Monthly Archives: October 2013

This and that from re Thai r ment, by 3Th. 23 Jo Jo 0002 (June 8, 2013)

 

Happy 95th Birthday Mom

TODAY FROM THAILAND:

POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN THAILAND:

Today was my mom’s 95th birthday. I regret I was not able to be there to share it with her.

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**********

The rains have arrived in SE Asia. They begin at about mid-day and continue on and off through the evening. I go to the health club in the early mornings so that I can get my swim in before the downpour starts. Some, mostly Western, members of the club have taken to swimming during the rain (“Swimming in the Rain” was the title of a little known movie set in Seattle starring Jonny Weissmuller and Esther Williams). The health club staff advises against that. They say that the pool could be struck by lightning and boil the swimmers like lobsters in a pot. I believe that is far less likely in BKK than getting hit by a motor-bike taxi while walking along one of the City’s sidewalks, or for that matter, falling through those same sidewalks and disappearing forever into the foetid sewers underneath.

After the rains the air becomes heavy with warm moisture. The smells from the innumerable sidewalk food stands mingles with the stench risings from the sewers until I feel as though I am bathing in a bowl of week-old bouillabaisse.

**********

Most of my life I feared my tendency to become addicted to certain obsessive behaviors. That is why, for example, I rarely kept liquor or dope in my house although I freely indulged in them outside. For the most part whenever I would recognize (and recognition is the key since, like most people, my first defense was usually denial) the addiction I would quit. For example, when I was in my early teens I was addicted to chess (I was not particularly good at it but I was addicted none the less). I would play day and night. When I recognized the nature of my behavior, in panic I quit. Since then I only play now and then when social circumstances made refusal difficult. Perhaps that is one reason I tend to quit jobs and relationships as often as I do (the obsessive tendencies, not the chess).

One passion that I never really quit is reading. During my most recent bout of mania, I read about six or so hours a day. What’s worse is that I am not even comfortable or relaxed while reading. It would be nice if I had, say, a recliner to lie in where after a few moments I could fall into asleep and drool. Instead, I sit at the edge of my bed or on an uncomfortable kitchen chair engrossed with whatever trashy novel I may be reading. LM, whenever she comes to cook or clean, finds it bizarre to see me sitting rigid and unmoving for four hours or so at a time.

It surprised me then when, following weeks of worry that I was sinking into addiction, I found an author whose books for some reason satisfied me enough to halt my frenetic reading and to wait for his next effort .

By no means can this author be considered great or even semi-great. He is simply someone who writes a fairly interesting story with an easy style and has a mind like a junk yard. I like that a lot. I love authors that can comfortably integrate those bits and pieces of things found in his own mental junkyard into his tale. Perhaps that is why I always liked James Joyce despite his so-called “difficulty.” I always thought he was more boring than difficult. I enjoyed how he would pull things in from almost everywhere in literature, hide it within his story and challenge you to find it. Now, why he would hide things like that I never really understood. If someone found a carburetor from a 1956 Mercury in his junk yard, why would he hide it or call it something else unless he was trying to trick or play a joke on someone. I know Joyce is said to have once commented that if something took him 10 years or so to write he would want the reader to spend the same amount of time trying to understand it. How’s that for self-indulgent bullshit? I suspect Joyce was a bit of a poseur.

The James Joyce Martello tower at Sandycove, C...

The James Joyce Martello tower at Sandycove, County Dublin, Ireland (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

He must have felt quite insecure walking by the Martello Tower along the Strand with its grey water and overcast sky (The sun does not shine very often in Dublin, the Strand is the pits and the tower an unimposing dump). I have a feeling it was not just the lack of sunshine and the dull grey colors of the landscape that set him to brooding. I think he was depressed because he knew that in just about every pub within a mile or so from where he was walking there would be several people dead drunk with their heads down on a table, an empty glass of Guinness or half and half beside him who, upon being shaken awake, could rattle off at least a dozen or more stories and tales far more interesting, poetic and inventive than Joyce could ever dream of.

**********

Hayden arrives in BKK tomorrow after spending a week or so in Italy. It makes me both happy and anxious. Happy because I missed him, anxious because now I have to focus on his needs to the extent that I am aware of them.

**********

MOPEY JOE’S MEMORIES:

Note: the following continues my series about the four governmental agencies that I had some role in developing.

A. The State of New York’s Mental Health Information Service (1965):

4. My Assignment.

I was placed in charge of mental hospitals in Bronx, Westchester, Putnam and Rockland counties. My job was to monitor patient intake into the system, provide the patients with information about their rights and to make myself available to assist them in understanding and exercising those rights. I also staffed the hearings held in the hospitals to adjudicate patient objections to involuntary incarceration. Although the area I covered was quite large, my job was made easier by the fact that the major receiving hospital for the area was Jacobi Hospital in the Bronx. It was from Jacobi that patients processed there every day were distributed to the State Hospitals in the area.

As far as Westchester, Putnam and Rockland counties were concerned, because of their substantially lower population densities and greater wealth, very much fewer involuntary patients were admitted into the hospitals located there.

In the mornings I attended the patient intake meetings at Jacobi. In the afternoons I toured the wards of the various hospitals. After a few months I was also assigned ward duty at the massive Manhattan State Hospital that occupied much of an island in the East River and Bellevue and its wing containing the criminally insane wards.

About once a week, I attended hearings, usually in Jacobi but sometime in other hospitals, at which the claims of the patients objecting to their incarceration were heard. The hearings were presided over by a judge from one of the trial courts in the district. I prepared a brief for the court on each case and was available to answer any questions that may arise.

5. Civil Liberties v Civil Libertarians.

The MHIS law was promoted by those concerned with protecting citizens from illegal or unnecessary incarceration whether civil or criminal. I am sure that many believed that civil involuntary incarcerations should not exist at all, but if they did exist then they were adamant that the procedures proscribed in law must be scrupulously adhered to. Sometimes, in my opinion, civil libertarians placed too great a reliance on the procedures of law courts to protect civil liberties. As a result they often confused access to those procedures with the civil liberties themselves. This manifested itself in at least two ways during my tenure with MHIS.

The first was to conflate the right of speedy access to a courtroom with the right to effective medical treatment. For example, no matter where one comes down in the debate about whether or not mental illness exists or the accuracy of standard psychological categories, when someone finds somebody lying in the gutter in a catatonic state unable to respond, almost everyone would agree that person should be brought directly to a hospital emergency room rather than dumped into a jail cell to await the determination by a non-medically trained individual such as a judge as to whether or not medical treatment is warranted.

This issue actually arose early in the MHIS existence. A woman was found on the Staten Island Ferry standing on the rail threatening to jump into the water. The cop on the scene managed to prevent the woman from jumping and then took her to the hospital where she could be examined and treated if need be. The more doctrinaire attorneys on the MHIS staff objected arguing that we should bring an action against the police officer in the name of the woman because as one of them put it, it was our job to eliminate discretion on the part of the police and that if she were taken directly to the jail she would be brought to court the next morning rather than the 48 to 72 hours it would take for a hearing to be arranged were she admitted into a hospital.

I opposed them making the following arguments:

1. It was not our job to monitor police procedures but to focus on the welfare of the patients.
2. There is a vast difference between imposing stringent procedures and protocols on public safety personnel that I supported and removing all discretion from them, which I did not.
3. The person was a danger to herself and not others and given that it appeared the severity and duration of episodes like this were directly related to the speed with which medical treatment was available to the patient, we were taking upon ourselves the “discretion” of deciding for this person her right to effective medical treatment, and,
4. Their position was simply nuts.

Simon agreed with me.

The second issue was the tendency to see all those who may have opposed the legislation or the program as enemies rather than interests. This will be explored in greater detail below.

JOEY’S NEW MYSTERY NOVEL:

ENTER THE DRAGON

Dragon’s Breath:

Bryan: Who killed Thursby?
Sam Spade: I don’t know.
Bryan: Perhaps you don’t, but you could make an excellent guess.
Sam Spade: My guess might be excellent or it might be crummy, but Mrs. Spade didn’t raise any children dippy enough to make guesses in front of a district attorney, and an assistant district attorney and a stenographer.
Bryan: Why shouldn’t you, if you have nothing to conceal?
Sam Spade: Everybody has something to conceal.
Chapter 17.

It was about 4:30 when Fat Al called me back. I was already floating in that place between sleep and wakefulness when the call came in so it did not take too long to snap into more or less my usual awareness. Al began by explaining how sad Reiley’s death mad him and how highly he thought of him. I on the other hand couldn’t stand Reilly. His death, it seemed to me, just rid the world of another predator. I did not mention my feelings on the matter to Al but let him blubber along.

Al then reminisced about his warm relationship with Reilly, especially about meeting his wonderful family and having dinner at their house. I attended those dinners also. When Reilly thought he needed something from me and wanted to get it from me cheap, he invited me over for dinner. After about 15 minutes with the wife and kids at dinner they left while we finished eating and repaired to the living room where we drank wine and smoked dope and I listened to him go on about the wonders of eastern philosophy and the simple life while he sidled into suggesting how with my expertise and connections combined with his support and technical back-up we can both do well by doing good. Reilly was an alpha parasite.

I finally decided that l had enough of Al’s grieving and asked him what his contacts in the Department had to say about Reilly’s death.

“Well, it’s too early for them to say. There will be an autopsy and they will know more then.

“Al, these are cops were talking about. They have an opinion on everything — even their mothers pre-marital virginity–especially that. What do they think happened?

“Well, Dragon, they seemed more reticent than usual to tell me what they thought.”

“OK, That tells me something. What about the grieving widow. When are the almost high and mighty going out to pay their respects? At the wake?”

“Well, Chang the captain in charge of homicide is going out to Riley’s house tomorrow afternoon to pay his respects to his family. He invited me to tag along.”

“That’s quick.”

“Yeah, Reiley’s secretary called Chang in response to his call to express his condolences and said that Nok called her and told her that, although she is in shock, she recognized that Clarence’s friends would want to pay their respects. I guess it is sort of pre-wake since the body won’t be released until the autopsy is finished. That could take a day or two. And then another day more for the mortician to prepare the body.”

He promised to keep me up to date if he learned anything more from the police. I thanked him and hung up. I thought for a moment. I was still convinced that there was less here than meets the eye.

I called Mavis, explained I was not up to getting together tonight. I asked her if she had ever visited Reilly’s house. She said that she had gone there once with Lilly and Mark for a pool party on a Sunday afternoon. “He was very nice,” she added. “He said he was thinking of getting a tattoo and that if he decided to do so he would come to me.”

“Did he hit on you?”

“Oh, are you jealous of a dead guy?”

“Well did he?”

“Well I guess a bit, But he was mostly interested in Lilly.”

“Who else was there?

“The Vietnamese guy Marvin or whatever his name is. He had two young Vietnamese guys with him. One of them came to the shop for a tattoo a few weeks later.”

“Anybody else?”

“Yeah, a couple of more people. I think a port commissioner. An Asian woman. And a guy who sits on the Police Commission. And a few others, I don’t remember. I was stoned.”

“How long ago was this?”

“Oh about six months ago.”

“Was Mark Reilly’s dealer?”

She hesitated for a moment. “Yeah, I think so.”

“So what happened to the dope that came in the furniture shipment?”

“We smoked some of it.” “Oh!” She obviously remembered that she had told me before that she knew nothing about it. I ignored it. Said, “Go on.

“There was’t much. Only a key or two.”

“Weed only? What about cocain or heroin or pills?”

“Nothing that I saw.”

After telling her I would call tomorrow and hanging up I called Martin Vihn and told him some of what Al told me but made it appear as though the cops were leaning toward the murder possibility. I then asked him what would his response be if I had evidence the shipment contained drugs just as I had suspected all along.

“I’d say you were full of shit. But discussing it over the phone right now is not a good idea.”

So, we made arrangements to meet tomorrow for breakfast.

I thought about calling Lilly but changed my mind. She probably would hang up the phone as soon as she learned it was me on the phone. On the other hand, it could be worse. She might not hang up on me.

I decided that I probably would be seeing her again soon anyway so I can avoid winging it and prepare for the confrontation. I realized I would probably be winging it then also, so I called Joe instead of going back and forth about it any more.

I made arrangements for him to pick me up and drive me to my breakfast with Vihn. He asked me if there was another movie he should look at as part of his training to be a detective. I recommended, “Too have and have not.” He asked if Bogart was in this one too. I said he was, but that Bacall was a lot better looking than Brigit O’Shaunessey.

After the call, I scrounged through the refrigerator. Found some apples, and made myself a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, poured a glass of milk and spent the next three or so hours on my computer gathering background information before putting myself to bed.
DAILY FACTOID:

1847: The US Marine Corps Hymn begins with the words, “From the Halls of Montezuma..,” Those words commemorate the Corps’ participation in a battle in one of our country’s earliest imperialistic wars. The Corps suffered 90% casualties in the struggle for Mexico’s capitol city.

In that battle the US troops overran a badly undermanned Mexican garrison in the so called “castle” on Chapultepec Hill that guarded the entrance into Mexico City. A large portion of the defenders were made up of the students at the military academy (equivalent to a US high school) located at the site, some of whom were only 13 years old. The defenders, about 400 in all including about 100 teenage students from the academy, faced over 4000 battle hardened American soldiers. As the Mexican troops retreated when the assault rolled over them, six of these young men from the academy bravely but foolishly stayed behind to defend the Mexican flag. They were slaughtered by the American troops. Obviously, playing capture the flag was more important than the lives of a few teenage greasers.

Among the participants in this same battle was John Riley the leader of the Batallón San Patricio, a group of Irish immigrants forced into service by the U.S. Government during the Mexican-American War. Being Catholics, they were treated terribly by their Protestant superiors. They got fed up and decided to desert and join their fellow Catholics on the Mexican side. By all accounts, they fought valiantly throughout the war, but during the battle for Mexico City the Batallón San Patricio’s positions were overrun. As Chapultepec Castle fell, every last one of John Riley’s men was hung in front of him. The US commander waited to execute the Irishmen until the moment that the Mexican flag that the kids were shot for defending was lowered so that they could watch as they died. It has been reported that the U.S. generals didn’t kill John Riley along with his troops. They supposedly branded both of his cheeks with D’s for desertion, lashed him for a full day in front of his dangling men, and then handed him back to Mexico.*

Remember, only 14 years later many of the same American officers involved at Chapultepec, who so mercilessly executed the Irish Catholic deserters and the Mexican adolescents, themselves rebelled against the United States. And, following a war that saw the greatest percentage of the American population killed in any war in the nations history, not one of these men were executed for treason or spent significant time in prison. Many are now listed as among our nations greatest heroes.

Ulysses S. Grant, a legitimate hero at the Battle of Chapultepec,** as well as in the subsequent war to suppress a rebellion against the United States instigated by the slave owning aristocracy and who later was elected President of the United States, stated in his memoirs that in his opinion the Mexican-American War was “one of the most unjust wars ever waged on a weaker nation by a stronger one.”

On March 5, 1947, a few months before the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Chapultepec, another U.S. President, Harry S. Truman, traveling in Mexico at the time, placed a wreath at the monument to the six students and stood for a few moments of silent reverence. Asked by American reporters why he had gone to the monument, Truman said, “Brave men don’t belong to any one country. I respect bravery wherever I see it.”

* Note: one of the major purposes of the war with Mexico was to acquire additional territory in which to expand slavery in order to balance the votes in the US Senate of the more abolitionist inclined tier of newly created northern states carved out of the Louisiana Purchase. Mexico, by the way, at that time prohibited slavery which was one of the main reasons that a few years before the white Protestant Texans who had recently immigrated there sought independence from Mexico.

Finally as long as I started on the slavery issue, the argument often posed by many southern apologists that if we had only waited a few years the “peculiar” institution of slavery would disappear simply as a result of economic pressure on that inefficient system (the invisible hand again), begs the question of why then was it the South that seceded and attacked first when the rest of the nation, except for the somewhat disturbed John Brown, had done little more than make speeches about the immorality of slavery, hide a few escaped slaves and and elect a guy who, although he did not like slavery, admitted that he was not going to be able to do much more about it other than support prohibition of its extension into new territories, such as those taken from Mexico a decade or so before?

** Grant climbed up the bell tower, single-handedly captured a howitzer located there and then used it to fire on the Mexican troops below. Yes, in America even Rambo can become a US President, although not a very good one.

PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

Testosterone Chronicles:

     “Boys grow up oblivious to the fairer sex. Their daily concerns involve Tonka trucks and Kung-Fu movies. But boys grow older. One day, a girl makes a subtle motion, a swish of hair, a bat of an eye, and suddenly the lad takes notice. That’s when all the problems start. It starts slow. He doesn’t work it out right away. He finds the Spanish teacher’s lectures more interesting. He double takes passing a billboard. Then one morning, he wakes up sticky. He learns to do it manually. He accumulates a collection of porn— a compendium the likes of which hasn’t been seen since the library of Alexandria burnt to the ground. He becomes an expert on female anatomy. He learns breasts. He learns butts. He can mentally image the entire high school cheerleading squad in a dramatic re-enactment of One Thousand and One Arabian Nights. He prepares for all conceivable eventualities— and he’s entirely unprepared for the real thing.”
               B. Justin Shier. Zero Sight (Zero Sight Series, Book 1) ( Astraeus Press).

TODAY’S QUOTE:

“Yeah, to a certain extent. I mean, it wasn’t my life. It wasn’t the center of my life. But I mean, when you’re — let me rephrase that. I enjoyed being president. And when you’re president, you’re famous. Now whether I enjoyed fame itself, I just, you know, you’d have to get the psychoanalyst on me,”
George Bush reflects on what being President of the most powerful country on earth ment to him.

TODAY’S CHART:

943513_10151481949516144_271185230_n

TODAY’S PHOTOGRAPH:

photo-7

Hayden at Como with skateboard.

 

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Categories: April 1213 through June 1213 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

This and that from re Thai r ment, by 3Th. 16 Jo Jo 0002 (May 31, 2013)

 

 

TODAY FROM THAILAND:

A. POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN THAILAND:

There has been a change at the health club where I spend most of my mornings. No, not a change in ownership or rules or even personnel. And certainly there has not been a change in the general run down nature of the place. It is as different from the chrome palaces of modern health clubs as it always has been. What’s changed has been its culture. Yes I know, unless it is some sweaty broken gym for boxers or more modern dojo’s for martial arts, most health club’s cater to a rather vanilla cross-section of young up and comers. But even there, if you look close enough and long enough at your own health club, you will soon see underneath the acres of spandex vague indications of a culture that separates your club from the one in the high-rise on the next corner.

The membership of the health club at the Ambassador Hotel in BKK of which I am a member and for which LM is employed as a masseuse, has always been made up of, in addition to guests in the hotel, mostly older men and women who preferred to pay a membership fee about one-half less than the membership fee at any of the other hotel health clubs in the area and did not mind the steady but slow deterioration in the facilities. Membership, like the facilities, has been declining for the entire three years I have been a member.

However, upon my return from the United States a few weeks ago I noticed that the membership decline has stopped and seemed to have reversed itself. The lockers in the locker rooms are now all taken and new banks of lockers have been installed. On the surface, these new members seem to be much like the existing members, older western males, local professional women and Indian and Arab men and women who are guests at the hotel.

Recently, LM has complained that the massage services that used to be supplied by 6 to 8 full-time women masseuses and a picture book of others on call has been reduced to two providers. Since the beginning of the month, there has been only one massage appointment made for either of those two. On the other hand, the number of male masseuses has increased from two to 8 or 12.

I suspect that usual massage business performed by female therapists has been undercut by the lower cost massage parlors that line the nearby streets in the neighborhood. On the other hand, no such outlets for connection and release exist for women in general, business women in particular as well as for men preferring a man’s touch but hesitant about frequenting the gay clubs nearby.

*****

This week I set off for a few days at Jomtien Beach. For those new to T&T or those that may not recall, I lived for almost a year in an apartment near the beach in this town. The building was called, Jomtien Beach Paradise Condominiums so I took to calling the area Paradise by the Sea. Since it is also about two miles from that emporium of erotic excess Pattaya, I added, Two Miles from the Outskirts of Hell to its description.

Paradise by the Sea used to be the native Thai beach resort area while Pattaya, the Outskirts of Hell, was reserved for western, mostly male tourists. Eventually the bright lights and noise of the Vietnam War enlisted mens R&R resort was overwhelmed by high rises, at first to house the ex-military who retired here hoping to maintain the dreams of that which nature is destined to erode. This was followed by ongoing attempts to convert the town to a traditional beach tourist attraction with its sin city reputation as an un-mentioned attraction. (As a beach resort minus the sex Pattaya deserves a Meh ranking at best.)

The high-rise condo and resort mania has overlapped into the adjacent city of Jomtien Beach driving the native Thais beyond its borders and replacing them first with a mixed bag of Western European and American males and more recently Russians primarily from Siberia.

I stay is a decidedly down scale guest house managed by a sad-faced woman whose teen-aged daughter immobilized by birth defects lies semi comatose on a cot in the lobby.

Two or three times a day I walk about a mile or two along the beach. I have stayed in some of the finest beach resorts in the world, but for some reason I find that I am more comfortable and at peace sitting on the balcony of my tiny room than I had been in any of those elegant establishments.

*****

B. NEWS STRAIGHT OR SLIGHTLY BENT:

Princess LuckyGirl the prime minister of Thailand and sister of the deposed and fugitive prior Prime Minister of the country, Thaksin the Terrible, recently has travelled to other countries and has given speeches extolling the values of democracy. For some reason the opposition party led by the ex-Prime Minister whose party was never elected, Abhsit the Unready, believed it was awful for her to have done so. It seems that they believe that by speaking about the general benefits of democracy she is criticizing their time in power. — I think it is a cultural thing.

MOPEY JOE’S MEMORIES:

Note: the following continues my series about the four governmental agencies that I had some role in developing.

A. The State of New York’s Mental Health Information Service (1965):

3. My job interview:

The white marble Greco-Roman building housing the NY Supreme Court’s First Appellate Division contained the offices of the newly created Mental Health Information Services (MHIS). It was situated just off Madison Square Park at Madison and E. 25th street. To the east a few blocks the forbidding red brick buildings of Belview Hospital, NY’s première psychiatric hospital containing the infamous wards for the city’s criminally insane, rose above the East River. To the south sprawled Stuyvesant Town a city within the city. To the west the garment district and Chelsea ran in an arc from north to south and contained Madison Square Garden and Penn Station. Immediately to the north were the flagship emporiums of Macy’s and Gimbles. The old Penn Station and Madison Square Garden buildings are gone now but the rest remain, gentrified or like the garment district, pale shadows of their prior glory.

The newly installed executive director of the MHIS was a man rotund of belly and of face. With a mouth too large for even that face, thick eyeglasses and wispy hair on a head going prematurely bald, he looked a bit like a large frog. He wore a rumpled three-piece grey suit, white shirt and unassuming tie. His name was Simon Rosenzweig. He was a revelation to me.

Having attended what passed for a progressive Catholic High School and a Jesuit run University, I had a pretty clear idea of the Catholic Social Gospel and the mess the 2000 year criminal conspiracy represented by the Catholic hierarchy tried to make of it. I also knew what saintliness was all about. You know, washing the leper’s sores, feeding the poor and things like that.

I could never do that; never see myself off in the jungle somewhere bathing some feverous child dying of malnutrition. This always made me feel I was destined to be an incorrigible moral failure my entire life.

But here before me for the first time I recognized something or someone different. You see, that whole saintly thing was only intended to try to make the suffering lighter for those whose lives could not change. You know, “The poor are always with us.”

But in Simon here was someone who believed things could be changed so that the particular type of suffering no longer occurs. No more bathing of sores. Instead, if we change the conditions, the suffering itself can be diminished. In effect those engaged in this type of endeavor could be considered physicians to society. This, I decided, was what the Kennedy challenge was all about. I wanted to do that.

But there was a problem. You see, at that time, 1965, the US was still divided by those who went to Ivy league schools and those who did not. And to go to an ivy league school you had to be either white protestant, fabulously wealthy, or born with some preternatural intellectual, artistic of physical gifts. Also in general, unless you were a fully evolved advanced human being like Paul Robeson, you still had to be white or almost white, unless, of course, your father owned some country in Africa, South America or Asia and the assumption was that you would be going back there after you finished your education. As far as lawyers were concerned, even if you were an ivy league graduate, you often were not hired by the large Wall Street firms if you were, say, jewish, Puerto rican, italian or black unless you parents were major clients of the firm (and even then you could never aspire to becoming a partner). In those cases you went out to find jobs in industry or in government, set up your own firm or, moved to California.

At my interview Simon explained up front that the lawyer jobs in MHIS were intended to be slotted to ivy league graduates only. Nevertheless he allowed me to continue with the interview. At the end of the interview he sat there silently staring at me for what seemed like a very long time. Finally, he told me that even though I had not attended an ivy league school he was disposed to hire me because of all the young attorneys he interviewed I was the only one who spoke about the patients welfare and not the principles involved.

While I was happy to get the job, my feelings were somewhat equivocal. I was never all that good on legal principles so talking about the patients and their welfare was really all I that had going for me.
JOEY’S NEW MYSTERY NOVEL:

ENTER THE DRAGON

Dragon’s Breath:

Sam Spade: Ten thousand? We were talking about a lot more money than this.
Kasper Gutman: Yes, sir, we were, but this is genuine coin of the realm. With a dollar of this, you can buy ten dollars of talk.

Chapter 16:

I stared blankly at the phone after I disconnected from Mavis. I was pulled back from wherever I had gone off to by Joe Vu who had thrust his iPhone in front of me. I took it from him, put it to my ear and heard an angry Martin Vihn say:

“What were you trying to do with Lilly?”

Answered, “It doesn’t matter anymore. Clarence Reilly has been found.”

“What? Where?”

“Floating beneath the Golden Gate Bridge, dead.”

There was silence for a moment then, “Suicide?”

“I have no idea.”

Another momentary silence then, “I want you to find out how he died. Also what happened to the shipment.”

“Sorry, I don’t work for you anymore. My assignment was to find Reilly. I did. You want to hire me again, the terms are the same as before.”

Controlled anger flowed from the phone like waves of heat from a tenement fire.

“Who do you think you are?”

“Yeah, yeah, I know what you can have done to me. But, if you wanted to you could have done so when you first hired me. And, if you do it now you still are going to have to hire someone anyway. After all, like everything else in this case it’s all business, isn’t it?”

He chuckled. “OK. Same deal but this time I want you to find out how Clarence died and if someone killed him who. Also, what happened to the shipment of furniture.”

Following a little more negotiation and receiving the answers to some questions I had, I hung up, returned the phone to Joe and asked him to drive me home.

“To your place on Fourth not the Utah, right?” he said.

“How did you know?” I said only a bit surprised.

“I’m a detective in training.”

“Hmm. Put on some good clothing. We probably are going to a serious affair this evening. I’ll call you.”

He dropped me off. Once inside of my loft, I called Fat Al Pischotti. I met Fat Al while I was working my way through law school as an intern for Hal Lipset. Hal was a famous San Francisco detective who worked out of his home, a mansion in Pacific Heights. He was known far and wide for inventing the martini with a radio transmitter imbedded in the olive. It was useless since once and liquid was poured into the glass the transmitter no longer worked. It didn’t matter, the PR was worth it to Hal. Alas, with the coming of the computer age, the blue collar, shoe leather PI’s like Hal have been replaced by technology geeks who can acquire as much information in an hour as Hal at his best could gather in a week.

At that time Fat Al was a homicide detective for the City. After putting in his 20 years he promptly retired and opened his own detective agency. Actually Al was just the face, his wife ran the agency.

I asked Al as a favor to find out through his police contacts anything he could about Reilly’s death and to keep his ears open about the event I was sure would occur this evening.

After that, I took a shower, laid down in my bed and spent about an hour berating myself for allowing myself to get involved in all this foolishness. Just before I fell asleep, however, I consoled myself with the knowledge that I had made more money this week than any other week since I started this business. Mavis was not too bad a benefit either.
DAILY FACTOID:

“[T]he net debts of Wal-Mart… have soared — up 5,760 percent since 1987. By comparison, the roughly 600 percent rise in the U.S. public debt over the same period looks restrained. Is Wal-Mart mad?”
http://delong.typepad.com/sdj/2013/05/josh-barro-boehner-accidentally-explains-why-his-deficit-position-is-phony-bloomberg.html#more

(Although I often am in agreement with Professor DeLong, I must point out, who except the heirs of Wal-Mart’s founder cares if it collapses due to the madness of its managers, but the collapse of the US due to the madness of its political leaders is nothing to sneeze at.)

 

PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

A. Tales of Inhumanity:

The Banality of Evil.

MAY 18, 1943, Report from Sturmbannfuehrer Gricksch to SS-Col. von Herff and Reichsfuehrer-SS Himmler:

“The Auschwitz camp plays a special role in the resolution of the Jewish question. The most advance methods permit the execution of the Fuehrer-order in the shortest possible time and without arousing much attention.

The so-called “resettlement action” runs the following course:

The Jews arrive in special trains (freight cars) toward evening and are driven on special tracks to areas of the camp specifically set aside for this purpose.

There the Jews are unloaded and examined for their fitness to work by a team of doctors, in the presence of the camp commandant and several SS officers. At this point anyone who can somehow be incorporated into the work program is put in a special camp.

The curably ill are sent straight to a medical camp and are restored to health through a special diet. The basic principle behind everything is: conserve all manpower for work. The previous type of “resettlement action” has been thoroughly rejected, since it is too costly to destroy precious work energy on a continual basis.

The unfit go to cellars in a large house which are entered from outside. They go down five or six steps into a fairly long, well-constructed and well-ventilated cellar area, which is lined with benches to the left and right. It is brightly lit, and the benches are numbered.

The prisoners are told that they are to be cleansed and disinfected for their new assignments. They must therefore completely undress to be bathed. To avoid panic and to prevent disturbances of any kind, they are instructed to arrange their clothing neatly under their respective numbers, so that they will be able to find their things again after their bath.

Everything proceeds in a perfectly orderly fashion. Then they pass through a small corridor and enter a large cellar room which resembles a shower bath. In this room are three large pillars, into which certain materials can be lowered from outside the cellar room. When three- to four-hundred people have been herded into this room, the doors are shut, and containers filled with the substances are dropped down into the pillars.

As soon as the containers touch the base of the pillars, they release particular substances that put the people to sleep in one minute. A few minutes later, the door opens on the other side, where the elevator is located. The hair of the corpses is cut off, and their teeth are extracted (gold-filled teeth) by specialists (Jews). It has been discovered that Jews were hiding pieces of jewelry, gold, platinum etc., in hollow teeth.

Then the corpses are loaded into elevators and brought up to the first floor, where ten large crematoria are located. (Because fresh corpses burn particularly well, only 50-100 lbs. of coke are needed for the whole process.) The job itself is performed by Jewish prisoners, who never step outside this camp again.

The results of this “resettlement action” to date: 500,000 Jews. Current capacity of the “resettlement action” ovens: 10,000 in 24 hours.

(As I pointed out in an earlier post, it may be that there may have been crueler and greater genocides [e.g. the slaughter of the Native Americans], in none, however, do we have the extent of testimony by the victims themselves and obsessive record keeping by the murderers as we do in this one.

It is this testimony that should remind everyone of the horrors that can flow from hate and irrational fear. [It should be recalled that, until the attack on Pearl Harbor, a majority of Americans had no problem with the rhetoric and policies coming out of the Axis countries that ultimately led to the barbarity reported above.]

It is no defense to denying someone a job, education or medical treatment because of their racial, gender, ethnic or sexual orientation that, unlike what occurred in the 1930s and 40s, it has not yet ended in horrible death. Nevertheless, almost daily I receive emails and other communications or hear political leaders who proudly revel in their belief of the justice and equity of their fear and of their hate. They alas only too often call that hate, American values.)

TODAY’S QUOTE:

“It was a rare fine night for a stroll down by the docks, the moon plump as a new pillow in an old-fashioned hotel and the undertow in the turning tide swushing its ripples silvery-green and a bird you’ve never heard before chirring its homesick tale of a place you might once have known and most likely now will never see, mid-June and almost midnight and balmy yet, the kind of evening built for a long walk with a woman who likes to take long walks and not say very much, and that little in a murmur you have to strain to catch, her laughter low and throaty, her humour dry and favouring lewd, eyes like smoky mirrors of the vast night sky and in them twinkles that might be stars reflecting or the first sparks of intentions that you’d better fan with soft words and a gentle touch in just the right place or spend the rest of your life and maybe forever wondering what might have been, all for the want of a soft word and a touch gentle and true.”

(This single 183 word long sentence opens the novel Slaughter’s Hound by Declan Burke. It has nothing at all to do with anything else that follows in the novel. That is much like the opening paragraphs of every chapter in his namesake James Lee Burke’s novels about the two male-bonded goodfellows of Iberia Parish in Louisiana that also have nothing to do with whatever follows in the chapter. But, they are beautiful.)

TODAY’S CHART:

nasa-climate-change-e1358345450589

TODAY’S PHOTOGRAPH:

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(These same sentiments, enhanced by the patina of the intellectual rhetoric of the time, were applied with equal vehemence to immigrants from Ireland, Italy, Poland, China and Japan when they first began arriving here in America in large numbers. I wonder if the descendants of those immigrants feel that they and their ancestors were so much dumber then the progeny of those previous immigrants many of whom settled in Appalachia and the deep South and who either made or believed those claims.)

 

Categories: April 1213 through June 1213 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

This and that from re Thai r ment, by 3Th. 9 Jo Jo 0002 (May 23, 2013)

Happy Birthday Jessica

TODAY FROM THAILAND:

A. POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN THAILAND:

The past few days have seen the rains return to BKK. I do not know if we have tipped over into the rainy season yet or if this is just a temporary respite from the heat and the pollution. In any event, the pollution and the blazing heat have diminished, replaced with stifling humidity. As a result, except for my daily trip to the pool, I still spend most of my days huddled by the AC in my apartment reading. I have completed reading all 14 novels in the Dresden Files series that have been written so far. The author promises to write at least seven more.

We now know that Mab the Fairy Queen of the Winter Court of the Sidhe is not insane even though she had her daughter Maeve murdered. We also know the name of the being behind all the trouble that occurred in the previous 13 books. His name is Nemesis, although to call him that pisses him off so everyone prefers to call him the Adversary. Why that does not piss him off as much, I have no idea. We still do not know what is under the Cowl. Harry Dresden, the Wizard, did get laid again. Although he was willing, he was effectively raped by Mab since there was nothing he could do about it. The coupling itself, through what in the magic of fairyland passes for social media, was witnessed by all the residents of both the Summer and Winter Queendoms of the Sidhe.

*****

I really do not know what has been going on with me for the past few weeks. Whatever physical or emotional problems I had experienced since my hospitalization have been gone ever since my jet lag lifted a few weeks ago. Yet, since then I have done little but swim in the mornings and read straight through the day until I turn out the light at about 11pm to sleep. One day, I decided to break from reading and so I went to see a movie. That’s it. I feel like I should be doing something — almost anything. I even put off my trip to the beach for a week. I do not feel depressed. If fact just the opposite. Nevertheless I exhibit all the symptoms of depression except depression itself.

Since I finished the Dresden Tales I have returned to Bruen, Nesbro, Declan Burke and the Foreworld Tales. Every day I try to write a few sentences in This and that… but little else. Maybe I will do something next week. Time is getting short.

*****

B. NEWS STRAIGHT OR SLIGHTLY BENT:

In the Autumn of 2011, when the new Thai government came into power, it implemented a campaign promise to create a national health program that provides all Thais with health services for about one dollar US per visit. The program was conceived by the administrator of a hospital that had managed to develop and carry out the medical delivery systems in his hospital to such a high degree of efficiency that it allowed the hospital to charge the patient only a little more than that. The program passed in the first few hours of the new administration. A quasi-independent board was set up to administer it.

The hospital administrator that developed the program was appointed to head the new entity. I has proven wildly successful, much to the chagrin of the pharmaceutical industry (mostly foreign corporations) because unlike Obamacare in the US which in a compromise with the industry did not allow Medicare to freely choose the lowest cost supplier by forcing them to compete on price, the Thai program did. It was very successful in bringing down costs.

The Administrator of the Thai program has recently proposed to manufacture generic drugs in general use not patent protected in order to further reduce costs. That apparently was the last straw. Under pressure from the foreign pharmaceutical companies, the government sacked the administrator and turned the entire program over to administration by local political leaders.

 

JOEY’S NEW MYSTERY NOVEL:

ENTER THE DRAGON

Dragon’s Breath:

Wilmer Cook: Keep on riding me and they’re gonna be picking iron out of your liver.
Sam Spade: The cheaper the crook, the gaudier the patter.

Chapter 15:

Most people believe that when faced with danger humans react in two ways, fight or flee. Actually there is a third way. I call it the bunny rabbit approach — freeze and be eaten. Unfortunately for me, I have found that the third option seems to be the default setting on my survival instinct. So, when I saw Fat Face sitting there in the car smiling at me my first impulse was to close my eyes and cringe. But, after a moment I realized that there was at least ten feet of sidewalk between me and the car in which he was sitting I relaxed a bit and after checking up and down the street I said”

“Where’s the Prince of Wales?”

“Huh” Fat Freddie responded. His smile disappearing.

“Your fat friend Gordie.”

“Uh…why don’t you get in the car here and you can give me your report,” he said obviously not getting my clever allusion to a scene in a fifty year old movie about Beau Brummel staring Stewart Granger (but for “Scaramouche” his greatest role).

“I thought you were going to call,” said I.

“Too busy. but I have time now.”

“Well,” I said. “There’s nothing to report. I still don’t know what happened to Holland. And I’m not getting into your car. You’re in the wrong area of the city for trolling. Try Land’s End.”

Suddenly I felt a sharp pain in my kidney either I was passing a stone or something hard was pushed into my back. A large hand then gripped my upper arm followed by a gravelly voice saying, “get in the car.”

It finally got to me. My fear was replaced by indignation at being forced to play a supporting role a third-rate gangster flick. Said:

“It talks. Is this the point when I say, is that a gun sticking into my back or are you just happy to see me. There’s a big difference between sitting in a car choking on Porky’s body oder and getting shot in the street. You’re not going to do it so let’s knock off amateur hour. Or to put it another way, go fuck yourself.”

Before I could do anything else or Fat Freddie could respond, I heard,

“Let’m go muthafucka.”

The grip on my arm loosened and I turned around. There was Joe Vu with his gun against Frank Fat’s neck.

“Fuck,” I screamed. “Are you all crazy?. Joe put the fucking gun away. No one’s shooting anyone. Were in the middle of a San Francisco Street. You Porky Two get back in the car.”

“It’s OK Bart,” the rotund one driving the car called out. “Get in the car.”

“Bart! Did you just call him Bart? Am I living in a Trivial Pursuits wet dream? He’s not a kid with yellow skin so that must make you Brett.”

Fat Tony or rather Bilious Bart walked to the car and got in. I realized that they actually did remind me of the aged and obese Garner and the guy that never made it in the movies. They smiled waved and drove off.

“I thought you were in trouble boss,” said Joe Vu slipping his gun back into his pocket.

I did not say anything as we walked back to our car but then thought I would screw with him a bit. Said,

“You think Martin hired them?”

“Nah,” he said as he walked around to the driver’s side and opened the door. “If he wanted to hurt you he’d have you hire his cousin as your student.”

I stared at him then got into the car. Said,

“You know, I think it’s all a game.”

“What do you mean boss.”

“Why me. Why hire me. I’m a no account PI. if anyone were really serious they would hire a real agency. This towns full of detectives. I don’t think either Martin, or Mavis or for that matter Lilly care all that much about either Reilly or Holland. The Tons of Fun were probably just toying with me.”

“Why do you do that boss?”

“What?”

“Make fun fat people like that.”

“Fat guys, blond beauty contest winners, politicians and Vietnamese sidekicks are still fair game. The PC police haven’t gotten to them yet.”

At that moment both our phones started ringing at the same time. It was Mavis on mine. She said,

“What did you do with Lilly?”

“She called you huh? Was she upset?

“Not really. Said she might take us up on a threesome. But that’s not why I called. After Lilly hung up, I went back to my painting. I like to listen to the radio news — for some reason music distracts me when I paint. Anyway, they just reported that Clarence Reilly was found floating near one of the piers at the bottom of the Golden Gate Bridge.”

MOPEY JOE’S MEMORIES:

Note: the following continues my series about the four governmental agencies that I had some role in developing.

A. The State of New York’s Mental Health Information Service:

2. The New York State Mental Health Hospital System in 1965:

During the Middle Ages in Europe at about the time that market towns began to flourish, the good burghers of those villages recognized that, in addition to criminals such as thieves and pick-pockets, disruptive individuals disturbing the peace were not good for business and so they were rounded up and one way or another punished. In addition to the normal drunk and disorderly, included among the breakers of the peace were those that in a future more civilized time were to be called the mentally ill; those whose physical behavior made them incapable of fending for themselves or those who defended themselves from the horrors of their own mind by adopting behaviors that were shockingly odd to those around them. Many of the latter were driven from the towns into the countryside or executed as witches or heretics.

Eventually the difference between the common criminal and the mentally ill began to be recognized and separate jails and prisons were constructed to house the latter. As these insane asylums as they began to be known grew in both size and number, periodic attempts were made to treat those in the asylums somewhat more humanely than they had been. Places like Charenton in Paris, although considered one of the most “humane,” inflicted all sorts of tortures on their inmates in efforts to “cure” them. Those were the enlightened places. In most asylums the cost of long-term care generally were contained by maintaining a high mortality rate.

In the middle of the Nineteenth Century with the coming of the Industrial revolution, the newly emergent upper middle class discovered to their horror that their newfound wealth did not shield them from being stricken with mental illness any less often than the poor (but, probably a good deal less often than the hugely inbred royalty of the time). Unlike the poor, however, who for example upon becoming too depressed to work would end up starving or incarcerated, many members of the middle class (except for the male primary bread winners) could lie in bed for as much as weeks at a time until the humors or vapors or whatever passed. And, these new industrialists had the wherewithal to hire care givers for their distressed family members.

As a result, as it was to be expected, individuals claiming expertise in nervous disorders clustered wherever there was money to be made. This was mostly a good thing because it got some people to think about what could be done with these types of illnesses and a few of them even began to look into what was going on with the patients in the asylums; if not for humanitarian reasons, then at least as experimental subjects.

During the later part of that century and the first two decades of the next, in central Europe a group of these practitioners attempted to piece together a scholarly synthesis of the conditions they had been hired to treat. Psychoanalysis was born and a revolution in treatment followed. They were wrong of course. They assumed that there was a defect in the mind that could be corrected by behavioral and environmental strategies such as actually talking to the patient in a way calculated to instill in the patient the belief that the analyst was really interested in the patients condition.

It was more a religion then a science in that, although it appeared to be on some level empirically descriptive, it was neither quantified nor particularly verifiable. (Some of the early associations of these practitioners even had rules that discouraged experimentation and often threw out any practitioner who did not precisely follow the association’s approved method of treatment.) Due, however, to its lavish use of metaphor and its complex description of human motivation, it did produce great art.

Also, the long-term interaction of the practitioner with the patient required by psychoanalysis and the subtle behavioral modification that were encouraged seemed to have had a mitigating effect on the severity and duration of the patient’s condition, much like bed rest has on a cold. It also was lucrative enough to attract the best and the brightest into the profession. This perhaps was its lasting impact because as a general rule the more people looking at a problem for whatever reason, the more likely you will find someone who actually figures out what to do about it.

By the middle of the Twentieth Century, due in part to the influx of specialists from Central Europe fleeing the horrors of that time and its incredible wealth, New York City became the center of the universe for psychiatric care. It was a time of great ferment and turmoil in the subject area. This concentration of money and expertise overflowed into the hospital system housing the mentally ill in New York State. Huge hospitals often containing the latest technology were built. Some of these hospital complexes were so large that in terms of population and land areas covered by buildings they could rank as small cities.

The patients in several large state run hospitals in a particular area would be sent there primarily from a central receiving hospital. Often the receiving hospital was associated with a medical school teaching hospital with a psychiatric treatment emphasis.

Police and family members would bring to the emergency rooms throughout the day and night individuals who appeared to be suffering no observable trauma or biological disease but who were clearly unable to care for themselves for some reason. After processing through the emergency room most were released and only the most disturbed were admitted to the wards.

By the following morning they each would be interviewed by the chief psychiatric resident at a meeting attended by other members of the hospitals medical and psychiatric staff as well as the institutions social service and administrative staff who would then decide whether to readmit them to the wards of the teaching hospital for a short-term stay, send them on to the appropriate state hospital for long-term care or release them.

One could be involuntarily incarcerated for mental illness, drug dependency and alcoholism. One had certain rights for a hearing regarding incarceration. But, what patient would ever know what those rights were? There was also a belief in a history of callous indifference to the welfare of the patients once they were admitted. Hence the Mental Health Information Service was created to remedy these concerns and to bring to the patients some semblance of understanding of their legal rights to both freedom as well as adequate medical treatment.

PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

A. Tales of Inhumanity:

7th May 1943, The ‘end of the world’ approaches in the Warsaw Ghetto (Part III).

A young woman writes:

“The Germans usually attacked us at night. Now they are expanding their attacks to the daytime as well. We must maintain absolute silence on our bunks so that the enemy will not discover us.

I am going out into the street. The streets – Mila, Zamenhof, Kurza, Nalewki, Lubecki – all are on fire. Workshops, apartments, stores, entire houses are burning. The ghetto is nothing more than a sea of flames.

A very strong wind is blowing, which fans the fire and carries the sparks from the burning houses to those that have not yet caught fire.

The fire destroys everything. The sight is horrifying, shocking. The fire spreads so quickly that people cannot escape from the buildings and they perish tragically. People with bundles run from house to house, from street to street. There is no salvation; no one knows where to hide. They search in desperation but there is no deliverance, no refuge, death rules everything.

The walls of the ghetto are surrounded. No one goes out and no one comes in. Clothing is burning on people’s bodies. Screams of pain, sobbing. Everyone wants to be saved, everyone tries to save his own life.

People are choking from the smoke. All are begging for help. Most of them, almost all of them, cry out to God: “God, show your power, have mercy on us.” God is as silent as a Sphinx and does not answer. And you, the nations, why are you silent? Don’t you see that they want to annihilate us? Why are you silent?

Despite the danger, Jews are running through the streets just to save their lives. Everything is engulfed in fire. It looks like the end of the world has come. “Save yourselves if you can!” The situation is horrifying, terrible. Everyone wants to be saved. Hell has come to earth. Dante’s Inferno – it cannot be believed and it cannot be described.

A new day is beginning. With the new day, there is a deathly silence. People are in their corners without food or water. A cemetery in flames. The sound of metal falling and of burning walls collapsing is heard.

The ghetto is burning for the fourth day. All we see are chimneys standing and the frames of the houses that burned down. In the first moment, this spectacle arouses a shudder of horror: yes, this is the work of Hitler’s vandals, who hope that the entire world will look this way. There is no doubt that they will not succeed in this.

In our thoughts, we return to the past. We’ve lost many things. The only thing left to us is our hiding place. Of course, it is not a safe place.

We live the day, the hour, the moment.”

A few days later the following report was filed by Juergen Stroop:

“180 Jews, bandits and sub-humans, were destroyed. The former Jewish quarter of Warsaw is no longer in existence. The large-scale action was terminated at 20:15 hours by blowing up the Warsaw Synagogue…. Total number of Jews dealt with 56,065, including both Jews caught and Jews whose extermination can be proved…. Apart from 8 buildings (police barracks, hospital, and accommodations for housing working-parties) the former Ghetto is completely destroyed. Only the dividing walls are left standing where no explosions were carried out.”

B. Races do not exist, but Racism does:

Why Racism is Foolish from the Perspective of Modern Genetics.

“If you ask for your DNA profile today from a company that specialized in “DNA ancestry” what you will get is essentially a picture of the “origin” of the different segments on your chromosome, so you’ll see that this segment over here (which is known to code for the following 10 genes) is African, while that segment next to it (which is known to code for the following 16 genes) is Native American. This is the obvious consequences of crossing-over, of course.

Making this fact so obvious, so front-and-center has very interesting consequences. Most importantly, it makes it clear that while one can speak of “African genes” or “Northern European genes”, one cannot extrapolate from that to an “African person”, at least not in the context of the Americas where four hundred years of random interbreeding has occurred.

All one can mean by “African person” is a less careful way of saying “person whose appearance genes are African”. It was expected that there would be substantial clustering and correlation between genes but, again in the Americas, this turns out largely not to be the case, so you may have African appearance genes, but that does not translate into an especially high probability that you have African blood genes or liver protein genes or (if you insist on that sort of thing) African sport and neuro-anatomy genes. And vice versa — you may look as Euro as they come, but chances are there was at least one African somewhere in the past ten generations or so, and that African left his/her genes in you — not as a diluted out “1024th of the blood” but as very definite stretches of DNA coding for very definite proteins.

You may insist on your whiteness all you like, but when genomic medicine becomes real, and the test reveals that you carry the African version of oncoprotein 134A, are you going to demand that you be given the “Euro” version of your cancer drug, the one that attacks oncoprotein 134B?”
Maynard Handley http://delong.typepad.com/sdj/2013/05/dana-golstein-attention-jason-richwine-youre-not-the-first-guy-to-wrongly-believe-immigrants-are-dumb.html#more

(Sigh, yet they still however will deny they are racists even though they believe, Mexicans are stupid, African-Americans shiftless, Arabs homicidal and Barak Obama is a Communist from Kenya.)

TODAY’S QUOTES:

A. A message from Al:

6683_529487887094092_2007033411_n

(The next time you are out having coffee with your ‘frens’ and are busily engaged with your smart phone, remember it is probably already too late to do anything about Albert’s warning…. or to put it another way, welcome to our generation.

Recently I had lunch with a young woman acquaintance of mine. She spent most of our time together showing me all the wonderful applications on her iPhone. I was doubly jealous. Jealous that I did not have a cool iPhone with thousands of applications and jealous that she found the damned phone more interesting than me.)

B. Freedom:

“Freedom has two enemies: Those who want to control everyone around them…and those who feel no need to control themselves.”
by Sirenus

TODAY’S CHART:

obama-budget-1.png

(What this chart means is that after Hillary Clinton becomes President in 2016, she may find herself ranked as among the greatest Presidents in the nation’s history for having the ability to lower taxes and raise social expenditures while cutting the deficit and running a fiscal surplus, all because of the provisions contained in Barak Obama’s current budget. I am sure the Republicans will fight to the death to prevent this.)

 

TODAY’S CARTOON:

falsebalance-1

TODAY’S PHOTOGRAPH:

DSCN1245

The Duck Pond in Summer.

 

Categories: April 1213 through June 1213 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

This and that from re Thai r ment, by 3Th. 2 JoJo 0002 (May 17, 2013)

 

 

TODAY FROM THAILAND:

A. POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN THAILAND:

I went to the Thai immigration office to get my one-year retirement visa renewed
The Little Masseuse kindly accompanied me to handle negotiations with the various transportation entities we were required to maneuver in order to get to and from the immigration office. She patiently sat outside the offices waiting for me to complete the process.

It was a much less traumatic experience than my previous visit. It took only about three hours or so.

Alas, after I had acquired the requisite stamps and paid the various fees I left, completely forgetting LM was there waiting for me. I was half-way home when I received a call from her inquiring how much longer the visa extension process would take.

How does one simply forget another human being? What level of self-absorption does it take to do that?

Somewhere in a past T&T I wrote of the three stages of a man’s old age: First you forget to zip it up, then you forget to zip it down, then you die.

I know I have passed through stage one. The periodic sense of cool breezes where there should be none reminds me of that. Alas, it appears that stage two is approaching much faster than I would like.

B. NEWS STRAIGHT OR SLIGHTLY BENT:

You go girl II:

Today Thai television showed a surveillance video of the inside of an elevator. In the elevator stood a small girl or young woman dressed in a pink jacket. A light blue backpack was strapped to her back. The doors opened and a man much larger than the girl and dressed in dark clothing entered. As soon as the doors closed, he grabbed the girl and threw her against the back wall of the elevator. The girl then proceeded to beat the living shit out of him. By the time the elevator doors opened again the guy was lying in a foetal position on the floor of the elevator in a pool of his own blood.

(I have never seen or for that matter imagined a response to a surprise physical assault so sudden, focused, implacable and merciless as that little girl’s.

I wonder if the video was real. It had the blurry aspect of those type of surveillance videos. The girl seemed to move with the speed and power of one of those spandex attired superheroes. What would one call an elfin sized female superhero with a pink jacket and a powder blue backpack?

Speaking of superheroes in tights, when I left the American Embassy a few days ago its exterior walls had been covered in murals painted by local school children in one of those attempts by the State Department to achieve some sort of ambiguous rapport with the locals. The theme of the murals appeared to be the painter’s image of America. In the center of the exhibit was one panel containing a life-sized representation of Captain America in a red white and blue unitard leaping to defend truth justice and the American way complete with a little round shield, blazing red lipstick and huge almost frighteningly large breasts. America the beautiful…We should only hope.)

JOEY’S NEW MYSTERY NOVEL:

ENTER THE DRAGON

Dragon’s Breath:

Wilmer Cook: Keep on riding me and they’re gonna be picking iron out of your liver.
Sam Spade: The cheaper the crook, the gaudier the patter.

Chapter 15:

(Alas, this issue of T&T has grown so long that I felt adding an another 1000 words or so would be excessive. We will pick up again on the Dragon’s unwilling adventures in the next post.)
MOPEY JOE’S MEMORIES:

Note: the following begins my series about the four governmental agencies that I had some role in developing.

A. The State of New York’s Mental Health Information Service:

1. Introduction:

It was 1965, the high point for those of us flooding out from the nations colleges and universities who, in response to JFK’s challenge to “ask what you can do for your country,” believed that their idealism could correct past injustices and create a brighter future. It was a few years yet before that idealism began to dissolve in the miasma of self-indulgence brought on by the counter-culture. It was six years before future Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart‘s infamous memorandum called for the creation of a massive parasite community, a greater assembly of non-productive individuals than ever contemplated by any religion or governmental bureaucracy, made up of attorneys, economists, consultants and lobbyists dedicated to redistributing wealth from the productive elements of society, rich and poor alike, into their ever insatiable maw. It was still a few years before that dark avatar of amorality, Richard Nixon recognized that combining the worst aspects of the American South with the worst of the North and West was the road to iniquitous power. It was a little more than a decade before, in response to Stewart’s siren call, America’s youth in great numbers abandoned the study of science, engineering and even the debatable civilizing influence of the liberal arts and flocked to devour the intricacies of business, finance and law in the vain hope of raising themselves individually above the society in which they lived. By the mid-1980s the wellspring of JFK’s challenge had died leaving behind only a greater or lesser will to defend what had been accomplished and a vague periodic enthusiasm for restitution on behalf of the victim of the month. But that was later. Then we were certain we would make a difference.

In 1964, the New York State Legislature created the Mental Health Information Service to rectify the perceived festering sore that was New Yorks vast mental hospital system and bureaucracy. I had recently graduated from law school and to play a role in creating program to implement the law fascinated me. A few weeks before this I had participated in a three day testing program at NYU to determine my aptitude for various professional alternatives I may wish to pursue. The tests indicated that I was best suited for either conducting an orchestra or becoming a social worker. Since I had no musical abilities that I knew of but having recently been admitted to the NY Bar, the appearance of the hiring notice seemed fortuitous.
(To be continued)

DAILY FACTOID:

February 3, 1959: The Day the Music Died.

Monument at the crash site of the airplane car...

Monument at the crash site of the airplane carrying Buddy Holly, The Big Bopper, and Ritchie Valens; “The Day the Music Died” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Not all the music died that day. Waylon Jennings who was also on the tour did not take the flight having given up his seat in favor of “The Big Bopper” who had the flu. Tommy Allsop lost a coin toss to Richie Valens for the last seat on the plane.

Dion Dimucci, the Dion of Dion and the Belmonts fame, did not board the ill fated charter aircraft that killed Buddy Holly, Richie Valens and the Big Bopper because he refused to pay the $36 fee.

(I knew Dion. He lived in the Arthur Avenue section of the Bronx, a heavily Italian area of NYC. I could see him doing that. Liked his music though.)

PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

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

12404_564651120236040_70341764_n

(It should be pointed out the seven countries with the lowest child poverty rates identified by the gold bars are all countries that some have accused of being highly socialistic. These seven countries however are not included in that group of countries experiencing current economic difficulties that these same people attribute to the debts accumulated from their socialistic policies even though in fact those difficulties are almost exclusively due to their lassie faire approach to the unbridled greed of their banking and financial industries.)

B. Testosterone Chronicles:

Lee

(A man’s man does not have to be 100% dick.)

C. More Evidence that Economics is a Religion and not a Science:

chart-1

The above chart represents the responses of a large group of economists to the question about the efficacy of current economic policy. It demonstrates what I and many other people have been saying and what many others believe, that economists do not know that they are doing and to bestow upon their area of study the title of a “science” whether modified by the word “social” or not is ludicrous. In fact, to me the predictive power of their field of study is not appreciatively greater than divination of the future from goat entrails. It has all the indicia of a religion. One might just as well flip a coin as ask an economist for advice on what policies to pursue to achieve a healthy national economy.

D. Interesting site:

http://delong.typepad.com/sdj/2013/05/the-washington-super-whale-hedge-fundies-the-federal-reserve-and-bernanke-hatred.html#more

The above cited article by Brad DeLong is in my opinion the clearest and most understandable analysis of the financial crisis initiated by Citibank’s London hedge fund trader and of the nature of hedge funds in general. It also highlights why, conspiracy mavens aside, the Federal Reserve system was a pretty good idea.

But perhaps the most interesting thing to me and not discussed at all, was that the supervisor of the rogue trader who, upon realizing that the trader’s approach could either leave Citibank perhaps the most overwhelmingly wealthy entity on earth or bankrupt, chose to take the current loss in order assure preservation of the bank rather than risk it on the potential of becoming richer than Croesus, was a woman.

Would the exclusively male traders and managers at Lehman Brothers have made the same choice? Obviously not.

E. Tales of Inhumanity:

7th May 1943, The ‘end of the world’ approaches in the Warsaw Ghetto (Part II).

A young woman writes:

“Wham! Boom! The enemy is shooting machine guns and throwing grenades into the bunker. The bunker is partially covered with an avalanche of rubble. The people inside are acting courageously. With complete serenity, they look death in the face.

In silence, we honour the death of the people who are burning in the flames. The Germans are shooting every Jew that they find or taking and burning the bodies on the bonfire in the community courtyard at 19 Zamenhof Street. Hitler’s devotees, his dedicated servants and hangmen, who obey their leader’s orders, execute everything in accordance with the order which states that in 1945 there will not be a single Jew left in Europe.

Today, silence reigned for a long time. We lay on the bunks until late in the evening after four days of hunger. Everyone was satisfied because we ate something and went to sleep in a better mood. The appearance of these people, whose cheeks were already sunken, improved, their eyes brightened and a spark of life was once again discernible within them. Now everyone believes that he will be able to hold on.

Surprisingly, we have light again, the electricity is back. Maybe the sun will also shine for us. It’s really about time. We are cut off from the entire world, helpless and relying only on our own powers. No one talks about rescue. We are extending our existence with great effort.

Our lives are extremely threatened now, the danger is constant. The living standard is very low. The people are half-naked, dressed in rags, running around morosely on the stone floor. They can’t live and they can’t die.

I am amazed that in such conditions we have succeeded in surviving for three weeks. We know very well what kind of action this is because they announced it in advance. This is the extermination of Warsaw Jewry and, afterwards, our end.”

TODAY’S QUOTES:

A. Sophokles – Antigone:

Antigone: No matter—Death longs for the same rites for all.
Creon: Never the same for the patriot and the traitor.
Antigone: Who, Creon, who on earth can say the ones below don’t find this pure and uncorrupt?
Creon: Never. Once an enemy, never a friend, not even after death.
Antigone: I was born to join in love, not hate—that is my nature.
Creon: Go down below and love, if love you must—love the dead! While I’m alive, no woman is going to lord it over me.
(From Brad DeLong’s Journal)

(See Pepe’s Potpourri D. above. The rogue trader’s manager that put preservation of the organization above untold wealth was fired. Little has changed in 3000 years. We men still behave like Creon. That is why I wrote some time ago:

“For at least 10,000 years or so virtually every political system, economic system and religion on earth 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.”)

B. Do you agree with this?

“Not all Republicans are racists, but most racists are Republicans.”
Anonymous.

TODAY’S CHART:

577687_10151572256535155_1868687208_n

TODAY’S PHOTOGRAPH:

DSCN0904

Silver and Blue

 

Categories: April 1213 through June 1213 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

This and that from re Thai r ment, by 3Th. 24 Capt. Coast 0002 (May 12, 2013)

TODAY FROM THAILAND:

A. POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN THAILAND:

April, May and June tend to be the hottest months of the year in Thailand. Since I have been here, the temperature has hovered well in the high 90s and low 100s .

For the first week or so I cultivated the hypochondria brought on by jet-lag and BKK air pollution. I attempted to while away my time by reading trashy vacation-time novels. You know, those novels you turn to when you are lying on the sand under an umbrella with nothing to do but stare at the water while bemoaning the fact that recreational drugs are not readily available to numb you even further into insensibility. I guess alcohol is an alternative but it always gives me agita.

In my case, I decided to read all 15 or so books of the Dresden Files at about one a day. I have just finished book ten. They are about Harry Dresden a wizard working as a private detective in Chicago battling the unending horrors escaping from the spirit world threatening to engulf the City in a reign of vampires and ghouls and unspeakable other creatures and bury it under 50 feet of ectoplasm.

Like I said trash, inventive trash but trash none the less. Now I know what some of you are asking yourselves, “I thought he said he was afraid of horror movies.” Well yes, movies; books not so much. I do not know why.

Anyway it has been somewhat interesting to observe that by reading the several books in this short period of time some of the overriding plot lines and emerging back stories have begun to manifest themselves. For example: Who really started the war between the Wizards of the White Council and the Vampires of the Red Court; Is Mab, Fairy Queen of the Winter Sidhe, really going insane; Who is behind the Cowl; Will Harry’s half brother Thomas, the incubus, truly find happiness as a hairdresser sucking bits of the life force from his adoring clients and; Will Harry ever get laid.* It seems the flash of even the slightest bit of skin from any female from 14 through 400,000 years old (many are almost immortal spirits after all) appears to turn Harry into a salivating imbecile. One would think that since wizards are masters of do-it-yourself Harry by this time would have learned how to relieve himself of his perpetual horniness. At least a half a dozen times per novel he finds himself with an erection moments before some horror from the netherworld beats the shit out of him. That is some bad Juju..

In his Notes, the author claims that he was fascinated with the Swords and Sorcery genre ever since as a child he first read the Hobbit and although throughout his writing career he tried to write similar fantasy novels he was not very good and it. He was very pleased, however, that readers seemed to like his wizard-detective stories.

Well, I am very happy for him. Throughout my life I wanted to grow up. I wasn’t very good at it and the best I could manage was to grow old. No one I know liked that at all, least of all me.

I went to the US embassy for some paperwork necessary for my visa extension. While I waited, the television in the waiting room was tuned into the Discovery Station as it always is when it is not tuned on to CNN. As usual the program was about things killing and devouring other things. I wondered why National Geographic marketing was aimed at the adolescent and seriously delayed post-adolescent male segment of the viewing public. Why not market say, for women? I would not presume to know what they would prefer, but I doubt it would be killing, blood and bones in high-definition color every time, all the time. When I looked around me, I saw the young men glassy-eyed and smiling staring up at the screen while the women for the most part looked down at the floor or at the notices and posters that covered the walls.

I thought the Discovery Channel was supposed to awaken the interest in young minds in science and discovery. What sort of scientists are they looking for that would be fascinated in learning more about how a killer whale rips the head off a seal or a lion disembowels a gazelle? Why not try love for a change?

(*Note: Some of these questions surprisingly have actually been answered in Book 11 which I have just finished reading. Harry gets laid although with unhappy results and his half-brother definitely has not found happiness. We still, however, do not know about Mab’s potential psychosis and who or what is behind the war or under the cowl. Alas, I may never find out the answers to these questions as Amazon has announced that my Kindle is now somehow outside its jurisdiction and refuses to provide me with a new password to correct it. I now have a flaccid Kindle.)

B. NEWS STRAIGHT OR SLIGHTLY BENT:

You go girl:

A 28-year-old female US sailor beat the bejesus out of a bus driver in Dubai after he pulled a knife on her and announced he was going to rape her. […]
Basically, she got on the bus after shopping, he drove to a bus terminal, pulled a knife on her, and told her he was going to rape her. So she beat the crap out of him.
http://americablog.com/2013/04/female-us-sailor-beats-the-crp-out-of-bus-driver-who-tries-to-rape-her.html

JOEY’S NEW MYSTERY NOVEL:

ENTER THE DRAGON

Dragon’s Breath:

Brigid O’Shaughnessy: I haven’t lived a good life. I’ve been bad, worse than you could know.
Sam Spade: You know, that’s good, because if you actually were as innocent as you pretend to be, we’d never get anywhere.

Chapter 14:

The question was simple enough. So was the answer: I was here to try to keep from having my ass kicked and she was the last person on a very short list that I haven’t spoken to. Of course I couldn’t say that with Joe Vu sitting here so I went with:

“I’m here on behalf of out mutual client, Martin Vihn. He would like to know what you have done with Clarence Reilly and wanted me to inform you that unless you return him before this evening, there will be no nookie for you tonight?”

I had to hand it to her, except for a slight tightening around the eyes, Lily showed absolutely no reaction to my question unlike Joe Vu who spit up his coffee all over his pants. Lilly said:

“Now I remember you. You were the one whose firm threw him out because he was crazy.”

Me: “Alas, I suffer an unfortunate condition. It’s like an unusual form of Tourette Syndrome. Every now and then, often in the most inappropriate situations, I have an irresistible impulse to blurt out the truth.”

Lilly: “Yes well…that’s not a particularly good condition for an attorney to have… With all due respect to Mr Vihn, and before I have security escort you out of the office, I would like you to know that I have no idea where to find my client Clarence Reilly and I am worried about him also. Good day, Mr. Dragon.”

Me: “Dragon will do.”

She got up and headed to the door out of the conference room. Before she reached the door, I said:

“Since Mark Holland is missing also, I’ve stepped into his shoes, so to speak, with Mavis. We’d like to know if you wanted to come over tonight for a threesome.”

She left the room with no indication that she heard what I said. I sat there for a moment staring at the door she left by then got up and left also. Joe followed. We went through the lobby and past the receptionist. She did not acknowledge our presence. Got to the elevator bank and pressed the button for the elevator. While we waited I noticed Joe staring at me.

“Well?” I said as the elevator arrived. As we stepped into the elevator he said, “Man, do you have to be crazy to be a detective? Because she’s right you’re nuts.”

Me:”What number rule are we on?”

Joe Vu:”Ah, rule number five, I think.”

Me again: “OK Rule Number Five: ‘When no one is paying any attention to you do something to make them.'”

Joe: “You could have set fire to the conference room or took your dick out and slammed it on the table.”

Me: “Hmm, those would work…a little too dramatic don’t you think?”

Joe: “So what did you hope to get from that?”

Me: “Maybe something and maybe nothing, who knows? But either way it will be information. That’s what investigators do. They gather and organize information. What they do not do is guess — even if it’s given a fancy name like deduction. If the information does not give you the answer then get some more — guessing just lowers your fees.”

I then added:

“Did you notice she never laughed, not even once? Not even out of embarrassment. Why do you suppose that is? She was insecure and offended? I don’t think so. But what do I know? Curious.”

The elevator doors opened. As we got out I told him that I would like some coffee. There’s a Peet’s in building Two on the street between Embarcadero Center buildings One and Two. I offered to buy him one. He refused and volunteered to get the car and drive it around to pick me up. I assumed he wanted to report in to Martin Vihn in private.

Before splitting up we went into the news and magazine store in the lobby. He to buy some gum and me a newspaper. I took out the sports section and handed the rest to him to take to the car.The shop had about half a hundred magazines displayed on racks. Being men we stopped a while to examine the covers. I then walked over to the coffee shop, leaving Joe engrossed in and chuckling at some soldier of fortune magazine.

The streets between the buildings are covered over by the mezzanine floor leaving them dark and uninviting. Having streets in the cool grey city of love cloaked in eternal gloom leaves them cold and foreboding. Scurrying away from them as quickly as possible is more likely on one’s mind than thoughts of love.

Peet’s Coffee sits at the intersection of the tunnel that runs through the building at street level and the street itself. I went in and ordered a small café latte. I leafed through the sports pages while waiting for my drink. I got the coffee, finished up a story about the San Francisco 49ers football teams most recent musclebound kamikaze acquisition and walked to the street to wait for Joe Vu.

There parked at the curb in a large silver-grey Mercedes and leaning out the window was the more talkative of the chubby twins. He had a big smile on his face and called out to me:

“Hiya sport.”

I shuddered. Not because of the chill or the sense of danger but because I felt caught in some strange time warp. Who the fuck calls anyone ‘sport’ anymore

PETRILLO’S COMMENTARY:

Recently President Obama in a well publicized speech encouraging toleration mentioned in general the historical contributions to our country of individuals, Americans, professing the Muslim faith. This has brought out the expected screams of anguish from those who seem to criticize our president for anything he says or does. I received an email from one of my correspondents, a middle-eastern non-muslim immigrant, forwarding a lengthy screed denying any contribution of anyone of that faith to our history and challenging anyone to demonstrate that any fought in the American Revolution, were residents during colonial times or otherwise contributed in any way to this country’s development. Well here are some:

1. “Islam is Peace” said President George W. Bush in a speech. He also once held hands with an Arab muslim.
2. 20% of the slaves brought to America were muslim thereby, I suspect, many of them predating the arrival on these shores of the ancestors of the people making the claims in the email.
3. Salem Poor, Yuef Ben Ali, Bampett Muhamed and Francis and Joseph Saba served in the American Revolutionary Army.
4.Estavanco was a muslim (North African Berber) who explored what is now Arizona and New Mexico for Spain.
5. Bilali (Ben Ali) Muhammad was a Fula Muslim from Timbo he became the religious leader and Imam for a slave community numbering approximately eighty Muslim men residing on his plantation. During the War of 1812, Muhammad and the eighty Muslim men under his leadership protected their master’s Sapelo Island property from a British attack. In 1829, Bilali authored a thirteen page Arabic Risala on Islāmic beliefs and the rules for ablution, morning prayer, and the calls to prayer. Known as the Bilali Document, it is currently housed at the University of Georgia in Athens.
6. In 1790, the South Carolina legislative body granted special legal status to a community of Moroccans
7. in the 1788 North Carolina ratifying convention opposed the new constitution; one reason was the fear that some day Catholics or Muslims might be elected president.
8. In 1863 Muhammad Ali ibn Said (also known as Nicholas Said) enlisted in the 55th Massachusetts Colored Regiment in the United States Army and rose to the rank of sergeant. He was later granted a transfer to a hospital department, where he gained some knowledge of medicine.
9. Mohammed Alexander Russell Webb (November 9, 1846, Hudson, New York – October 1, 1916, Rutherford, New Jersey), a muslim convert, was an American writer, publisher, and the United States Ambassador to the Philippines.
10. 1840 Yemini and Turkish immigration begins. They settled primarily in Dearborn Mich., Quincy Mass and Ross North Dakota.
11. 1906 Bosnian Muslims settle in Chicago.
12. 1907 Polish Muslims settle in NY.
13. Two of the most prominent Chinese American Muslims are the Taiwan National Revolutionary Army Generals Ma Hongkui and his son Ma Dunjing, who moved to Los Angeles after fleeing from China to Taiwan. Pai Hsien-yung, son of the Chinese Muslim General Bai Chongxi, is a Chinese Muslim writer who moved to Santa Barbara, California after fleeing from China to Taiwan.
14. There are over 2000 mosques in the United States and the nation’s largest mosque, the Islāmic Center of America, is in Dearborn, Michigan.
15. There are more than 15,000 doctors practicing medicine in the USA who are of Pakistani origin alone and the number of Pakistani American millionaires was reported to be in the thousands.
16. 45 percent of immigrant Muslims report annual household income levels of $50,000 or higher. This compares to the national average of 44 percent. Immigrant Muslims are well represented among higher-income earners, with 19 percent claiming annual household incomes of $100,000 or higher (compared to 16 percent for the Muslim population as a whole and 17 percent for the U.S. average). This is likely due to the strong concentration of Muslims in professional, managerial, and technical fields, especially in information technology, education, medicine, law, and the corporate world.
17. As of May 30, 2005, over 15,000 Muslims were serving in the United States Armed Forces.
18. Data released from the 2010 U.S. Religion Census shows Islam was the fastest growing religion in America in the last 10 years, with 2.6 million living in the U.S. today.
19. Marine Corps Captain Aisha Bakkar-Poe a Muslim woman whose family emigrated from Syria said after 9/11, “Those terrorists must be reading a completely different Koran than the rest of us…This isn’t about Islam it’s about terrorism.”
(Much of the above is from Wikipedia)

(I do not particularly like Islam as I do not particularly like any of the Abrahamic religions if for no other reason than the horrors that they have inflicted on each other and others in their name, but I hate bigotry more.)

MOPEY JOE’S MEMORIES:

In the course of my life and my many careers I have been involved in development, start-up and management of four separate governmental entities that either have had significant effects on the society in which they operate. They are the State of New York’s Mental Health Information Service, The California Coastal Commission and its Coastal Plan, The California State Coastal Conservancy, and California’s High Speed Rail Authority. I have, to a greater of lesser degree, discussed each of these entities in prior issues of “This and that…” that can be found in the blog listed at the bottom of this page and in several other blogs and posts I have written.

I wrote a number of posts about how my involvement in California Coastal Program began and developed. However, for whatever reason, I did not complete the series. What got me thinking about writing this series now was a blog post I recently read mentioning that the Coastal Conservancy had virtually exhausted the billion dollar fund it had been using these past 35 years or so to preserve land and restore the natural resources of California’s coast. In addition, due in part to California’s current Governor Jerry Brown’s strong support for the State’s High Speed Rail program, that initiative for good or ill has found itself in the media spotlight.

I will begin in the next issue of “This and that…” with the Mental Health Information Service.

DAILY FACTOID:

Game of Thrones Linguist Interview Reveals High Valyrian Dragons, Wrong Khaleesis, and More:

“Zaldrīzes buzdari iksos daor.
“A dragon is not a slave.”

Of note here: the word for dragon, zaldrīzes. Also, buzdari is stressed on the second syllable even though the a is not long because this isn’t actually a High Valyrian word: It’s an Astapori word that Dany is using on purpose. The High Valyrian word for slave is dohaeriros (whose root you may recognize), but the word they use in Astapor is buzdar, which has its roots in Ghiscari.”
PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

A. Testosterone Chronicles:

Why universal emancipation and social ascendency of woman is necessary for human survival.

“A human population with adequate food, and with reasonable pre-modern public health will do what the English settler population did in North America in the two centuries after 1600: it will double from natural increase each generation. Only Malthus’s “positive check”—plague, famine, children malnourished so that their immune systems are compromised and cannot fight off bacterial or viral infections, women so malnourished that they cease ovulating—can keep population stable. Even Malthus’s “preventative check”—priests threatening those who engage in illicit sexual intercourse with damnation, fathers refusing to let their daughters marry until the suitor is established with a farm of his own, brothers refusing to let younger lineage males marry until lineage resources increase, kings to enforce Poor Laws and confine vagrants and those without visible means of support—cannot do much. Only with the coming of female literacy and artificial means of birth control can a society maintain both a slowly growing or stable population and a substantial edge in median standard of living over subsistence.”
Brad DeLong (http://delong.typepad.com/sdj/2013/05/demography-twentieth-century-economic-history-weblogging.html#more)

B. Tales of Inhumanity:

7th May 1943, The ‘end of the world’ approaches in the Warsaw Ghetto (Part I).

A young woman writes:

Five difficult and tragic days have passed. In this short time, we have had many experiences. Our living conditions were difficult from the moment we entered our hideaway and they became worse since we have taken in 45 people. Most of them had no food. At midnight on Monday, the electricity was cut off. We are now faced with a serious problem: how will we cook? We do not have stoves connected to a chimney. The bunker leaders deliberated this problem for three days and, in the meantime, arguments broke out. Brother fought with sister, friend fought with friend and they all fought among themselves. Hunger skipped no one.

The quarreling was so loud that the echoes were probably heard outside the bunker. The situation was terrible, and dangerous as well. The emotional state of the people is dreadful. Some of them lie on the ground unconscious. The most vulnerable are the children. We have already been through three days without hot food.

In the end, the problem of the kitchen was solved. But it is preferable to avoid addressing someone in order to maintain the silence because every question brings offensive and coarse replies. The people in the bunker are behaving without courtesy and consideration.The night was horrific. There was terrible irritability.

I witnessed a shocking event when Jews were removed from the bunker in a neighboring house. During my night guard duty I lay next to the judasz and listened to conversations going on outside.

The conversation between the Germans, full of irony and sadism, made my body go cold and my blood boil. Yes, the Germans are certain that they are justified. We are considered murderers and they want to present themselves as the epitome of morality and humanity. Descriptions of the blind hatred towards us, the persecuted and tortured, made me feel as though salt was being spread on my open wounds. Their words always ended with coarse laughter.
(From Brad DeLongs Journal)

(There have been many genocides in human history, a number of them perhaps greater and crueller even than the Holocaust that ended in 1945, but none so well documented by the victims themselves. This testimony allows us, perhaps for the first time, to glimpse the true horror of hatred.)

TODAY’S QUOTE:

The Bible Speaks: On environmental protection.

“The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.” (Genesis 2:15)

“Is it not enough for you to feed on the good pasture? Must you also trample the rest of your pasture with your feet? Is it not enough for you to drink clear water? Must you also muddy the rest with your feet?” (Ezekiel 34:17-18)

“The land shall not be sold in perpetuity, for the land is mine; with me you are but aliens and tenants. Throughout the land that you hold, you shall provide for the redemption of the land.” (Leviticus 25:23-24)

“You must keep my decrees and my laws…. And if you defile the land, it will vomit you out as it vomited out the nations that were before you.” (Leviticus 18:26, 28)

“You shall not pollute the land in which you live…. You shall not defile the land in which you live, in which I also dwell; for I the LORD dwell among the Israelites.” (Numbers 35:33-34)

“If you besiege a town for a long time, making war against it in order to take it, you must not destroy its trees by wielding an ax against them. Although you may take food from them, you must not cut them down. Are trees in the field human beings that they should come under siege from you?” (Deuteronomy 20:19)

“I brought you into a plentiful land to eat its fruits and its good things. But when you entered you defiled my land, and made my heritage an abomination.” (Jeremiah 2:7)

(It is interesting how easy it is to use or misuse the bible to justify or condemn just about anything. Perhaps that was one of the reasons why our founding fathers were so adamant about separating church and state.)

TODAY’S CARTOON:

1133ckCOMIC-first-they-came-to-register
TODAY’S CHART

6a00e551f080038834017ee9a68c2f970d

(Sort of looks a lot like a map of the vote in the last election. The dark blue counties containing the highest percentage of high achievers roughly corresponds to those counties that voted for Obama in the last election)

TODAY’S PHOTOGRAPH:

DSCN1271

Yellow on Blue

Note: those interested in back issues of This and that…. they can be found at: josephpetrillo.wordpress.com

Categories: April 1213 through June 1213 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

This and that from re Thai r ment, by 3Th. 16 Capt. Coast 0002 (May 3, 2013)

 

 

TODAY FROM THAILAND:

A. POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN BANGKOK:

On early Monday morning I left for Bangkok.

The day before I took Hayden and his friend Roland to see the 3D version of Jurassic Park. I do not like horror movies. They frighten me. Ever since I was a kid terrorized by a movie poster advertising Bela Lugosi as Dracula and unable to sleep without hearing the flutter of vampire wings outside my window, I have avoided all horror movies. I cannot even watch those movies featuring randy adolescents camping next to a cemetery or exploring a haunted house who, one by one, get gruesomely murdered. I do not know why it is that they scare me so much. I can watch war movies and various thrillers without fear, but put in a zombie, a deranged creature (I could not watch Godzilla) or some guy in a hockey mask, I freak out. No amount of persuading myself that it is just a movie helps. So it was that as I exited the theater ashen faced and shaking (I am not exaggerating. My whole body was shaking and it was not even a well done or very scary movie) the two eight-year-olds smirked and informed me happily that they were not afraid at all. Well, good for them.

During the flight, every hour or so, I would leave my seat and, as my doctors recommended, power-walk up and down the aisles from one end of the plane to the other. Every once in a while I would slip into the lavatory to examine myself for symptoms of something amiss. While there I generally would apply copious amounts of the complementary skin moisturizer and cologne. I also made sure I flushed the toilet just before leaving to let everyone on line waiting to use the restroom know that I was in there doing my business and not just fooling around or sitting there thinking about what would really happen if I tampered with the smoke detectors.

The worst part of the 20 or so hour trip however was wondering about what people would say if I got another blood clot and died. I imagined something like, “What on earth possessed him to take such a risk.” Before I left I thought I had good and compelling reasons, but now I realized they were mere rationalizations for whatever was so deeply imbedded in my psyche that impelled me to act as I did.

Nothing new in that, I have become convinced most of the reasons we tell ourselves that we need to do something have little to do with why we do whatever it is we end up doing. They are merely a handy thing, whenever we are successful, to tell ourselves and others. You know, “I knew what I was doing all along.”

The Little Masseuse met me at the airport upon my arrival in Bangkok. I left it to her to take charge of getting me back to my apartment. Actually the Taxi ride was the worst part of the trip. Bangkok traffic being what it is, it took us an hour and a half on the freeway to travel a distance not much farther than from SFO to downtown San Francisco. Since I was cramped into the backseat of one of those tiny automobiles that serve as taxi’s in Thailand and unable to move my legs, I was sure I would die there in a traffic jam on the skyway. I didn’t.

We eventually arrived in front the apartment building. The temperature outside was above 100 degrees Fahrenheit and the pollution was so thick you could see it. We went straight into the apartment and turned the AC on high. LM massaged my feet and legs and I fell asleep while she went to by some things with which to make dinner.

As we ate we talked. I’m of Italian heritage. Talking at meals is an important part of the dining experience. I have read somewhere that there are cultures that do not see it quite that way. Anyway, as usual for LM and I, it was a limited, halting discussion since her mastery of english was rudimentary and my grasp of Thai non-existent. She did tell me a few more stories about life as a masseuse in a Bangkok health club (see below).

After dinner I slept for about 16 hours.

For the next two days I stayed mostly in the apartment drifting on and off to sleep as I dealt with jet lag. On the third day I made it to the health club and swam a few laps.

B. NEWS STRAIGHT OR SLIGHTLY BENT:

1. Oh where have you gone Annie Hall?

Recently I read that scientific studies have revealed that the fear of death in those suffering terminal illnesses can be ameliorated or eliminated by administering the active ingredient contained in a common over-the-counter pain reliever medication.

As a result, 10,000 years of one of the foundation pillars of human philosophy and art, speculation on the meaning of death, has been overcome by a bottle of Tylenol. What’s next? Will we find that the pangs of love can be ended by Preparation H ?….. Come to think of it, that would probably do it.

When I read the report I immediately felt sorry for Woody Allen. Imagine…”That’s it Woody, no more movies for you. Take two Tylenol and a suppository and after a good night’s sleep you will feel better in the morning.”

2. Back in Thailand.

When I left Thailand almost four months ago, the only serious political issue upon which the two major parties seemed to spend any time on was whether or not the deposed, exiled ex-prime minister Thaksin the Terrible brother of the current prime minister (or perhaps more accurately, prim minister), Yingluck Shinawatra, Princess LuckyGirl, would be allowed back into the country. Upon my return I have learned that the only serious political issue upon which the two major parties seemed to spend any time on remains whether or not the deposed, exiled ex-prime minister Thaksin the Terrible brother of the current prime minister, Yingluck Shinawatra, Princess LuckyGirl, would be allowed back into the country.

3. It’s like this all over:

The standard governmental administered retirement benefit in Thailand used to be about $20 per month (no that is not a typo). The new so-called populist government recently raised it to about $23 per month. Those prognosticators hired by Thais making about 1000 times more than this warn that it will lead to the countries ruin.

JOEY’S NEW MYSTERY NOVEL:

ENTER THE DRAGON

Dragon’s Breath:

Brigid Shaughnessy: I haven’t lived a good life. I’ve been bad, worse than you could know.
Sam Spade: You know, that’s good, because if you actually were as innocent as you pretend to be, we’d never get anywhere.

Chapter 13:

Lilly Park in person was even more attractive than in her photograph. She wore a fresh white blouse that sparkled above the skirt of her power suit several shades darker and two inches shorter than that of her administrative assistant. Also unlike her administrative assistant, she was not wearing a jacket. A privilege of power, I suppose. She wore no jewelry except small pearl studs on her ear lobes and a fuck-you watch. Her hair was short, black and efficiently swept back across the tops of her ears. I made a mental note to ask Mavis if she had any tattoos.

She strode purposefully over to Joe Vu, who had risen from his seat and shook his hand. She greeted him warmly by name and mentioned that she had spoked with Martin Vihn last night.

She then turned her attention to me.

There have been studies that have shown that the two jobs containing the highest percentage of psychopaths are attorneys and corporate CEOs; more so than even cops and generals. So, when you look into the eyes of a lawyer or a CEO there is a relatively high probability a hardened criminal is looking back at you. Unlike the stone cold killers of the streets, who make up the psychopathic proletariat and who usually do the job by themselves, they, these psychopaths in suits, have learned how to destroy whoever gets in their way by using others. At least that’s how men do it. Other than to recognize that there are a lot fewer of them, what’s in the mind of women psychopaths, I cannot hazard a guess; except perhaps to observe that in my callow youth before it became misspent, I suspect some of them at least were those older woman we referred to as “Bad Girls.”

Bad Girls were those girls to whom your mind would wander from the Playboy Centerfold while you were doing your business in the bathroom and of whom you lived in fear because in some unguarded moment you might speak to them and they would ignore you.

I got the immediate impression that Lilly Park was a very bad girl and that I was seriously overmatched. Anyone that could ride on the back of Mavis’s Harley in the Dykes on Bikes segment of San Francisco’s Gay Freedom Day parade and also comfortably sit in a partners chair in a major downtown law firm was someone to be reckoned with.

She held out her hand, not like men do at waist level, but as some super confident women do, at almost shoulder level and with a smile that did not make it up into her eyes. Said:

“I’m Lilly Park. Whom do I have the pleasure of meeting?”

No one speaks like that unless they were in an Edwardian costume drama or assumed you were an idiot.

Instead of grasping her offered hand, I handed her my business card and sat down at the conference table, mimicking her smile the best I could. Said:

“Most people call me Dragon.”

Her smile tightened slightly. She sat down stared at the card a moment and said:

“Well Mr. Dragon…”

“Just Dragon.”

“…Matt Dragoni rings a bell but I can’t place it. Have we met?”

“Maybe, at one time I was in the same racket as you a few buildings closer to the Bay.”

Her smile had almost totally disappeared by now.

“So what made you leave to become a…detective?”

“I thought looking into motel windows photographing errant husbands and wives would introduce me to a better class of people.”

“Well did it?” Her smile broadened a bit.

“Not really, I couldn’t see any difference.”

Her voice hardened. “So what brings you to my office today?”

PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

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

CEO_worker_pay_ratio

B. Waste in Defense Procurement:

According to Dina Razor, investigative journalist:

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

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

 

C. The Banality of Evil:

 

(Photograph unavailable at this time)

 
Statement made by Josef Blösche following his arrest in 1969:

“The Liquidation of the Warsaw Ghetto: I have looked at the given photocopy. Concerning the person in the SS uniform, standing in the foreground of a group of SS members and holding a sub-machine gun in firing position and wearing a steel helmet with motorcycle goggles, this is me.

The picture shows that I, as a member of the Gestapo office in the Warsaw Ghetto, together with a group of SS members, am driving a large number of Jewish citizens out from a house. The group of Jewish citizens is comprised predominantly of children, women and old people, driven out of a house through a gateway, with their arms raised.

The Jewish citizens were then led to the so-called Umschlagplatz, from which they were transported to the extermination camp Treblinka.”
(From Brad DeLong’s Journal: Grasping Reality with Both Invisible Hands)

(I cannot look at that photograph without becoming physically ill.)

B. Tales of the Little Masseuse:

In Bangkok there is a world-famous hospital to which people from all over the world flock, especially from the Arab countries of the Middle East and from India. Although cosmetic surgery is one of the hospitals most lucrative services, is also does a thriving business in artificial insemination.

The hospital is located a few blocks from the health club in which the Little Masseuse works. Every now and then a gentleman would show up at the health club, plastic cup in hand, seeking assistance from the masseuses in depositing the precious fluid into the cups.

This would occasionally cause difficulties between the masseuses and the health club management. It seems that the deposit is required to presented back at the hospital within twenty minutes of its collection. This, at times caused the client to have to rush out with his valuable cargo well before the hour of massage he paid for was up, leading the management to accuse the workers of providing poor service or of outright dishonesty.

Anyway, one day a distinguished and portly Indian gentleman appeared at the health club and presented himself and his plastic cup to the Little Masseuse. In making idle conversation as she often does during a massage she asked him, “Why are you doing this?”

“Because I want to have children, two of them in fact, and this is the only way I can.”

“May I ask,” she inquired, “why have you not done this by yourself instead of coming here to the health club?”

He responded, “Because I want my children to be happy.”
TODAY’S QUOTE:

“My friends always ask me why I still have so much sex if I am not cumming, it’s not about the orgasm for me, it’s about the power and the energy I get from it. I am still frustrated because I haven’t cum but I get such a relief and a buzz from having that energy with another man. I love the excitement, the rush, the force and the overall act of sex. I also love seeing, hearing and feeling a man cum from having sex with me. I feel a sense of power once he has cum because he is delirious and exhausted where as I am completely in control of what has happened and I just feel satisfied, not sexually but mentally. I think that’s why I usually always go off a guy as soon as I have had sex with him because I have accomplished what I wanted to with him and now I’m bored so I want to go on to my next project. Whenever I go on a date with a guy I am not thinking about where this might go or what we may do on our next date, I’m thinking about how I can break him and manipulate him with sex. It’s like a game for me, I love finding out what will drive a man to do exactly what I want in bed, what gets him off and most importantly what his dirtiest turn on is as that is what fascinates and excites me the most.”
(http://sexandtheshameless.wordpress.com)

(Excerpt from a blog written by a woman who supposedly suffers from an addiction to sex describing her obviously unsuccessful efforts to break her habit.)

TODAY’S CARTOON:

15071_10151385334721275_1221939643_n

TODAY’S CHART:

reporting-matrix-2012-1_big

TODAY’S PHOTOGRAPH:

DSCN1208

Clouds

Note: those interested in back issues of This and that…. they can be found at: josephpetrillo.wordpress.com

 

Categories: April 1213 through June 1213 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

This and that from re Thai r ment, by 3Th. 28 Joey 0002 (April 17, 2013)

 

 

TODAY FROM AMERICA:

POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN EL DORADO HILLS:

I have been back in El Dorado Hills for a few days now. It is that time of the year when the weather fluctuates wildly; a few days of sunny warmth like early summer followed by a few days of the dying winter’s cloudy cold. Little happens here. Or more accurately my life is fairly regular with little emotional involvement in what goes on around me.

I assume there are as many strange and interesting things going on here behind the doors of the quiet homes in the various subdivisions as anywhere else. But for the most part they do not spill over into the streets as they often do in cities; to lie there and fester and sometimes spread like a disease. And, as perhaps unfortunately so often the case entertain those like me for whom voyeurism is a profession. So, instead I have to entertain myself with simple things to keep from going mad with boredom.

For example, right outside the window of the cafe where I am sitting having breakfast there is a small fountain in the center of which a few jets of water shoot gaily into the air. The water then falls back on itself creating pillars of snowy white water. The morning sun strikes these liquid pillars creating an ever-changing mixture of shades, textures and shapes. So I stare at is much like I would stare into a fire in a fireplace until I pull away because I feel like an idiot for having so little to do that I have to stare at a puddle of water for amusement.

To fill in the time, I have taken to obsessive reading, filling up my kindle library with about 40 books in the last six weeks. Alas, I seem to have become addicted to stories featuring magic; you know, wizards and things like that. When I cannot sleep I curl up for hours with my computer reading about potions, werewolves and stuff. I am so ashamed. Damn you Harry Potter!

I did not feel up to traveling to SF last weekend but will try to make it next weekend since it will be my last before leaving for Thailand.

JOEY’S NEW MYSTERY NOVEL:

ENTER THE DRAGON

Dragon’s Breath:

Sam Spade: “You don’t have to trust me as long as you can persuade me to trust you.”

Chapter 12:

The next morning at 9:30 I waited in front of the Utah Hotel on Fourth Street for the delinquent to pick me up. I replayed in my mind last night’s adventures with Mavis. The jungle’s mystery has disappeared replaced with the familiarity of the hunter returning to the clearing he calls home with a dead monkey draped over his back. In between hunts I told her about my day with Martin Vihn and Joe Vu. She claimed that she had never met Martin Vihn, but that one day someone who seemed to fit the description of Vu dropped by the Tattoo parlor to pick up Holland. She was never told where they were going. Vu hung around the shop for a while while Holland got ready. He joked with her about getting a jungle themed tattoo. She observed that Holland seemed nervous and obsequious around Vu which she thought was strange given how much younger Vu was and how immaturely he behaved.

I asked her again what she assumed they were up to in the business. She said that, as she understood it, they intended to import household furniture from South East Asia made from wood grown in the area. The furniture was designed as a modern version of traditional South East Asian furniture; sort of like the Vietnamese version of Scandinavian Design. Reilly was supposed to have contacts with large retailers in the US and elsewhere. The initial shipment, to be used as models, arrived about a week ago.

That was all she really knew about it she insisted. I still did not believe her, but I did not know why.

Joe Vu arrived right on time. As I got into the Lexus and he said “Where to boss?”

“One Embarcadero Center”

“What’s there boss?”

“Lilly Park…where there is money to be made there are always lawyers around.”

During the drive I probed Vu regarding the furniture import business. He pretty much confirmed Mavis’ story. I did learn however that Martin Vihn had an interest along with his younger brother in a large warehouse in Redwood City where the furniture was to be stored. I asked him when the furniture was due to arrive.

He said, “It arrived a week ago boss.”

“Well, what happened to it?”

“That’s the question Martin would like to ask Reilly after we find him.”

Given the fact that I was so focused on extricating myself from the clutches of my various clients with my fees intact that I failed grasp this essential bit of obvious information, I realized that it may be time I take things more seriously. Up until now I had assumed that Reilly or Holland or both had simply scampered off with the smuggled goods (dope or now that I think of it, precious stones) or the money from their sale. But to disappear a couple of containers full of furniture first seemed pretty extreme. Why?

Unable to proceed further on that tack, out of simple curiosity I asked Vu if Martin Vihn was born in Viet Nam. He explained that Martin and was born in Vietnam but was brought here as a baby after the fall of Saigon by his father, a high-placed General in the South Vietnamese Army. The family was large and well placed in both the South and among the Viet Cong.

I asked if he were born here also.

Vu: “No Boss, Martin sponsored me when I was eleven.” Added, “My family were the ones that kicked your ass.”

Me: “excuse me”

Vu: “The Cong man. My father was a general too. A Viet Cong General. He would tell me a lot of stories about the war for independence.”

Me: “That must have been interesting.”

Vu: “Yeah… every day both before and after school my father made me and my older brothers practice in case the The Americans returned or the Chinese invaded.”

Me: “What did you practice?”

He looked at me and smiled. “Killing and hiding, what the hell do you think we were learning – – Communist bullshit?” And then he burst out laughing.

We arrived at the Embarcadero Center complex.

PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

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

slide_224090_932007_free

TODAY’S QUOTE:

“I asked God for a bike, but I know God doesn’t work that way. So I stole a bike and asked for forgiveness.”
Al Pacino

TODAY’S CHART:

625556_10151369534701275_1870215191_n

 

(Note: it should be pointed out that the above chart, if it is accurate, describes only the $650 billion Department of Defense budget. The total US defense budget in 2010 actually may total about $1.3 trillion, about double the expenditures in the DoD budget alone.

(Note: Graphic unavailable at this time)

These expenditures are greater than almost all the military outlays for all the other countries of the world combined. Is it so unreasonable to believe that at least 10% of those expenditures and wasted and inefficient? If so and they are eliminated it would end the current budget deficit and we still would be able to continue to spend more on defense than everyone else.)

TODAY”S CARTOON:

564502_10151376951006275_1598064522_n 

TODAY’S PHOTOGRAPH:

DSCN0907_3

White on Blue.

 

Categories: April 1213 through June 1213 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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