Monthly Archives: September 2012

This and that from re Thai r ment, by 3Th. 17 Shadow 0001 (July 7 2012)

TODAY FROM THAILAND:

A. POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN THAILAND:

1. The Continuing Saga:

I guess it is about time in these emails for another edition of “The Hayden and Pookie Saga.” For the past week or so SWAC has a considerable amount of time rationalizing why I should not be permitted to see Hayden. However, due to Hayden’s insistence on spending time with me when Joey is not around, and her absence of acceptable baby-sitters, again when Joey is not around, Hayden and I have found ourselves sharing a number of adventures appropriate for an old-man and a young boy, like toy shopping, inventing nonsense songs and splashing each other in the pool. A few days ago, however, the first official document from the court regarding the custody hearing arrived along with an attorney’s retainer agreement. The court document contains a record of the complainants statement to a child protective agent. Now, I am perhaps the last person in the world to commend SWAC’s child rearing abilities or mental balance, but this person seems  a menace to society. Not only did he lose visitation rights to his daughter by a prior marriage regaining it only after the woman committed suicide, I suspect encouraged by his harassment, but he claims that although he had not visited or sought to visit the boy for five years he has evidenced his paternal devotion by recently been sending him emails every day. In reviewing those emails, they appear to consist primarily of this man urging this young boy of 6 of 7 to become a Republican because Obama and the Democrats are scum (remember this guy is a Federal government employee). Hayden told me that during one of his visits to this man, he wanted to shave Hayden’s head so that he would look more like a man. Another time he threatened to cut Hayden’s eyelashes because they were too long and made him look like a ladyboy.

Suddenly, I find myself in SWAC’s temporary good graces, because I might be able to testify on her behalf. I have never been that good at lying under oath but in this case if need be, I may make an exception.

For the past two days Hayden and I have shared a hotel room and spent our time swimming, watching National Geographic television programs generally featuring large animals killing and devouring smaller ones or making up silly rhyming songs.

2. Travel Plans:

My on again off again travel plans are on again. We plan to depart for Italy on the 14th remaining there for about two weeks. Nikki and I have discussed taking Hayden with us on a brief trip to Sicily, taking the overnight ferry from Naples to Palermo.

On the 38th or so of July we will travel to NY where I will spend about five days. I hope to be able to visit with Terry and with my daughter Jessica. I would like to get all the way to Williamsburg and see Ann but I am not sure I have the time to do so.

Another possible change of plans: Since I wrote the above, it seems that the both the Italian and the NY portions of the trip have gotten much briefer so I am contemplating skipping them on this trip and going directly to SF in early August. This will allow me to spend some time with Gates who is in Thailand for two weeks and with another friend and her son who is visiting until the end of the month.

B. NEWS STRAIGHT OR SLIGHTLY BENT:

On again, off again:

It seems as though the so-called national reconciliation proposals suggested by the current government that would have in effect pardoned everyone involved in one way or another with the events surrounding the various coups of the past few years including Thaksin the Terrible, exiled, fugitive ex-Prime Minister and according to the opposition party de-facto ruler of the country are to be abandoned by the ruling party because the opposition strongly objects to the fugitives return. So it appears that the oppositions approach to reconcile the political division that has kept the country in political and economic turmoil for almost a decade to do nothing and see what happens has prevailed. The Red Shirts will not reconcile without the man who led them to victory and the opposition will not reconcile with him.

It sort of resembles the US Republican Party‘s approach toward dealing with the nation’s unemployment crisis. They will do nothing for the unemployed if it may assist in Obama’s re-election, and Obama alas, insists on running.

TODAY’S FACTOID:

1942 June: Friedrich Paulus WWII German general wrote to the corps commanders of VI Army on the Eastern Front in Russia:

“Recently numbers of reports have come to my attention and that of the higher leadership in which division commanders have described the condition of their divisions with extreme pessimism. This I cannot tolerate.
The personnel and material deficiencies afflicting the divisions are well known to the higher leadership. Nevertheless, the higher leadership is determined to carry out its intentions in the eastern theater of war to the full. Therefore it is up to us to get the most out of the troops in their present condition.
I request that you exert influence on the division commanders in this sense.”

Brad DeLong commented, “Can anybody imagine a worse commander than Friedrich Paulus? To announce before the start of the campaign that you do not want to hear about reality…”

2012: An analysis by the Annenberg Public Policy Center, founded and funded by the long time backers and supporters of Republican and conservative causes, Annenberg family, conducted for the Center for Responsive Politics found that from December 1, 2011 through June 1, 2012, 85% of the dollars spent on presidential ads by four top-spending third-party groups known as 501(c)(4)s were spent on ads containing at least one claim ruled deceptive by fact-checkers at FactCheck.org, PolitiFact.com, the Fact Checker at the Washington Post or the Associated Press.

From December 1, 2011 through June 1, 2012, the four top presidential campaign-spending 501(c)(4)s spent an estimated $24.9 million1($24,916,690) of their $29.3 million ($29,320,110) presidential ad dollars on ads containing deceptions.

All four were conservative and Republican oriented third-party groups and associated with Karl Rove, the Koch brothers and other well know conservatives.

Not a single deceptive claim was found presidential ads put out by Democratic Party organizations. This is hard to believe.

PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

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

B. Obamacare:

C. Testosterone Chronicles:

Alas, it finally happened as it had to happen, the Sauna Nazi, decided to bump chests with me and scream because I put my bathing suit in the sauna to dry (as does almost everyone) so I punched him in the jaw. He staggered back and did something almost comical, he started dancing around and flicking out his leg like some asian martial artist expert. As expected, the health club security intervened before things got further out of hand. After things quieted down they wanted to know if I intended to press charges. I declined, but requested that they instruct him in the value of the word, please. I am amazed at how much pleasure I get, even at seventy-two, from involving myself in adolescent male adventures in foolishness.

Hayden asked me if that was how attorneys do it; insult their opponents in court before throwing punches. I explained that we generally refrained from the physical part, but that slander and defamation are our stock in trade. He said he still wanted to become an airline pilot when he grows up.

POOKIE FOR PRESIDENT:

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

Alas, even though I am sympathetic to Obama’s statement, this is just a political piece. Romney’s statement is reprehensible for ignoring the need for Americans to be prepared with the knowledge and training to meet the future challenges to the nation. To some extent he seems almost Un-American in his abandonment of our children’s future. America’s public education system has been one of its proudest accomplishments.

On the other hand, Obama is disingenuous in that he avoids mentioning where he will get the resources to properly educate the next generation of Americans. Even if the Republicans stop trying to destroy our nation in order to defeat him, any resources freed up will have to go initially to rebuilding the economy, debt repayment and rehabilitating the nations social and physical infrastructure after years of neglect by Republican administrations.

TODAY’S QUOTES:

1. The US Treaty of Tripoli signed in 1797

“As the Government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquillity, of Musselmen (Muslims); and as the said States never have entered into any war or act of hostility against any nation, it is declared by the authorities that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.”

2. Thomas Jefferson

“Christianity neither is, nor ever was a part of the common law”

3. Peter Grenell, July 1 2012. (11 Shadow 0001)

“Take your inspirations where you find them.”

TODAY’S CHART:

TODAY’S CARTOON:

TODAY’S PHOTOGRAPH:

Categories: July through September 2012 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

This and that from re Thai r ment, by 3Th. 11 Shadow 0001 (June 30 2012)

 

TODAY FROM THAILAND:

A. POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN THAILAND:

1. Paradise by the Sea:

A few days ago, I decided to spend some time back at Jomtien Beach (Paradise by the Sea.) The Little Masseuse and I set off by bus intending to spend two days there. Upon our arrival, I decided to buy a new pair of prescription glasses. I did so, purchasing a pair with thick black plastic frames. It seems, this grossly ugly fashion in eyeglasses has returned. The glasses cost $100 US.

We then checked into a guest house about 50 yards from the beach on a pleasant little alley called Soi 3. After lunch went for a walk along the beach that during previous stays here I named “Siberia by the Sea.” It being summer in Siberia, there were few of those huge white bodies lolling about on the sand. I assumed they were all back in sunny Siberia swatting mosquitoes or whatever it is they do there, when not huddling around a fire attempting to protect themselves from violence of the Arctic ice storms of the Siberian winter.

I walked barefoot in the sand about two miles until I came to the area where I used to live. Walking on the sand is good exercise for an old person like me. It strengthens the small muscles in the ankle and the foot that aid in balance that usually do not get exercised in the gym. Except for dumb-bells generally the large muscle groups get exercised and strengthened with normal gym equipment. This is especially true for exercise machines that from my perspective, are only good for lifting as much weight as you can as often as you are able until you panting and gasping for breath and then moving on to the next machine. At least it makes one strong, healthy or dead. While exercising, I rarely see the difference among the three.

After a brief nap we set off by songtheuw, the small open sided busses common it Thailand, and travelled to “The Outskirts of Hell” as I refer to Pattaya and walked along the walking street and out on to the Long Pier. We ate a dinner of truly horrible fish and chips while I watched the bar-girls and go-go dancers (and their ladyboy counterparts) pass by on their way to work perched on the back of motor bikes and motor scooters their already short skirts hiked up almost to their waist or mincing along on 6 inch spiked heels.

That night, I woke up and found myself is a state or total despair. It was as if a succubus crawled in through the window and sucked all life out of me. By this time in my life, I accepted that no matter the event triggering the episode it is chemical and not philosophic or psychological in nature. Nevertheless, my life during the next few hours ceased to have meaning and I writhed in terror until I fell off to sleep, having consumed a handful of Tylenol in the interim.

The next morning after coffee, we set off for another multi mile walk along the beach. I walked on ahead in some semblance of a power walk while LM hung back exploring the morning’s detritus that littered the beach deposited by the night’s waves.

I walked to the jetty and sat on the rocks contemplating my evening’s despair. Peter’s observation, “The Seventh Seal artfully balances a beach ball on his nose,” rattling around in my brain screaming above the noise of the surf.

After all what is our job in life but to kill and eat as much as we can and leave progeny who then kill, eat and metastasize in their turn. Everything else that does not contribute to those goals, as much as we deny it, is vanity, just there to pass the time in between the killing, eating and fornication.

It is men’s ego (I am sure women would not had thought of it this way) that insists on referring to ourselves as “predators” the “greatest” of the predators no less. We are not. We are “parasites.” Parasites live off the living until they and their hosts die. As a species, it survives by seeking new hosts until none are left. Only most plants, that make their food from the sun water and the dead bodies of their predecessors and carrion eaters like vultures and hyenas avoid the trap of horror and uselessness.

Having worked myself back into a state of despair and wondering if I threw myself off the jetty would I sink or swim, I noticed LM far down the beach and decided that finding out what she had been up to seemed more rewarding and interesting than anything I was doing where I was. So, I got up and walked to her.

I discovered her and a male gleaner arguing over  possession of the carcass of a two foot long squid they found floating in the surf. In between competing claims of ownership, they were also sharing recipes on how best to prepare the cadaver for eating. I decided it better if I just walked on by.

I returned to that portion of the beach adjacent to the soi on which the guest house was located. LM arrived a few minutes later. Apparently she had lost the argument. She then demonstrated for me how well she had learned the many different uses of that handy and flexible english word, “Shit.”

LM has great difficulty learning english. I believe part of the reason is that like most people learning english (and probably other languages as well) she thinks that the more words she memorizes the better she can speak the language. Others, often those who teach english for a living seem to emphasize grammar. Now grammar may be great for learning Latin or ancient Greek, languages that are no longer spoken, but I frankly fail to see what it has to do with modern english much less to teaching it to a non-native speaker.

English seems founded upon basic sentence structure. Words have little meaning in english apart from where they appear in a sentence and grammar is often secondary to position in english comprehension. Some have suggested that one need only to learn 500 or so basic words to have a working knowledge of the language. I think one needs only to learn even fewer basic english sentence structures to do so. I would guess that there are only three or four basic sentences that need to be mastered: identity (Tautological, “I am a man” or positional, “That is a tree”), objective (“John walks to the loo”) or non-objective (John walks). Most english is built out of these sentence types, unlike fully inflected and many other languages, get the words out of order and you have gibberish.

After LM vented for a while we checked out of the room, ate lunch and returned to Bangkok. I remained depressed having learned that Hayden will be leaving next week and prefers to spend his remaining weekend playing with children his own age rather that with a morose old man.

That night I dreamt I was a dead squid.

2. Update:

Since I last posted “This and that…” my schedule seems to have changed once again. The custody hearing may have been postponed so that now I probably will leave in the middle of July, first to Rome, then to NY and returning to the Bay Area in early August. This will change again I am sure of it.

The “original” Bee arrived in BKK from North Carolina to visit her family and take some classes in Thai massage. She accompanied her daughter, a very together you woman, who is beginning her studies at one of the universities here. We had dinner together in one of the restaurants in Terminal21, the new shopping center I described in a previous post. We talked mostly about how unpleasant life has become for them in North Carolina. The daughter complained about how much criticism and hate she receives from her step-father for having some black friends. “I play sports,” she said. “Of course some of my friends are black. I am a straight ‘A’ student. Some of them are smarter than me and help me with my homework. What’s wrong with that?”

Joey just returned to California and David has gone back to his job on the oil rigs off of Qatar

B. NEWS STRAIGHT OR SLIGHTLY BENT:

1. We would be number one but for Rumania.

The latest edition of UNICEF’s report on child poverty in developed countries found that 30 million children in 35 of the world’s richest countries live in poverty. Among those countries, the United States ranks second on the scale of what economists call “relative child poverty” — above Latvia, Bulgaria, Spain, Greece, and 29 others. Only Romania ranks higher, with 25.5 percent of its children living in poverty, compared with 23.1 percent in the US (Huffington Post)

If we try a little harder I am sure we can become number one.

PETRILLO’S COMMENTARY:

The Most Important Election of our Lives (Snark Warning):

The 2012 Presidential and Congressional election are perhaps the most important election in our nations history – – for white males of certain socio-economic classes.

Of all the socio-economic classes into which one could divide the population of the United States, white males have done the most to self destruct. For example, for no other group, women, blacks, Latinos, homosexuals can it be said that without exception as a class they have failed to achieve the economic, social and educational attainments of their parents. Women continue to outperform their mothers (as well as white men). Individual Blacks, despite the horrendous impact of youth unemployment and vociferous opposition from white males continue in fits and starts to leave the lowest paying labor intensive jobs their parents were relegated to and move into the professional and managerial classes. Latinos carry on fleeing the feudal rural and demeaning service jobs they had historically been assigned. Despite the crushing burden on unemployment that has fallen hardily on them, they all still are doing marginally better than their parents.

But not white males from the middle and lower classes especially in the mid-West and the South. They persist in their decline from the economic and social backbone of our nation to become hate-filled failures in life. And, if truth be known, they chose this path to decline. They chose to refuse to educate themselves so that now they are even less equipped to survive in the modern world while women and immigrants and children of immigrants continue grow their dominance in enrollment in our colleges and universities. They are the heart and soul of the modern conservative movement.

To hear it from these white males, if based upon their internet posts and the rhetoric of their spokesmen, it is all because of the unfair advantages given over the years to these others. This is nonsense. At best these others were aided into a position where they could compete for jobs and for educational attainment. It was the job of the white males l(Like they demand of everyone else but themselves) to meet the competition by for example studying harder and getting even better grades. But instead they complained and sought the solution the uncompetitive always seek, to use government to limit the competition by denying their competitors the ability to compete (After all isn’t that what breaks and industrial subsidies are all about).

Now do not get me wrong, I find things like forced busing for integration abhorrent since its negative impact fell almost exclusively on the working classes. Similarly the pattern of distorting the labor movement by force while the nations boardrooms were left to voluntarily accommodate social change appears suspicious to me.

Nevertheless the continued decline of this class cannot be attributed to these programs. For example white women have thrived while their male counterparts have not. That certainly cannot be blamed on Title IX, abortion or availability of contraception. Or could it? Perhaps this is one of the reasons for the almost unreasonable hate shown by the Republican Party towards women.

It is advantageous to the economic and political elite to attempt to harness the dissatisfaction and fear of this previously all-powerful group in order to achieve its goals. No matter what else you may consider them to be this economic and political elite is not stupid. If they cannot win riding on the back of dissatisfaction of white males they will find another horse to ride in future elections. Most likely they will decide on appealing more to women and Latinos and the assaults on woman’s privacy and border security will cease their prominent position in the Party’s platform.

I believe it possible that Mitt Romney could be the last white male presidential candidate to be put forth by the Republican Party for a long time. I guess that should Obama win reelection, the Republicans will field a woman and latino ticket for the 2016 presidential election to face the Democratic Party’s similar gender and ethnic ticket except that one of the standard bearers will also be black.

NOTE: I am a white male. True many years ago while growing up, I was not considered really “white.” (Nor were my Jewish friends and of course Puerto Ricans flooding into NY at the time. The latter had not yet graduated from “non-white” to “Spanish surnamed.”) At that time I was subject to the jokes of the then exclusive club of whiteness and maleness similar to what Latinos are subject to today; such as the ring our oily skin left around the bathtub.

PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

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


TODAY’S QUOTE:

“To be an austerity groupie, one has to ignore the actual behavior of people; to believe fervently in Keynes, one has to ignore the behavior of politicians.

Economics is not a science; it is not even a social science. It is an antisocial theory. It assumes behavior is rational. It cannot calculate for contradiction, culture, altruism, fear, greed, love or humanity at all.”
Suzanne Moore, The Guardian.

ONE OF MY ALL TIME FAVORITE QUOTES:

Peter Grenell sums up human existence:

“The Seventh Seal artfully balances a beach ball on his nose.”

TODAY’S CHART:

TODAY’S CARTOON:


TODAY’S PHOTOGRAPH:

When I was a child you were either a Roy Rodgers of Gene Autry fan. I preferred Roy Rogers. I thought Roy was ok but I really liked Trigger more than Gene Autry’s horse Pal. But mostly I liked watching Dale Evans tits press against her tight starched cowboy shirt.

Later when we were a bit older the choice was between Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly. This time I favored the Gene. Eventually I learned that that decision had political implications; you know, working man vs patrician. I really liked “Invitation to the Dance” which, although in was a commercial failure, remains one of my all time favorite movies. It along with “Blood Wedding” by Carlos Saura are two of the greatest dance movies of all time. Of my list of my favorite top 10 dance movies, Kelly would be in at least five of them and those directed by Saura in three more.

I liked Kelly because he reminded me of a baseball player who danced. I also preferred Leslie Carron’s thighs to Ginger Rogers. On the other hand, I never could get it up for Debbie Reynolds.

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

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