This and that from re Thai r ment, by 3Th. 9 Pepe 0003 (October 26, 2014)

“You and I can argue issues all day and it won’t affect our friendship, but the minute I question your motives you will never forgive me.”
Dwight David Eisenhower (“who saw the world as a place almost without evil” – Quigley)
TODAY FROM THAILAND:

A. STUNNING PHOTOGRAPH BY IRENE SNYDER PROVIDED BY CORDT HOLLAND
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B. POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN BANGKOK:

This morning after breakfast as I walked through the tunnel to get to the health club, I saw a mêlée occurring at one of the small dark bars (really just a plank with stools and open to the alley) that line the passageway. At least six or seven people were milling around grabbing and shoving each other while a slightly larger number stood about watching, shouting and holding back others. This was a lot of people swarming about in a space no larger than a small hotel room. And, it was only 9AM in the morning.

Now I assume most people, especially an alter like me, would either not proceed until things quieted down or find another way to get to their destination. I instead waded right in to get a closer look at the action. I did not consider it either foolish or irresponsible.

Twenty years or so ago while visiting Lee Stocking Island in the Bahamas with Dick McCarthy and Sylvia Earle the oceanographer and one time director of NOAA, a TV camera located under a dock picked up a Barracuda feeding frenzy and displayed it on the TV where we were having dinner. Sylvia immediately stood up, and said, “I’ve never experienced a Barracuda feeding frenzy before. I have to see it up close.” She then ran from the bar and jumped into the water in the midst of the crazed fish. Now, that I think is foolish and irresponsible. Walking into bar where a bunch of drunken Thai women are swinging broken beer bottles at each other was a walk in the park by comparison.

Anyway, it seems that one woman had gotten very drunk and another woman, who may have worked in the bar, accused her of stealing some money. The drunk went after her with a broken beer bottle. In breaking the bottle a shard flew across the room striking on the forehead a farang sitting at the bar opening a large cut that bled profusely. Several other people seemed to be reluctantly trying to separate the fighters or perhaps even joining in on one side or another. Apparently the drunk girl was a Burmese migrant which added to the resentment of the Thais. Another bar girl was attempting to persuade two more not to intervene against the Burmese woman.

I pushed my way through everyone and walked on knowing that, as usual with bar fights, if it has gone on this long its dénouement would be undramatic. Fatigue would soon reduce the fury to name calling and then the regrets begin – but no tears. There are rarely tears in bar fights.
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Speaking of tears, there have been a number of studies that indicate that women cry more readily than men. I doubt that. Certainly here in Thailand women don’t cry. They pretend to at times, but that is something else.

When I was a child living on the streets, homeless or in rat infested basements, I never recall my mother crying or for that matter any of the other women we knew in similar circumstances. The men, including my father, cried in frustration, despair and in self-hate for their failures, but never the women, even those who were beaten. Only the loss of a child could bring tears to their eyes.
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Spent part of the day wandering around BKK with the Old Sailor/Deep Sea Diver. We met a friend of his, a historian from Australia named Glenn who published several books about economic history and is an acquaintance of Chris Moore, the mystery writer. We met at coffee shop in a shopping center on Asoke Road where he was buying out of date food to bring home for dinner. Writing academic books on economic history does not pay much. Later over lunch, the Old Sailor told me the history of one of the beach front bars I used to drink at in St. Thomas fifty years ago. Then it rained, so I went home and took a nap.
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A sidewalk food vendor in front of my apartment.

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Pookie looking good in his new shirt of many colors.

C. NEWS STRAIGHT OR SLIGHTLY BENT:

About Protests, Power and Oligarchy

An article from the NY times reprinted in The Bangkok Post, reported that the Chinese government met with the wealthy Hong Kong oligarchy to urge them to refrain from comments about Hong Kong’s chief executive Leung Chun-ying’s attempts to deal with the ongoing protests. Apparently the oligarchs are concerned that Leung was too autocratic — not to the students, but to them. In other words, Leung refused to do whatever it was the oligarchs wanted. They also were worried that Leung was someone who exhibited “a streak of economic populism who might some day raise taxes to pay for greater social spending” — This in a Communist country no less.

Leung for his part announced yesterday that he opposed fully open elections because the poor would predominate and skew “politics and policy towards poor people.” I am sure this pleased the oligarchs very much prompting Li Ka-shing, Asia’s richest man who makes most of his money off of the people of Hong Kong to state, “I sincerely urge everyone not let today’s passion become tomorrow’s regret. I earnestly urge everyone to return home immediately to your families.”

Hong Kong has the highest discrepancy in income and wealth between the very rich and everyone else in all of Asia.

We should also remember that in democratic Athens, the oligarchs were fully prepared to betray democracy and their country to their enemies in order to install an autocratic government run by them. Oligarchs have no country other than the one that best protects their wealth and political power. You can wave the flag all you want, but if you move your wealth to another country simply to increase your profits you’re no patriot.

PETRILLO’S COMMENTARY:

From Trenz Pruca:

“Economics is a philosophy for supplying parasites with an operating system that provides the most efficient means of devouring its host.”

Note: Parasites usually do not kill their hosts because they have a natural intelligence that makes them too clever to do so. Humanity on the other hand has little natural intelligence left. Evolution has replaced it with symbolic intelligence that enabled it to master its environment by using and thinking with symbols. Humanity’s species intelligence is generally dictated by who has power over its symbols. Those with the most power over humanity’s symbols usually care more about maintaining that power than about the health of their species host.

DAILY FACTOID:

I thought I would post here for your amusement one of my favorite, silly Daily Factoids from T&T about two years ago:

“2000 years: For 2000 years, 666 has been the number of the dreaded anti-Christ. An unlucky number for many, even the European parliament leaves seat number 666 vacant. The number is from the book of Revelation, the last book of the Christian Bible. However, in 2005, a translation of the very earliest known copy of the Book of Revelation clearly shows it to be 616, not 666! The 1,700 year old copy was recovered from the city of Oxyrhynchus, in Egypt, and deciphered by a paleographical research team from the University Of Birmingham, UK. The team was led by Professor David Parker. (Listverse)

Note: According to Wikipedia, area code 616 is the area code for the Grand Rapids and Grand Haven Michigan metropolitan areas, which includes Kent, Ionia and Ottawa counties, and parts of neighboring counties.

(Beware of people from Michigan)


Also, Earth-616 is the name used to identify the primary continuity in which most Marvel Comics titles take place.

(Beware of Spiderman!)

Finally, 616 is the 25th member of the [H-A-X-Z Sequence], coming after 265, 351, 465 (it is the sum of the first two of these). 616 is a polygonal number in four different ways: it is a heptagonal number, as well as 13-, 31- and 104-gonal.

It is also the sum of the squares of the factorials of 2,3,4. i.e.. (2!)^2 + (3!)^2 + (4!)^2 = 4+36+576=616.

The Roman numeral for 616, DCXVI, has exactly one occurrence of all symbols except for L whose value is less than 1000 (D=500, C=100, X=10, V=5, I=1)

(Beware of anyone who knows and understands this!)

Today: 75 percent of Japanese women own vibrators. The global average is only 47 percent.

No wonder the Japanese birth rate is falling. This also may explain the last place finish by the Japanese in the sexual frequency Olympics. I understand that 616 is the model number of the most popular vibrator in Tokyo.

(Beware of Japanese women! They are just not that into you.)

PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

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

They want our wealth back.
original

TODAY’S QUOTE:

Quigley on the conservative backlash to change in America’s security and its international role.

“On the whole, the neo-isolationist discontent was a revolt of the ignorant against the informed or educated, of the nineteenth century against the insoluble problems of the twentieth, of the Midwest of Tom Sawyer against the cosmopolitan East of J. P. Morgan and Company, of old Siwash against Harvard, of the Chicago Tribune against the Washington Post or The New York Times, of simple absolutes against complex relativisms, of immediate final solutions against long-range partial alleviations, of frontier activism against European thought, a rejection, out of hand, of all the complexities of life which had arisen since 1915 in favor of a nostalgic return to the simplicities of 1905, and above all a desire to get back to the inexpensive, thoughtless, and irresponsible international security of 1880.”
Quigley, Carroll. Tragedy and Hope: A History of the World in Our Time. GSG & Associates Publishers.

“On the whole, the neo-isolationist discontent was a revolt of the ignorant against the informed or educated, of the nineteenth century against the insoluble problems of the twentieth, of the Midwest of Tom Sawyer against the cosmopolitan East of J. P. Morgan and Company, of old Siwash against Harvard, of the Chicago Tribune against the Washington Post or The New York Times, of simple absolutes against complex relativisms, of immediate final solutions against long-range partial alleviations, of frontier activism against European thought, a rejection, out of hand, of all the complexities of life which had arisen since 1915 in favor of a nostalgic return to the simplicities of 1905, and above all a desire to get back to the inexpensive, thoughtless, and irresponsible international security of 1880.”
Quigley, Carroll. Tragedy and Hope: A History of the World in Our Time. GSG & Associates Publishers.

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

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Categories: October through December 2014 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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