket of Pookie?
3. How pissed off with your lot in life would you be if you were forced to live on beef, fish, sour milk and a grandfather or grandmother now and then? Enough to want to go and beat the shit out of someone, I would imagine. 

PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

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

Graphic unavailable at this time.

 

After almost 100 years of fighting against the will of the people, the wealthy near their goal. Only Obama stands in their way. I doubt whether that will prove to be much of a barrier.

B. Terry Petrillo on her 94th birthday:

Terry accompanied by her daughter MaryAnn.

POOKIE FOR PRESIDENT:

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

Your elected representatives at work for you:

For this you elect them and pay them too.

By the way, who started the rumor that Republicans opposed big government? Republicans seem mostly to want to get government out of the corporate board room and into the bedroom [not yours of course, I am sure you would never do anything to require them to go there].

TODAY’S QUOTE:

“Free government cannot long endure if property is largely in a few hands and large masses of people are unable to earn homes, education, and a support in old age.”
Rutherford B. Hayes, 19th President of the United States.

Hayes, a Nineteenth Century gentleman and Republican President of the United States, would be called a socialist today by FauxNews, Tea Party advocates and members of the current Republican Party. I guess you can include Hayes along with Reagan, Eisenhower, T. R. , and Lincoln as Republican Presidents that would be shocked at how far their Party has fallen from the path they believed they had set for it.

TODAY’S CHART:

 

Q. What do woman want? A. How about being listened to once in a while.

TODAY’S CARTOON:

TODAY’S PHOTOGRAPH:

Photograph of the Amazon the “Lungs of the Planet,” provided by Phillip who, bless his heart, has an eye for beauty despite his fervent belief that private enterprise has the inherent right to inflict black lung disease on the earth’s respiratory organs.
Note: look closely at the upper right side of the photograph. Is that a shadow or is a jaguar sitting on the rock?

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

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