Monthly Archives: November 2012

This and that from re Thai r ment, by 3Th. 20 Papa Joe 0001 (October 9,2012)

 

TODAY FROM AMERICA:

A. POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN  WASHINGTON DC:

TRAVELOGUE TWO: A PLEASANT TOUR OF THE NATION’S CAPITOL.

My daughter Jessica picked me up at Reagan Airport. She drove me around The Mall before taking me to her home in Alexandria. Jessica is science advisor to the US Department of State office that deals with international health and bio-defense. Yes, the US government is concerned about epidemics and health care in other countries since it affects their economies and thereby, may impact their stability and purchases of American goods and services. Also an epidemic could spread to America.

Jessica at a park near her home in Arlington Va.

The next day we set off to tour the Mall intending to have lunch at the American Indian Museum that serves native-American cuisine. I began college in DC and have returned many times on business, lobbying trips and to attend various presidential inaugurals and other political events. It has changed a lot.

In 1957, 55 years ago when I first set eyes on the city it was no more than a typical small American city, a large town really. JFK famously described it as having, “…Southern efficiency and Northern charm.” It has now grown into a megalopolis, not because government has grown so much or the number of governmental employees have significantly increased, but because of inundation buy the parasite community, lobbyists, lawyers and consultants who since the 1970s have swarmed here to feed on its slowly rotting carcass.

Pookie in Washington DC.

Our first stop was at the Franklin Roosevelt memorial that, after 40 or so years of fierce Republican opposition, finally had been built along the south shore of the tidal basin. Larry Halprin’s design leads the visitor through a series of park like open areas separated by rough stone walls and niches. It is quite different from most of the more bombastic memorials in the city in that it is low key and sylvan in its setting. As common in Halprin’s designs, he often forgets the context within the surrounding area on which it sets. In this case he failed to notice that the site abutted the shoreline of the tidal basin.

The Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial

A little further on, one comes upon the MLK memorial designed by Roma who seemed to better understand its waterfront setting applying many of the same rules of waterfront design I preached to them years ago. Unlike the understated Roosevelt memorial the focal point of the memorial is a huge boulder into which a giant forbidding MLK had been sculpted.

Martin Luther King Memorial

After lunch at the Native American Museum and a tour of the national botanical gardens, we sat for a while in Bartholdi Park that contained a massive late 19th century bronze fountain by the same sculptor that created The Statue of Liberty. It was conceived with the newly invented electric lights integrated into its design. They were the first electric lights in the city and the denizens of the metropolis at the time often gathered there in the evenings to marvel at the promise of the coming century.

Papa Joe at the fountain

That evening we went to the movies to see “Looper” with Bruce Willis. A science fiction thriller with the usual improbable plot. We liked it.

The next morning we set off for the Shenandoah National Park to view the fall foliage. A narrow 100 mile long park, it was built by the WPA during the Great Depression almost exclusively to cater to the newly popular motor car.

On the way back to Washington we detoured at a sign announcing “Civil War Heritage Trails” that led us along on increasingly more rustic roads until we ended up on a dirt road terminating at a field next to a vast barn like building selling antiques. Across the field we could see two small signs. We trudged up to them and were fascinated to find that the site was the bivouac of the German regiments during the Civil War. The troops led by officers from Germany and the Austro-Hungarian Empire had been revolutionaries during the various european revolutions of 1848 and after losing, driven from their countries had now taken up arms on behalf of the Union to again fight for freedom. This time not to free themselves, but to free the African slaves.

We then went into the antique barn to browse. I found a set of almost 20 books from 1905 written by a gentleman about his world travels. I read the one about Sicily, a land of poor but proud people who dressed up in funny costumes, played music a lot and rode around on donkeys.

A little further on we came to a place selling original art-glass and pottery. I asked the woman who seemed to be the artist that created some of the works displayed how she was doing. She answered “I am having a very good day, thank you. But I am sure you would not want to hear about it if I wasn’t.”

“Oh, I don’t know about that,” I responded. “I am always open to new experiences. Besides, there would be precious little fiction written if it were not about someone having a bad day.”

A little further on we came across another tails sign and followed a similar progression of roads but found no sign. We did however end up at a winery named Gadino. It has an attractive tasting room and two professional bocce courts. Their wines were a bit thin and astringent but not entirely unpleasant. There appears to be more wineries in Virginia than in California. The internet lists over one hundred.

Jessica in front of the Winery. The bocce courts are off to her left.

Travel plans update:

As expected what appeared to be certain travel arrangements have crumbled. I have no place to stay in NY within my price range. So I am looking at some places deep within the underbelly of Brooklyn. Travel through Italy back to Thailand has been cancelled so it appears I will have to return to California and leave from LA. I try to enjoy most of my experiences but this is becoming somewhat trying.

PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

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

How about a state and local minimum tax for everyone at say 11%?

Note: everyone above the lowest 40% pays a higher percentage of their income for taxes than the top 1%.

TODAY’S QUOTE:

A. Mitt Romney joining Poppy at the check-out counter:

“When you have a fire in an aircraft, there’s no place to go exactly. And you can’t find any oxygen from outside the aircraft to get in the aircraft because the windows don’t open. I don’t know why they don’t do that, but it’s a real problem,”

B. A few words from the barnyard:

 

TODAY’S CHART:

TODAY’S CARTOON:

TODAY’S PHOTOGRAPH:

 

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

This and that from re Thai r ment, by 3Th. 18 Papa Joe 0001 (October 5, 2012)

TODAY FROM THAILAND AMERICA:

POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN THAILAND FLORIDA – A TRAVELOGUE:

On Friday I travelled by train from Sacramento to Berkeley where I was met by my brother-in-law George. We went to visit my mom at St. Ann seniors’ home where we ate lunch. After lunch we drove my mom through Golden Gate Park and discovered a road in the park that I had never seen before. George explained that he knew of this road because as an ambulance driver he had to learn all the back roads in and through the park in case the main roads were blocked during an emergency. They then dropped me off downtown so that I could attend a meeting with URB.im an organization considering hiring me as their bureau chief in BKK. On the way back to my sisters home in Berkeley after the meeting I convinced myself that if I could write as well as I could bullshit, I may have a possible new career.

The next morning, my sister and her husband headed off into the Sierra’s for some tent camping to celebrate their anniversary. I trundled into SF to buy a new computer and spend some time with Peter before leaving for the airport. That afternoon Peter was appearing with The Jug Band at the International Cafe coffee-house on lower Haight. After the gig, he drove me to the airport where I caught the red-eye to Florida.

Before I left, I spoke with Hayden. He and I had watched a television show called Animal Planet about a team of wildlife specialists whose job was to find and trap pythons and similar snakes that had been pets and had escaped into the Everglades where they now flourish and have begun devouring much of the native wildlife and a few domestic pets. I told him I was leaving for Florida and would be staying near the Everglades. He started to cry and urged me to be very careful to avoid the pythons and the alligators.

Frank met me at the airport in his newest Jaguar, a silver two-seater convertible sports car (smaller than Gates Ferrari racing red Jag sedan). For those who do not know Frank, he was a charter member of my Millionaires Who have Gone Broke and Now are Virtually Homeless or Live Off their Girlfriends Club (MGBC for short). Monty and I also are members along with several other men that I frequently visit. Most of them are clinically depressed. There are no woman in the club because as far as I know it is unheard of for a wealthy woman to be so stupid as to squander her financial assets once she’s acquired them.

Frank has managed finally to restart his construction business. He lives with a woman who personifies the description, “The Best Thing That Ever Happened to Him.” She was, I understand, an ex miss Peru and has three of the nicest and most polite young boys I have ever met. Frank and Katherine start every discussion with each other with “my love” and end it with “I love you.” I was extremely jealous. Never in my life has a woman begun a sentence calling me her love and ending it telling me she loves me. They have called me many things but never “my love.”

Frank, Katherine and the boys along with Katherine’s grandmother live in large home in an elegant subdivision in a town called Parkland. Frank appears deliriously happy, as well he should be.

Frank and Katherine

That afternoon we visited the sites of two of his projects; homes in the posh neighborhood constructed  with dry-wall from China because American made dry wall often was unavailable during the past housing boom. It seems, the Chinese stuff began weeping sulfuric acid that started eating up the houses from the inside out. Eventually after a couple of years of litigation, everyone agreed that the entire interiors of about 6000 or so homes would be ripped out and replaced.

Later a local attorney friend of Frank’s and I watched football (Niners won, Miami lost in overtime) while Frank prepared an elegant dinner focused on his special briciole (Italian rolled steak, pronounced in Italian-American argot as bris(z)ol.)

Frank and his briciole

After dinner I talked with the boys awhile about life in Thailand. They were curious about whether there were cities in Thailand or if Thais all lived in the jungle. I tried to explain that everything in life is a jungle and failed.

The following day Frank was busy at work and Katherine was off somewhere so I spent the day playing with my computer and trying to talk to Katherine’s grandmother who speaks no english but who as Frank explained has accompanied Katherine everywhere since birth and works around the house like a slave.

I spent most of the day when not lying in bed hugging my computer or sitting in the back portico staring at a hyacinth choked lake and keeping an eye out for pythons while trying to decide if I were content or depressed. Unable to resolve the conundrum and not spotting any pythons I went back to bed and took a nap.

That evening we went for drinks at a posh restaurant that Frank’s construction company had built. It was owned by a man originally from France who could be a member of MGBC but had retained enough money to blow on the restaurant in Florida. Given the number of customers I saw that night, I figure we can induct him into the club in about six months.

We drank strange cocktails (Apple martini with caramel caviar and without gin) and talked about how much money Frank had lost on the job while I ogled the bevy of aging tanned overdressed wealthy divorcees belly up to the bar in search of some tall dark and alas, handsome young men with which to end the evening. I could not help but be amused at the mirror-like symmetry it all had with many of my evenings in BKK where aging, poorly dressed, divorced men with cadaver-like white skins heaved their enormous belles up to the bar in search of dark small but beautiful and much younger woman with whom to spend the evening.

After stopping for ice-cream we returned home.

The next day Frank and I went to a place in Boca Raton called the Royal Pig (owned appropriately by the original promoters of Hooters) where we met up with a friend of his named Dorian. We ate a lot of bar foods including a tasty fried sweet potato snack. I drank a lot of different fruit juice based cocktails and got a bit drunk.

I remember we talked a lot to the bartenders; one a short young woman originally from Cambodia and the other a tall blond girl from Columbus Ohio. Being three Italian-American males of a certain age we inevitable got around to discussing our ethnic cultural icons, in this case Dean Martin. The bartender from Columbus who is of Italian-German heritage and who’s father pitched for the Mets, shockingly (to us at least) acknowledged she had no idea who Dean Martin was.

Marlena, the director of a local cultural center of some sort, then arrived. She is an old friend of Dorian and Frank. Dorian mentioned that one of her current boyfriends recently had bought her an expensive house, cash. When I enquired how she had managed to accomplish that remarkable feat, she responded, “I owe it all to my golden vagina.”

I also learned that Chuck the Banker who I had met once in San Francisco on some deal or another but who disappeared after scoring some coke, was sitting in his car outside of the bar but refused to come in. We discussed his peculiar behavior patterns for a while.

After that I do not think that anything we talked about was particularly memorable. On the other hand, if it was unfortunately I do not remember. Eventually we left and went home where I immediately fell asleep.

On Thursday after breakfast, Frank and Katherine drove me to the airport where I boarded the plane to DC to visit my daughter.

TODAY’S FACTOID:

“35 years +/-. From Shakespeare to Louis XIV +/-. From the French and Indian War to the Louisiana Purchase +/-. From “Et tu, Brute” to the kid in the manger +/-. From Fred Allen to Laugh-In +/-.”

Peter Grenell describing change in history, small though it may be.

PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

A. From THE URBAN DICTIONARY:

fuck you, pay me

Reply to a dispute of debt. Common gangsta mantra. Meant to express the non-negotiability of debt.

“The place burned down? Fuck you, pay me. Lightning struck? Fuck you, pay me. Slow business? Fuck you, pay me.”
-Ray Liotta, Goodfellas

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

C. What Republicans say about the modern Republican Party:

“Want to know just how crazy all sides — including mine — in this “hell debate” are? Watch the movie “Hellbound?” and take a peek into the asylum that is housing the people who are destroying the world. They now own a major political party and are running a Mormon opportunist who believes in nothing and his Ayn Rand/Jesus/God-nut sidekick who believes in way too much and who wants to take what little the poor have away in the name of opportunity.”
Frank Schaeffer. His father was one of the founders of what we now know as the Religious Right in this country, and he writes about his experience growing up in that family in Crazy for God.

D. Electioneering:

1. JOAN WALSH ON THE POLITICAL VIEWS OF THE WHITE WORKING CLASS

“Beyond guns and God: [T]he Public Religion Research Institute… ‘non-Hispanic white Americans without a four-year college degree who hold non-salaried jobs.’… Romney led Obama by a staggering 40 points in the South (62-22) while Obama actually led Romney 44-38 in the Midwest (hello, auto industry rescue?), and the two candidates were nearly tied in the West and Northeast. White working-class Protestants favor Romney 2-1, while Catholics are evenly split. Likewise, Romney clobbers Obama with men, but the candidates are tied for the votes of women. And younger white working-class voters support Obama….”

2. FORMER OHIO GOV. TED STRICKLAND:

“Mitt Romney has so little economic patriotism that even his money needs a passport. It summers on the beaches of the Cayman Islands and winters on the slopes of the Swiss Alps. In Matthew, chapter 6, verse 21, the scriptures teach us that where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”

E. Testosterone Chronicles (Penis edition):

From Huffington Post:

For whatever reason, Rush Limbaugh decided to discuss a study about male genitalia on his Friday radio show.

According to Rush, the study, completed by researchers in Italy, found that the size of male genitalia has decreased over the past fifty years.

“The study’s leaders claim to have bonafide research that says the average size of a penis is roughly 10 percent smaller than it was 50 years ago. And the researchers say air pollution is why,” Limbaugh said.

Limbaugh said that he did not believe that air pollution and global warming could have such an impact. “I don’t buy this. I think it’s feminism. I think if it’s tied to the last fifty years, the average size of a member is ten percent smaller…it has to be the feminazis,” Limbaugh said.

Speak for yourself Rush.

TODAY’S QUOTE:

TODAY’S CHART:

Does this mean the more you reject science the richer you become? Or, is the positive relationship between stupidity and great wealth restricted to the USA?

TODAY’S CARTOON:

TODAY’S CARTOON TWO:

 

Categories: October 2012 through December 2012 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

This and that from re Thai r ment, by 3Th. 8 Joe 0001 (July 24, 2012)

 

“Actually Jesus was a liberal Democrat and not a socialist. He fed the multitude by creating the food out of nothing. If he were a Socialist he would have used the money he took from the money changers in the temple to pay for the food. If he were a Republican he would have created the food out of nothing, given it to the money changers, and told the multitude that they should ask the money changers for jobs instead of sitting there on the grass looking for handouts.”
Trenz Pruca

TODAY FROM THAILAND:

A. POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN THAILAND:

A few days ago my Iranian friend Natalie arrived in BKK from SF, along with her mother, two aunts and her impressive seven-year old son Cyrus. They were here in Thailand for a 10 day vacation, 3 in BKK and the rest on the island of Phuket. Natalie admitted right off that she did not expect it to be much of a vacation shepherding her mother and her two aunts around.

On their first evening in BKK, they wanted to go to a shopping area like Chinatown. Because the Chinatown excursion would require more walking than the elderly women were willing to do, we settled on taking a short boat trip to the new waterside market. The market was BKK’s answer to Ghiradelli Square, complete with pizza, fish and chips and hamburger places. We ate in an Italian restaurant with a view of the river. There was nothing in the place that remotely would remind anyone they were in Thailand except for the Thais themselves. There were many more of them then there were tourists. I guess they see the place as exotic.

One of the Aunts who still lives in Iran is an artist; a fairly well-known painter of miniatures. Miniatures are an ancient Persian art form and one of the only arts in Muslim countries that features the human form. The Aunt is also somewhat eccentric, dressed in all red traditional Iranian costume of some sort, proudly toothless and demanding we take her to a night club where she could dance.

The next day, Natalie, Cyrus and I walked around the Oriental Hotel grounds and through that portion of the original hotel now referred to as the author’s wing because that is where authors like Maugham, Green, Conrad and Kipling would stay while they were in BKK, oh so long ago. Later we all ended up in another western style shopping mall; this one in downtown BKK where Cyrus and I ate at a Macdonald’s and everyone exhausted themselves enough for all of us to agree that we would each return to our respective apartments or hotel rooms and get a good nights sleep. They left for Phuket the next morning.

Here is a photograph of my visitors:


The next day LM and I trundled off to visit the sad little Dusit Zoological Gardens in Bangkok. We took the bus. It took us almost two hours to travel five miles (See below). LM was happy, I was exhausted. We went home by Skytrain. Although there were many animals at the zoo, there appeared to me to be even more statues of animals. Before we left the Zoo LM took the following photograph of me. I like it a lot. There seems to be a resemblance.

 


The zoo also had a large lake at its center on which students from Bangkok drove paddle boats around as though they were bump-a-cars. The lake was stocked with large fish. While LM and I were feeding stale bread to the fish, several surfaced that were over six feet long and had mouths about seven inches wide. The lake is also home to many giant Komodo Dragons who swim about with their heads just breaking the water or lie on the bank in great numbers. Here is a photograph of some of the younger ones sunning themselves.


I wonder how many students they lose each year.

B. ACCOMPLISHMENT:

Today I completed entering into to my blog of the same name all my “This and that…” posts since I began in January of 2010 through June of this year. I consider it an accomplishment; not a great thing or a work of art or even passably competent, but an accomplishment nonetheless.

Sort of like someone who completes a marathon even though he never competed in one before. He may not have won or even looked good, but to him it was an accomplishment. On the other hand, one can look at the amateur marathoner completing his race and I entering 250+ posts into a blog no one will read not so much an accomplishment as an obsession. So be it.

I now will go back through the entries and post the corresponding journal entries and emails and the like from some of you, along with my responses.

C: THAILAND OBSERVATIONS:

1. Colors for patriots:

American patriots wrap themselves in the American Flag. Thais change the color of their T-shirts.

After all, fashion is politics.

2. Bus rides in Bangkok:

Anyone who rides a bus in Bangkok has decided that his life no longer has any meaning.

A bus ride in Bangkok is a form of agonizingly slow death.

PETRILLO’S COMMENTARY:

Some of you have inquired as to what diet plan I used to lose all the weight that I have.

I believe that the only diet plan that works is the money plan. You see calories cost money and the more money one spends on food the more calories he or she ingests.

If people allocate say 12 dollars a day for food like I do, they will soon find themselves losing weight. One need not worry about counting calories or choosing the right foods. Believe me, after a few days one finds himself searching for vegetables and fruits since they have more bulk for the buck.

And if you are worried about that irresistible urge to gorge on things like pizza and coke, you quickly lose the urge once you realize that is all that you might consume that day.

One recommendation I have is that if you are offered a free dinner from some well meaning friend, eat all that you can because your well meaning friend will quickly tire of subsidizing his attempts to kill you with kindness.

TODAY’S FACTOID:

Research by John J. Donohue and Steven Levitt suggests that legalized abortion in the United States (by reducing the numbers of unwanted children), account for much of the drop in crime rates that occurred in the 1990s. Their paper, The Impact of Legalized Abortion on Crime, presents evidence indicating that states that had legalized abortion before Roe v. Wade saw correspondingly earlier drops in crime; and states where abortion is common saw greater drops in crime than states where abortion is rare.

PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

1. Pookie’s puerile epigrams:

If someone describes something he sees as it manifests itself, he is called a “scientist.”

If one can never know how it manifests itself it is called a “religion.”

If one does not care whether or not it manifest itself he is called a “politician.”

If one persuades someone else to buy what is manifested it is called “business.”

If one persuades someone else to buy what cannot be manifested, it is called “finance.”

If one does not care if someone else buys what may or may not be manifest as long as that someone buys whatever it is he is saying, he is called an “economist.”

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

3. Testosterone Chronicles:

• When looking at pictures of immoral acts, women’s judgments of severity correlate with higher levels of activation in emotion centers of the brain, suggesting concern for victims, whereas men show higher activation in areas that might involve deployment of principles (Carla Harenski and collaborators).

What this seems to me to mean, if one can generalize it to a gender based approach to public policy, is:

“For men, first punish the guilty and for women, first protect the innocent.”

• When men watch wrongdoers getting punished, there is activation in reward centers of their brains, whereas women’s brains show activation in pain centers, suggesting that they feel empathy for suffering even when it is deserved (Tania Singer and collaborators).

(Read more: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/bakadesuyo/~3/bea6srN06Qs/do-women-and-men-have-different-moral-values#ixzz1dEZVO7XD)

Does this mean that women are genetically predisposed to liberalism? No wonder God considers them the lesser sex.

• Numerous studies have found that women are more likely than men to reciprocate acts of kindness (reviewed by Rachel Croson and Uri Gneezy).

Screw you Rachel and Uri. I will have you know that men are kinder to their guns, beer and dogs than women are. We also think we are kind to (and admittedly, at times a little frightened by) large female breasts; vaginas, not so much.

In an analysis of the range of findings of the emotional differences between men and women in situations that could affect social decision-making, the authors opine that on the whole, women seem to be more empathetic and more focused on the collective good. This is broadly consistent with the suggestion by at least one of the researchers that women are more likely than men to base moral decision on a care orientation, whereas men gravitate more towards principles.

This is why I previously wrote:

“For at least 10,000 years or so virtually every political system, economic system and religion has been designed by men for men. There is no natural or divine law that requires any of these structures to be designed in the way that they have been. During those same 10,000 years every justification of those structures have been developed by men to benefit men.”
Trenz Pruca’s Journal.

TODAY’S QUOTES:

“We are not who we think we are. We narrate out lives, shading every last detail, and even changing the script retrospectively, depending on the event, most of the time subconsciously. The storyteller never stops, except perhaps in deep sleep.”
Doctor Michael S. Gazzaniga, Neuroscientist.
“You Cannot Be A Republican And A Christian”
bySquareForceOneFollow

TODAY’S CHART:

This map shows the distribution of this years drought.

In my predictions about global weather changes that I made about 8 months ago I surmised that the long-term drought patterns would begin to take a configuration similar to this as it would be consistent with climate change projections. I did not expect it to occur so soon. However, the Lorenz attractors (minor changes in input have huge changes over time), show that even detailed atmospheric modeling cannot in general make long-term weather predictions. The best we can do is project on the basis of statistical analysis. Statistical analysis can tell us that global warming is occurring but not the specific weather pattern more than a week or so out.

In other words, just because climate change is a relatively determined outcome of the current situation, it does not necessarily make its specific effects predictable.

TODAY’S CARTOON:

TODAY’S PHOTOGRAPH:

 

Here is LM posing with statues of extinct animals.

Here I am standing in front of plaster statues of elephants.

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

This and that from re Thai r ment, by 3Th. 1 Joe 0001 (July 18,2012)

 

POOKIE FOR PRESIDENT:

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

Today I am announcing  termination of my candidacy for President of the United States. This section of “This and that…” will also end.

I am ending my campaign because the candidacies of the truly insane have, well,… gone into the toilet, leaving me the difficult task of thinking up parodies rather than simply reproducing the candidates own public statements.

Also, as I have mentioned previously, I am one of the few people who actually likes, Mendacious Mitt. For someone completely lacking a public personality, he has managed to become the medias dream candidate by basically refusing to do things. Some pundits have criticized his refusals as bad strategy, but I, on the other hand, suspect that it may be brilliant.

Imagine if during his acceptance speech after garnering the nomination at the Republican convention he refuses to run for president. The free press coverage would dwarf what he could buy no matter how large the campaign contributions made by those 10 wealthy men into his independent expenditure funds.

This section will be hereafter replaced by:

POOKIE’S PUERILE EPIGRAMS:

1. Consciousness is nothing more than post hoc rationalization.

2. Humans are not rational animals, but rationalizing ones.

3. Consciousness is what one tells oneself to keep away the darkness.

TODAY FROM THAILAND:

A. POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN THAILAND:

This weekend I returned to “Paradise by the Sea” (Jomtien Beach) to visit with Bill who was spending a few days in “The Outskirts of Hell” (Pattaya) about two miles from “Paradise by the Sea.” He had just returned from a brief trip to Malaysia scoping out business opportunities there and unwinding somewhere between the gates of paradise and the portals of hell from the rigors of Muslim Puritanism.

I met him and Ray at the “Oval Table” where about a year ago the Geriatric Knights set off on their adventures. Three of the original five Knights were there, Density, Harvey and Giufa. Horace who prefers to be called Jerome we would met up with that evening. Spy was off knight erranting somewhere south of Outremer searching for the Grail or a stray yoni or two which were hard to find where he was at.

We decided to dub Ray into the club (The Rub a Dub Club?). We could not decide on a suitable heraldic name for him. We were stuck between “Omar the Tent Maker” and “Sinbad the Sailor.” I decided to compromise on “Sinbad the Tent Maker.”

Alas, Angelina-Tai, Selma-moo, Princess Oy and the other houri had long ago departed for other caravansaries, and soon so did we.

I checked into the guest house on Jomtien Beach Road Soi 3 where I stayed the last time I was there, napped and waited for LM.

That evening we met Bill, Mike and Ray for dinner at a restaurant on the Walking Street. After dinner we went to a nearby go-go bar where Ray was to meet with the ex-owner to discuss business opportunities in Pattaya. The ex-owners claim to fame was that he managed to sell his failing go-go bar to someone else and now passes himself off as an expert in doing business in Thailand.

The tiny club consisted of a row of booths surrounding a small stage upon which about 10 poles reaching to the ceiling were set. A selection of slightly overweight women, naked from the waist up, one hand on a pole, moved their bodies in a desultory fashion to some over loud 20-year-old rock music while staring boredly at themselves in the mirrors that covered the walls behind the booths. We were the only customers.

We then went to a place called the Windmill a few steps away from the go-go place. Here the joint was packed. It featured various fully naked women performing simulated sex acts and others, equally naked, jumping in and out of Jacuzzis, while various old over-weight men with wallets out were peeling off notes from wads of Thai money and handing it to other naked women whose bodies were pressed against them.

For those who picture the Outskirt’s of Hell as a simply an aging white male sexist paradise you could not be further from the truth. Unlike God, who seems to prefer well muscled male mesomorphs, Lucifer is nothing if not an equal opportunity corrupter. Within the Outskirts of Hell there are alley’s devoted to transsexual (Be all that you can be) clubs, lesbian sex clubs and the standard run of the mill gay bars.

You can also shop for souvenirs and buy the sex enhancement medication of your choice at the many establishments specializing in selling those products. And of course restaurants by the ton located on the land or on boat anchored offshore. Food, sexual indulgence and gross corruption are never too far apart.

After a few minutes of observation, LM and I excused ourselves and returned to the hotel.

The next morning LM and I took the ferry to Koh Larn one of the several islands in the Bay of Thailand located off Pattaya and Jomtien Beach. It contains a small village and several tiny beaches adjacent to which one can enjoy lunch for about twice the price of similar fare on the mainland and stare at the high-rises lining the shore across the straight.

We ate lunch at a tiny place by a beach of strange maroon and lemon yellow stones. We were the only customers. After lunch we returned to Pattaya and continued on back to BKK and our apartment.

B. NEWS STRAIGHT OR SLIGHTLY BENT:

“House Republicans have now voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act 33 times. Every time they take this vote, it’s time they could be spending on other issues. Other issues like, for instance, what they would do instead of the Affordable Care Act. But though they’ve found the time to vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act on 33 separate occasions, they have voted to replace the Affordable Care Act exactly … never.”
(Ezra Klein)

What is it that one calls those who perform the same futile act over and over again?

Ha, I got you there. The correct answer is Republicans.

C. OBSERVATIONS ABOUT THAILAND:

1. A Thai comments on his society:

Arglit Boonyai, the highly respected and sometimes brilliant columnist for The Bangkok Post, Thailand’s most respected english daily newspaper recently wrote:

Thailand – and I am trying to be fair here — is as honest as a North Korean press release on famine. We steal, we cheat, we lie, we treat people with a lower social status badly, we’re racist, the list goes on and on. For years we successfully hid all that behind the famous Thai smile and the ‘mai pen rai’ attitude. And by gosh and by golly, most of those suckers fell for it.

2. Thai Beauty:

The most beautiful women in Thailand are men.

TODAY’S FACTOID:

What the hell happened in 1980 to cause this sudden horrendous orgy of incarcerating Americans?

PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

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


As free spending “liberals,” “Occupy” backers should support the Republican approach to Federal financing over the Democratic.

B. Fun with the Mormons:

Baptism for the dead, vicarious baptism or proxy baptism is a religious practice of baptizing a living person on behalf of an individual who is dead; the living person is acting as the deceased person’s proxy. It has been practiced since 1840 in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints where it is also called temple baptism because it is performed only in dedicated temples.

In the practice of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, a living person, acting as proxy, is baptized by immersion on behalf of a deceased person of the same gender. The baptism ritual is as follows: after calling the living proxy by name, the person performing the baptism says, “Having been commissioned of Jesus Christ, I baptize you for and on behalf of [full name of deceased person], who is dead, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.” The proxy is then immersed briefly in the water. Baptism for the dead is a distinctive ordinance of the church and is based on the belief that baptism is a required ordinance for entry into the Kingdom of God.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints vicariously baptizes people regardless of race, sex, or creed. This includes both victims and perpetrators of genocide. Some Jewish survivors of the Holocaust and their supporters have objected to this practice.

This means that black people and gays can become Mormons after they die. Oh, happy day.

TODAY’S QUOTE:

TODAY’S CHART:


Not only is this chart graphically confusing, but misleading. Republicans have never maintained that they are about jobs. They have always maintained they were about economic growth and smaller government. The fact that similar charts on the economic growth and the size of the Federal government would show that during Democratic administrations the economy grew faster and the size of government smaller then during Republican administrations is irrelevant.

What this chart and others like it do show however, is that during the administration of that “Great Satan” to both Republicans and Liberal Democrats, Bill Clinton, by whatever measure of success one chooses, we seem to have done better than under any other President in recent memory, Republican or Democratic .

Let’s bring back “The Big Gut,” (not a typo). Politics was more interesting and fun then. The problem with the current presidential campaign is that neither candidate can be referred to as a, “Happy Warrior.”

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. 23 Shadow 0001 (July 13, 2012)

TODAY FROM THAILAND:

A. POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN THAILAND:

Bill Gates and Ray arrived from Pattaya where they had spent the past week scoping out business opportunities. We spent a few hours rummaging through Bangkok’s riotous Chinatown markets, looking for things that could be resold in the US. Some, like decorative mobile phone covers, apparently have a mark-up value ten times greater than the Thai purchase price. Bee, one of the first employees at AVA when Bill, Dick and I opened it some 13 years ago, accompanied us and served as an interpreter.

After leaving AVA Bee married a man from the piedmont region of North Carolina who had a string of carts selling inexpensive jewelry in several shopping centers in North and South Carolina. She had worked for her husband as a buyer in Thailand for a while. She was here in Bangkok visiting family and seeing her daughter off to college in BKK.

Later that evening, Bill, Bee, LM and I had dinner at the “Fish Market” restaurant that we always liked so much. We reminisced.

LM and I went to the movies to see “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Slayer.” We shouldn’t have.

After a short trip to Malaysia, Bill and Ray returned to Pattaya. I hope to join them for a day or two.

Resurrection:

Today, while walking back to my apartment I discovered the “dead man” I commented on at length a few post ago, lying comatose and spread-eagled at the base of the steps to the Nana Skytrain station, thus reducing my guilt ridden ethical quandary to another example of simple self-indulgence. Had I found the cop I was looking for at the time, while I am sure he would not have laughed in my face, I expect he would have smiled the way Thais do, assured me he would do something about it and after I left, utterly ignored it.

Unless it is some student art project using an embalmed cadaver, obviously he had not died where last I had seem him, although he could actually be dead now, but I think not. As I thought about my inert friend, I suspected that he must be able to raise some money, enough to feed himself and to support his evident alcohol (coconut milk beer?) or drug habit. He probably was not a trust fund baby and I was relatively certain he did not beg. So he must work at something. If so, that raises him from the realm of what some consider pure parasites (trust fund babies and those needing the assistance of others). I reasoned that he probably, stole, defrauded tourists or gleaned from garbage cans, thereby raising enough money to be able to lie insensate in the sun, sort of like the Wall Street barons lying on the beach or by the pools of their estates, equally comatose on the more expensive drugs of their choice; alcohol, cocaine, tranquilizers and steroids.

But wait you say, you cannot compare what they, the Wall Street barons, do with someone who defraud tourists, steals and makes a living off the refuse of others? If you believe that they are not comparable, then I suggest that you plan a stop at your local moral service station and have your ethical dip-stick checked. You are probably running low on your ethical conscience level.

Travel:

My travel Schedule firmed up a bit. I depart BKK for LA July 30. I will be staying with Monty and hopefully spending some time with Ruth, Ben and Greg. I leave LA by train to San José on the 5th of August and see Gates. On the 6th I will arrive in SF and visit with my son and grandchildren as well as my sister and her family. I leave on the 10th with Grenell for some Ragout and Charbono with Sally in the Benioff Zone returning to SF by mid week. After that I hope visit with friends in SF and spend some time with Hayden, the Dalls and Geyers in Sacto. Toward the end of September, I plan to depart for Florida, Washington, New York and Maine, before returning to Thailand by way of Italy.

B. NEWS STRAIGHT OR SLIGHTLY BENT:

1. Trumped:

I recently read where Donald Trump attended my alma mater, Fordham University, but he received no degree. So did “Captain Kangaroo,” but he graduated. I take from this that, “Captain Kangaroo” was smarter than Trump. But everyone already knew that.

2. Do your trust these men:

In a survey of 500 senior executives in the United States and the UK, 26 percent of respondents said they had observed or had firsthand knowledge of wrongdoing in the workplace, while 24 percent said they believed financial services professionals may need to engage in unethical or illegal conduct to be successful.

Sixteen percent of respondents said they would commit insider trading if they could get away with it, according to Labaton Sucharow. And 30 percent said their compensation plans created pressure to compromise ethical standards or violate the law.
(Huffington Post-Reuters Report)

3. Non-partisan Congressional Budget Office report on Taxes:

Americans paid the lowest tax rates in 30 years to the federal government in 2009, due in part to tax cuts obtained by President Obama to combat the Great Recession, congressional budget analysts said Tuesday.

However the Wall Street Journal points out that the average tax rate for the top 1%—those with average incomes of about $1.2 million—rose to 28.9% from 28.1% a year earlier…

Wow, a whole .2% increase in taxes. How they must be suffering. That explains why they will spend a billion dollars to defeat the man. Clearly the rest of us do not understand the unfairness of it all.

C. OBSERVATIONS ABOUT THAILAND.

1. Perhaps the most amazing talent of the Thais is the ability of Thai women to maneuver flawlessly along the despicably decrepit sidewalks of Bangkok in spiked heels.

2. If it is overcast and rainy, Thais consider it a good day.

TODAY’S FACTOID:

Chinese Taoism, cunnilingus is revered as a spiritually fulfilling practice that is believed to enhance longevity

Once again the East gets it right. The older I get… no I am not going there.

PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

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

Does anyone have any idea what this chart is about?

B. God; one of the guys:

“As for your male and female slaves whom you may have: you may buy male and female slaves from the nations that are round about you. You may also buy from among the strangers who sojourn with you and their families that are with you, who have been born in your land; and they may be your property.”
Leviticus 25:44

Leviticus also seems to say that if guys get it on with guys, they should be put to death. Why would God consider it ok for gay guys to have slaves but not sleep with another guy? I wonder if God thought it was acceptable for guys to sleep with the slaves of either sex, but not with a non-slave of the same sex. I am pretty sure some of the slave-owning patriarchs did, didn’t everyone? Perhaps it was not necessary for slaves to “increase and multiply.”

By the way, did you notice that the sly old God did not prohibit women sleeping with women? Perhaps like most guys He liked to watch.

C. Fun with the Mormons:

The temple garment (or the Garment of the Holy Priesthood, or informally, the garment or garments) in some denominations of the Latter Day Saint movement, is a set of sacred underclothing worn by adult adherents who have taken part in a ritual ceremony known as washing and anointing ordinance, usually in a temple as part of the Endowment ceremony. Anti-Mormon activists have publicly displayed or defaced temple garments to show their opposition to the LDS Church.

According to generally accepted Mormon doctrine, the marks in the garments are sacred symbols (Buerger 2002, p. 58). One proposed element of the symbolism, according to early Mormon leaders, was a link to the “Compass and the Square,” the symbols of freemasonry (Morgan 1827, pp. 22-23), to which Joseph Smith (creator of Mormonism) had been initiated about seven weeks before his introduction of the Endowment ceremony.

Adherents of this practice consider them to be sacred and may be offended by public discussion of the garments.(Listverse)

I agree. I would not want someone making fun of my underwear.

POOKIE FOR PRESIDENT:

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

This is a cheap shot. People with wealthy parents are not necessarily parasites. He could have lived off his inheritance, instead Mitt chose to increase the “talents” given to him by making sure others had none. That was a cheap shot too. I apologize. I actually am one of the few on either side of the political spectrum who actually likes Mitt. I like the fact that he can continue to smile no matter what he is saying. He reminds me of a polished used car salesman. There I go again. I really am sorry.

Actually neither of men running for the highest office in the land impresses me as strong enough to resist the gathering storm rising up against us and eventually against them. The fabric of an American consensus has been ripped apart on every issue. We no longer (if we ever did) differ on emphasis or direction, but contest every issue raised as if there is no common understanding between us.

Left to their own devices, and not pushed by the needs of politics, from a policy standpoint they, Obama and Romney, probably are not hugely dissimilar (1960s liberal Republicans). However, I suspect that by inclination and by commitment and frankly by choice of party, Obama will prove to be more steadfast.

We are, after all, faced not with a single crisis or even a succession of crises.

We are faced instead with a series of system collapses each making the others more severe. Yet, the resolution of one requires the resolution of the others.

The liquidity crises reflects the collapse of demand and thus in turn eroding the value of the all too abundant liquid assets. Currently the plan is to move the unused assets around from one ginned up speculation to another until something happens that will remove the threat to their value.

The employment crisis represents in part a collapse of resource growth that will not be corrected merely by rebuilding outdated infrastructure. Helpful though that may be, it does not appreciably improve productivity. It only slows its deterioration. It probably cannot be improved anyway, at least not by any options available to us that we know of. Shipping jobs overseas is at best a short term solution.

A war will not be among the answers to the current economic crisis. It will only make it more grievous.

The environment is collapsing in that it no longer is an esthetic/conservation issue corrected by preservation. Nor is it making us sick in ways that can be remedied simply by removing the source danger. Today the environment has begun to turn deadly to individuals, humanity and most life forms. It cannot be resolved by more production furnishing surplus resources that enable us to preserve what is important. Nor is it adequate to remedy the specific activity that makes us sick. These solutions only make it worse.

World comity, which had been steadily increasing since WWII also is in danger of collapse and nations and their internal politics demand that they turn inward and protect themselves from the economic, social and environmental maelström that threatens to engulf them. But while that may be good internal politics it is probably disastrous policy (Germany is a good example. While Merkle’s policies may be good for her re-election, they are disasters for Germany in the long run).

The impacts of coming migrations caused by global warming can at best be delayed in hopes that a long-term solution evolves. But from where is this miracle to come? In almost none of these integrated world wide collapses is there a concerted effort to deal with either the specific collapse or the effects of them upon each other.

On the economy, the approach appears to be to hold on and reduce our efforts and expectations, whether short or long term, and hope something happens like it did once or twice in the past.

On the social level, while a huge number of efforts are underweigh, they are a drop in the bucket from what is required and anyway they tend to address results and not causes.

Dealing with the rapidly evolving homicidal environment is left not to a concerted effort to combat it as though we were in a war but to vague hopes that something will happen at some point in the future that will save us.

If Roosevelt and Churchill listened to those who preached a similar religion then, we all will be speaking German or Japanese today (Except for Jews, Poles, Gypsies, homosexuals and a host of others (most likely Russians and blacks) who would all be dead).

TODAY’S QUOTE:

1. Charles Bukowski

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

“… the origin of Hells Kitchen? Before Slaughter on Tenth Avenue, there was Indigestion on Ninth.”

TODAY’S CHART:

What I do not understand about this chart, is that all 100,000 people must die eventually, so what is it that the remaining 999,400 die of? And, If only 600 out of 100,000 die each year then some people must live forever. [Actually what it tells us is simply that at some point in the future there will be a massive die off of the old]

TODAY’S CARTOON:

TODAY’S PHOTOGRAPH:

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

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