July 2011 through September 2011

Third quarter 2011

This and that from re Thai r ment, by, 3TH. August 24, 2011

“It’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning.”
Warren Buffett

TODAY’S FACTOID:

It now costs the US $694,000 to keep each service member in Afghanistan, up from $667,000 in 2009. In Iraq, the cost has gone from $512,000 in 2007 to $802,000 this year.

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/money-spent-in-afghanistan-could-buy-at-home-2011-8#ixzz1VGSYFTUR


George Bush could be considered the American version of Leonid Brezhnev, in that he attempted to fight a war without asking the country’s power élite to share in its costs and ignored evidence of unbridled war profiteering. About a decade after its misadventure in Afghanistan, the Soviet Union collapsed. Could it happen here?

TODAY’S NEWS FROM THAILAND :

1. The Decline of the Dollar. The precipitous decline of the dollar against the Thai Baht continues. It has affected me personally in that my income has diminished between 15 to 20 percent since I first arrived here to begin my retirement 18 months ago. Where I previously used to be able to save enough to travel, I can no longer do so. As a result, alas, I have been compelled to explore income augmentation strategies (in other words, god forbid, a job or some facsimile thereof).

2. Grounds for another Coup: The government has vowed to press ahead with its plan to amend the coup-sponsored Constitution, raising concerns about possible renewed political confrontation since the existing Constitution was imposed by the military following the coup that remover the current Prime Minister’s brother from power.

3. Gold: High gold prices have prompted many Burmese migrant workers in Thailand to sell gold they brought with them from their home country, hoping for a handsome profit, but the gold shops here say the Burmese gold is of low purity.

4. Farangs: There are over 100,000 resident Westerners in Thailand, according to research by Robert Howard from the University of New South Wales. They come mainly from Britain, Germany, the US, the Netherlands, France, Canada and Australia. Most live in areas with large numbers of expats, such as Bangkok and Chiang Mai, and other tourist centers such as Pattaya, Phuket, Koh Samui and Hua Hin.

POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN THAILAND:

We who grew up in western culture often consider concentration and focus as more of less synonymous. To others they are not so. Meditation, for example, can be considered an exercise to separate concentration from focus. In the jungle, surrounded by the cacophony of green and brown shapes, light and shadow that presses chaotically on ones senses, indigenous hunters learn to unfocus their eyes so that the visual chaos is replaced with a sensitivity to non rhythmic movement in the foliage that generally signifies the passage of thigh energy protein.

On the other hand, navigating the chaos of the urban jungle tends to tightly focus us on what we expect to see, for example, the sidewalk checking for imperfections that may trip us or in Bangkok for holes that may drop us into the fetid canals that run beneath. Or,we look for signs or symbols that tell us that things are available that we may or may not be interested in acquiring. The separation between the edge of the sidewalk tells us to be aware and alter our focus so that we can avoid those things that move fast enough to harm us.

Other things, we either miss or ignore.

When I look at a photograph of the street, movement that would have occupied my attention as I walk along, ceases, replaced by the visual complexity that I usually ignore as I pass by.

With all that nonsense out-of-the-way, let me begin a description of my typical day as I search for meaning or at least entertainment.

After rising and in some cases eating breakfast in my room, I pick up the shoulder bag containing my exercise clothing and what ever and leave my apartment making sure I attach the various security devices to the door knob. I take the elevator down to the ground floor and exit the building on to the cul-de-sac. I have attached a photograph below looking back at my cul-de-sac. My building is on the right. I know it is not much to look at, but it is my neighborhood and I have a certain affection for it even if I have never spoken to anyone I have seen around there, nor have any idea who they are or what they do.

PAPA JOES TALES AND FABLES:

See: http://papajoesfables.wordpress.com/

JOEY’S MYSTERY NOVEL:

Horace Jerome, sat sipping his espresso at a corner table of a restaurant at the edge of San Francisco’s North Beach. The place was created by a well known Hollywood director in order to push the slightly better than mediocre wines produced from the Napa Valley vineyard he had bought with the proceeds of his more successful films.

Harry as he preferred to be called contemplated the note he had been reading from that began, ” We need to accept the truth that this nation will suffer in many ways for departing from the principles of righteousness. “The wages of sin is death,” as it says in Romans 6, both for individuals and for entire cultures.”

PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

a. Eponymous laws:

Aaronson’s distinction or Do waterfalls play chess? and other stories:

“After a brief introduction to complexity theory (Section 2), Aaronson turns his attention to one of the main cornerstones of this field, which is also one the points that are usually criticized: the relevance of polynomial time, as opposed to exponential time. Here he argues that this distinction is at least as interesting as the distinction between computable and uncomputable. Section 3.3 contains an interesting question that can be answered using a complexity-theoretic argument: why would we call 243112609 − 1 (together with a proof of its primality) a “known” prime, while “the first prime large than 243112609 − 1” feels somehow “unknown”?”

Why indeed? I also agree that the distinction is at least as interesting, perhaps even more so. What do you think? What is it that this could be a “main cornerstone” of? I love math even more than I love science.

b. Trenz Pruca’s Aphorisms, Apothegms, Epigrams and Maxims ( http:/trenzpruca.wordpress.com/):

“In Science, a physical theory that is logically consistent may be considered truth only until falsified. In Economics, a sociological theory that is logically inconsistent is often considered true even when falsified.”

c. From God’s Mouth to your ears:

Reverend Bryan Fischer, the American Family Association’s Director of Issues Analysis for Government and Public Policy and host of its flagship radio show Focal Point and a Rick Perry insider:

held gays responsible for the Holocaust and likened them to domestic terrorists and Nazis who are intent on committing “virtual genocide” against the military, and asserts that “homosexuals should be disqualified from public office”; said “we have feminized the Medal of Honor” by awarding it to a soldier who saved his fellow combatants rather than killing enemies; demanded all immigrants “convert to Christianity” and renounce their religions; asserted that Muslims have “no fundamental First Amendment claims” and should be banned from building mosques and deported from the US, adding that Muslims are inherently stupid as a result of inbreeding;
claimed African-American women “rut like rabbits” due to welfare and that Native Americans are “morally disqualified” from living in America because they didn’t convert to Christianity and were consequently cursed by God with alcoholism and poverty; said that the anti-Muslim manifesto of the right-wing Christian terrorist who killed dozens in Norway was “accurate.”

d. Profiles in Presidential Courage:

“To balance our budget in 1933 or 1934 or 1935 would have been a crime against the American people. To do so we should either have had to make a capital levy that would have been confiscatory, or we should have had to set our face against human suffering with callous indifference. When Americans suffered, we refused to pass by on the other side. Humanity came first.

No one lightly lays a burden on the income of a Nation. But this vicious tightening circle of our declining national income simply had to be broken. The bankers and the industrialists of the Nation cried aloud that private business was powerless to break it. They turned, as they had a right to turn, to the Government. We accepted the final responsibility of Government, after all else had failed, to spend money when no one else had money left to spend.

I adopted, therefore, the other alternative. I cast aside a do nothing or a wait-and-see policy.”
Franklin D. Roosevelt 1936

f. Testosterone Chronicles:

Recent psychological studies indicate that to men manhood is a precarious social status, both an elusive and tenuous social milestone, difficult to achieve, and once earned,  easily lost.
In one empirical test where participants were asked about the degree to which the transitions from boyhood to manhood and girlhood to womanhood were the result of social or biological milestones, women indicated no significant differences among the attributions to the transition to womanhood, but male participants were significantly more likely to attribute  transition from boyhood to manhood to social causes than to biological causes.

In other words, women took a look at themselves and were reasonably certain they were women, men were not so sure until someone told them so.

TODAY’S QUOTE:

“Three wise men — are you serious? “
~Author Unknown

CLASSIC BONUS QUOTE:

“The world is a ball of dung and we are the worms that live in it and eat each other. The one who eats all the others wins — but he is still the last living worm in a lump of shit.”
Tad Williams, Shadowrise.

TODAY’S CHART:


It is interesting to note that whenever a graphed curve on a chart used to reflect a complex biological or social system achieves a slope rising almost straight up, it usually signals an imminent collapse.

TODAY’S PHOTOGRAPH:

Categories: July 2011 through September 2011 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

This and that from re Thai r ment, by 3Th. August 20, 2011

President Barack Obama and Warren Buffett in t...

“My friends and I have been coddled long enough by a billionaire-friendly Congress. It’s time for our government to get serious about shared sacrifice.
Warren Buffett.

POOKIE FOR PRESIDENT:

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

TODAY’S FACTOID:

1997: A mastodon tooth and camel jaw from about 280,000 BC were found in tunnels under Los Angeles.

They also found outtakes of the movie “1 Million BC,” a pair of Cecile B. DeMille’s

monogrammed undershorts and an empty bottle of Gloria Swanson’s mascara.

TODAY’S NEWS FROM THAILAND:

Interestingly, all those immediately pressing foreign and domestic crises that existed before the Thai general election that the press found so urgent have proven to be not so critical since the election, resulting in a lack of apparently newsworthy events (e.g., war and threats of war and the like. Murders and dismemberment however still receive their share of newsprint) while the new government organizes itself.

Even the horrific flooding in the North and Northeast of the country appears  less noteworthy than whether some minor appointed functionary is or is not a hand-picked crony of the deposed Prime Minister. Meanwhile the new Prime Minister responds to all inquiries with the promise that everything will be done according to law and proper procedures.

The first act of the new government has been to allow the exiled fugitive prime minister and the newly elected Prime Minister’s older brother to travel from his hideout in the Persian Gulf to Japan for a “business conference” with a brief side trip to Cambodia to investigate offshore oil drilling.

The opposition party has gone apoplectic over the action while, except for a few dramatic headlines, the rest of the country seems fairly apathetic.

POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN THAILAND:

Recently, I have realized that I may be bored. Not the existential boredom that leads to anxiety, impulsive behavior or catatonia, but the type of quizzical boredom that comes when I am writing in my journal what I had done that day and recognize that I am writing the same thing that I wrote the day before and the day before that. I then wonder if I am bored or simply unobservant.

I believe I am quite content. My days usually consist of an early morning breakfast in my room and a brisk mile or so walk through the urban jungle of the Soi Nana/Sukhumvit Road area to the health club, sometimes stopping along the way at Starbucks for a Cafe Latte and to read the newspaper. After exercising, I return home, grab my computer and walk around the block to the open front restaurant where I eat lunch and sometimes dinner while playing on my Mac.

Then I return to my apartment where, if I had not done so already, I eat dinner or go out to another small local eatery. Following dinner, I watch television. Either the Star Movie channel that shows some of the most abysmal American movies ever made (e.g., Anaconda or anything with Jennifer Lopez) or the Thai soaps to which like most Thai’s I have become addicted even though I do not understand the language and haven’t the slightest idea about what is happening. Then I have my massage and go to bed.

What has gotten me concerned about my life lately is that I am having a difficult time identifying any adventures to write about in “Pookie’s Adventures in Thailand.”

Where, for example, are the further adventures of Pookie and “Gun Girl” as they criss-cross the breadth of Central Thailand searching for something, anything? Is there nothing to replace my observations of my morning beach front walks through “Little Siberia?” And what has happened to the Geriatric Knights of the Oval Table and the rest of the lost tribe of old white males, whose company I enjoyed so much, hiding in the alleyways of the Outskirts of Hell ?

Now, as I have explained before to those of you who mistakenly and probably foolishly have read this far, “This and that…” is a self-indulgent conceit for my own amusement and not intended necessarily to entertain or edify any reader. As such, for the next few issues I intend to explore my typical day (with photographs – See below) to see if I can understand this conundrum of being bored and happy at the same time. Beware…
(Maybe to be continued and maybe not…)

PAPA JOES TALES AND FABLES:

See: http://papajoesfables.wordpress.com/

JOEY’S MYSTERY NOVEL:

When Vince returned to his office he was shaken. He never considered himself physically brave and now as crazy as it seemed to him then when Russell explained it to him and now that he has had a moment to contemplate it in his office, it was possible, although he believed unlikely that his life was in danger. Resigning and returning to Thailand did not appear to be an alternative since, if he was in physical danger, that appeared to offer no additional protection

To his annoyance, his suggestion to request protection from the police or the Feds in the person of Russell was dismissed almost without comment. He suspected that Russell and his people, including Isabella, were simply using him just like David, Red Star and the mysterious Brethren. In speaking with Ike after the other two had left, Ike seemed to agree with him.

“I know all this is a shock Vince,” he said. “It is to me. But, I am sure that you must realize that we, you and I, have no idea if Mr. Russell is being honest with us. I suspect he is not, at least not entirely. Although I know the organization we refer to as the Brethren exists, we have no evidence that they are involved in Red Star, or that they have any interest in you.”

“What we do know, or at least suspect is, first we know that Red Star is under investigation by the Federal Government for at least billing irregularities and perhaps fraud and theft of public property. This we know.”He lapsed into silence for a moment picked up his tea-cup and stared into it as though contemplating its texture and then continued.

“We know that several members of your firm were involved financially in the company and undoubtably violated the Bar Association’s conflict of interest laws and perhaps defrauded the other partners in the firm. We know that your managing partner who intimately was involved in the creation and subsequently in the legal affairs of Red Star for some reason committed suicide, or at least we have no information available to us to believe it was not suicide. Although his despair, if that were it, may have had something to do with Red Star, we also know that he possessed embarrassing information on many people and organizations that may or may not have influenced his action. We know that the Red Star and other files possessed by Sam Coign were missing, presumably removed by Mr Bauman, who subsequently disappeared under unusual circumstances. Mrs Coign also died under mysterious circumstances, and of course you were attacked, whether it was intentional or random we can only guess at this time.”

He took another sip of his tea looked off into the unfocused distance and continued, “We have only a suspicion and Russell’s story that the Brethren may be involved or even other members of your firm or whether any of them has developed a plot with you as a target. What I strongly believe is that Russell and whoever he is involved with wants you to stay put for some reason.”

“So this is what I pay my taxes for, some game among bureaucrats,” Vince exploded.

Ike smiled. “We pay our taxes for them to protect us from those who would take away our liberty and threaten our welfare. The question always is choosing who it is that threatens our liberty and who decides what is in our welfare. Unless there is a semblance of public debate and transparency, It is in those dark space’s that the rat’s have room to play.”

PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

a. Eponymous laws:

Wagner’s Law predicts that the development of an industrial economy will be accompanied by an increased share of public expenditure in gross national product, and is named after the German economist Adolph Wagner (1835-1917).

Never trust those Germans.

b. Trenz Pruca’s Aphorisms, Apothegms, Epigrams and Maxims ( http:/trenzpruca.wordpress.com/):

“The outsourcing of essential governmental services is the road to tyranny.”

c. Profiles in Presidential Courage:

“Powerful influences strive today to restore that kind of government with its doctrine that Government is best which is most indifferent.
For nearly four years you have had an Administration which instead of twirling its thumbs has rolled up its sleeves. We will keep our sleeves rolled up.
We had to struggle with the old enemies of peace — business and financial monopoly, speculation, reckless banking, class antagonism, sectionalism, war profiteering.
They had begun to consider the Government of the United States as a mere appendage to their own affairs. We know now that Government by organized money is just as dangerous as Government by organized mob.
Never before in all our history have these forces been so united against one candidate as they stand today. They are unanimous in their hate for me — and I welcome their hatred.”
President Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1936
d. Rick Perry’s Flock or Birds of a Feather :

John Hagee, a planner in Perry’s recent “Prayer Rally” that preceded his announcement of his intention to run for the Presidency of the United States, claimed that God sent Hitler to be a “hunter” of Jews to usher in the establishment of Israel and “do God’s work,” lamenting that Jews are no longer “spiritually alive.”

He followed that up by referring to the Catholic Church as ‘The Great Whore,’ an ‘apostate church,’ the ‘anti-Christ,’ and a ‘false cult system.’

On a somewhat more positive note, he has demanded that,“ wives submit yourselves to your husbands” and said that the “husband has a God-given role as leader of your home.”

Go Johnny go!

e. Testosterone Chronicles:

There’s a study running soon in the journal “Global Environmental Change” called “Cool dudes: The denial of climate change among conservative white males in the United States.” It analyzes poll and survey data from the last 10 years and finds that … are you sitting down? “… conservative white men are far more likely to deny the threat of climate change than other people.”

Among the reasons given for the poll results is, the “white male effect” — generally speaking, white males are less concerned with a variety of risks. This probably has to do with the fact that they are less exposed to risk than other demographics, what with running things and all.

TODAY’S QUOTE:

“A hard man is good to find.”
—Mae West

TODAY’S COMMENTARY:

RUSSEL BRAND’S COMMENTS ON THE BRITISH RIOTS:

Why am I surprised that these young people behave destructively, “mindlessly”, motivated only by self-interest?

How should we describe the actions of the city bankers who brought our economy to its knees in 2010? Altruistic? Mindful? Kind?

But then again, they do wear suits, so they deserve to be bailed out, perhaps that’s why not one of them has been imprisoned. And they got away with a lot more than a few fucking pairs of trainers.

These young people have no sense of community because they haven’t been given one. They have no stake in society because Cameron’s mentor Margaret Thatcher told us there’s no such thing.

If we don’t want our young people to tear apart our communities then don’t let people in power tear apart the values that hold our communities together.

An interesting take on values. I have often wondered why those who most support the tooth and claw morality of the market place get so upset when it is brought out into the streets. Instead of sending representatives of government into the streets, shouldn’t we allow the miracle of the market to operate? Obviously after everything is looted, the riots will stop, the aggressive and vigorous will amass wealth as they should, and we who sat idly by are left to pick up the pieces as always)

TODAY’S PHOTOGRAPH:

This is a view from one of the windows of my apartment. The other window has a better view of the freeway, but I like this photograph because is shows a small restaurant that is surprisingly popular and makes what I consider  the best Thai omelet in the neighborhood.

Categories: July 2011 through September 2011 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

This and that from re Thai r ment, by 3Th. August 11, 2011

“We know now that Government by organized money is just as dangerous as Government by organized mob.”
Franklin Roosevelt, 1936

POOKIE FOR PRESIDENT:

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

TODAY’S FACTOID:

1991 Sep 19: Frozen Fritz as he was later called, a well-preserved prehistoric corpse dated to about 3.300 BC, was discovered by German hikers Erica and Helmut Simon. He was found in a glacier on the Hauslabjoch Pass, about 100 yards from Austria in northern Italy.

The corpse was kept at the Univ. of Innsbruck for study. In 1998 analysis indicated that the Frozen Fritz the Ice Man had internal parasites and carried the woody fruit of a tree fungus as a remedy. Tattoos on the body were also found  placed over areas of active arthritis. A flint arrow was also found in his back. In 2007 forensic researchers said he died either from hitting his head on a rock when he passed out or because an attacker hit him in the head.

I ask myself, what is it that was so interesting in Italy that a man with an arrow in his back, internal parasites and arthritis would climb over mountains and wander about on a glacier. It seems fishy to me. Perhaps he was in search of a bronze age version of a medical spa and a massage.

TODAY’S NEWS FROM THAILAND:

The new Prime Minister of Thailand has just released the list of the names of the 35 or so people who would make up her cabinet. While the list contains a few family members and political associates of the her brother, the deposed and exiled Prime Minister Thaksin, it also includes a good number of relative unknowns and people from outside the government, prompting the complaint from several senior members of the civil service they could not see how the new government could work well with them since they (the civil servants) did not know many of the appointees and had not worked with them before.

This criticism of the new cabinet, that they do not have adequate experience, has been picked up by the english language press. It rings a little hollow when one realizes to choose “experienced”ministers would mean choosing ministers with either connections with the old Thaksin administration or the recently defeated administration.

Every afternoon about this time(4pm) it begins to rain heavily for an hour of two.

POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN THAILAND:

I, at times, find myself reminded of some of the images that I came across in Naida West’s wonderful historical trilogy that I have mentioned and recommended here before. Recently the image has been “Indian Mary’s” vision of the “Americanos” as a flock of blackbirds (crows), who together sweep across the sky here and there apparently in unison and without goal, but when they land to feed, it is each bird for himself often pecking violently at ones cohorts in their madness for personal satiation. Then, almost without warning, they take off again in unison. To Indian Mary it represented both their strength and the horror in it.

I wonder if that is not an apt metaphor for our American culture. If so, it is no wonder that we can be admired and feared at the same time.

Recently at the hotel in which my health club is located, a Thai governmental ministry held a three-day symposium for selected high school students from all over Thailand on sex education and safe sex. It really was quite impressive. Here is a photograph of the sign used to mark the event:

 

PAPA JOES TALES AND FABLES:

See: http://papajoesfables.wordpress.com/

JOEY’S MYSTERY NOVEL:

Big Flo sat at his usual table in the back of the chic restaurant located on the street level of the McWerter Building called “Alice and Zooey’s,” featuring New York-California fusion cuisine (Gourmet bagels, organic cream cheese and local free range lox). He had just returned from his interview at the Department of Justice in the Federal Building at Civic Center. Sitting with him was Stavos Kaplan, his friend and a named partner of the law firm that that shares the building with his company (Stavos mom was Greek and named his sister Helena). It was well after lunch and there were no other customers and the staff was busy setting up for the dinner trade. Big Flo and Stavos were investors in Alice and Zooey’s along with the chef, Wilson Asomuaga and a few others including Damon Morley. Big Flo was drinking a double espresso coffee and Stavos had his usual milk, untouched in front of him.

Big Flo had just finished briefing Stavos about the DoJ meeting which consisted in the DoJ bullying Big Flo with threats of prosecution in the Red Star matter based upon secret evidence that they refused to disclose. His attorney Kitchen, who big Flo considered a bit of an idiot, spent most of his time shouting back at the DoJ people and making his own threats. The meeting ended with the DoJ promising to bring the case to the Grand Jury. Later Kitchen claimed the meeting was a victory because he believer the Feds as he called them do not use Grand Juries for indictments where they feel they have enough evidence for conviction.

This did not make Big Flo feel any better since he felt that he was only an investor in Red Star and knew next to nothing about its operations and all this talk of indictments and Grand Juries began to unnerve him. So, he asked Stavos to meet him and talk him through it. Stavos’ already on retainer to several of McWerter’s companies of course would be on the clock as they call it. This did not bother Big Flo since Stavos was one of the few people he was in awe of.

After patiently listening to Big Flo unburden himself for a while, Stavos angrily broke in on his monologue, “Flo, why the hell are these guys at McKenzie Reed doing still representing you. They are under investigation just like you and are into this mess up to their necks?”

“I know,” Big Flo admitted, “but they represented the Company and the investors up until now. I guess I just wasn’t thinking clearly.”

“That’s not your job, its theirs to point out any conflicts.”

“Will your firm take over and represent me? I need your help.”

“Well, if not us, I’ll find the best attorney I can. Let me get back to you on that tomorrow after I make a few calls.”

“How the hell did you get roped into this secret society or what was it ‘Prayer Group’ business?”

“I guess I thought it would be good for business contacts. You know how that goes.”

“Yeah, I guess. They probably have none of my co-religionists as members?”

“No, they told me that the Jews have their own prayer group.”

Back in his office, Stavos immediately put in a call to his favorite PI. If his firm agrees to represent Big Flo, they would need a good investigator. Fat Al answered the telephone on the first ring.
PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

a. Eponymous laws:

Szemerényi’s law — A Proto-Indo-European phonological rule, named after Hungarian linguist Oswald Szemerényi, according to which word-final clusters of vowels (V), resonants (R) and of either */s/ or */h₂/ are simplified by dropping the word-final fricative (*/h₂/ was phonetically itself probably a back fricative), with compensatory lengthening of the preceding vowel.

I never could have guessed. Fricative you Ollie! By the way, is that how you got your last name?

b. Trenz Pruca’s Aphorisms, Apothegms, Epigrams and Maxims ( http:/trenzpruca.wordpress.com/):

“As with most fundamental freedoms, preventing those who wish to abridge the fundamental rights of others is a more important role of government than encouraging the exercise of those rights. Exercising our rights are our individual jobs, protecting us from those who would abridge our rights is the duty we collectively give to government. If government is not the guarantor of Freedom then it is a tyranny.”

c. The Tea Party 70 years ago:

In August 1941, Burton Wheeler US Senator from Montana… announced that he would direct his Senate Committee to investigate “interventionists” in the motion picture industry. Most studio heads, he would soon be surprised to learn, were Jews.

Another member of the Committee, Gerald Nye, a conservative Republican US Senator from North Dakota accused Hollywood of attempting to “drug the reason of the American people,“ and “rouse war fever.“ For some reason he was particularly hostile to Warner Brothers.

Wheeler questioned why so many foreign-born were allowed to shape American opinion, causing Roosevelt to observe that the Bible, too, had been written “by mostly foreign-born and Jewish people.”

But the movie industry knew how to fight back. It retained Wendell Willkie, the Republican party’s 1940 presidential candidate, as counsel. He soon ridiculed Wheeler’s Committee into silence.

Where is Wendell Wilkie when we need him?

d. Testosterone Chronicles:

Is this trick photography or is Shaq really that big? The woman is said to be 5’3″ tall.

 

TODAY’S QUOTE:

“The concerts you enjoy together,
Neighbors you annoy together,
Children you destroy together,
That keeps a marriage intact.”
—Stephen Sondheim

INSTEAD OF TODAY’S CHART, TODAY’S COMMENTARY:

From Jeremy Grantham who is rapidly becoming my favorite commentator:

“So now (July 30), the U.S. – with a dysfunctional Congress – has to decide between two of the ugliest choices seen in a long time. Should they cut government expenditures and therefore cut aggregate demand at a time of a critically weak economy on the cusp, perhaps, of a double dip? Or should they do nothing and allow a technical default, compromising the integrity of the dollar and sending a powerful signal to the world that the U.S., at least for now, is not a serious country and is probably past its prime. Ouch!

Nobly trying to resolve this impasse, a small chunk of Republicans has seized the mantle of blackmailers and turned out to be very good at it. Certainly too good for President No-Show. Come to think of it, the choice was between technical default and looking like a Banana Republic and technical blackmail and looking like a Banana Republic! Just different bananas perhaps?”

Categories: July 2011 through September 2011 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

This and that from re Thai r ment, by 3Th. August 8, 2011

POOKIE FOR PRESIDENT:

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

TODAY’S FACTOID:

an image of mayan calendar on cosumel island' ...

3,300 BC: The beginning date of the Mayan calendar.

December 21, 2012: The ending date of the Mayan calendar.

Note: The first year of the Jewish calendar was 3,761 BC, and according to some Christian Fundamentalists, the end is just around the corner, probably on the day of Obama’s reelection.

TODAY’S NEWS FROM THAILAND:

1. Sensibly, the Thai press and political leaders appear to be ignoring the downgrade of the US debt, preferring instead to concentrate on the election of Thailand’s first female Prime Minister. I agree with them. It is probably more significant. I have read somewhere that the debt imbroglio in the US congress would never have occurred if the Congress was 75% women instead of 75% men. I agree with that also.

2. The Thai press is still generally reporting only on opinions that if the minimum wage is raised to $10 per day the economy will collapse. Now understand what they are warning about. In complete violation of classical and neoclassical economic theory,if they are correct about the impact of raising the minimum wage, the capitalist economy then appears unable to respond to a change in circumstances. It is incapable of replacing a minor rise in wages (If would raise the monthly base salary for workers to that of China) with increased productivity. The US with a base monthly salary of more than ten times that remains competitive in many areas and would be in many more except for the financial subsidies in the US to encourage off shoring of production and the financial subsidies offered by the countries in which they are locating to relocate there. Businesses, according to theory, are supposed to be able to adapt to changes in the cost of supplies. It is more difficult, no well neigh impossible, to adjust to a drop in demand except by downsizing. And, that is what is happening in the US economy now.

3. The fear of conflict between the government and the military, primarily over job security for the current general staff, remains perhaps the primary concern regarding  longevity of the new administration. No one, least of all the military general staff, believes the new administration could survive a conflict with the armed forces. Yet, it is the total independence of the military from civilian control that has riled Thai politics for generations and has stifled even the slightest of governmental, social and economic reforms. While the circumstances have had little impact on the general growth of the Thai economy, except to court periodic collapse, it has failed to deal with anyones expectations leading to social dissatisfaction. Sounds a little like the US doesn’t it.

POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN THAILAND:

Every afternoon now, the rains come. It cools the air and relieves some of the worst of the particulate pollution in the city, but it has also brought significant flooding to much of the country.

PAPA JOES TALES AND FABLES:

See: http://papajoesfables.wordpress.com/

For those of a more lascivious bent, Papa Joe has begun the retelling of the tales of “The Geriatric Knights of the Oval Table.”

JOEY’S MYSTERY NOVEL:

“Ike, did you bring me over here just to listen to this paranoid drivel” Vince shouted? “Secret organizations, vague threats, what crap!”

“Please Vince let him finish. I think you will have a better understanding of what is happening.”

Vince exhaled and looked back over to the old man.

“Yes,” the old man said. “Perhaps it is better if I explain, why you partners wanted you to take over management of the firm. You see, we believe that this group, we will call them the “Brethren,” since that is how they refer to themselves, set up “Red Star” as an operation to funnel money to them to further their goals. A defense auditor discovered some anomalies in their reports.”

“I have heard all about these so called anomalies. It is nothing more that the normal disagreements between the government and a contractor and should be, and I believe it is being handled by the attorneys for both sides. I know nothing about it and still do not understand why I am here.”

“Yes,” continued the old man his eyes hardening. “At first we believed that you were somehow involved, but Ms. Yeung believes that you may not be and have been brought back to take the fall for everything if it comes to that.”

“Unbelievable!” exclaimed Vince. “Why would you be telling me this? How do you know I am not a conspirator in this ridiculous conspiracy you have imagined? I have met Ms Yeung two or three times, what could she know?”

“Yes, umm,” the old man continued. “Both Mr Cohen and Ms. Yeung, who I respect greatly, believe you are not directly involved, but that is not really what brought us here today. You see you are becoming a danger to the success of our investigation.

“Ha, how so, I have avoided the ‘Red Star’ investigation like a plague?”

Yes, as I said we believe you will be blamed as the mastermind and our investigation will be thwarted, again.”

“Bullshit, I will deny everything.” Vince hesitated for a moment. “I guess, I should thank you for at least warning me. I am confident I can deny any accusations.”

“Yes, I am sure you probably can, but it will be more difficult if the incriminating evidence is documentary.”

“Even so, I am sure I could refute it if that is the case.”

“Ah yes, I am sure you could, but unfortunately not very well if you are dead.”

PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

a. Eponymous laws:

Sturgeon’s law“Nothing is always absolutely so.”
Derived from a quote by science fiction author Theodore Sturgeon (1918–1985).

Absolutely not true.

b. Trenz Pruca’s Aphorisms, Apothegms, Epigrams and Maxims ( http:/trenzpruca.wordpress.com/):

“Why would anyone be morally bound or wish to be morally bound to a civil society that does not share the goal that its citizens deserve a fair distribution of wealth, income and power? If the civil society is not dedicated to that end what else could it possibly be dedicated to? What is freedom, to those without wealth, income or power?”
c. Fort’s insight:

“I think we’re property.

I should say we belong to something:

That once upon a time, this earth was No-man’s Land, that other worlds explored and colonized here, and fought among themselves for possession, but that now it’s owned by something:

That something owns this earth—all others warned off.

I suspect that, after all, we’re useful—that among contesting claimants, adjustment has occurred, or that something now has a legal right to us, by force, or by having paid out analogues of beads for us to former, more primitive, owners of us—all others warned off—that all this has been known, perhaps for ages, to certain ones upon this earth, a cult or order, members of which function like bellwethers to the rest of us, or as superior slaves or overseers, directing us in accordance with instructions received—from Somewhere else—in our mysterious usefulness.”
1919 Charles Fort…

OMG! Could God be nothing more than an absentee landowner and we are all renters? This clears everything up. The universe is just capitalism writ large and its basic moral law is the sanctity of contracts?

d. You must be a Republican ( http:/trenzpruca.wordpress.com/)if you believe that:

“Bullies are manly but peacemakers are not.”

TODAY’S QUOTE:

“Religion is an insult to human dignity. With or without it, you’d have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, it takes religion.”
Nobel Prize-winning American physicist Steven Weinberg

TODAY’S CHART:

Categories: July 2011 through September 2011 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

This and that from re Thai r ment, by 3 Th. August 6,2011

POOKIE FOR PRESIDENT:

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

As I previously pointed out, one of the most difficult part of the parody of running for office is that no matter how outrageous the parody of the far right, it is almost impossible to come up with something that someone would not mistake for the real thing. A case in point, I was contemplating a statement on abortion pointing out that the right may need to reconsider their approach since a prohibition on abortion falls essentially on the non-white poor, because wealthy and middle class whites can always find an abortionist as they always have been able to in the past. This I also pointed out could result in further decline of the population of the white ruling class versus an increase in the darker skinned, ethnic, Democratic voting poor. Ridiculous, no? Well, in his new book, my youthful partner in crime, Pat Buchanan writes in, Chapter 5, “Demographic Winter”:

Pat Buchanan being interviewed in Manchester, NH

“The reason the West is dying is simple: children are no longer so desirable. The child-centered society has been succeeded by the self-centered society. … [H]aving one child … means a more rapid death and disappearance of Western man.”

Perhaps Pat would support a tax credit for child support for any children over two born to families earning more than $200,000 per year. Hmm, I think I will propose it.

TODAY’S FACTOID:

1. 4004 B.C.,“October 23, at nine o’clock in the morning man was created according to John Lightfoot (1602-1675), Vice-Chancellor of Cambridge University.

On that day this year, at nine o’clock in the morning, mankind will be 6015 years old. Women are about 15 to 20 minutes younger. Don’t forget to celebrate. Do not worry, I will remind you on the 22nd.

2. 1 Million BC. DNA evidence in 2008 suggested that the black rat originated in South-East Asia about this time and then split into 6 lines, one of which colonized India and the Middle East and then spread to Europe (spreading plague and fear as it travelled).

Several descendants lived in the walls of my home while I was growing up. It is ironic that in my declining years I get to live in the region in which the rat originated. I dream that somehow I can haunt its sleep as it once haunted mine.

TODAY’S NEWS FROM THAILAND:

Yingluck Shinawatra - World Economic Forum on ...

Yingluck Shinawatra – World Economic Forum on East Asia 2012 (Photo credit: World Economic Forum)

1. Ms. Prime Minister: The first female Prime Minister in Thai history, Yingluck, has been elected by the legislature. Political news has been marked mostly by rumor as the transition to the new government takes place. In one of her first statements the new prime minister designate has indicated, in a bid to demonstrate her commitment to national reconciliation, that the leaders of the “Red Shirt” protests who make up a sizable minority of her party would not be awarded posts in her first cabinet.

2. The General speaks: Meanwhile, the commanding general of the armed forces continues to make a distinction between the “government” and the “armed forces,” clearly signaling that he considers them separate and equal national institutions, with the army of course being the guardian of the Royal Family and of the nations liberty.

3. Prison frolics: The Bangkok Post disclosed a spate of reports of inmates smuggling cell phones into prison by secreting them in their anus in order to have a means of communicating with their drug suppliers. Recently one turned up when it started ringing while still hidden up the inmates———-/

4. Cultural Diversity: On the subject of cultural diversity, how does one tell if a Thai is lying to you?

Simply ask him or her whether they cheat farang’s (foreigners). If they answer no, they are lying. And they will always answer no because cheating a farang to them is really not cheating.

Statue titled, Monument to Multiculturalism by...

5. Multiculturalism: As long as I am on a multi-cultural riff, what is it about the right-wing conservatives and multiculturalism? What are they afraid of?

Ultimately what anyone who has intimate connection with another culture really learns is that they have as little regard for your cultural shibboleths as you have for theirs. Maybe that’s it, no one likes to know they are insignificant to someone else’s consciousness.

On the other hand, I am not particularly turned on by some liberals rejection of their culture or obsession with its perceived faults. It reminds me of some insecure neurotic going around focused on his or her own inadequacies.

And why do some many people who should know better gush over another cultures obsessions? Hell, no one goes around loving everybody. There are a lot of people I can’t stand and believe that the world, or at least my little piece of it would have been better off had their mother gotten an abortion. And that includes my old college mate Pat Buchanan.

Similarly there are a lot of cultures or cultural adaptations I can’t stand. The goose stepping aspect of German culture for example, and a lot of elements of some Arab cultures.

That goes for my own slice of pizza with pepperoni Italian-American culture as well. For example, I find Jersey Shore revolting, but the Godfather somehow ennobling. Perhaps it is because I could more picture myself like Michael shooting someone in the head, than spending my days in the gym working on my six-pack like the Situation. Also, although I hate to admit it, I find myself more turned on by that bag of nuts played by Diane Keaton, than by the big busted bimbo that shares my nick-name, Pookie. So sue me.

POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN THAILAND:

There seems to be a slight let up in the rains that brought flooding to the north of Thailand. The past few days have been sunny and hot allowing me to swim in the health club pool again.

PAPA JOES TALES AND FABLES:

See: http://papajoesfables.wordpress.com/

JOEY’S MYSTERY NOVEL:

“Perhaps I should try to explain things,” volunteered the old man.

“Yes, please try,” responded Vince sarcastically.

“As you probably know,” he began. “People like me in government service are hired to keep an eye on threats to the nation.”

“Spy on us you mean.”

“Yes, if you must describe it that way. We are required to analyze and report to the civilian authorities threats to the nation.”

“Who decides these threats? And what does this have to do with me,” said Vincent Biondi, now becoming more agitated and beginning to pace back and forth,

“Ah yes, who decides? That is always the question, isn’t it. Well, we generally try to discern if there is possible violence associated with the perceived threat, foreign influence or fraud. I am sorry but that aspect of the business is not scientific and unfortunately subject to ones political or psychological biases, and that often leads to problems.”

“That’s for sure,” interjected Vince. “So where is this leading us? I have a law firm to run and should get back to doing it instead of speculating on moral abilities of the spy business,”

“Well, we will get to your role in a minute. Some of us in the ah, “business,” see a threat not from foreign enemies but from within our country.”

“Like Communists?”

“Well, sort of, but in this case certain home-grown radical religious groups that appear to have adopted some of the rhetoric and policies of previous enemies of the country for which we fought World War Two.”

“So what? You know, free speech and all of that, even if it is crazy.”

“Yes, it could be a grey area, but we have reason to believe that this one in particular has engaged in violence and other illegal activities to further its cause and that you wittingly or unknowingly have stepped into the middle of their program right up to your neck.”

PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

a. Eponymous laws:

Sowa’s law of standards“Whenever a major organization develops a new system as an official standard for X, the primary result is the widespread adoption of some simpler system as a de facto standard for X.”


(Hooray for common sense.)

b. Trenz Pruca’s Aphorisms, Apothegms, Epigrams and Maxims ( http:/trenzpruca.wordpress.com/):

“Most wealthy individuals are scoundrels, only very few admit it and they usually are already in jail.”

c. From God’s Mouth to your ears:

Some esoteric Jewish traditions hold that God is hermaphroditic in nature, and that Adam was originally a hermaphrodite. This is based on a reading of Genesis 1:27: “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.” This theme is developed with great detail in the Kabbalah; For instance see this passage from the Kabbalah Unveiled. Rabbi Samuel-bar-Nachman is quoted by Carpenter as saying, “Adam, when God created him, was a man-woman (androgyne)”. Maimonides (ibid.) is quoted likewise: “Adam and Eve were created together, conjoined by their backs.”

Sounds reasonable to me. But does God still have a beard? If not what do we do with all those pictures and statues?


d. You must be a Republican ( http:/trenzpruca.wordpress.com/) if you believe that:

“Torture is necessary for the defense of American freedom but the freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures is not.”

e. Testosterone Chronicles:

A study conducted in Sweden gave women testosterone boosts in order to foster more risky behavior in them but… nothing.
The study gave rise to a theory that women should perhaps be in more control of global stock markets than men in order to make markets safer.
Source: Nature

What’s wrong with putting them in charge of everything and making the whole world safer?

TODAY’S QUOTE:

We, the free indigenous peoples of Europe, hereby declare a pre-emptive war on all cultural Marxist/multiculturalist elites of Western Europe. … We know who you are, where you live and we are coming for you,…We are in the process of flagging every single multiculturalist traitor in Western Europe. You will be punished for your treasonous acts against Europe and Europeans.
Anders Behring Breivik.

My old college acquaintance Pat Buchanan says this is a good thing. Have you hugged a white man today? Have you recently struck a blow against the non-European hordes? We’re watching.

But, but we all came out of Africa by way of the near east…does this mean that…that they might be the actual “indigenous peoples of Europe?” Oh my god!

TODAY’S CHART:


And guess what? The recently announced Debt Ceiling/Debt Reduction deal does none of this. I love democracy.

Categories: July 2011 through September 2011 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

This and that from re Thai r ment, by 3Th. August 2, 2011

POOKIE FOR PRESIDENT:

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

TODAY’S FACTOID:

1) 2011: 734 out of every 100,000 people are behind bars in the US — far and away the highest number in the world. Russia and South Africa are our nearest competitors.

Hooray for us! We’re number one.

2) 2011: for those interested in an analysis on who won and who lost in the Debt Ceiling crisis resolution:

Republican ‘Wins’:

GOP achieved a debt limit increase that requires almost dollar-for-dollar spending cuts ($2.4 trillion).

• Revenues aren’t part of the first step in the two-step process.

• Republicans get to keep up the appearance that they are fighting for a balanced budget amendment (but it won’t ultimately pass — the enforcement clause of the deal sees to that).

White House/Democrat Wins:

• Spending cuts ($2.4 trillion over 10 years) are a little more than half of what was originally on the table.

• Nearly 40% ($350 billion) of the initial $900 billion in cuts comes from the defense budget. The remaining $550 billion over 10 years results from caps on discretionary spending (not itemized cuts), so expect the President and Dems to fight to spread those losses out to places where they’ll have the least impact.

• Of primary importance to Obama’s base, all entitlement benefits and many programs for the poor are exempt from current cuts and the trigger cuts.

• The “triggers,” or fail-safe plans, heavily favor Democrats. If the bi-partisan commission fails to agree to a balanced plan — or Congress fails to pass a balanced plan — the Defense budget alone will take half the spending cuts ($600-750 billion). This trigger gives Democrats significant leverage.

• The process is gimmicky and allows Congress symbolic votes of disapproval, but essentially the agreement will raise the debt ceiling through 2012, one of Obama’s biggest sticking points — meant to settle financial markets and to avoid repeating this charade before the election.

• Did you notice that repealing the health insurance individual mandate – Boehner’s big last-minute sticking point — is no longer part of the deal? Don’t think that wasn’t a hard-won battle.

Apparently, as is usual in politics, all is not as it appears.

TODAY’S NEWS FROM THAILAND:

I usually find in my daily copy of the Bangkok Posta steady stream of

English: All Seasons Place, Bangkok, Thailand ...

All Seasons Place, Bangkok, Thailand with China Recoures Building. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

humorous anecdotes. Either my sense of amusement has deteriorated along with my mental faculties or the nation is holding its breath for some reason.

1) National Security: The General in charge of National Security Council stated in a recent speech: “In the past, national was all about military and defense affairs.” He continues, “…national security must be extended…[to]…people’s well being, human dignity, public harmony and national prestige.” He goes on to state that the monarchy is part of the country’s prestige and has come under attack from political players during the past few years, and “The public must return security to the institution.”

I take it from this comment, that it may be a not so subtle warning to the new government, that the military remains ready to undertake another coup under tguise of protecting the Monarchy, if they should attempt to do something that the military finds to be not in their interests.

2) Family Values: A recent column in the english language newspaper in Thailand points out that in the newly elected Thai legislature over 10% of the successful candidates have close relatives who were either also elected to the legislature or are high governmental officials. I would guess if one added relatives high in the national security forces the percentage could approach 100%.

For those who think the US is above this, if one would add family members who are members of congressional staffs, the nepotism in American politics is probably equivalent to Thailand’s.

3) Weird: In the Sunday magazine section of the Bangkok Post in was reported that a past Thai Prime Minister was Weird. No, not strange but actually Weird. Apparently when he was born, this individual’s father noticed that his ears were located entirely below the line of his eyes and exclaimed, “This is weird,” or something like that. In Thai culture, a childs father gives the child a first name (actually nickname) usually based upon some physical feature (e.g. Daeng (red) or Nok (bird)), so Weird it was. Anyway, Weird as he was fondly known grew up to become a general in the army and one of the leaders in the coup that forced Thailand’s change from an absolute monarchy to a constitutional one. During WWII, Weird played footsie with the Japanese, hoping to ride on the coattails of their conquests. As the war was coming to a close and the Japanese did not look like winners, he was overthrown by a civilian led government.

This did not deter Weird, two years later he switched sides to become and ardent supporter of the Monarchy and with the generous assistance of his military cohorts, swept back into power.

Weird is noted for having introduced into Thailand such innovations as; having all Thai’s sing the National Anthem twice a day, and declaring Pad Thai the Thai national dish.

POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN THAILAND:

I have just returned from my brief visit to “Paradise by the Sea Two Miles from the Outskirts of Hell.” I went there to meet with Vittorio and his Thai wife Anita who were spending a few days of their Thailand holidays at the beach.

Since I have given up my apartment in Paradise by the Sea for a while, I settled for low-cost budget accommodations nearby in a place interestingly called “Low Cost Budget Hotel.” My room was small and windowless but had A/C and a separate fan, hot water and a surprisingly comfortable bed.

I took Vittorio to the BBQ at Kinneree or, for those of you who recall, to the Oval Table that was the meeting place of the Geriatric Knights. It was sausage BBQ day. Given that my current diet has been quite light on meat and the variety of sausages inviting, I managed to eat too many too quickly and gave myself a massive case of indigestion that, of course assumed was the onset of a heart attack. After stumbling around for a while, receiving neither sympathy nor assistance, I flopped down of one of the red sofa’s that rest in one of the darker corners of the place and awaited my demise.

Eventually one of the hostesses noticed my distress and brought me some cold towels for my head, loosened my belt and lightly massaged my aching tummy. As I began to feel slightly better, she suggested a far older cure that surprisingly worked quite well.

Later as the sun was setting, Vittorio and I walked the mile or so along the beach front between Kinneree and our respective hotels.

Fear strikes the ex-pat community: Recently, there have been a spate of stories in the Outskirts of Hell (and in Bangkok) of men being given knock-out drops by young ladies they meet and take to their hotel rooms or apartments. The next morning they wake up having lost everything of value they may have had that the lady could stuff on her person or in her purse. The police seem disinterested, viewing these complaints from aging white men in what I imagine is not so different from the way a cop in Arizona views a Mexican complaining of an immigration scam.

PAPA JOES TALES AND FABLES:

See: http://paptajoesfables.wordpress.com/

JOEY’S MYSTERY NOVEL:

Delayed until it is determined if my ennui is terminal.

PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

a. Eponymous laws:

Segal’s law“A man with a watch knows what time it is. A man with two watches is never sure.”

Steven Segal doesn’t wear a watch. Is that is why see he beats people up and makes bad movies?

b. Trenz Pruca’s Aphorisms, Apothegms, Epigrams and Maxims ( http:/trenzpruca.wordpress.com/):

“The outsourcing of governmental services is the road to tyranny.”

c. Are Men Needed:

In my blog (See, Trenz Pruca’s Journal ) I have suggested that perhaps men are the source of much of the threat to our species survival (See also, Testosterone Chronicles below) and proposed that they should be reduced in number and replaced in all things by women. Science is now discovering that possibly nature also recognizes that women may no longer need men:

“According to researchers at Oxford University, hermaphroditism and self-mating among cottony cushion scales [Icerya purchasi] is leading to the disappearance of male members of the species.”

I guess if I had a “cottony cushion,” I’d try self-mating too.

According to NewScientist: “A battle of the sexes is also occurring among African bat bugs, which…, turn transsexual to avoid stabbing penises.”

Well, wouldn’t you?

d. From God’s Mouth to Your Ears:

Clarence Darrow once wrote:

“And Joshua; you remember about Joshua. He was a great general. Very righteous and he was killing a lot of people and he hadn’t quite finished the job and so he turned to the mountain top and said to the sun, “Stand still till I finish this job,” and it stood still.”

e. Testosterone Chronicles:

A study from Royal Society of Biological Sciences The Royal Society of Biological Sciences in Britain showed data that men who have children also have less testosterone in samples of their saliva than men who don’t have children.

They no longer can afford to.

TODAY’S QUOTE:

“After all, what is your host’s purpose in having a party? Surely not for you to enjoy yourself; if that were their sole purpose, they’d have simply sent champagne and women over to your place by taxi. “
~P.J. O’Rourke

TODAY’S CHART:

Categories: July 2011 through September 2011 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

This and that from re Thai r ment, by 3Th. July 25, 2011

POOKIE FOR PRESIDENT:

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

TODAY’S FACTOID:

1. 2011: More people live in Greater Tokyo than in all of Canada.

2. 2009: In the US, there were 7.2 million people in prison and under official supervision like probation — a larger population than the state of Washington.

TODAY’S NEWS FROM THAILAND:

1. Norway. A correspondent of mine forwarded the following interesting email he received from an acquaintance in Norway(7/24/11 3PM BKK) who had obtained some information from one of his Norwegian colleagues who has a high-ranking Norwegian Police friend:

“All of the weapons and bullets were hidden on the island several weeks prior to this event that was two years in the planning!

The culprit was a member of a Nazi group albeit a low key one without a Police record but was known to the Police.

The bomb was a diversionary tactic to enable the shooter to cause as much killing as possible while all Police resources were deployed elsewhere. It was a summer camp for Labour party youth with the intent to kill possible future Labour party ministers and Government officials.”

If true, it sounds like a lot of work for only one man to carry out.

2. Today:  A third military helicopter crashed along the Thai-Burmese border bringing the death toll to 17.

3. Current:The Thai Prime Minister candidate Yingluck has denied that her brother, the exiled former Prime Minister Thaksin and her family are choosing the members of her cabinet stating, “…just you wait and see my Cabinet first.”

4. Current: The recently defeated Democratic Party has not won a Thai national election in 19 years. Nevertheless, it governed the country for a majority of that time having been installed by several military coups and a court decision.
POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN THAILAND:

1. It has been raining fairly constantly in BKK for the past two days. My only adventures have been walking to and from my apartment to either the health club or to my usual local eating/internet places. While it may be true that a short walk in BKK can be adventuresome indeed, there is little that bears telling except that the rain has driven the ladies and ladyboys of the mornings, afternoons and evenings off the sidewalks and into the doorways.

2. I have not yet received word of the arrival of my Italian hosts, Vittorio and Anita in Thailand. Probably just as well given the rain, although I found that when it is raining in BKK it is often sunny at Paradise by the Sea.

3. Did I mention that in addition to a bout of recurring depression I am becoming bored? I am happy that I am lazy and despise the discomfort of wet clothes or I would consider running out into the rain and doing something for which I would later feel embarrassed.

PAPA JOES TALES AND FABLES:

See: http://papajoesfables.wordpress.com/

JOEY’S MYSTERY NOVEL:

Ike leaned forward, carefully placed his tea-cup on the law table, leaned back into his chair and said slowly, “I thought it was time that we all got on the same page here.”

“If you knew these people,” Vince sputtered, “you were required to disclose that to me when I hired you to represent me and the firm. They represent the government in its investigation.”

Ah, yes,” said Ike quietly. “First, as you recall, I was retained to represent you and not the firm. They are represented by competent counsel. You asked, me to look into the matter on your behalf, and I did. I believe my brief to represent you included setting up this meeting. You are not yet ‘a person of interest’ in the investigation but we all fear that you soon may be and perhaps even more.”

Isabella and Mr. Jessel sat placidly on the sofa watching him as though they fully expected this exchange between Ike and him.

That he personally may become further involved in the Red Star investigation than he already was, rattled Vince. “OK, but if you knew these people, you were supposed to disclose it to me. And why all this secrecy?”

“As too your question regarding the secrecy, it is because both your guests and I believe that your office and phones have been compromised, and not just by the government.”

I don’t believe it. How do you know that?”

“We will get to that in a moment. But I believe I need to clarify your mistaken assumption about my prior knowledge of my guests with reference to your interests. I had never met either Ms. Yeung or Mr Jessel before you retained me, although of course I was aware of some Ms. Yeung’s exploits. You, if you recall never mentioned either name to me during our conversations. I only learned of Ms. Yeung’s involvement from the irrepressible Ray. I was not sure if it was the same Isabella Yeung that I had heard about, so I telephoned her. That led to subsequent discussions with both her and Mr. Jessel and ultimately this meeting.”

He stopped speaking. Vince sat there in silence for a few moments, looked over at Isabella and the old man calmly staring back at him. He imagined a slight smile playing at her lips. This annoyed him greatly, thinking she was amused at his expense and he could feel his temper rising.

“All right,” he finally said exhaling in a vain attempt to relieve the tension rising in him. “Why don’t you tell me what this is all about?”

PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

a. Eponymous laws:

Sayre’s law“In any dispute the intensity of feeling is inversely proportional to the value of the stakes at issue.” By way of corollary, the law adds: “That is why academic politics are so bitter.”


I thought that was the definition of Politics.

b. Trenz Pruca’s Aphorisms, Apothegms, Epigrams and Maxims ( http:/trenzpruca.wordpress.com/):

“There is no such thing as a free market. There is always a transaction cost.”

c. You must be a Republican ( http:/trenzpruca.wordpress.com/) if you believe that:

“Providing affordable healthcare for children and all Americans is a governmental interference with the private market but subsidies to defense contractors are not.”

d. Testosterone Chronicles:

“Elevated testosterone causes men to behave antisocially.”
Source: Testosterone Administration Decreases Generosity in the Ultimatum Game.

Who would have thought?

TODAY’S QUOTE:

“Don’t be so humble–you are not that great.”
—Golda Meir

BONUS QUOTE:

“To divide fairly among the people the obligation to pay for these benefits has been a major part of our struggle to maintain Democracy in America. Ever since 1776, that struggle has been between two forces; on the one hand there has been a vast majority of citizens who believe the benefits of democracy should be extended and who are willing to pay their fair share to extend them. And on the other hand, there has been a small but powerful group which has fought the extension of these benefits because they did not want to pay a fair share of their cost. That was the lineup in seventeen hundred and seventy-six and it’s the lineup today. And I am confident that once more, in nineteen thirty-six democracy in taxation will win. Here is my principle, and I think it’s yours too; Taxes shall be levied according to ability to pay. That is the only American principle.”
Franklin D. Roosevelt.

TODAY’S CHART:

Categories: July 2011 through September 2011 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Thus and that from re Thai r ment, by 3Th. July 24, 2011

POOKIE FOR PRESIDENT:

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

Apparently the readers of the ultra-liberal blog that I sometimes post things in have shown scant amusement in my candidacy. One actually complained of my using all capitals in my title. In a recent posting of Pookie’s example of the political advantages gained by Teamsters Union of the 80’s in their flirtation with the Reagan Administration, one commenter sniffed that they (the Teamsters) are all good Democrats now. Another claimed I was ignorant of the facts. While I would be the first to admit that my poor attempts at political humor could and perhaps should fall dead on the stage, but could it also be that the left is as devoid of a sense of irony as the right. The horror…

TODAY’S FACTOID:

Pope Benedict IX (1032–1044; 1045; 1047–1048) ...

1. 1045, May: Pope Benedict IX ( of whom Pope Victor III referred to when he wrote, “his rapes, murders and other unspeakable acts. His life as a Pope so vile. so foul so execrable that I shudder to think of it.”), resigned his office to pursue marriage, selling the Papacy for 1,500 pounds of gold to his godfather, the pious priest John Gratian, who promptly named himself Pope Gregory VI.

(How pious does one have to be to amass 1500 pounds of gold?)

2. 2011: With reference to the recent horrific events in Norway, one commentator referred to one of Sweden’s responses to stem the frightening rise of right-wing terrorism in their country:

“Sweden, by contrast, has seen a sharp drop in far-right extremist activity since its peak in the mid-1990s, when every national newspaper in the country published identical editions with photos of every known neo-Nazi in the land.”
Jorn Madslien, BBC News.

TODAY’S NEWS FROM THAILAND:

1. A day or two ago a Thai Military Blackhawk helicopter crashed in Myanmar (Burma) while searching for another downed military helicopter that had strayed over the border and also crashed. The area of the crashes was the same area visited by “Gun Girl” and I on our legendary journey. In fact one of the helipads used in the search was located at the Thai military facility overlooking the Thai border staffed by a lone soldier ever ready to single handily repel any attempts by the Burmese hordes to invade Thailand once again.

The Burmese region in which the helicopters crashed is primarily jungle and lightly inhabited. Some refer to it as the “Karen Nation” because it is claimed by the Karen tribe in its insurgency against the Burmese government.

2. A poll in a travel magazine voted Bangkok, the “Best City in the World” over such worthies as Paris, Hong Kong, Florence, New York and even San Francisco causing the eruption of a furious debate in the letters to the editor section of the Bangkok Post.

3. According to the Bangkok Post in Bangladesh a man was forced to parade naked around his village with a brick tied to his penis for kidnapping and marrying a 12-year-old girl.

POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN THAILAND:

1. Antonio and Anita have probably arrived in Thailand by now. I expect to join up with them in Jomtien Beach as soon as Monday.

2. Depressions are like winter colds or the flu, you can take all the prescription and over the counter medicines you want, add-on folk nostrums without end and comfort yourself with the knowledge that it, as always, will soon end, but, you still feel miserable until it does.

3. Today while eating lunch and fooling around with my computer at the little Thai restaurant I frequent, an argument erupted among three westerners at the next table. One of the men was going on about how Obama was a dictator and so on and continued on to a claim that carbon dioxide was good for you and that all the climate scientists were in the pay of the “Green” Industry. I normally avoid involving myself in these type of barroom discussions, but unfortunately at one point I shook my head in response to something that was said. One of the other participants in the argument noticing the slight movement, asked me my opinion of what had just been said. And I told him.

Now I mention this by was of an introduction to my observation that my operation did not rid me entirely of testosterone poisoning. It also reminded me that of all the remedies for depression available, nothing works as well as a good old shot of adrenaline.

PAPA JOES TALES AND FABLES:

See: http://papajoesfables.wordpress.com/

JOEY’S MYSTERY NOVEL:

Big Flo’s reminisces were interrupted when David Kitchen was ushered into his office to prepare Big Flo for his interview with the Department of Justice later in the afternoon.

Big Flo came around his deck hand extended. “I am very pleased to meet you Mr. Kitchen. Thank you very much for your help. I expected Charlie Bowman to work with me today. Is there some problem?”

“No not at all,” answered David, “Charlie is on his annual fishing vacation. He fully briefed me on the case. This is just a fishing expedition by the DOJ drones anyway, nothing to worry too much about. When Charlie returns next week, he will resume handling the matter. By the way, just call me Dave.”

They sat in the Big Flo’s office sitting area containing a low glass table, David on an expensive but uncomfortable leather sofa and Big Flo on one of the two similarly covered and designed chairs. “I am sorry to hear about Sam.” McWerter intoned. “I considered him a good friend and a great lawyer.”

“Yes, it was quite a shock. Let’s get right into it shall we? We have a lot of ground to cover.”

—————————————————————————————————–

Vince put down the phone after having spoken to Ike who asked him to go to Ike’s town house to meet will some people whose names he refused to divulge over the phone. This annoyed Vince he was busy enough without having to travel half way across the City to some cloak and dagger meeting. But Ike seemed to think it was urgent and he wanted to get out of the office for a while anyway.

When he arrived at the town house he was greeted at the door by the Korean lady who lived with her husband in the cottage in the back of the house. She led him into a large Parlor room decorated in Victorian antique furniture and a vase filled with white and pink orchids. The rotund figure of Ike slouched in a large leather upholstered wing back chair drinking tea from a 19th Century Korean Celadon tea service set on the low carved mahogany table in front of him, To Vince’s surprise, across from Ike, at a large wood edged sofa sat the older gentleman he had met that day he was cornered in his office by the Department of Justice investigators and Isabella Yeung.

He looked at Ike and in a raised almost hysterical voice asked, “What the hell is going on here Ike?”

PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

a. Eponymous laws:

Rothbard’s law — Everyone specializes in his own area of weakness.

What does this say about someone who considers himself a generalist?

b. Trenz Pruca’s Aphorisms, Apothegms, Epigrams and Maxims ( http:/trenzpruca.wordpress.com/):

“Whitehead and Russell taught us that words have no meaning unless backed by mathematics.

In other words, it is all blah, blah, blah unless it has numbers.

Goedel then taught us that all mathematics is based on unprovable assumptions.

In other words, blah is still blah.”

c. You must be a Republican ( http:/trenzpruca.wordpress.com/) if you believe that:

“The illegal alien who risked everything to better himself economically by coming to America is a criminal, but the bankers and investors on Wall Street who gambled away your pension funds and put your jobs at risk are not.”

d. Testosterone Chronicles:

Delayed due to a sudden depletion of hormones.

 

TODAY’S QUOTE:

John Stuart Mill famously wrote to John Pakington:

I never meant to say that the Conservatives are generally stupid. I meant to say that stupid people are generally Conservative. I believe that is so obviously and universally admitted a principle that I hardly think any gentleman will deny it.”

TODAY’S CHART:

 

 

Categories: July 2011 through September 2011 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

This and that from re Thai r ment, by 3Th. July 21, 2011

POOKIE FOR PRESIDENT:

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

TODAY’S FACTOID:

Poster to urge Salvatore Cuffaro to resign aft...

Poster to urge Salvatore Cuffaro to resign after his conviction to five years for aiding and abetting Mafiosi using an image of Cuffaro serving cannoli after the sentence which did not convict him for collusion with the mafia, but only for aiding and abetting individual Mafiosi. The Italian text reads “Convicted to five years. Resign.” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

2006, May 28Rita Borsellino, anti-mafia politician and sister of late anti-mafia magistrate Paolo Borsellino who had been murdered by the mafia, loses to Salvatore Cuffaro, incumbent president and alleged mafia associate, in the 2006 Regional Election of Sicily.

2008, January 18Sicilian president Salvatore Cuffaro is found guilty of several mafia-related charges.

TODAY’S NEWS FROM THAILAND:

1. Since the recent Thai elections, there has been a drastic fall off of political news. Yingluck’s election has been confirmed by the Elections Commission and it is expected that she will soon be chosen Prime Minister and begin assembling her cabinet. Unlike her exiled brother Thaksin, she has been notably and admirably reticent to make any comments at all about either her appointments or her policies.

2. The International Court has ordered the military of both countries to vacate the disputed temple area on the border between Thailand and Cambodia and allow the residents therein to get on with their lives. The military of both countries are relieved, otherwise they would have continued to expend ammunition and material in the senseless shelling of each other. Nevertheless each side has announced that it would not begin to remove its troops until there is independent verification that the other side is removing theirs.

3. The members of Thailand’s military general staff, who had been instrumental on the coup that overthrew the democratically elected (although perhaps personally corrupt) Prime Minister Taksin, violently put down the Red Shirt protests and to all extents and purposes ran (although neither efficiently nor effectively) the country, when queried by reporters on whether they would be replaced by the new administration responded that they should not be replaced because they were only doing their jobs; that they and the military were the servants of the people and they (the Generals and the Military) instead of being removed deserve to be honored for doing their duty.

4. For those of you who recall opening AVA PUB in the then seedy Sukhumvit Soi 11, a recent travel article about Bangkok states, ‘…Soi 11 is gaining a reputation as a cuisine hall of fame.”

POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN THAILAND:

It is that time of the year in Thailand when overcast skies and the daily afternoon and evening downpours makes the heat nearly tolerable for westerners in Bangkok. I have just begun to shrug off the sluggishness and fatigue of jet lag and lack of exercise that have been dogging me since I arrived.

Yesterday, I suffered a serious economic calamity due exclusively to my favorite vice, Sloth (see TODAY’S QUOTE, below). Realizing that such a serious event could lead to anxiety, sleeplessness, depression and in some cases despair and in order avoid those consequences, I am considering either temporarily upping my dosage of “happy pills” or having a three hour happy face massage.

To add to my melancholy it has been raining all day, but I suppose except for the end of times or the end of your time sooner or later the grey skies will part and the sun, if even briefly will shine. In a life filled with silliness and embarrassment, I cannot recall doing anything as embarrassing, silly and rediculess as writing that last line, unless it is writing this one.

I think I will try the massage first, then if that doesn’t work the happy pills.

PAPA JOES TALES AND FABLES:

See: http://papajoesfables.wordpress.com/

JOEY’S MYSTERY NOVEL:

Damon Morley, was Big Flo’s neighbor, sometime golfing partner and occasional investor in his development projects. He owned a large trucking company and was a close confident of the leadership of the area’s Teamsters Union local. McWerter had met several of these large beefy taciturn men at Damon’s house or on the golf course. The local had become a fairly large investor in several of Bog Flo’s projects also. He had heard the stories about the local’s organized crime connections, but their money was good and surprisingly easy to raise. Where it came from was their problem not his he reasoned.

After Big Flo indicated an interest in looking into the military procurement business that Damon seemed so high on, Damon began to bring him along to what he described as “prayer meetings.” Big Flo, although raised Catholic, was anything but devout. When Damon mentioned “prayer meeting” Big Flo scrunched up his face like he had just gotten a whiff of something that smelled bad. Damon quickly assured him that it was more like the Mason’s, sure there was some religion in it but it was more like a club set up for business men to assist one another.

The “prayer meetings” usually took place in the spacious home of a member located in one or another of the luxury subdivisions that dot the San Francisco Bay area. In addition to the host who inevitably was a CEO of a company doing business with the US military, or an executive with a New York based financial institution were four of five others in the same businesses. Big Flo liked that and preened in their presence.

There would also usually be one or two elected officials sometimes from as far away as the mid-west who were especially noted for their strong conservative views. Sometimes there was someone from the military present, resplendent in his dress uniform. There were never any woman who attended.

The meeting, if it could be called that, always began with a prayer led by Reverend Michael. Reverend Michael, did not have a church per se, that is a building to which worshippers came to pray. His flock seemed to be the men in the bay area who attended these meetings . Big Flo was later to learn that there were counterparts to Reverend Michael throughout the country, leading “prayer meetings” like these. They all seemed to report to a man named Robert Millicum who they mentioned in only the most respectful and reverential tones.

Finally, there were always one or two muscular young men present referred to as Guardians. Big Flo was informed that they lived in dormitories that were called “Academies” where they were trained to eventually take employment in the companies controlled or managed by the membership after a stint as an aid to one of the elected official members.

After the prayer there really was no meeting. For about an hour or so, they would drift off in small groups where they would speak to each other in hushed tones until signaled for a brief meeting with Reverend Michael and the host.

Although, unlike Big Flo, many of the attendees had had experience as high ranking military officers, almost none had been an entrepreneur growing his own business from scratch. Most seemed to have worked their way through the bureaucracy chosen more for consistency and loyalty than imagination. “But hell” thought Big Flo, “however they got there, they were on top.”

The Reverend Michael was a slight man, with a long narrow nose and a bloodless complexion that allowed his blue veins to show through like highways on a road map. His eyes were grey and hard but with a touch of moisture glistening in a way that made the pupils appear to float. He spoke is a soft voice and only inquired about simple things like family or business and the like.

Although everyone claimed they had “found Jesus” it sounded more like a ritual, than the falling on the floor and frothing at the mouth that he expected. So soon he found he could also say it also, without thought or embarrassment.

Following each of the meetings, of course there was the expected requests for donations, for the Brotherhood, the politicians who attended the meeting and various conservative and religious political causes. Damon recommended that Big Flo give generously and he did so.

Now and then, the gathering would include an attorney. He was introduced to Big Flo as Sam Coign managing partner of the firm McKenzie Reed. That, in retrospect, he thought, could have been the worst moment in his life maybe even worse than meeting Damon Morley.

PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

a. Eponymous laws:

Reilly’s law of retail gravitation — People generally patronize the largest mall in the area.

(I knew that.)

b. Trenz Pruca’s Aphorisms, Apophthegms, Epigrams and Maxims ( http:/trenzpruca.wordpress.com/):

“The goal of every business enterprise is not to maximize profit but to separate risk from reward.”

c. Testosterone Chronicles:

John Coates, a former trader turned student of neuroscience, performed an experiment on the trading floor and found out that if a trader’s testosterone levels reach a little higher than the peak, their brain goes haywire.
According to Coates, “During the dot-com bubble, people who were working with me displayed all the classic symptoms of mania: They were euphoric, delusional, and overconfident; they couldn’t put a coherent sentence together; and they were unusually horny, judging from the number of lewd comments and the amount of porn that was showing up on their computer screens.”


(And these were the self styled Masters of the Universe, admired by many and models of success who obviously should and did receive thousands of times more in compensation than the teacher of your children or for that matter, you [not me however; at that time I was as crazy as they were and although I was making not nearly as much money as they did, it still was a hell of a lot and oh you should have seen what was on my computer].)

TODAY’S QUOTE:

“As to the Seven Deadly Sins, I deplore Pride, Wrath, Lust, Envy and Greed. Gluttony and Sloth I pretty much plan my day around.”
~Robert Brault, http://www.robertbrault.com

TODAY’S CHART:

Categories: July 2011 through September 2011 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

This and that from re Thai r ment, by 3 Th. July 19 2011

POOKIE FOR PRESIDENT:

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

“I do think we need a president named Pookie. It’s time.”
by dougymi on Sun Jul 17, 2011 at 09:18:51 PM PDT

TODAY’S FACTOID:

a. The King of Thailand was born in Boston Massachusetts and is an American citizen. He also a prolific inventor with many patents in his name and an accomplished jazz musician and composer.

b.


(See Today’s Quote below)

TODAY’S NEWS FROM THAILAND:

1. No sooner than one day after my musing that a reason for the Thai Military’s quiescence in face of Thaksin’s election victory was a possible deal struck between him and the military to keep his hands off their prerogatives, a report from Thaksin’s retreat in from Abu Dhabi seems to confirm it. According to the Bangkok Post, Taksin is claimed to have stated that he has no wish to change the military’s current command structure. Further, it has been disclosed that he has dropped plans to choose military appointments from his preferred military class year.

2. Also in the Bangkok Post today there was an account of a PHD and his MA wife, somewhere in China, who after being married for three years, went to see a doctor to find out why the wife had not yet become pregnant. It seems that, although they had been sleeping in the same bed, kissing and hugging since they were married, they were unaware of the mechanics of sex and its role in procreation. According to the doctor, apparently they had been too busy studying to learn about the birds and the bees.

I don’t believe it , do you?

POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN THAILAND:

1. Two nights ago, my computer lost the ability to call up saved T&T posts prior to November 22, 2010. Thinking that I should be able to fix it myself from the incomprehensible directions in the Help menu, I watched, horrified, as my attempts caused all reference to any saved mail to disappear also. My panicked attempt to correct that subsequent disaster resulted in a mail folder that not only was empty of all saved mail but would freeze up the application whenever I attempted any additional action whatsoever. I closed everything down and fell into a troubled sleep believing that life as I know it had ended. In the morning when I re-opened my computer, I found that over night for some reason known only to itself, it had generated a second mail icon that contained the T&T folder with saved emails after September 22. The other icon still freezes everything up when I try to use it.

Although I thought I had backed everything up in my hard drive, I discovered for some reason, whatever may have been saved has been locked up in file vault which I cannot open.

All this explanation is by way of a request for anyone who for any reason has any of my T&T’ posts prior to that September date to please send them to me.

2. Following that little adventure, I went off to see the newest Harry Potter movie in IMAX 3d. I liked it. The little masseuse had never seen a 3d movie before and described it as making things come closer with the glasses on. She also wondered why I chose to sit so close to the screen (third row).

Charles Bukowski

Charles Bukowski (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

3. Last night, I went to dinner with my friend Cordt and several of his friends. Everyone in our party had either lived in San Francisco at one time or does so now. One of the guests was a musician and a composer currently attempting to put some poetry by Charles Bukowski to music. The restaurant located on Soi 31 featured an enjoyable floor show with a Thai band playing electrified traditional instruments, singers and dancers and what passes for Thai comedy acts. The food was native Laotian. During the meal it rained a lot in a classical tropical downpour.

4. As could be expected, I no sooner settled down to a semblance of domestic comfort when, after a silence of six months or so, a prior more than casual acquaintance contacted me promising that all would be forgiven if only I would do one simple but necessary thing. Since what She offered in exchange was something I have limited ability to take advantage of, I declined. So she asked instead that the next time I travel to the US, I purchase for her in the duty free shop, a bottle of DKNY’s new scent contained in an apple shaped bottle.

This made me think about scents. Has anyone ever felt an overwhelming urge for sex when one smells apple blossoms or in the case of men, the scent of a spice bazaar? If as science tells us sexual urges are increased by the scent of natural pheromones why cover them up unless to magnify the desirability of other commercial enhancements, like makeup, clothing and cosmetic surgery? Our predecessors living in caves, who from all accounts were a pretty randy, evil smelling bunch seemed not to need to smell a field of flowers to fall into sexual frenzy. Maybe perfume in reality is actually a form of birth control. Does the Church know about this? There was a time they thought bathing was as evil as sex (Although sex always was ok for priests, even for them bathing was a bit much. As that great stinker Saint Jerome advised, “He who has bathed in Christ, does not need a second bath.”)

PAPA JOES TALES AND FABLES:

See: http://papajoesfables.wordpress.com/

JOEY’S MYSTERY NOVEL:

Big Flo, like many real estate developers, in spite of the weight of evidence to the contrary, displayed unshakable confidence in his personal responsibility for his own success.

After a spectacularly successful career selling virtually worthless vacation lots to the gullible with the tried and true claim that, “God ain’t making any more land like this,” he decided that he was good enough to eliminate the middle man and keep all the money for himself. So lacking any experience in development especially in urban areas, but brimming with confidence in himself, he optioned several choice development parcels in downtown San Francisco, just about the same time as a periodic collapse of the real estate market occurred.

But thanks to his golden tongue and blinding self-confidence, he was able to off-load his portfolio, without losing too much, to several real-estate investment groups owned by Doctors who knew even less than Flo about development. Flo then began building large spec. homes on new subdivisions in and around Danville California and developed a few small subdivision himself and made a lot of money which he used in part to buy and renovate the building on Steuart Street now known as the McWerter Building, build a 20,000 square foot mansion in one of the high priced subdivisions near Danville, acquire a trophy wife and a Ferrari. He had just sold the last lot in his most recent subdivision when another Real Estate bust hit again. This time he escaped unscathed and of course attributed it to his own immense abilities and the smiling benevolence of the gods of fortune that he was convinced had a soft spot in their heart for “Big Flo”.

During the early part of the first decade of the 21st Century when it seemed like even an unreformed drunk in the gutter could make a fortune in real estate, something happened. Big Flo got jealous. He got jealous at those bankers and financiers on Wall Street who made even more money than he ever dreamed of. He admired these masters of the universe and believed down to the soles of his alligator skinned cowboy boots that they were some of the smartest people who had ever lived. He wanted more than anything to become one of them or even to be able to hang out with them, but alas he never finished college and certainly did not have a degree in finance from some eastern university or at least Stanford. No, he only completed three years at the University of Santa Clara.

That’s when he met Damon Morley who explained to him that there was real money to be made in government military outsourcing, one only had to belong to the right organizations and associations of insiders. That was when he first heard about the Brotherhood.

PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

a. Eponymous laws:

Poe’s law (religious fundamentalism) — “Without a winking smiley or other blatant display of humor, it is impossible to create a parody of fundamentalism that someone won’t mistake for the real thing.”named after Nathan Poe who formulated it on christianforums.com in 2005. Although it originally referred to creationism, the scope later widened to religious fundamentalism.

What a shame, here I thought it applied only to the current candidates for the Republican nomination for President. Sort of takes all the fun out of it.

b. Trenz Pruca’s Aphorisms, Apothegms, Epigrams and Maxims ( http:/trenzpruca.wordpress.com/):

It is interesting to note how much easier it is today for a government to abandon its promises to its people but not to its creditors.

c. Testosterone Chronicles:

Testosterone levels change after a wins or a loss. Researchers found that those changes could then predict what a loser would do next. Losers who after competing, had increased levels of testosterone, were more likely to compete again. But those who lost a competition, and had testosterone levels decrease, were less likely to compete again.
Source: ScienceDirect

Doesn’t this seem a bit obvious to you?

TODAY’S QUOTE:

“Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.

This world in arms is not spending money alone.

It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children.

The cost of one modern heavy bomber is this: a modern brick school in more than 30 cities.

It is two electric power plants, each serving a town of 60,000 population. It is two fine, fully equipped hospitals.

It is some fifty miles of concrete pavement.

We pay for a single fighter plane with a half million bushels of wheat.

We pay for a single destroyer with new homes that could have housed more than 8,000 people.”

The Chance for Peace
by Dwight D. Eisenhower
April 16, 1953
Washington, D.C.

BONUS QUOTE:

“Sixty-eight percent of Republicans don’t believe in evolution. On the other hand, only five percent of monkeys believe in Republicans.”
—Stephen Colbert

Categories: July 2011 through September 2011 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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