October 2011 through December 2011

Fourth quarter 2011

This and that from re Thai r ment, by 3Th. December 28, 2011

Comment regarding a change in the format of the emails:

For no good reason, “This and that…” has gotten much much longer over the past few months. I suspect my having more time to myself has something to do with it. Whatever the reason, I thought that now that I had all this time, I would spruce the graphics up a bit and make it a little more visually pleasing, if not more interesting. Unfortunately, my email program lacks graphic capability (or I do not know how to use it) so I decided to use another program. This required that “This and that..” be sent to you as an attachment. If you feel up to it let me know what you think about the format.

This and That from re Thai r ment, by 3Th, 8 Joseph 0001

TODAY’S FACTOID:

1. 2011: Education matters.

Schooling in general, raises IQ by several points a year, based on research by Stephen Ceci, a professor of developmental psychology at Cornell, and others. “If you look at an IQ test, it asks things like, ‘Who wrote Hamlet?’ or ‘Why do we pay for postage?’ You are most likely to come across the answers in school,” Dr. Ceci says. Even nonverbal abilities such as solving puzzles and spatial tasks may blossom because math classes today include visual reasoning with matrices, mazes, blocks or designs, he added. ! (Please note, there still is some scholarly debate regarding who wrote Hamlet. Also, why do we pay for postage when SMS, emails, or Facebook are cheaper?)

2. 2011: Science matters.

The American Association of Science’s top 10 scientific innovations of 2011 includes a Japanese research team’s mapping of Photosystem II (no, not a photography app.), a protein that plants use to split water into hydrogen and oxygen atoms. This discovery may have application in the search for a clean energy source.

3. 2011: Finally some good news.

In March, National Marine Fisheries Service Administrator Eric Schwab announced that his agency was on track to start science-based catch limits on all 528 federally managed species of fish, thereby preventing overfishing —the act of catching more fish than science dictates can be sustainably harvested—from occurring in U.S. fisheries. This effectively ended overfishing in America. ! ! (Alas, too little, too late. Nice try though.)

4. Science matters too:

Sun and climate are going in opposite directions. Over the last few decades of global warming, the sun has shown a slight cooling trend. Sun and climate are going in opposite directions. This has led a number of scientists to independently conclude that the sun cannot be the cause of recent global warming. One of the most common and persistent climate myths is that the sun is the cause of global warming. This myth cherry picks the data – showing past periods when sun and climate move together but ignoring the last few decades when the two diverge.

TODAY’S NEWS FROM THAILAND:

1. Donuts:

According to an article in the Bangkok Post, Thailand is being praised “as a role model for innovative donut development.”

 One of the reasons I choose to live in Thailand is because it is all happening here.

2. Prohibition?

Thailand, it seems, has a law prohibiting the purchase of alcohol in supermarkets between the hours of 2PM and 5PM.

If anyone can figure out why, I promise to reward you by removing you from my mailing list.

3. Am I cold yet?

According to Roger Crutchley of The Bangkok Post, during a particularly cold snap in the country, the Post’s weather forecast read “cold to very cold” with projected temperatures of, “Min 17C, Max 29C.”(62-84 degrees Fahrenheit). In London at the same time the reported temperature was reported as 11C (52F) and its citizens were reveling in the warmth.

POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN THAILAND:

About 4 months ago I decided to reduce my intake of “happy pills,” ! with the intention of abandoning them completely if I could avoid withdrawal which I consider worse than death. I am not sure why I made that decision. Perhaps I am affected with that the common delusion that we are not what we are because chemicals flooding our brain affect us to some extent, but that we can alter our genetics and our history by a supreme act of will along with generous payments lasting for generations to someone to listen to your ravings. (I once was told by someone who claimed to be a friend that thatʼs what friends are for. Given how that person ultimately demonstrated his friendship, I think I prefer paying for the service.) On the other hand, I could have been responding to the belief that somehow ingesting chemicals manufactured by someone making money off it, is less “natural” than someone selling me dried leaves or something and telling me it would be better for me, while taking my money.
!Or, what is more likely, I simply no longer wanted to spend the money, hassle finding a pharmacy that sells the stuff and keeping track of the dosage or whatever. Anyway about a month ago, I kicked the habit so to speak. I now discover that those hormones and chemicals my happy pills neutralized have come flooding back bringing with it irritation with almost everything, hostility and aggression at every real or imagined affront and alternating with bouts of the drooling bliss of an idiot.

I wonder if there is a pill to make you want to take your pills forever instead of searching for some reason not to. Heroin perhaps.

In the mid sixties, early in my career, I worked with those involuntarily incarcerated because of severe mental disability. The first psychiatric drugs were being introduced, much to the annoyance of those who had given up dealing with the truly mentally incapacitated with the lengthy quasi-religious Vienese-Swiss analytical procedures that they had spent many years in training to learn, for the more lucrative practice of assisting delayed adolescents comprehend why they cannot have everything they want.

The drugs performed miracles, restoring those who were seemingly permanently hospitalized for their own protection back into the world again. Soon, however, the deficiency in the miracle became apparent.

There was no drug to make them continue to take their medicine and so they often found themselves back in thrall to their delusions. Except now all the mental hospitals were closed and so they had to shuffle off and make do within society among us and either adapt our society or we adapt to theirs.

PETRILLO’S COMMENTARY:

Since it is getting towards years end ( Gregorian Calendar not Pookie’s) it the time for review and predictions. So, I will try my hand at it.

2011: The Year in review.

I guess if I were to give the year a name, I would call 2011 “The Year the Train Left the Station and We Were Not On it.” Since there were too many departing trains that we missed to discuss here, I will only look at what could be referred to as “The Big Train” or the “Everything Train” or even the “God Train.”

The God Train has an engineer and a conductor who sometimes change jobs. One I like to callThe Sorcerers Apprentice.” He represents the fundamental physical and mathematical constraint that nothing in nature increases geometrically forever. (In other words the only miracle of compound interest occurs if you are lucky to get out in time.) As long as there is an end (a wall), whether it is at the far reaches of the universe or across the room compound, growth eventually must stop. In our case, you and I, the limit is often set by the earth; its air water or whatever.

In 2011 it appears to me that most of us, even those whose interest it is to ignore or deny it have recognized a feeling no matter how vague that there are limits to most things. Unfortunately, one of the undeniable aspects of geometric growth is that, in effect, it speeds up the closer it gets to its limit. This is often represented in the hockey stick graph we have all seen whenever someone wishes to frighten someone else into awareness of a particular limit. (It never works by the way. I guess no one fears a hockey stick.)

The second employee of Godʼs Railroad, I like to refer to as the Rich Poor Ghost. (Not the Poor Rich Ghost there are a lot of them around. Perhaps more today than ever.) You see there is another physical law of the universe; everything, even thought, takes energy no matter how little. But. what is special about the Rich Poor Ghost, is that often when you want to do something else, almost anything else than what you are doing (or change something), it takes energy (or money) to stop what you are doing and even more energy or money to start doing the new thing.

Take for example an old automobile you have that you may still have some payments on it. You would like to rid yourself of the old clunker and get something that would better let everyone know that you are richer than you really are. Now normally there is no problem. You go to the dealer and trade in your old car and drive away with a fully bank owned new car. You can do it because the manufacturer bears the cost of building the auto and charges you a mark up for that service when you purchase the car.

Assume however, he doesnʼt do that and you are required to advance him the cost right from the digging up the metals with which the car is fabricated all the way until it reaches you freshly painted in the color of your choice. You then, for a while, are paying twice, paying for your old car and for your new. Unpleasant, but you have a good job with extra money and a great deal of optimism, so you make the deal. But what happens if you do not have the money? Well you can sell your old car, but you would have to go without personal transportation. You could wait until you have paid off the car, but it is an old car and there is increased upkeep and maintenance before your fully warranted car is ready and so on.

Well, the Rich Poor Ghost is telling us that, if we want to have a chance to avoid driving into the Sorcererʼs Apprenticeʼs wall, it is going to cost money. But, in 2011 we realized that our money (or energy ) is decreasing so there is less of it with which to do what we want. And, since the Rich Poor Ghost tells us is that you must pay twice in order to get that new car or energy system or financial system or whatever, you are going to have to give up something else that you have or want. In other words a significant contraction of life style and a contraction of the economy is necessary.

In 2011 we, vaguely perceiving the God Train about to leave the station, had another drink at the bar decided that the tickets were too expensive and hoped that a new train with cheaper tickets would depart in the morning.

JOEY’S MYSTERY NOVEL:

Since it is yearʼs end and I am experimenting with this format, we will leave Vince, until next year, trembling in the stairwell, in mortal danger and on the verge of shitting his pants again.

POOKIE FOR PRESIDENT:

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

1. What can I say:

Tea Party Nation president, Judson Phillips, sent out an email to Tea Party Nation members claiming that President Obama deliberately offered the recently captured predator drone to Iran…and that Osama bin Laden wasnʼt killed but his death was in fact “staged” by Obama.

2. David Frum Republican Party consultant and conservative political commentator explains what is wrong with Faux News and right-wing punditry:

“Now we are all entitled to our own facts, and conservative media use this right to immerse their audience in a total environment of pseudo-facts and pretend information.

Itʼs one thing to worry (wisely) about the long-term trend in government spending, and another to demand big, immediate cuts when 25 million are out of full-time work and the government can borrow for ten years at 2 percent.

The conservative shift to ever more extreme, ever more fantasy-based ideology has ominous real-world consequences for American society. The American system of government canʼt work if the two sides wage all-out war upon each other: House, Senate, president, each has the power to thwart the others.”

3. Buddy Roemer on Dodd-Frank:

“The Dodd-Frank financial reform law is “a disgrace” because it formalizes the concept that mega banks like Citigroup and Goldman Sachs are “too big to fail,” regardless of whether they pursue reckless or unscrupulous practices. “The taxpayers will not support any more bailouts,” “Thatʼs [the view of] Occupy Wall Street. Thatʼs the Tea Party. Thatʼs Buddy Roemer. Itʼs America, and if the bank is too big to fail, then the bank ought to be disbanded.”

PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

1. The 14 defining characteristics of Fascism :

Dr. Lawrence Britt has examined the fascist regimes of Hitler (Germany), Mussolini (Italy), Franco (Spain), Suharto (Indonesia) and several Latin American regimes. Britt found 14 defining characteristics common to each. In my prior post I listed the first 5. Here are the next 5:

 6. Controlled Mass Media – Sometimes the media is directly controlled by the government, but in other cases, the media is indirectly controlled by government regulation, or sympathetic media spokespeople and executives. Censorship, especially in war-time, is very common.

7. Obsession with National Security – Fear is used as a motivational tool by the government over the masses.

8. Religion and Government are Intertwined – Governments in fascist nations tend to use the most common religion in the nation as a tool to manipulate public opinion. Religious rhetoric and terminology is common from government leaders, even when the major tenets of the religion are diametrically opposed to the government’s policies or actions.

9. Corporate Power is Protected – The industrial and business aristocracy of a fascist nation often are the ones who put the government leaders into power, creating a mutually beneficial business/government relationship and power élite.

10. Labor Power is Suppressed – Because the organizing power of labor is the only real threat to a fascist government, labor unions are either eliminated entirely, or are severely suppressed.

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

a. A fairer distribution of the benefits and burdens of society:

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b. Why can’t we be more like France of Japan:

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Or better yet, less like Britain and Canada.

3. Signs that you are smarter than average:

According to Reuters, “Researchers found that among 121 Canadian children between the ages of 3 and 7, those whose mothers had suffered morning sickness scored higher, on average, on certain tests of IQ, memory and language skills.”  (

Maybe in Canada.

4. So you think you are a reasonable person who respects the facts:

Once people receive misinformation, itʼs quite difficult to remove its influence. This was demonstrated in a 1994 experiment where people  exposed to misinformation about a fictitious warehouse fire, were then given a correction clarifying the parts of the story that were incorrect. Despite remembering and accepting the correction, people still showed a lingering effect, referring to the misinformation when answering questions about the story.

TODAY’S QUOTE:

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TODAY’S CHART:

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I do not know about you, but am firmly convinced that  consumption of ice cream causes crime.

TODAY’S CARTOON:

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TODAY’S PHOTOGRAPH:

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Categories: October 2011 through December 2011 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

This and that from re Thai r ment, by 3Th. December 26, 2011

TODAY’S FACTOIDS:
1. Education matters:

A study, published through the National Bureau of Economic Research, collected data including interviews with charter school principals and teachers, student surveys, lesson plans, and video observations. It shows that input measures associated with a traditional resource-based model of education — class size, per pupil expenditure, fraction of teachers with no teaching certification, and fraction of teachers with an advanced degree — are not positively correlated with school effectiveness. Instead the factors that were meaningful are frequent teacher feedback, data driven instruction, high-dosage tutoring, increased instructional time, and a relentless focus on academic achievement — explains almost half of the variation in school effectiveness. Moreover, these variables continue to be statistically important after accounting for alternative models of schooling, and a host of other explanatory variables, and are predictive in a different sample of schools.

2. 2011:

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 16.6 million Americans were self-employed back in December 2006. Today, that number has shrunk to 14.5 million.

TODAY’S NEWS FROM THAILAND:

1. Thai political adventures:

Thaksin the Terrible, the exiled fugitive ex-Prime Minister of Thailand and brother to the current Prime Minister, Princess LuckyGirl, has secretly received a Thai passport. This has dominated local media and has generated calls by the opposition party for  impeachment of LuckyGirl.

2. Floods:

More people died in the one day of flooding in the Philippines, than died in the two months of flooding in Thailand.

3. Christmas:

The sale of Christmas trees in Thailand (a Buddhist country) have skyrocket this year.

4. The Flying Ladyboys:

This past year PC air (that is not a joke), a regional Thai airline, announced it was hiring ladyboys as flight attendants. Among its initial hires, the airline proclaimed, was “Thailand’s most beautiful transvestite.”

POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN THAILAND:

I am generally up and about. My cough has receded to a sometime thing. I still find myself quite fatigued. I hope that clears up as I get back into my daily exercise regime.

Yesterday I went to see the some of Bangkok’s Christmas decorations. Yes, Thailand (at least the commercial sector), a 96 percent Buddhist country, celebrates Christmas with a fervor that would make Faux News proud. The Central Department store boasts the worlds tallest Christmas tree. Tinkling lights, Santa Claus and peppermint candy canes are everywhere. Carolers, not the 4 or 5 person groups dressed in 19 Century outfits that we see in the US but full choirs, belt out nearly recognizable western carols. But no crèche. Damn the ACLU.

I also attended a Thai-Korea friendship festival put on in the plaza in front of one of the City’s largest department stores. There were, Taekwando exhibitions, singing and dancing, incomprehensible award ceremonies and a fascinating troop that painted large canvasses as they danced.

On the way home, I bought a Thai crêpe from one of the sidewalk food vendors.

Sidewalk food vendors in BKK and far more ubiquitous than Sabrett Hot-dog venders in downtown Manhattan and much more varied. From fried insect specialties to full meals, just about everything is available to eat on the streets of BKK. There are even guides to the best street foods in the city as well as the best Thai street food recipes.

BKK street food is some of the most varied in the world. Although, I have not yet tasted anything sublime (for example the perfect cannoli that I have searched for the world over and found something close to in Venerio’s on the lower east side of NY), it has often been quite tasty. The risk of potential food poisoning is substantially reduced by avoiding ice in your drinks, assuring everything is well cooked and avoiding fresh fruits and vegetables unless the skin is removed in front of you or it comes from something with a thick, inedible rind. On the other hand, what is one or two days a year of puking your guts out and wishing you were dead compared to  excitement of culinary adventure.

PETRILLO’S COMMENTARY:

The recent international climate change conference in Durban, South Africa has concluded with an insipid agreement by the attending countries that they will continue to work together on the problem. Of course, even that is probably a lie, since the fact they were not willing to work together at the conference is a good indication that they have no intention of doing so after it ends.

Apparently a number of consultant, advisors and commentators at the conference cautioned against doing anything because it could cause economic stress and advised that future technological advances could perhaps resolve the problem. This is a little like saying, when faced with a Tsunami, do not try to seek safety, because perhaps a rescue is being organized and you can avoid all the effort and risks associated with scurrying about trying to escape.

Add to this some interesting facts I came across a few days ago, if they are believable. The current value of the oil reserves held by oil companies and producers totals more than the total GDP of all but the four or five largest economies in the world. What conceivable reason would cause them to give up that wealth before it is sold and converted into profits? What entity, public or private, is large enough and powerful enough to resist being bought out or off or outright attacked if it places that treasure in jeopardy?

JOEY’S MYSTERY NOVEL:

RED STAR

Chapter: Escape without dignity.

Isabella dragged Vince across the dining room toward the doors leading into the kitchen. She thrust him against the wall, hard, pushed open one door with her foot, and with her gun pointed straight up toward the ceiling just like in the movies, gingerly peered inside. The shock of the impact from her shoving him into the wall hastened the return of Vince’s senses. Along with that came realization of the precariousness of his situation. Before he could act on this dawning awareness and probably panic again, she grabbed his arm, pulled him through the door, pushed him ahead of her and yelled, “Go, go, go, go!”

With the return of his reason, Vince’s male pride also swarmed into his consciousness, almost overwhelming it. He felt furious at her shouting and pushing him around. But before he could react, she shouted “down” and spun around to get off two shots back at the door they just passed through.

That was enough. Vince, wounded pride forgotten, replaced by self-preservation, hunched over bending himself almost in half, scrambled toward the door at the back in the kitchen, as fast as that contorted posture allowed. He stumbled through the door and on to the stairwell landing. Isabella, followed on his heels, shouting “downstairs, go!” Vince flew down the stairs, lost his footing and clumsily fell against the wall.

Isabella grabbed his arm again and by alternating pushing and shoving him managed to drive them both down the next two flights.

On the third landing they hesitated. He to catch his breath and she to check into the stairwell below and above her. Above the door appeared to open. She fired another couple of shot. The door slammed shut again. Leaning back against the wall, she extracted a magazine from her magic purse, ejected the now empty one and slammed in the new.

Then they were off again down the stairs until they arrived at the bottom, a small alcove with two doors. One marked with the word “Lobby” in large red letters, the other obviously leading to the alley at the side of the building.

“Which one,” Vince shouted reduced once again to near hysterics as he heard the thud from the footfalls of their pursuers racing down the stairs above them? (to be continued)

POOKIE FOR PRESIDENT:

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

1. The impossibility of parody:

“It doesn’t matter what I do. People need to hear what I have to say. There’s no one else who can say what I can say. It doesn’t matter what I live.”
~Newt Gingrich, telling us we should do as he says, regardless of what he actually does.

2. Buddy Roemer on China:

China’s protectionist trade practices and human rights violations are an abomination, and as president he would retaliate so fast it would make Chinese heads spin while potentially igniting a global trade war. Roemer’s “fair trade” policies would be very specific: tit for tat retaliation for unfair trade practices. “If your goods come into this country, and they’re made by children or by prisoners, they will not be allowed in.”

3. David Frum Republican Party consultant and conservative political commentator explains Faux News:

“But the thought leaders on talk radio and Fox do more than shape opinion. Backed by their own wing of the book-publishing industry and supported by think tanks that increasingly function as public-relations agencies, conservatives have built a whole alternative knowledge system, with its own facts, its own history, its own laws of economics.”

PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

1. IQ matters too:

a. Levels:

 

b. Signs you are smarter than average:

“…new findings, from a landmark study published [June 2007], showed that eldest children had a slight but significant edge in IQ — an average of three points over the closest sibling and it found that the difference was not because of biological factors but the psychological interplay of parents and children.”
The New York Times

I am the eldest child in my family, both my sister and brother are smarter than I am, was that because I did not get along with my mother?

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

a. It is time that we as a nation begin growing back together again.

 
b. It is time to start listening to those who founded our nation again:

I find it fascinating how much John Adams and the CEO of Goldman Sachs look alike.

3. The defining characteristics of Fascism:

Dr. Lawrence Britt has examined the fascist regimes of Hitler (Germany), Mussolini (Italy), Franco (Spain), Suharto (Indonesia) and several Latin American regimes. Britt found 14 defining characteristics common to each. Here are the first 5:

1. Powerful and Continuing Nationalism – Fascist regimes tend to make constant use of patriotic mottos, slogans, symbols, songs, and other paraphernalia. Flags are seen everywhere, as are flag symbols on clothing and in public displays.

2. Disdain for the Recognition of Human Rights – Because of fear of enemies and the need for security, the people in fascist regimes are persuaded that human rights can be ignored in certain cases because of “need.” The people tend to look the other way or even approve of torture, summary executions, assassinations, long incarcerations of prisoners, etc.

3. Identification of Enemies/Scapegoats as a Unifying Cause – The people are rallied into a unifying patriotic frenzy over the need to eliminate a perceived common threat or foe: racial , ethnic or religious minorities; liberals; communists; socialists, terrorists, etc.

4. Supremacy of the Military – Even when there are widespread domestic problems, the military is given a disproportionate amount of government funding, and the domestic agenda is neglected. Soldiers and military service are glamorized.

5. Rampant Sexism – The governments of fascist nations tend to be almost exclusively male-dominated. Under fascist regimes, traditional gender roles are made more rigid. Divorce, abortion and homosexuality are suppressed and the state is represented as the ultimate guardian of the family institution…

4. The Adam Smith on why we sympathize with the rich and hesitate to tax them overly much:

Smith attempted to explain why, despite the fact that we have a moral obligation to tax our superrich at the peak of the Laffer Curve: to tax them so heavily that we raise the most possible money from them — to the point beyond which their diversion of energy and enterprise into tax avoidance and sheltering would mean that any extra taxes would not raise but reduce revenue, we in society feel it is wrong to so tax their incomes. In the case of the hard-working rich (as opposed to inherited wealth), he posited that we sympathize with the type of person who:

“devotes himself forever to the pursuit of wealth and greatness….With the most unrelenting industry he labors night and day….serves those whom he hates, and is obsequious to those whom he despises….[I]n the last dregs of life, his body wasted with toil and diseases, his mind galled and ruffled by the memory of a thousand injuries and disappointments….he begins at last to find that wealth and greatness are mere trinkets of frivolous utility…. Power and riches….keep off the summer shower, not the winter storm, but leave him always as much, and sometimes more exposed than before, to anxiety, to fear, and to sorrow; to diseases, to danger, and to death…”
Adam Smith, The Theory of Moral Sentiments.

According to economist Brad deLong, we don’t wish to disrupt the perfect felicity of the lifestyles of the rich and famous; and we don’t wish to add to the burdens of those who have spent their most precious possession — their time and energy — pursuing baubles. These two arguments are not consistent, but that does not matter. They both have a purchase on our thinking. Unlike today’s public-finance economists, Smith understood that we are not rational utilitarian calculators. Indeed, that is why we have collectively done a very bad job so far in dealing with the enormous rise in inequality between the industrial middle class and the plutocratic superrich that we have witnessed.

5. Department of abasement, apology and correction:

Some of you have commented that the personal calendars I sent to you appear very complicated. I suspect that was because I did not have the proper application and had to use a financial template to display a yearly calendar instead of the normal monthly one. That and that I also inserted the corresponding Gregorian Calendar dates for reference I am afraid made it confusing. In fact, your personal calendar is much less confusing then the Gregorian one you are currently using. In your personal calendar, you have only two months with different days ( eight 28 day months and four 35 day ones) with the Gregorian Calendar you have at least 3 (one of 38 days, 4 of 30 and 7 of 31). Also, every month in the Gregorian Calendar more of less differs from every other month in the year. Not so with your personal calendar. In addition, every day in your new calendar falls on the same day of the week each month forever. Thus if you were born on the 15th day of the 10th month it would always fall on a Monday.

I have attached a more recognizable graphic of the two calendars.

The first 3 months of the standard Gregorian Calendar :

Graphics not available at this time…..

 

And since there are only two different months in your personal calendar, I have been able to show the entire year with just two attachments.

 

TODAY’S QUOTE:

“Let’s assume for the sake of argument that Christopher Hitchens maintained his resolve and did not turn, he did not repent, he died an unrepentant and defiant atheist. That would mean today, if the Scriptures mean anything, that he is in Hell today.

But here’s my point, the point I was making earlier is that if he is, if Christopher Hitchens is, in fact, in Hell, he’s there because God loves him. Not because God hates him but because God loves him. And I explained what I mean by that. What I mean by that is that God loves us enough to, in the end, give us what we insist on having. If we are determined to have our own way then God, in the end, is going to give us what we insist on having, because that’s what you do for people you love.”
Bryan Fischer – conservative fundamentalist minister.

Huh – Let’s see if I got this right : God sends us to Hell because he loves us and wants us to have what we most want. Therefore Hell means getting everything you want. Heaven then must be where you get nothing you want. I always expected as much.

TODAY’S CHART:

Finally something that explains the difference that I can understand.

Alas, If truth be known, both my menu and french fries preferences are decidedly conservative.:

 

TODAY’S CARTOON:


TODAY’S FACEBOOK POST:

Repentance is definitely needed indeed!

TODAY’S PHOTOGRAPH:


I hope you all had a Merry Christmas too.

Categories: October 2011 through December 2011 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

This and that from re Thai r ment, by 3Th. December 23, 2011

HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO ALL.

Attached is my Holiday gift to you. Your own personal calendar with which you can replace the Gregorian version if you have a mind to.

You can name your own months and days of the week if you want. It cinsists of 12 months of either 28 or 35 days (I got the Idea from Social Security. You may not know it but they pay you on a schedule of one 35 day month for every two 28 day months. That is why on certain months you feel you have run out of money a week before the next check is supposed to arrive.)

You can name the months whatever you wish, I did using the many things people have called me over the years. The days of the week always fall on the same days every month. I have included the regular calendar days for reference and a copy of my personal version. I am writing this on Tuesday Joseph 3, 0001. Christmas falls on Thursday Joseph 5, 0001. (Oh and the world ends on Sunday, Joseph 1, 0002.)

I know it is silly, but what else can an old retired guy do while he is spending a few days in a sick-bed? There is only so much time one can spend on the internet without going bonkers and I think I passed that about 3 months ago.

Have fun and enjoy your holidays.

Your Personal Non-Gregorian Calendar:

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Pookie’s:

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POOKIE FOR PRESIDENT:

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

1. What Anne Coulter might say if she were running for President:

“Give the park police more ammo.”
~Newt Gingrich, responding to a reporter who asked what to do about the homeless a few days after the police shot a homeless man in front of the White House.

No, I have not yet found a Democrat or a Liberal politician or commentator advocating shooting those whom they disagree with or dislike. I seek your help in locating one. Perhaps I could point to the Obama administration killing bin Laden and many of the al Qaeda leadership as the functional equivalent.

2. The Buddy Roemer Republican alternative:

Politics has been completely corrupted by “Super PACs” and other special interest money, and the worst offender is former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who received $1.8 million from Freddie Mac, the troubled government sponsored mortgage giant, for providing dubious strategic advice. “I want as president a woman or a man who is clean, who has the power to lead and who tells the truth,” Roemer says. “Newt does not fit those characteristics.”

3. David Frum Republican Party consultant explains Faux News Think:

“The business model of the conservative media is built on two elements: provoking the audience into a fever of indignation (to keep them watching) and fomenting mistrust of all other information sources (so that they never change the channel). As a commercial proposition, this model has worked brilliantly in the Obama era. As journalism, not so much.”

TODAY’S FACTOIDS:

1. 5000 BC until now:

If you ask me this is all too much light. Can’t we have a little more darkness? Does that make me an Atheist?

2. 2001 to 2012:

$1.26 Trillion – Total amount appropriated by Congress for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan through the end of Fiscal Year 2011 (September 30, 2011), — $797.3 billion for Iraq and $459.8 billion for Afghanistan. See NPP’s “Cost of War” Counters.

$7.6 Trillion – The total amount spent on “security” by the US government since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, (through the end of Fiscal Year 2011). See NPP’s analysis “US Security Spending Since 9/11.”

3. 2011: Approximately 57 percent of all children in the United States are living in homes that are either considered  “low-income” or impoverished.

4. 1941, December 18:

Heinrich Himmler‘s notes on his meeting with Adolf Hitler:
Jewish Question / to be exterminated like the partisans.

The banality of evil

POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN THAILAND:

My schedule seems to be changing once again. I will not be coming to the US until mid-January.

PETRILLO’S COMMENTARY:

Has anyone realized that the sudden reversal of the Republican House Leadership to the compromise legislation extending the payroll tax cut for most Americans may have been because they recognized that they made a political mistake on the Keystone amendment? No, they have not decided to oppose the pipeline and signed up for the Sierra Club. But, after collecting whatever industry contributions they could for introducing the amendment shortening the decision time for approval to three months, they have become aware that it positions Obama, at the very commencement of his reelection campaign,  able now to collect campaign contributions from this same industry who now may hope they will sway his decision with the money. Currently under the amendment, Obama is empowered to play coy with the industry forcing them to disgorge even more in contributions into his campaign while leaving him the freedom to decide the fate of the project based on how it benefits his reelection or god forbid on the merits. No wonder they have gone bat-shit crazy. Their unpalatable options appear to be:

a. Hold hearings, collect more money from the industry, insisting the legislation includes actual approval of the pipeline, then allow the bill to fail blaming Administration or Democratic inflexibility. They will have collected contributions a second time and denied them to the administration, but it would give Obama a campaign issue.

b. Hold hearings, collect more money, somehow putting off the decision on the pipeline until after the election, pissing off their contributors (but they have already collected the money twice) thereby denying Obama both a campaign issue and potential contributions.

c. Cave and allow the contributions to drift in Obama’s favor and hope for the best while planning a strategy to reverse the political fall-out when the package comes back to Congress in March. This is the least appetizing but realistically the only reasonable alternative. They cannot refuse the tax-cut in March without giving the Dem’s a huge issue with which to campaign on against the Demos in November. Look for them to try to fashion a poison pill (one that includes gifts for large contributors) when the extension bill emerges.

I suspect a lot of midnight oil is being burned in the speaker’s office to find another alternative. This may be either Boehner’s finest hour, or if he fails, his fall as disgruntled members of his own party seek to replace him. Of course, he could be gambling upon Obama and the Democrats caving (as they seem to always do) on the issue and agree to the approval of the pipeline in return for preserving the tax cuts.

And for those of you who did not think politics works this way, spend a year or two in any democratic legislature in the world and find out for yourself.

***This morning I read that the Republican House Leadership caved. If that is true, then can Boehner’s remain leader for long? What will be the poison pill? Will it work? Stay tuned.

JOEY’S MYSTERY NOVEL:

Delayed for the holidays.

PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

a. Strange Apocalypses:

TRANSHUMANISM

What if biological and technological enhancements took humans to a level where they radically surpassed anything we know today? “Post-humans” might consist of artificial intelligences based on the thoughts and memories of ancient humans, who uploaded themselves into a computer and exist only as digital information on super fast computer networks. Their physical bodies might be gone but they could access and store endless information and share their thoughts and feelings immediately and unambiguously with other digital humans.

Danger sign: You are outcompeted, mentally and physically, by a cyborg.

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

1. Return to a marginal tax rate that more reflects the share of wealth and income in the country.

 

As far as I can tell, this chart points out that in the past 40 years or so the only President exhibiting any political courage on the issue was George H. W. Bush, and look what happened to him.

2. End militarization of the Federal budget:


c. Signs you are smarter than average:

Evolutionary psychologist Satoshi Kanazawa found atheism is linked to higher IQs.

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/signs-you-are-smart-2011-12#you-dont-believe-in-god-4#ixzz1grepe8vq

d. Commentary:

The religious right and Christians in general should remember that Jesus judged only two groups harshly: religious leaders who were hypocrites and those who profited off the sacred. For everyone else he urged compassion.
e. Testosterone Chronicles:

The survey of 1,031 participants revealed that 42% of women believe that sex is important to their overall health, but 66% are engaging in sexual activity once a week or less often.

The new research demonstrates that most people don’t really understand the physical health benefits of having a regular, active sex life. In fact, an active sex life could decrease stress, strengthen pelvic floor muscles, increase immune system function and burn calories.

Although some people do understand these health benefits, most probably don’t know that a regular sex life can also have the youthful effects of a very expensive anti-aging cream.

“Women who had sex at least four times a week were scored as looking up to 10 years younger than their actual age,” the author of the report says. “While pleasure and intimacy with your partner should be a primary motivation to have sex, the health and wellness benefits are a big bonus.”

And where does one find that lusty, youthful looking and probably happy lady?

f. Department of abasement, apology and correction:

TODAY’S QUOTE:

“Republicans approve of the American farmer, but they are willing to help him go broke. They stand four-square for the American home–but not for housing. They are strong for labor–but they are stronger for restricting labor’s rights. They favor minimum wage–the smaller the minimum wage the better. They endorse educational opportunity for all–but they won’t spend money for teachers or for schools. They think modern medical care and hospitals are fine–for people who can afford them. They consider electrical power a great blessing–but only when the private power companies get their rake-off. They think American standard of living is a fine thing–so long as it doesn’t spread to all the people. And they admire of Government of the United States so much that they would like to buy it.”
~Harry S. Truman

What this quote tells me is that it is plausible that the present incumbent President may be neither a Liberal nor a Democrat and that in the 2012 election for President the Democrats may not run a liberal candidate but will support the moderate Republican they currently have.

TODAY’S CHART:


TODAY’S CARTOON:

TODAY’S PHOTOGRAPH:

I understand the words. I do not understand the photograph. I assume the words are Rachel Maddow’s but did she choose the photograph? If so why? If not why again?

Categories: October 2011 through December 2011 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

POOKIE FOR PRESIDENT:

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

1. Buddy Roemer, a Republican candidate for President worth considering:

The one-time Democrat first won election to the House in 1980, the year Ronald Reagan was elected president. Roemer frequently supported Reagan’s initiatives and fought with the Democratic leadership. Riding a populist, anti-incumbent tidal wave in 1987, Roemer toppled the colorful but highly corrupt governor Edwin Edwards in a crowded Democratic primary field. As governor he pushed through reforms, eliminated a huge deficit and passed some environmental measures. But he frequently quarreled with the state legislature, made a lot of enemies, and lost a bid for a second term.

2. Presidential wives:

“She isn’t young enough or pretty enough to be the President’s wife.” ~Newt Gingrich, talking about his first wife after divorcing her.

But then there is Bill Clinton who seemed not to care how his wife looked but appeared determined that none of his mistresses be pretty enough to be a President’s wife.

4. Someone not running for President on the Republican Party ticket:

“When people pick up their families and get rid of everything they know and leave it behind and move, walk, drive, fly, swim to a place for a better life where they can practice their religion and be in control of their destiny they come to the United States they don’t go to China, which we complain about, but we shouldn’t, we should just worry about ourselves, or any other place. They come to America.

It’s the great strength and if you want to fix the problem with these big decaying cities, bring in immigrants and you can fix that problem overnight at relatively zero cost. If you want to have a better life you have to keep adding to what made America great and the public around the world wants to do that. We are sitting here and keeping them from doing it. It’s what I call national suicide.”

Michael Bloomberg, Republican Mayor of NY.

TODAY’S FACTOIDS:

1. We are number 1:


2.DECEMBER 11, 1941. Adolf Hitler’s speech declaring war on America:

ADOLF HITLER LIVEBLOGS WORLD WAR II: DECEMBER 11, 1941

Adolf Hitler:
Germany’s Declaration of War Against the United States: Deputies! Men of the German Reichstag! A year of world-historical events is coming to an end. A year of great decisions is approaching. In this grave period I speak to you, deputies of the Reichstag, as the representatives of the German nation. In addition, the entire German nation should also review what has happened and take note of the decisions required by the present and the future.

After the repeated rejection of my peace proposal in 1940 by the British prime minister [Winston Churchill] and the clique that supports and controls him, it was clear by the fall of that year that this war would have to be fought through to the end, contrary to all logic and necessity. You, my old Party comrades, know that I have always detested half-hearted or weak decisions. If Providence has deemed that the German people are not to be spared this struggle, then I am thankful that She has entrusted me with the leadership in a historic conflict that will be decisive in determining the next five hundred or one thousand years, not only of our German history, but also of the history of Europe and even of the entire world. The German people and its soldiers work and fight today not only for themselves and their own age, but also for many generations to come. A historical task of unique dimensions has been entrusted to us by the Creator that we are now obliged to carry out….

 
Compelled by bitter necessity, I decided in the fall of 1939 to at least try to create the prerequisite conditions for a general peace by eliminating the acute tension between Germany and Soviet Russia. This was psychologically difficult because of the basic attitude towards Bolshevism of the German people and, above all, of the Party. Objectively, though, this was a simple matter because in all the countries that Britain said were threatened by us and which were offered military alliances, Germany actually had only economic interests. I may remind you, deputies and men of the German Reichstag, that throughout the spring and summer of 1939 Britain offered military alliances to a number of countries, claiming that Germany intended to invade them and rob them of their freedom. However, the German Reich and its government could assure them with a clear conscience that these insinuations did not correspond to the truth in any way. Moreover, there was the sober military realization that in case of a war which might be forced upon the German nation by British diplomacy, the struggle could be fought on two fronts only with very great sacrifices. And after the Baltic states, Romania, and so forth, were inclined to accept the British offers of miitary alliance, and thereby made clear that they also believed themselves to be threatened [by Germany], it was not only the right but also the duty of the German Reich government to delineate the limits of German interests….

Already in 1940 it became increasingly clear from month to month that the plans of the men in the Kremlin were aimed at the domination, and thus the destruction, of all of Europe. I have already told the nation of the build-up of Soviet Russian military power in the East during a period when Germany had only a few divisions in the provinces bordering Soviet Russia. Only a blind person could fail to see that a military build-up of unique world-historical dimensions was being carried out. And this was not in order to protect something that was being threatened, but rather only to attack that which seemed incapable of defense. The quick conclusion of the campaign in the West meant that those in power in Moscow were not able to count on the immediate exhaustion of the German Reich. However, they did not change their plans at all, but only postponed the timing of their attack. The summer of 1941 seemed like the ideal moment to strike. A new Mongol invasion was ready to pour across Europe. Mr. Churchill also promised that there would be a change in the British war against Germany at this same time. In a cowardly way, he now tries to deny that during a secret meeting in the British House of Commons in 1940 he said that an important factor for the successful continuation and conclusion of this war would be the Soviet entry into the war, which would come during 1941 at the latest, and which would also make it possible for Britain to take the offensive.

Conscious of our duty, we observed the military build-up of a world power this last spring which seemed to have inexhaustible reserves of human and material resources. Dark clouds began to gather over Europe.

What is Europe, my deputies? There is no geographical definition of our continent, but only an ethnic-national and cultural one. The frontier of this continent is not the Ural mountains, but rather the line that divides the Western outlook on life from that of the East. At one time, Europe was confined to the Greek isles, which had been reached by Nordic tribes, and where the flame first burned that slowly but steadily enlightened humanity. And when these Greeks fought against the invasion of the Persian conquerors, they did not just defend their own small homeland, which was Greece, but that concept that is now Europe. And then Europe shifted from Hellas to Rome. Roman thought and Roman statecraft combined with Greek spirit and Greek culture. An empire was created, the importance and creative power of which has never been matched, much less surpassed, even to this day. And when the Roman legions defended Italy in three terrible wars against the attack of Carthage from Africa, and finally battled to victory, in this case as well Rome fought not just for herself, but for the Greco-Roman world that then encompassed Europe.

 
The next invasion against the home soil of this new culture of humanity came from the wide expanses of the East. A horrific storm of cultureless hordes from the center of Asia poured deep into the heart of the European continent, burning, ravaging and murdering as a true scourge of God. On the Catalaunian fields, Roman and Germanic men fought together for the first time in a decisive battle of tremendous importance for a culture that had begun with the Greeks, passed on to the Romans, and then encompassed the Germanic peoples….

Just as Rome once made her immortal contribution to the building and defense of the continent, so now have the Germanic peoples taken up the defense and protection of a family of nations which, although they may differ and diverge in their political structure and goals, nevertheless together constitute a racially and culturally unified and complementary whole. And from this Europe there have not only been settlements in other parts of the world, but intellectual-spiritual and cultural fertilization as well, a fact that anyone realizes who is willing to acknowledge the truth rather than deny it. Thus, it was not England that cultivated the continent, but rather Anglo-Saxon and Norman branches of the Germanic nation that moved from our continent to the [British] island and made possible her development, which is certainly unique in history. In the same way, it was not America that discovered Europe, but the other way around. And all that which America did not get from Europe may seem worthy of admiration to a Jewified mixed race, but Europe regards that merely as symptomatic of decay in artistic and cultural life, the product of Jewish or Negroid blood mixture.

My Deputies! Men of the German Reichstag!

I have to make these remarks because this struggle, which became obviously unavoidable in the early months of this year, and which the German Reich, above all, is called upon this time to lead, also greatly transcends the interests of our own people and nation. When the Greeks once stood against the Persians, they defended more than just Greece. When the Romans stood against the Carthaginians, they defended more than just Rome. When the Roman and Germanic peoples stood together against the Huns, they defended more than just the West. When German emperors stood against the Mongols, they defended more than just Germany. And when Spanish heroes stood against Africa, they defended not just Spain, but all of Europe as well. In the same way, Germany does not fight today just for itself, but for our entire continent….

My Deputies! Men of the Reichstag!

When I became aware of the possibility of a threat to the east of the Reich in 1940 through reports from the British House of Commons and by observations of Soviet Russian troop movements on our frontiers, I immediately ordered the formation of many new armored, motorized and infantry divisions. The human and material resources for them were abundantly available. I can make only one promise to you, my deputies, and to the entire German nation: while people in democratic countries understandably talk a lot about armaments, in National Socialist Germany all the more will actually be produced. It has been that way in the past, and it is not any different now. Whenever decisive action has to be taken, we will have, with each passing year, more and, above all, better quality weapons. We realized very clearly that under no circumstances could we allow the enemy the opportunity to strike first into our heart. Nevertheless, in this case the decision was a very difficult one. When the writers for the democratic newspapers now declare that I would have thought twice before attacking if I had known the strength of the Bolshevik adversaries, they show that they do not understand either the situation or me. I have not sought war. To the contrary, I have done everything to avoid conflict. But I would forget my duty and my conscience if I were to do nothing in spite of the realization that a conflict had become unavoidable. Because I regarded Soviet Russia as the gravest danger not only for the German Reich but for all of Europe, I decided, if possible, to give the order myself to attack a few days before the outbreak of this conflict…. I may say this today: If this wave of more than 20,000 tanks, hundreds of divisions, tens of thousands of artillery pieces, along with more than 10,000 airplanes, had not been kept from being set into motion against the Reich, Europe would have been lost….

If the German Reich, with its soldiers and weapons, had not stood against this opponent, a storm would have burned over Europe that would have eliminated, once and for all time, and in all its intellectual paucity and traditional stupidity, the laughable British idea of the European balance of power. If the Slovaks, Hungarians and Romanians had not also acted to defend this European world, then the Bolshevik hordes would have poured over the Danube countries as did once the swarms of Attila’s Huns, and Tatars and Mongols would, on the open country by the Ionian Sea, force a revision of the Treaty of Montreux. If Italy, Spain and Croatia had not sent their divisions, then a European defense front would not have arisen that proclaims the concept of a new Europe and thereby powerfully inspires all other nations as well. Because of this awareness of danger, volunteers have come from northern and western Europe: Norwegians, Danes, Dutch, Flemish, Belgians and even French. They have all given the struggle of the allied forces of the Axis the character of a European crusade, in the truest sense of the word….

As of December 1, the total number of captured Soviet Russian prisoners was 3,806,865. The number of destroyed or captured tanks was 21,391, of artillery pieces 32,541, and of airplanes 17,322. During this same period of time, 2,191 British airplanes were shot down. The navy sank 4,170,611 gross registered tons of shipping, and the air force sank 2,346,180 tons. Altogether, 6,516,791 gross registered tons were destroyed.

My Deputies! My German people!

These are sober facts and, perhaps, dry figures. But may they never be forgotten by history or vanish from the memory of our own German nation! For behind these figures are the achievements, sacrifices and sufferings, the heroism and readiness to die of millions of the best men of our own people and of the countries allied with us. Everything had to be fought for at the cost of health and life, and through struggle such as those back in the homeland can hardly imagine…. From June 22 to December 1, the German army has lost in this heroic struggle: 158,773 dead, 563,082 wounded and 31,191 missing. The air force has lost: 3,231 dead, 8,453 wounded and 2,028 missing. The navy: 310 dead, 232 wounded and 115 missing. For the German armed forces altogether: 162,314 dead, 571,767 wounded and 33,334 missing….

And now let me speak about another world, one that is represented by a man who likes to chat nicely at the fireside while nations and their soldiers fight in snow and ice: above all, the man who is primarily responsible for this war. When the nationality problem in the former Polish state was growing ever more intolerable in 1939, I attempted to eliminate the unendurable conditions by means of a just agreement. For a certain time it seemed as if the Polish government was seriously considering giving its approval to a reasonable solution. I may also add here that in all of these German proposals, nothing was demanded that had not previously belonged to Germany. In fact, we were willing to give up much that had belonged to Germany before the World War. You will recall the dramatic events of that period — the steadily increasing numbers of victims among the ethnic Germans. You, my deputies, are best qualified to compare this loss of life with that of the present war. The military campaign in the East has so far cost the entire German armed forces about 160,000 deaths, whereas during just a few months of peace more than 62,000 ethnic Germans were killed, including some who were horribly tortured. There is no question that the German Reich had the right to protest against this situation on its border and to press for its elimination, if for no other reason than for its own security, particularly since we live in an age in which other countries regard their security at stake even in foreign continents…. During those days in August, when the Polish attitude steadily hardened, thanks to Britain’s blank check of unlimited backing, the German Reich was moved to make one final proposal… to enter into negotiations with Poland….

The former Polish government refused to respond to these proposals in any way. In this regard, the question presents itself: How is it possible that such an unimportant state could dare to simply disregard such proposals and, in addition, carry out further cruelties against the Germans, the people who have given this land its entire culture, and even order the general mobilization of its armed forces? A look at the documents of the [Polish] Foreign Ministry in Warsaw later provided the surprising explanation. They told of the role of a man who, with diabolical lack of principle, used all of his influence to strengthen Poland’s resistance and to prevent any possibility of understanding. These reports were sent by the former Polish ambassador in Washington, Count Potocki, to his government in Warsaw. These documents clearly and shockingly reveal the extent to which one man and the powers behind him are responsible for the Second World War. Another question arises: Why had this man developed such a fanatic hostility against a country that, in its entire history, had never harmed either America or him?…

America is a republic led by a president with wide-ranging powers of authority. Germany was once ruled by a monarchy with limited authority, and then by a democracy that lacked authority. Today it is a republic of wide-ranging authority. Between these two countries is an ocean. If anything, the differences between capitalist America and Bolshevik Russia, if these terms have any meaning at all, must be more significant than those between an America led by a President and a Germany led by a Führer. It is a fact that the two historical conflicts between Germany and the United States were stimulated by two Americans, that is, by Presidents Woodrow Wilson and Franklin Roosevelt, although each was inspired by the same forces. History itself has rendered its verdict on Wilson. His name will always be associated with the most base betrayal in history of a pledge. The result was the ruin of national life, not only in the so-called vanquished countries, but among the victors as well. Because of this broken pledge, which alone made possible the imposed Treaty of Versailles, countries were torn apart, cultures were destroyed and the economic life of all was ruined. Today we know that a group of self-serving financiers stood behind Wilson. They used this paralytic professor to lead America into a war from which they hoped to profit. The German nation once believed this man, and had to pay for this trust with political and economic ruin.

 
After such a bitter experience, why is there now another American president who is determined to incite wars and, above all, to stir up hostility against Germany to the point of war? National Socialism came to power in Germany in the same year that Roosevelt came to power in the United States. At this point it is important to examine the factors behind the current developments.

First of all, the personal side of things: I understand very well that there is a world of difference between my own outlook on life and attitude, and that of President Roosevelt. Roosevelt came from an extremely wealthy family. By birth and origin he belonged to that class of people that is privileged in a democracy and assured of advancement. I myself was only the child of a small and poor family, and I had to struggle through life by work and effort in spite of immense hardships. As a member of the privileged class, Roosevelt experienced the [First] World War in a position under Wilson’s shadow [as assistant secretary of the Navy]. As a result, he only knew the agreeable consequences of a conflict between nations from which some profited while others lost their lives. During this same period, I lived very differently. I was not one of those who made history or profits, but rather one of those who carried out orders. As an ordinary soldier during those four years, I tried to do my duty in the face of the enemy. Of course, I returned from the war just as poor as when I entered in the fall of 1914. I thus shared my fate with millions of others, while Mr. Roosevelt shared his with the so-called upper ten thousand.

After the war, while Mr. Roosevelt tested his skills in financial speculation in order to profit personally from the inflation, that is, from the misfortune of others, I still lay in a military hospital along with many hundreds of thousands of others. Experienced in business, financially secure and enjoying the patronage of his class, Roosevelt then finally chose a career in politics. During this same period, I struggled as a nameless and unknown man for the rebirth of my nation, which was the victim of the greatest injustice in its entire history.

Two different paths in life! Franklin Roosevelt took power in the United States as the candidate of a thoroughly capitalistic party, which helps those who serve it. When I became the Chancellor of the German Reich, I was the leader of a popular national movement, which I had created myself. The powers that supported Mr. Roosevelt were the same powers I fought against, out of concern for the fate of my people, and out of deepest inner conviction. The “brain trust” that served the new American president was made up of members of the same national group that we fought against in Germany as a parasitical expression of humanity, and which we began to remove from public life.

And yet, we also had something in common: Franklin Roosevelt took control of a country with an economy that had been ruined as a result of democratic influences, and I assumed the leadership of a Reich that was also on the edge of complete ruin, thanks to democracy. There were 13 million unemployed in the United States, while Germany had seven million unemployed and another seven million part-time workers. In both countries, public finances were in chaos, and it seemed that the spreading economic depression could not be stopped.

From then on, things developed in the United States and in the German Reich in such a way that future generations will have no difficulty in making a definitive evaluation of the two different socio-political theories. Whereas the German Reich experienced an enormous improvement in social, economic, cultural and artistic life in just a few years under National Socialist leadership, President Roosevelt was not able to bring about even limited improvements in his own country. This task should have been much easier in the United States, with barely 15 people per square kilometer, as compared to 140 in Germany. If economic prosperity is not possible in that country, it must be the result of either a lack of will by the ruling leadership or the complete incompetence of the men in charge. In just five years, the economic problems were solved in Germany and unemployment was eliminated. During this same period, President Roosevelt enormously increased his country’s national debt, devalued the dollar, further disrupted the economy and maintained the same number of unemployed.

But this is hardly remarkable when one realizes that the intellects appointed by this man, or more accurately, who appointed him, are members of that same group who, as Jews, are interested only in disruption and never in order. While we in National Socialist Germany took measures against financial speculation, it flourished tremendously under Roosevelt. The New Deal legislation of this man was spurious, and consequently the greatest error ever experienced by anyone. If his economic policies had continued indefinitely during peace time, there is no doubt that sooner or later they would have brought down this president, in spite of all his dialectical cleverness. In a European country his career would certainly have ended in front of a national court for recklessly squandering the nation’s wealth. And he would hardly have avoided a prison sentence by a civil court for criminally incompetent business management.

Many respected Americans also shared this view. A threatening opposition was growing all around this man, which led him to think that he could save himself only by diverting public attention from his domestic policies to foreign affairs. In this regard it is interesting to study the reports of Polish Ambassador Potocki from Washington, which repeatedly point out that Roosevelt was fully aware of the danger that his entire economic house of cards could collapse, and that therefore he absolutely had to divert attention to foreign policy.

The circle of Jews around Roosevelt encouraged him in this. With Old Testament vindictiveness they regarded the United States as the instrument that they and he could use to prepare a second Purim [slaughter of enemies] against the nations of Europe, which were increasingly anti-Jewish. So it was that the Jews, in all of their satanic baseness, gathered around this man, and he relied on them.

The American president increasingly used his influence to create conflicts, intensify existing conflicts, and, above all, to keep conflicts from being resolved peacefully…. Starting in 1937, he began a series of speeches… with which this man systematically incited the American public against Germany…. Starting in November 1938, he began systematically and consciously to sabotage every possibility of a European peace policy…. On April 15, 1939, Roosevelt made his famous appeal to me and the Duce, which was a mixture of geographical and political ignorance combined with the arrogance of a member of the millionaire class…. This man revealed his true attitude in a telegram of June 15 to French premier Reynaud. Roosevelt told him that the American government would double its aid to France, on the condition that France continue the war against Germany. In order to give special emphasis to his desire that the war continue, he declared that the American government would not recognize acquisitions brought about by conquest, which included, for example, the retaking of territories that had been stolen from Germany. I do not need to emphasize that now and in the future, the German government will not be concerned about whether or not the President of the United States recognizes a border in Europe. I mention this case because it is characteristic of the systematic incitement of this man, who hypocritically talks about peace while at the same time he incites to war. And now he feared that if peace were to come about in Europe, the billions he had squandered on military spending would soon be recognized as an obvious case of fraud….

As early as December 19, 1939, an American cruiser that was inside the security zone maneuvered the passenger liner Columbus into the hands of British warships. As a result, it had to be scuttled. On that same day, US military forces helped in an effort to capture the German merchant ship Arauca. On January 27, 1940, and once again contrary to international law, the US cruiser Trenton reported the movements of the German merchant ships Arauca, La Plata and Wangoni to enemy naval forces. On June 27, 1940, he announced a limitation on the free movement of foreign merchant ships in US ports, completely contrary to international law. In November 1940 he permitted US warships to pursue the German merchant ships Phrygia, Idarwald and Rhein until they finally had to scuttle themselves to keep from falling into enemy hands. On April 13, 1941, American ships were permitted to pass freely through the Red Sea in order to supply British armies in the Middle East. In the meantime, in March all German ships were confiscated by the American authorities. In the process, German Reich citizens were treated in the most degrading way, ordered to certain locations in violation of international law, put under travel restrictions, and so forth. Two German officers who had escaped from Canadian captivity were shackled and returned to the Canadian authorities, likewise completely contrary to international law. On March 27 the same president who is against all aggression announced support for Simovic and his clique of usurpers, who had come to power in Belgrade after the overthrow of the legal government. Several months earlier, President Roosevelt had sent Colonel Donovan, a very inferior character, to the Balkans with orders to help organize an uprising against Germany and Italy in Sofia and Belgrade. In April he promised lend-lease aid to Yugoslavia and Greece. At the end of April he recognized Yugoslav and Greek emigrants as governments in exile. And once again, in violation of international law, he froze Yugoslav and Greek assets. Starting in mid-April US naval patrols began expanded operations in the western Atlantic, reporting their observations to the British. On April 26, Roosevelt delivered twenty high speed patrol boats to Britain. At the same time, British naval ships were routinely being repaired in US ports. On May 12, Norwegian ships operating for Britain were armed and repaired, contrary to international law. On June 4, American troop transports arrived in Greenland to build air fields. And on June 9 came the first British report that a US war ship, acting on orders of President Roosevelt, had attacked a German submarine near Greenland with depth charges.

 
On June 14, German assets in the United States were frozen, again in violation of international law. On June 17, on the basis of a lying pretext, President Roosevelt demanded the recall of the German consuls and the closing of the German consulates. He also demanded the shutting down of the German “Transocean” press agency, the German Library of Information and the German Reichsbahn office. On July 6 and 7, American armed forces acting on orders from Roosevelt occupied Iceland, which was in the area of German military operations. He hoped that this action would certainly, first, finally force Germany into war [against the USA] and, second, also neutralize the effectiveness of the German submarines, much as in 1915-1916. At the same time, he promised military aid to the Soviet Union. On July 10 Navy Secretary Knox suddenly announced that the US Navy was under orders to fire against Axis warships. On September 4 the US destroyer Greer, acting on his orders, operated together with British airplanes against German submarines in the Atlantic. Five days later, a German submarine identified US destroyers as escort vessels with a British convoy. In a speech delivered on September 11 [1941], Roosevelt at last personally confirmed that he had given the order to fire against all Axis ships, and he repeated the order. On September 29, US patrols attacked a German submarine east of Greenland with depth charges. On October 17 the US destroyer Kearny, operating as an escort for the British, attacked a German submarine with depth charges, and on November 6 US armed forces seized the German ship Odenwald in violation of international law, took it to an American port, and imprisoned its crew.

I will overlook as meaningless the insulting attacks and rude statements by this so-called President against me personally…. I simply cannot feel insulted by Mr. Roosevelt because I regard him, like his predecessor Woodrow Wilson, as mentally unsound. We know that this man, with his Jewish supporters, has operated against Japan in the same way…. I am sure that all of you have regarded it as an act of deliverance that a country has finally acted to protest against all this in the very way that this man had actually hoped for, and which should not surprise him now. After years of negotiating with this deceiver, the Japanese government finally had its fill of being treated in such a humiliating way. All of us, the German people and, I believe, all other decent people around the world as well, regard this with deep appreciation. We know the power behind Roosevelt. It is the same eternal Jew that believes that his hour has come to impose the same fate on us that we have all seen and experienced with horror in Soviet Russia. We have gotten to know first hand the Jewish paradise on earth. Millions of German soldiers have personally seen the land where this international Jewry has destroyed and annihilated people and property. Perhaps the President of the United States does not understand this. If so, that only speaks for his intellectual narrow-mindedness.

 
And we know that his entire effort is aimed at this goal: Even if we were not allied with Japan, we would still realize that the Jews and their Franklin Roosevelt intend to destroy one state after another. The German Reich of today has nothing in common with the Germany of the past. For our part, we will now do what this provocateur has been trying to achieve for years. And not just because we are allied with Japan, but rather because Germany and Italy with their present leaderships have the insight and strength to realize that in this historic period the existence or non-existence of nations is being determined, perhaps for all time. What this other world has in store for us is clear. They were able to bring the democratic Germany of the past [1918-1933] to starvation, and they seek to destroy the National Socialist Germany of today….

Since the beginning of the war, the American President Roosevelt has steadily committed ever more serious crimes against international law. Along with illegal attacks against ships and other property of German and Italian citizens, there have been threats and even arbitrary deprivations of personal freedom by internment and such. The increasingly hostile attacks by the American President Roosevelt have reached the point that he has ordered the U.S. navy, in complete violation of international law, to immediately and everywhere attack, fire upon and sink German and Italian ships. American officials have even boasted about destroying German submarines in this criminal manner. American cruisers have attacked and captured German and Italian merchant ships, and their peaceful crews were taken away to imprisonment In addition, President Roosevelt’s plan to attack Germany and Italy with military forces in Europe by 1943 at the latest was made public in the United States [by the Chicago Tribune and several other newspapers on Dec. 4, 1941], and the American government made no effort to deny it. Despite the years of intolerable provocations by President Roosevelt, Germany and Italy sincerely and very patiently tried to prevent the expansion of this war and to maintain relations with the United States. But as a result of his campaign, these efforts have failed. Faithful to the provisions of the Tripartite Pact of September 27, 1940, German and Italy accordingly now regard themselves as finally forced to join together on the side of Japan in the struggle for the defense and preservation of the freedom and independence of our nations and realms against the United States of America and Britain. The three powers have accordingly concluded the following agreement, which was signed today in Berlin:

With an unshakable determination not to lay down arms until the common war against the United States of America and Britain has been fought to a successful conclusion, the German, Italian and Japanese governments have agreed to the following:

Article 1. Germany, Italy and Japan will together conduct the war that has been forced upon them by the United States of America and Britain with all the means at their command to a victorious conclusion.

Article 2. Germany, Italy and Japan pledge not to conclude an armistice or make peace with either the United States of America or Britain unless by complete mutual agreement.

Article 3. Germany, Italy and Japan will also work very closely together after a victorious conclusion of the war for the purpose of bringing about a just new order in accord with the Tripartite Pact concluded by them on September 27, 1940.

Article 4. This agreement is effective immediately upon signing and is valid for the same period as the Tripartite Pact of September 27, 1940. The high contracting parties shall inform each other in due time before the expiration of this term of validity of their plans for cooperation as laid out in Article 3 of this agreement.
Deputies! Men of the German Reichstag!

Ever since my peace proposal of July 1940 was rejected, we have clearly realized that this struggle must be fought through to the end. We National Socialists are not at all surprised that the Anglo-American, Jewish and capitalist world is united together with Bolshevism. In our country we have always found them in the same community. Alone we successfully fought against them here in Germany, and after 14 years of struggle for power we were finally able to annihilate our enemies. When I decided 23 years ago to enter political life in order to lead the nation up from ruin, I was a nameless, unknown soldier. Many of you here know just how difficult those first years of that struggle really were. The way from a small movement of seven men to the taking of power on January 30, 1933, as the responsible government is so miraculous that only the blessing of Providence could have made it possible. Today I stand at the head of the mightiest army in the world, the most powerful air force and a proud navy. Behind and around me is a sacred community — the [National Socialist] Party — with which I have become great and which has become great through me.

Our adversaries today are the same familiar enemies of more than twenty years. But the path before us cannot be compared with the road we have already taken. Today the German people fully realizes that this is a decisive hour for our existence. Millions of soldiers are faithfully doing their duty under the most difficult conditions. Millions of German farmers and workers, and German women and girls, are in the factories and offices, in the fields and farm lands, working hard to feed our homeland and supply weapons to the front. Allied with us are strong nations that have suffered the same misery and face the same enemies…. When we think of the sacrifice and effort of our soldiers, then every sacrifice of [those here in] the homeland is completely insignificant and unimportant. And when we consider the number of all those in past generations who gave their lives for the survival and greatness of the German nation, then we are really conscious of the magnitude of the duty that is ours. But whoever tries to shirk this duty has no right to be regarded as a fellow German. Just as we were pitilessly hard in the struggle for power, so also will we be just as ruthless in the struggle for the survival of our nation. During a time in which thousands of our best men, the fathers and sons of our people, have given their lives, anyone in the homeland who betrays the sacrifice on the front will forfeit his life. Regardless of the pretext with which an attempt is made to disrupt the German front, undermine the will to resist of our people, weaken the authority of the regime, or sabotage the achievements of the homeland, the guilty person will die. But with this difference: The soldier at the front who makes this sacrifice will be held in the greatest honor, whereas the person who debases this sacrifice of honor will die in disgrace.

Our opponents should not deceive themselves. In the two thousand years of recorded German history, our people have never been more determined and united than today. The Lord of the universe has been so generous to us in recent years that we bow in gratitude before a Providence that has permitted us to be members of such a great nation. We thank Him, that along with those in earlier and coming generations of the German nation, our deeds of honor may also be recorded in the eternal book of German history!

Fascinating and remarkable example of the misuse of facts and the rhetoric of evil.

3. IQ and political beliefs:

According to evolutionary psychologist Satoshi Kanazawa at the London School of Economics and Political Science, people who have liberal political views have higher IQs.

So why do they keep losing elections?

4. More about rats:

African naked mole rats never cease to amaze. Not only are they exceedingly ugly, but they are the longest living rodents. Moreover, none have ever been observed to get cancer. And they are the only known vertebrates that are not bothered by acid. A report in Science explains the molecular basis underlying this acid insensitivity, and suggests that it might be an adaptation to their oxygen-poor living conditions.

And they shall inherit the world. I knew it would be the rats that get us in the end. On the other hand wouldn’t it be great to name a sports team after something other than an ethnic group or species we have driven almost to extinction but after something that will probably replace us. “The Naked Mole Rats” has a certain ring to it, don’t you think?

5. 2011: A staggering 48 percent of all Americans are either considered “low-income” or are living in poverty.

Does this mean, 48 percent of Americans are too lazy and shiftless and dependent on governmental handouts to better themselves?

TODAY’S NEWS FROM THAILAND:

There was an interesting opinion piece in “The Nation”, Thailand’s other english language news paper. It was written by Bjorn Lomborg one the three Climate Change deniers often trotted out in the name of fair and balanced whenever an actual climate scientist refers to recent changes in the world’s weather and its long-term trends. None of the three have ever done any climate research themselves. There used to be a fourth. Unfortunately, when he scored the money from an oil company funded foundation opposed to actions proposed to deal with the effects of climate change that enabled him to do his own research, his findings confirmed existence of recent human induced impacts on the world’s climate. So, he lost his job as a professional testifier.

What Lomborg seemed to argue is that Climate Change does not exit because Climate Change is not so bad and may even be good for you. He points to a recent UN sponsored study that asserted that both existing warm areas and cold areas will warm and as everyone knows there are many more people who die of freezing to death in the cold than there are people who die burnt to a crisp in the sun. (He is probably right. Score one point for him.)

He also argues that floods happen in places prone to floods and that there is no evidence that increased moisture in the air actually will fall in these areas. (Another point for him. Climate scientists agree when they caution that although increased flooding is consistent with climate change one should refrain from concluding that any single flood is the effect of changes to weather patterns.)

He then refers to the finding in the report that suggests that we should expect hurricane storms’ strength to increase, but that there should be fewer of them as a positive. (I am equivocal on this, so no points for either side.)

He then continues that the only reason there are damages from hurricanes including the predicted stronger ones is because humans persist in living is places they shouldn’t. (Another point for him. Radical environmentalists agree that people should not be encouraged to live in flood plains and other hazard areas by governmental action like subsidized flood insurance. Now if we can get them together with the conservative economists who argue unemployment does not exist because the worker is simply unwilling to move his life and family somewhere else to search for a job, we can for example, eliminate economic development funding and tax benefits to Florida and Texas and refuse public assistance to them following natural disasters because people shouldn’t live there and if they were not so lazy and subsidized they would pick up and move to a more accommodating environment, like Canada. Damn, he gets two points here.)

Score: Lomborg 3, hysterical climate scientists 0.

POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN THAILAND:

I have begun to emerge from the miasma of fever, coughs, sneezes, and sleeplessness and begun preparations for the Holidays. Unfortunately I have just learned that I will not be going to Italy. Apparently the free ticket that I was expecting did not materialize. That is a shame, I was looking forward to it. My plan now is to fly directly to the US during the first or second week of January and remain there until after Hayden’s birthday in early March. This also regrettably eliminates my trip to NY and Washington to see my daughter, Jessica.

As for my illness, this has been the first time that I can recall being so sick it drove my emotions to the point of despair.

JOEY’S MYSTERY NOVEL:

RED STAR

Chapter: Something about fans and feces (cont.):

With mild curiosity, Vince watched Isabella pick up the salad fork. Out of the corner of his eye he saw the waiter bend down to retrieve something from the serving cart, straighten up and begin to turn around.

Suddenly, with what seemed to Vince like a single fluid motion, Isabella grabbed her purse in one hand, slid out of the booth, exploded towards the waiter and plunged the fork into his eye. As the waiter spasmed from her assault, he pulled the trigger of the gun emerging in his hand. An explosion assaulted Vince’s ears deafening him. The bullet pounded into the back of the booth a foot or two above Vince’s head. A fountain of blood shot out from the waiter’s eye spraying Isabella as she grabbed the falling man in what looked like a lovers embrace. Another discharge of fire and smoke erupted from the shadows near the kitchen, the hapless waiter-assassin Isabella was using as a shield jerked as the bullet struck him. She fired her own gun and the shadow lurched back, struck the wall and slid to the floor.

A long wail emerged from Vince’s mouth as he pressed himself into the back or the booth desperately trying to escape the violence erupting around him. The scene before him disappeared into a pinpoint of light as if a camera lens suddenly closed. He felt his sphincter and bladder give way and the wetness run down his legs. He could hear no sound except his own wailing while his consciousness like the light shrunk to only admit a flood of shame over his incontinence.

Suddenly, he felt a powerful tug on his arm. At first he feared he was under direct attack and desperately tried to escape further into the booth. A sharp pain from a slap to his face jolted him. Light appeared turned on again. It was Isabella. She seemed to be yelling something at him. He felt an overwhelming sense of gratitude with her being there, that quickly faded into embarrassment once more. Her surprisingly strong grip and tug extracted him from the booth. She pulled and pushed him across the room toward the kitchen. “I’m sorry. I’m sorry,” he mumbled over and over again. (to be continued).

PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

a. Strange Apocalypses:

INVASIVE SPECIES

Invasive species are plants, animals or microbes that turn up in an ecosystem that has no protection against them. The invader’s population surges and the ecosystem quickly destabilizes towards collapse. Invasive species are already an expensive global problem: they disrupt local ecosystems, transfer viruses, poison soils and damage agriculture.

Danger sign: Your local species disappear.

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

1. Reverse the assault on the progressive income tax.


2. Demand the wealthy pay their fair share because it is good public policy.


3. Reform Wall Street so that the ordinary investor gets a fair deal.

“The worst part by far is that the government ‘encourages’ you to put your money into your 401k through ‘tax exemptions’, which basically puts your money with the lowest tier of the financial industry — pension funds, retail wealth managers, and retail asset managers. These guys have sh-t strategies like long-only or domestic equity (which means they only invest in American stocks), and have nowhere near the capability and reach of hedge funds. These guys are even more likely to lose your money than you are, and even worse is they will take a 2.35% cut while doing so. And you get penalized when you try to take your money out early. How f***ed up is that.”
Wall Street insider.

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/’#ixzz1gUe4oND2

c. Excerpts from Bill Moyer’s speech to Citizens United:

“No wonder so many Americans have felt that sense of political impotence that the historian Lawrence Goodwyn described as “the mass resignation” of people who believe in the “dogma of democracy” on a superficial public level but whose hearts no longer burn with the conviction that they are part of the deal. Against such odds, discouragement comes easily.

But if the generations before us had given up, slaves would still be waiting on these tables, on Election Day women would still be turned away from the voting booths, and workers would still be committing a crime if they organized.

So once again: Take heart from the past and don’t ever count the people out. During the last quarter of the 19th century, the industrial revolution created extraordinary wealth at the top and excruciating misery at the bottom. Embattled citizens rose up. Into their hearts, wrote the progressive Kansas journalist William Allen White, “had come a sense that their civilization needed recasting, that their government had fallen into the hands of self-seekers, that a new relation should be established between the haves and have-nots.” Not content to wring their hands and cry “Woe is us” everyday citizens researched the issues, organized to educate their neighbors, held rallies, made speeches, petitioned and canvassed, marched and marched again. They ploughed the fields and planted the seeds — sometimes in bloody soil — that twentieth century leaders used to restore “the general welfare” as a pillar of American democracy. They laid down the now-endangered markers of a civilized society: legally ordained minimum wages, child labor laws, workmen’s safety and compensation laws, pure foods and safe drugs, Social Security, Medicare, and rules that promote competitive markets over monopolies and cartels. Remember:

Democracy doesn’t begin at the top; it begins at the bottom, when flesh-and-blood human beings fight to rekindle the patriot’s dream.

d. Profiles in presidential courage:

Another damn socialist!

TODAY’S QUOTE:

“Today’s so-called ‘conservatives’ don’t even know what the word means. They think I’ve turned liberal because I believe a woman has a right to an abortion. That’s a decision that’s up to the pregnant woman, not up to the pope or some do-gooders or the Religious Right. It’s not a conservative issue at all.”
~Barry Goldwater

TODAY’S CHART:


TODAY’S CARTOON:


TODAY’S PHOTOGRAPH:

Categories: October 2011 through December 2011 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

This and that from re Thai r ment, by 3Th. December 18, 2011

POOKIE FOR PRESIDENT:

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

1. For those concerned for my supposed one-sided posting of Republican failures and follies while ignoring Obama’s, I discovered the following:

See, libs do criticize libs

2. Why parody is impossible:

“If the Soviet empire still existed, I’d be terrified. The fact is, we can afford a fairly ignorant presidency now.”
~Newt Gingrich, saying that it’s okay for the President to be “fairly” ignorant.
3. Let’s give the American people a chance to hear Buddy Roemer in the Republican nomination for President debates:

Romney’s better [than Gingrich], but he’s bought. I saw Mitt Romney when he was running for the United States Senate …. He talked about PACs, about special interest money, and about how he was different from Ted Kennedy. Bullshit. With three [presidential] Super PACs, he already has received four $1-million checks.”

“These [Republicans] are decent people, They can play a role in turning America around. I would ask them to lead. I would ask them to stand up. Stop what they’re doing …. Tell their party, my party: Let’s stop being the party of big checks.”
Buddy Roemer

TODAY’S FACTOIDS:

A. 2011 Food costs:

I do not know what this chart signifies other than good news for restaurants.

B. 2011 Black Friday:

On a recent front page of USA Today, the main headline read “Guns were a big seller on Black Friday.” According to the article, sales of firearms hit record numbers on the day after Thanksgiving, with a surge in FBI background checks by 129,166 new buyers — “smashing the single-day, all-time high by 32 percent, according to bureau records.”

Unfortunately, there are many in the US who are more proud of this than they would be about reports of any general upturn economic activity or jobs.

TODAY’S NEWS FROM THAILAND:

1. Teflon Prime Minister:

Recently when questioned by the press whether her planned reorganization of the military could lead to a military coup similar to that that toppled her brother Thaksin the Terrible when he attempted a similar reorganization, Prime Minister Princess Lucky Girl responded with her standard answer to questions regarding the impact of her policies: “I am confident I am working my best for the people who trust me and I will do my best for Thailand. I believe that I have this intention. I must seek fair treatment from everyone.”

When asked what her intentions actually were she replied that she did not want to discuss the issue for the time being as she was focusing on working with all parties to relieve the people’s hardships.

2. The benefits of Teflon:

Only a day or two after the above appeared in the newspapers Prime Minister Princess Lucky Girl that the senior General and head of the Army would retain his position until retirement. I assume this agreement covers the other members of his military school class. Any “reorganization” appears limited to the lower ranks replacing those now scheduled to accede to the senior positions by those who support the Thaksin the Terrible/Princess Lucky Girl administration.

Prior to the election, I wrote in these posts that I suspected that Thaksin the Terrible would make a deal of this type. After all, the prior coup was instituted following the failed attempt to cashier these same officers and replace them with members of Thaksin the Terrible‘s military class. Right after the election I guessed that the opposition party’s suspicions that such a deal was in the making, launched a series of almost hysterical media and political attacks on the incoming government that appeared more geared to influence the military general staff than the populace as a whole. Apparently, with this most recent announcement my speculation appears to have been correct. What this means is, barring a string of absolutely stupid political actions, the current government will sit in power for a while and Thaksin the Terrible will return from exile in triumph. Given the overweening size of his ego and the impact of his success on it, I would guess he goes back into government. It would be a foolish thing for him to do.

POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN THAILAND:

Alas, I have been struck down by illness and have remained in my bed for the past few days trying to treat it with antibiotics, throat lozenges, liquids and sleep. I still feel miserable.

While so engaged in self medication and self-pity, I received phone calls from SWAC and from Nikki urging me to fly off to Italy for the holidays at Vittorio’s farm and then return to the US to resume my nanny duties until Hayden is once again abandoned to his fate. While, health permitting, I am leaning toward going, much depends on whether I can make all the arrangement within the next few days.

As I lie here in bed, I am watching on television an amazing fireworks display that is taking place in Pattaya (the outskirts of hell) in honor of the kings birthday. There are about 15 separate countries participating in a competition. It has been explained to me that each country contributed to the fireworks demonstrations accompanied by music. There were three presentations that I saw each lasting about 15-20 minutes. The Japanese presentation, an US led display and one more. About 20 years ago, my daughter and I attended the fireworks exhibition celebrating the 100th anniversary of  erection of the Statue of Liberty in NY harbor. That was by far the most impressive show of pyrotechnics I have ever seen until this one. I think the American led display won first prize.

PETRILLO’S COMMENTARY:

Recently I read a short opinion piece by Naomi Wolf in the Bangkok Post in which she mentioned that she had noticed a trend by some young adults for the most part, to choose to live a lower impact lifestyle. This was not the quasi-religious back to nature life styles movement favored by the Hippies, nor was it the life of hopeless desperation that gripped much of the Nation in the 1930s. It seems that here a number of the modern descendants of those prior movements are simply deciding on a simpler way of life because the alternative, even if accessible, is no longer as desirable. An ideal life based almost exclusively upon greed is being found wanting.

The impact of this change in goals, as she pointed out could be momentous. It does not take many people to decide, for example, that they do not need a second car for its reverberations for good or ill  felt throughout society. In that example, the failure of the automotive industry to grow at a rate equivalent to population growth, replacement and a little more, would have severe consequences to the economy that cannot be remedied by lower prices or financing.

What Ms Wolf did not mention that some of those entering their most economically productive years are the members of the social network, mobile entertainment and information generation. Their life style choices could exacerbate the economic and social impacts of the trend she writes about.

For example, our transportation, fashion, entertainment, adult and a host of other choices often require our traveling somewhere, frequently with the hope to impress those we meet along the way with our abilities, success or whatever else is important to our sense of self-worth. Conspicuous consumption of even some of the wealthiest among us may become less a function of acquisition of physical things then it is now. (Why two Ferraris when you do not need to alter your location for most of your social or business needs?) Some of us for instance may decide that public transportation, although longer in trip duration and often lacking in comfort is mitigated by the fact that your mobile, work, entertainment and social needs must be somewhat curtailed during your drive should you choose to do so.

It would not require more than a few of us to make these choices for it to rock the economy in ways that standard financial theory is unable to manage, based as it is on production and finance, causing the economy to contract and perhaps collapse.

Strange as it may seem, it may be that this social change more than technological invention or energy conservation that delay’s the impact of the hydrocarbon threat.

PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

a. Strange Apocalypses:

RUNAWAY BLACK HOLE

Black holes are the most powerful gravitational objects in the universe, capable of tearing Earth into its constituent atoms. Even within a billion miles, a black hole could knock Earth out of the solar system, leaving our planet wandering through deep space without a source of energy.

Danger sign: Increased asteroid activity; the seasons get really extreme.

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

1. Limit the finance industry’s ability to funnel money from the masses to the ultra rich, through hedge funds which dominate all of the financial markets.
“What are hedge funds? They are funds that have a 1-5 million deposit minimum, cater to the mega-rich, and can invest in anything without regulatory restrictions, use leverage to pump up their exposure by 15x, and pretty much eat up a vast majority of the industry’s profits.”
Statement by a Wall Street Broker.

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/’#ixzz1gUodSGWq

2. End the growing disparity in income gains between the very rich and everyone else.

3. Begin the reversal of the wealth disparities between and very wealthy and everyone else in American Society.


Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/’#ixzz1gJc79fcs

c. Excerpts from Bill Moyer’s speech to Citizens United:

“Jefferson and Madison didn’t live to see reactionary justices fulfill their worst fears. In 1886 a conservative court conferred the divine gift of life on the Southern Pacific Railroad. Never mind that the Fourteenth Amendment declaring that no person should be deprived of “life, liberty or property without due process of law” was enacted to protect the rights of freed slaves. The Court decided to give the same rights of “personhood” to corporations that possessed neither a body to be kicked nor a soul to be damned. For over half a century the Court acted to protect the privileged. It gutted the Sherman Antitrust Act by finding a loophole for a sugar trust. It killed a New York State law limiting working hours. Likewise a ban against child labor. It wiped out a law that set minimum wages for women. And so on: one decision after another aimed at laws promoting the general welfare. The Roberts Court has picked up the mantle: Moneyed interests first, the public interest second, if at all.

The ink was hardly dry on the Citizens United decision when the U.S. Chamber of Commerce organized a covertly funded front and rained drones packed with cash into the 2010 campaigns. According to the Sunlight Foundation, corporate front groups spent $126 million in the fall of 2010 while hiding the identities of the donors. Another corporate cover group — the American Action Network – spent over $26 million of undisclosed corporate money in just six Senate races and 26 House elections. And Karl Rove’s groups – American Crossroads/Crossroads GPS – seized on Citizens United to raise and spend at least $38 million that NBC News said came from “a small circle of extremely wealthy Wall Street hedge fund and private equity moguls” — all determined to water down financial reforms designed to prevent another collapse of the financial system. Jim Hightower has said it well: Today’s proponents of corporate plutocracy “have simply elevated money itself above votes, establishing cold, hard cash as the real coin of political power.”

d. The chart that explains a lot:

I think that with the shrinkage of “safe” assets, those sitting on cash as a result of the bailouts and those pulling it out of the previously safe havens and looking for another refuge to park the funds will begin to overwhelm the remaining safe havens. All this money floating around has little demand for production of goods and services into which to put it to work. Unless someone starts putting money into less safe assets like those investments that increase production and jobs (on the come so to speak)), these safe havens may not be as safe in the long run as they appear today. It seems to confirm that the “Confidence Fairies” and “Bond Vigilantes” are wrong again. Until there is good old governmental pump priming and a moderate loosening of inflation goals, much more wealth will have to be wiped out or there is a belief that the safe havens are not a safe as for example productive assets, before things begin looking better, if ever they do.

It all can be thought of a borrowing from labor and from production in order to maintain the rental value of money, until labor and production recover. It cannot work. Labor, production and consumption create the rental value of profits and natural asset rents.

e. Profile in Presidential courage:

f. Department of abasement, apology and correction:

My sincerest apologies for posting this, but I could not resist:

TODAY’S QUOTE:

TODAY’S CHART:

This chart is highly misleading since it fails to show the fall in the growth of government during those prior administrations committed to slowing its growth and therefore I suspected it was prepared by a liberal front group. Unfortunately, I checked on the growth figures for the prior administrations and they all showed an ongoing increase in the number of governmental employees.

TODAY’S CARTOON:

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

TODAY’S PHOTOGRAPH:

Because there is more to be frightened by today.

Categories: October 2011 through December 2011 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

This and that from re Thai r ment, by 3Th. December 15, 2011

POOKIE FOR PRESIDENT:

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

1. In my continuing effort to demonstrate fairness by incorporating comments from both sides of the political divide, I have included the following regarding Larry Klayman one of the nations leading conservative bloggers and founder of Judicial Watch and Freedom Watch:

In his latest column, Larry Klayman predicted that people will increasingly stock up on firearms because President Obama’s “dishonest, non-responsive and incompetent government” is “invading our individual and family rights and taking away our liberties,” and are just waiting “for the revolution to come.”

The founder of Judicial Watch went on to argue that Americans see “no one on the horizon who can lead this nation back from Armageddon” and worries they will eventually turn to violence: “Let us pray that violent revolt will not break out before all other options are exhausted, but our Founding Fathers, faced with a similar dilemma, were forced to eventually choose this path by risking, and in many cases sacrificing, their fortunes and lives”

To those liberals out there, when I discover a main stream liberal blogger or political leader suggesting the violent overthrow of the government, I promise, in all fairness, to post it.

2. Why Parody is impossible:

“The idea that a congressman would be tainted by accepting money from private industry or private sources is essentially a socialist argument.”
~Newt Gingrich, arguing that it’s okay for politicians to be bought and paid for.

Should I find any other politician, Republican or Democrat, who says something even remotely like this, I promise I will post it.

3. Buddy Roemer candidate for the Republican nomination for President, a candidate we should all get the chance to hear. Why does Faux News exclude him from the debates?

“Here I am, running for president, and I’m different, No big checks, no PAC money. That’s my issue. I’m successful at what I do, a successful businessman, the only congressman and governor running who had both experiences, and I can’t qualify [for the debates] because I can’t get a poll number, and I can’t get a poll number because I can’t get on the debates. How about that for shutting a man down?”
Roemer in a wide-ranging interview with The Fiscal Times

TODAY’S FACTOIDS:

1. 2011: Education Matters:


2. 1941: DECEMBER 12, WORLD WAR II, JOSEF GOEBBELS RATIONALIZES THE COMMENCEMENT OF THE HOLOCAUST:

“Regarding the Jewish question, the Führer is determined to clear the table. He warned the Jews [back in January 1939] that if they were to cause another world war, it would lead to their own destruction. Those were not empty words. Now the world war has come. The destruction of the Jews must be its necessary consequence. This question is to be regarded without sentimentalism. We are not here to have sympathy with the Jews, but rather with our German people. If the German people have sacrificed 160,000 dead in the eastern campaign, so the authors of this bloody conflict will have to pay for it with their lives.”

And we still have not learned that no rationalization no matter how convincing justifies either murder or discrimination for what people are; their race, sexual orientation, religion, ethnic background, or gender identity.

3. Sixth Century BC: Discussion between Demaratus and King Xerxes prior to the latter’s march upon Greece:

“Xerxes sent for Demaratus the son of Ariston, who had accompanied him in his march upon Greece, and said to him:

“‘Demaratus, I would like you to tell me something. As I hear, you are a Greek and a native of a powerful city. Tell me, will the Greeks really fight against us? I think that even if all the Greeks and all the barbarians of the West were gathered together in one place, they would not be able to stop me, since they are so disunited. But I would like to know what you think about this.’

“Demaratus replied to Xerxes’ question: ‘O king! Do you really want me to give a true answer, or would you rather that I make you feel good about all this?’
“The king commanded him to speak the plain truth, and promised that he would not on that account hold him in less favour than before.

“When he heard this promise, Demaratus spoke as follows: ‘O king! Since you command me to speak the truth, I will not say what will one day prove me a liar. Difficulties have at all times been present in our land, while Courage is an ally whom we have gained through wisdom and strict laws. Her aid enables us to solve problems and escape being conquered. All Greeks are brave, but what I am about to say does not concern all, but only the Spartans.

“‘First then, no matter what, the Spartans will never accept your terms. This would reduce Greece to slavery. They are sure to join battle with you even if all the rest of the Greeks surrendered to you. As for Spartan numbers, do not ask how many or few they are, hoping for them to surrender. For if a thousand of them should take the field, they will meet you in battle, and so will any other number, whether it is less than this, or more.’

“When Xerxes heard this answer of Demaratus, he laughed and answered: ‘What wild words, Demaratus! A thousand men join battle with such an army as mine! Come then, will you — who were once, as you say, their king — fight alone right now against ten men? I think not. And yet, if your fellow-citizens really are as you say, then according to your laws as their king, you should be twice as tough and take on twenty all by yourself!

“‘But, if you Greeks, who think so hightly of yourselves, are simply the size and kind of men as those I have seen at my court, or as yourself, Demaratus, then your bragging is weak. Use common sense: how could a thousand men, or ten thousand, or even fifty thousand — particularly if they are all free, and not under one lord — how could such a force stand against a united army like mine? Even if the Greeks have larger numbers than our highest estimate, we still would outnumber them 100 to 1.

“‘If they had a single master as our troops have, their obedience to him might make them courageous beyond their own desire, or they might be pushed onward by the whip against an enemy which far outnumbered them. But left to their own free choice, they will surely act differently. For my part, I believe that if the Greeks had to contend with the Persians only, and the numbers were equal on both sides, the Greeks would still find it hard to stand their ground. We too have men among us as tough as those you described — not many perhaps, but enough. For instance, some of my bodyguard would willing engage singly with three Greeks. But this you did not know; and so you talked foolishly.’

“Demaratus answered him- ‘I knew, O king, that if I told you the truth, I would displease you. But since you wanted the truth, I am telling you what the Spartans will do. I am not speaking out of any love that I have for Sparta — you know better than anyone how I feel about those who robbed me of my rank, of my ancestral honours, and made me a homeless exile…. Look, I am no match for ten men or even two, and given the choice, I would rather not fight at all. But if necessary, I would rather go against those who boast that they are a match for any three Greeks.

“‘The same goes for the Spartans. One-against-one, they are as good as anyone in the world. But when they fight in a body, they are the best of all. For though they are free men, they are not entirely free. They accept Law as their master. And they respect this master more than your subjects respect you. Whatever he commands, they do. And his command never changes: It forbids them to flee in battle, whatever the number of their foes. He requires them to stand firm — to conquer or die. O king, if I seem to speak foolishly, I am content from this time forward to remain silent. I only spoke now because you commanded me to. I do hope that everything turns out according to your wishes.'”

“This was the answer of Demaratus, and Xerxes was not angry with him at all, but only laughed, and sent him away with words of kindness.

–Herodotus of Halicarnassus, Histories

TODAY’S NEWS FROM THAILAND AND AMERICA:

1. Thailand: Cracked News from “Not the Nation”( the Thai “Onion”):

PM Declares Inner Bangkok Safe As Giant, ‘Croc-zilla’ Terrorizes Pathum Thani

4 Dec 2011, Pathum Thani – As tens of thousands of Thais still trapped by flood waters in Pathum Thani fended off a giant, mutant “croc-zilla,” Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra today assured residents and businesses in inner Bangkok that they would not be impacted.

Pathum Thani residents who have survived croc-zilla’s attacks say the amphibious beast is 72 meters tall, walks on two legs, has the jaw and tail of a crocodile, breathes fire and has a Medusa-like mane of poisonous green mamba snakes.

“Croc-zilla,” as dubbed by the Thai media, is believed to have destroyed at least 600 homes and torn 300 people to pieces in the last 48 hours. The beast is also said to have ambushed several Red Cross deliveries yesterday and started its own horde of Mama noodles and sanitary napkins.

2. America: Are the Hyenas turning on each other?

ST PETERSBURG, Fla., Dec. 12, 2011 /Christian Newswire/ — Bill Keller, the world’s leading Internet Evangelist and the founder of LivePrayer.com, with over 2.4 million subscribers worldwide reading the daily devotional he has written every morning for 12 years on the issues of the day from a Biblical worldview, is warning Christians that entertainer Glenn Beck is Satan, “masquerading as an angel of light,” and using Christians to further his agenda and advance the satanically inspired cult he belongs to.

Firstly, this is not a liberal media attack on Beck, but statements by a denizen of the religious right that up to now generally sympathized with Beck. Secondly, on the specifics of this allegation, I stand with Beck. He is not Satan. He is not painted red and he lacks horns.

3. Thailand: The Thai way:

The Bangkok Post, the nations leading english language newspaper, lists an email address for submitting Letters to the Editor that does not work.

POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN THAILAND:

I continue to spend my days exercising in the mornings and on the internet in the afternoons. Now and then I take in a movie or watch a DVD before going to bed. I had gained over 12 pounds during my US trip and lost whatever benefits I gained from my Thai fitness regime.

It is the high tourist season in Thailand, in the mornings the temperature is equivalent to that of late spring afternoons in a temperate climate, and the afternoons although hot are not uncomfortable as long as one avoids the direct ray’s of the sun.

I have begun to feel the effects of Bangkok air pollution with the return of my Bangkok cough.

I received a telephone call from Hayden and Nikki during their stop over in NYC on their way to Italy for the Christmas Holidays. Hayden told me he had gotten me a flashlight for Christmas because he knows I do not see so well and he thought it would help.

Nikki told me that Hayden had developed a serious eye tic that he did not have when I left a few weeks ago. His mother, SWAC, indicated that she was considering giving the child up to another man (one of the several SWAC hinted may be the child’s father). SWAC would return to Thailand to live and the child would be raised in this man’s household in Washington State. He has a daughter about Hayden’s age. I understand his prior marriages devolve amidst accusations of violence and he lost custody of his children from those marriages. He also is the one who recently “spread the word” about SWAC to her friends in Sacto.

We shall see if these rumors are true or if the child finds himself trapped in another cycle of insecurity.

Sad as I may feel, I have begun to realize that my efforts may have only increased the boy’s rejection fears since, for whatever reason, I like almost everyone else comes in and out of his life and often am not there when he needs stability the most. I fear I may be exacerbating, his situation. Perhaps it is time we both get on with our lives, such as they are.
MOPEY JOE’S MEMOIRS:

Old man memories, Don Lundy (Cont.):

Most of us, born into the Italian tradition had nicknames. In addition to “sir rinse,” our gang included, “Soupy,” Frank Supa, “Louie,” Louis DeLago, “Chazz,” Charles DeVito, “Whitey,” Peter White (Whitey, was non ethnic originally from Saugertes NY and considered a “hick.” He was the groups best all around sports athlete. (He had a sister who was not 100% and who the older boys had their way with.)), and “Neddy,”Ned Callaghan, a small Irish kid who was my rival in non-sport athletics such as climbing trees and buildings.

I used to like to climb tall trees in the neighborhood until I reached the tallest and thinest branch that inevitably would break under my weight sending me tumbling through the lower branches as I tried to slow my fall before striking the ground. At that time school buildings often were made of red brick with marble cornices about 1/2 thick marking the separate floors. Ned and I used to like to climb up the brick facing by squeezing our fingers and toes into the slight indentions made by the mortar until we reached the cornice and then we would inch along the cornice until we had encircled the building and then climb to the next floor and repeat circumnavigation of the building.

There was me of course. Every now and then someone in the group would call me “Mopey Joe.” I hated that name and so often a fight would ensue. I was given that name by one of the Blount brothers, (the Blounts were older and not members of our group), because I usually walked slowly, at a steady pace with my head down. The reason I did so was that I suffered constant pain from flat feet forcing me to generally gingerly walk more on my heels while tipping my upper body forward for balance. Anyway the Blounts were black, part of the vast migration north of rural southern blacks that began during the war. The black community in town was split between those immigrants and those free blacks who could trace their residence in the village back to the Civil War and before. They, this latter group, actually made up most of the village’s middle class.

Nick-names were part of italian culture, mostly prosaic and based either on some rearrangement of ones name, something peculiar about the person (I knew a guy call “Beefsteak” because of his fondness for that food) or insulting like “Gimp.” Blacks however tended to bestow nicknames whether from affection or insult more playfully and seemed to revel in the poetry. Mopey Joe had a certain ring to it, don’t you think? At that time, I was ashamed of it and hated it. It was only when I decided to start using it in this section of “This and that…” that I got to like it. I now have several nicknames some of which would normally be considered a bit insulting; “Pookie” and “Mopey Joe,” being two of them. Pookie I have grown to love and refer to myself that way. It was given to me by a small child out of love and trust and how could one be ashamed of that? If I were to rank the various names that people referred to me by, Pookie would be first, then followed by Papa Joe, Mopey Joe, Joe, Joey, Asshole, Bastard and Motherfucker.

There were a few other members of the gang whose names I have forgotten. Then there was Donald Lundy, “Don” or “Dondi.” My recollection of whom prompted this post.

Dondi was a black kid or “colored” as people of that time referred to what we have today agreed to refer to as black or African-American. In my experience no-one used the N word not even blacks with blacks as became fashionable later. The only people that used the N word were southerners we were told, classless white guys and crazy angry and often drunk people. I assumed, since my black friends at the time informed me, we were, in private, referred to in turn as Dagos, Wops or Guineas. Typically the complexities of racial and ethnic profiling and insults escaped the understanding of the children in my peer group in that village.

Anyway, Don’s family was of the older black settler group. I wanted to be his friend and we spent a lot of time together apart from the gang, playing and talking about those things of interest to little boys. We never fought as I did often with other friends. Dondi was too good-natured for that. We often ate at each others houses. Dondi used to like to come over to my house because at that time Italian Cuisine was still considered exotic and spicy. Dondi developed a taste for it. (To be continued.)

JOEY’S MYSTERY NOVEL:

RED STAR

Chapter: Something about a fan and feces (cont.):

She returned to look at him again.

“You do not know what you’re, talking about.”

“I know what I felt since the first time you walked into my office,” he responded.

“No, it is impossible,” she said while lowering her eyes and gripping her purse.

“Why, is there someone else? Is it because you are supposed to be my body-guard or we are on opposite sides,” he said raising his voice slightly in exasperation?

“No” she said in almost a whisper.

The waiter and cart arrived by their table and she turned to watch the waiter approach with the salad fork in his hand. Vince ignored the server and stared at her trying to think of a follow-up to his question.

The waiter placed the salad fork down on the table at the top of Isabella’s plate opposite her and turned, took a few steps over to the serving cart and bent down to retrieve something. Isabella stared at the fork for a moment then picked it up. (To be continued)

PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

a. Strange Apocalypses:

GAMMA RAYS FROM SPACE

When a supermassive star is in its dying moments, it shoots out two beams of high-energy gamma rays into space. If these were to hit Earth, the immense energy would tear apart the atmosphere’s air molecules and disintegrate the protective ozone layer.

Danger sign: The sky turns brown and all life on the surface slowly dies.

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

1. A greater percentage of our tax dollars should be spent on education our future requires it and our present employment crises demands it.

2. End the lie that debt from public spending is the reason for the financial crisis.


3. Tell the truth about the costs of private heath insurance:


Medicare actually does a better job of controlling costs than private insurers — not remotely good enough, but better…

If Medicare costs had risen as fast as private insurance premiums, it would cost around 40 percent more than it does. If private insurers had done as well as Medicare at controlling costs, insurance would be a lot cheaper.

c. Excerpts from Bill Moyer’s speech to Citizens United:

“The revolt of the plutocrats has now been ratified by the Supreme Court in its notorious Citizens United decision last year. Rarely have so few imposed such damage on so many. When five pro-corporate conservative justices gave “artificial entities” the same rights of “free speech” as living, breathing human beings, they told our corporate sovereigns “the sky’s the limit” when it comes to their pouring money into political campaigns. The Roberts Court embodies the legacy of pro-corporate bias in justices determined to prevent democracy from acting as a brake on excessive greed and power in the private sector. Wealth acquired under capitalism is in and of itself no enemy of democracy, but wealth armed with political power — power to shake off opportunities for others to rise — is a proven danger. Thomas Jefferson had hoped that, “we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our moneyed corporations which dare already to challenge our government to a trial of strength and [to] bid defiance to the laws of our country.” James Madison feared that the “spirit of speculation” would lead to “a government operating by corrupt influence, substituting the motive of private interest in place of public duty.”

d. Profiles in Presidential courage:
“In name we had the Declaration of Independence in 1776; but we gave the lie by our acts to the words of the Declaration of Independence until 1865; and words count for nothing except in so far as they represent acts. This is true everywhere; but, O my friends, it should be truest of all in political life. A broken promise is bad enough in private life. It is worse in the field of politics. No man is worth his salt in public life who makes on the stump a pledge which he does not keep after election; and, if he makes such a pledge and does not keep it, hunt him out of public life. I care for the great deeds of the past chiefly as spurs to drive us onward in the present. I speak of the men of the past partly that they may be honored by our praise of them, but more that they may serve as examples for the future…”
Teddy Roosevelt:
e. The difference between Americans and Europeans:

Americans are more pro-religion and anti-homosexuality.

Image unavailable at this time.

I guess I will have to stop eating French Fries again.

f. Testosterone Chronicles:
“…The Paccius letter having been answered, let me tell you the rest of my news. A letter from my brother contains some quite extraordinary things about Caesar’s warm feelings towards me, and is corroborated by a very copious letter from Caesar himself. The result of the war against Britain is eagerly awaited, for the approaches to the island are known to be ‘warded with wondrous massy walls’. It is also now ascertained that there isn’t a grain of silver on the island nor any prospect of booty apart from captives, and I fancy you won’t expect any of them to be highly qualified in literature or music!”
Marcus Tullius Cicero to Titus Pomponius Atticus: 89 (iv. 16): Rome, about 1 July 54 BC.

What no silver, no booty! Oh well, I guess slaves will do. Another tale of “The Biker Gangs Conquer the World.” Did you think that Caesar conquered Britain just to bring the benefits of Roman Civilization to the barbarians?

TODAY’S QUOTE:

“If you want to be rich, you must first build roads.”
Old Chinese proverb.
TODAY’S MAP:

It is interesting how this map’s information and ranking, like so many others, roughly correlates with latitude.

TODAY’S CARTOON:

TODAY’S PHOTOGRAPH:

Because the young Uma Thurman looks like a nymphet from outer space. There is no doubt in my mind that, given the chance, she would kill Bill.

BONUS PHOTOGRAPH:


A REUNION OF OLD FRIENDS.

Monty, Pookie, David and Frank

Between the 4 of us in our lives so far, we have collectively made and lost somewhere between $50 and 100 million and perhaps more. Today we are all old and broke except Frank who is not old. Congratulations to us, we have managed to amass many more stories than toys.

Categories: October 2011 through December 2011 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

This and that from re Thai r ment, by 3Th. December 12, 2011

POOKIE FOR PRESIDENT:

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

1. Political leaders then and now:

Then:

“It’s time America realized that there is no gay exemption in the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness in the Declaration of Independence.”
~Barry Goldwater

Now:

“The problem is that sexual activity with people who you are in close quarters with who happen to be of the same sex is different than being open about your sexuality … They’re in close quarters, they live with people, they obviously shower with people.”
Rick Santorum

2. Democrat behaves badly:

In the past few days John Corzine ex-Democratic Senator and former Democratic Governor of New Jersey in testimony before an US Senate committee investigating his conduct as CEO of a company involved in perhaps the largest bankruptcy in the US since ENRON, claimed he ” did not know” what was happening in the company.

For those accusing me of one-sidedness, I pledge that should Corzine eventually run for the presidency of the US, I shall ridicule him with the same vigor as I did the candidate that said he did not need to know anything about foreign policy to be president because he will have people to do that sort of thing, and the candidate who, at the time he announced his candidacy, when questioned about immoral and corrupt personal and professional life, promised that he “learned his lesson” and would not do it again.

No, not good enough? What you really want is for me to criticize President Obama and Nancy Pelosi directly? Ok here goes—-Both of them have demonstrated the same fortitude and courage in opposing the thugs in the leadership of the opposing party as Neville Chamberlin did with the thugs at Munich.*

Happy now?

* For those of you who do not know who Chamberlin is and what happened in Munich, I suggest reading the Wikipedia account at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Munich_Agreement.

By the way, this item confirms the validity of Godwin’s Law

3. Another Republican decides something is very wrong with his Party’s leadership:

“Basically we’re still stuck in the situation we were three years ago and we haven’t made any progress at all except that our problems are much worse because of political reasons, because we now have a crazy party in charge of one of the Houses of our Congress and they won’t allow anything to happen because it’s in their vested interest to make things worse,” Bartlett explained in his typically exasperated way. “Plus they have a theory that is completely nuts…. I’m very depressed. […] The most we can hope for is that a complete crazy person like Newt Gingrich gets the Republican nomination, the Republicans lose so badly that they lose control of the House and don’t get control of the Senate and then maybe in a year we can finally talk about doing something rational. […]”
Reagan advisor Bruce Bartlett

Is it unfair and one-sided to quote a Republican leader who criticizes his party in language no Democrat elected official could or would dare use? Do I also have to find a Democrat critical of his own Party to be fair? Or a Republican who blindly loves his Party? Would the possibility that the Democrat I chose could be more radical than the main-stream Democratic Party be considered fair? Is fairness really what is wanted here? Remember, the Faux News, network logo “Fair and Balanced” is not just a marketing slogan asserting that their news reporting meets that standard, but also implies the claim that all other news networks are both unfair and unbalanced. That means for example, if they (Faux) for some reason have an objection to the assertion that the world is round, they could consider it to be fair and balanced for them to maintain that in fact the world is flat.

TODAY’S FACTOID:

1. Education matters:

Even in the lowest paying industry, “Hospitality and Tourism,” the average difference in average yearly earnings between someone with only a high school diploma and someone with an advanced degree is almost double and over a 30 year career can total about $800,000 or more.

And, if there is a question about finding employment during hard times, employment opportunities increase significantly with education.

Even if a person is underemployed relative to his or her educational attainments, studies have shown that he or she will still earn more on average than those with less education.

TODAY’S NEWS FROM THAILAND AND AMERICA:

1. American are not as wealthy as they think:

Figures from Credit Suisse’s World Wealth Report show that the typical American is a lot poorer than generally believed. In the US the mean average wealth is only $53,000. Compared to the typical Japanese or European, the typical American is only half as rich. Half the people in the US have less than $53,000 net worth. You can imagine what the bottom 20% have.

The reason for this is that although their raw average individual wealth is higher (but less than Britain’s) it is skewed by the very very wealthy. The mean average wealth, the wealth of the average American is much much lower (it drops from about $250,000 to around $50,00).

What this means is that for the average American, they are quite poor compared to other developed nations and the country is no longer the land of opportunity.

This is a devastating and grim insight. It explains why so much of America seems, well, so poor. Because it is poor. People don’t have any money. They dress poorly. Eat poorly. Live poorly.

Compared to Britain and Europe, much of the difference can be explained by the housing bubble, and subsequent housing crash in America. If we remember correctly, the US housing stock was valued at about $20 trillion in ’07. It lost 33% of its value, putting a quarter of mortgaged houses underwater and wiping out about $7 trillion of “wealth.”

It should also be noted that the US Federal Government, through the Federal Reserve and TARP paid out over twice the amount homeowners lost in wealth to the banking industry ($15 Trillion) to save the banks from collapse. Is anyone asking why we did not give the Homeowners $7 trillion instead to buy down their mortgages and bail out both for one half the cost?

2. Thailand, Cracked News from “Not the Nation”(the Thai version of “The Onion”):

Prosecutor Offers ‘Uncle SMS’ Reduced Sentence In Exchange For Acting More Evil

3 Dec 2011 BANGKOK – Following the high-profile conviction of Ampon Tangnoppakul for allegedly sending lèse-majesté texts last year, government prosecutors have offered the 61-year old grandfather a new deal. Under the proposed agreement, Ampon’s sentence will be reduced from 20 to only 5 years if he agrees to act more evil between now and his incarceration.

“We are experiencing a lot of negative press coverage for this case,” explained a spokesperson for the DSI. “By acting like such a sympathetic character, Mr Ampon is doing irreparable harm to the entire system. We would like to therefore ask his co-operation in being less sympathetic, for which we are willing to reduce his sentence.”

POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN THAILAND:

Yesterday was the last day of the week-long celebration of Kings birthday and the little masseuse and I went to the palace grounds for the evening. Unlike his birthday itself when there were almost a million people in attendance and the evening was occupied mostly with pomp and speeches, there were fewer people yesterday and the emphasis was on entertainment. The absence of the overwhelming masses allowed us to visit the several pavilions at the site that mostly contained photographs about the king’s reign and Thai history.

The entertainment began with a big band orchestra made up of either high school or college students and a number of singers, two of whom appeared  professionals and the rest students.

While most of the singers sang pop tunes in Thai, a young man, who clearly appeared terrorized to be performing, sang a pretty good blues tune. Its minor cords seemed to require a lot of effort from him. He later sang a fine rendition of “My Way” in english but he blew the last note and seemed to die right there on the stage. I felt like crying for him. He did not come our for the finale.

A group of musicians followed playing traditional Thai instruments mostly hooked up to amplifiers and included two heroic drummers who banged on their drums with what seemed like every part of their body except their penis, and I am not so sure about that. They were followed by a team of traditional Thai dancers equally divided between young women in traditional costumes and tall thin young men dressed in attire that looked like it came out of the late middle ages in Italy. Although they appeared to be tall thin young men, in Thailand you can never tell. This was followed with a dance that looked like a Thai boxing match between monkeys (they had furry tails) and young men. There was a lot of jumping about and pushing each other. Finally, just before we left, we watched a dance with the long sticks (I am sure many of you have seen a version of it) where some of the dancers rhythmically strike two long sticks together and the other dancers jump in and out of without getting their ankles broken.

MOPEY JOE’S MEMORIES:

Old man memories; Donald Lundy:

Sometime between about second grade and junior high school, I lived in a village in New York, called Tuckahoe. The village  nestled in a wide spot in the valley carved by the Bronx River. In the village resided a collection of poor people, mostly italians and blacks along with a few middle class jews. We lived there because the high income towns that surrounded us restricted individuals of those three ethnic groups from living there. A number of Tuckahoe residents however worked in those other towns as gardeners, domestics and the like. Others worked in the industrial plants in nearby Yonkers while the remainder mostly occupied themselves with the shops and business that serviced the residents of the village.

Like most low-income areas of that time, the village had an industrial past. The vast marble quarries that attracted the italian immigrants had by the late forties and early fifties played out leaving the village a relatively impoverished residential enclave surrounded by great wealth.

Immediately after school we kids ,would run and play in the streets until dinner time and then again after dinner until bedtime. My parents insisted I return home before dark and go to bed shortly thereafter where I jealously listened to the other children, playing in the streets near my home well into the night.

Several of the village boys in my age group,including me, as boys tend to do, began to spend most of our play time together and began to envision ourselves as a gang much like that in the “Our Gang” comedies that were popular short features shown with the double features that on Saturday mornings we watched in the local movie house referred to as The Itch.

As we grew older, we modeled our gang on Leo Gorcey and the Dead End Kids. In fact the leader of our group, Peter Cirrincione, referred to as “sir rinse” even adopted Gorcey’s walk. I guess I would have been the good-looking skinny sullen guy in the movies who was always somewhat alienated from the group. Unlike some of the other characters like Huntz Hall, the actor who played my part often changed during the decade or so that their movies were popular.

Like that character, I was always a bit moody, aloof and estranged. I could never simply follow whatever “sir rinse” wanted to do and so would go off on my own a lot. At that time I was quite small for my age, quick to take offense and so I fought a lot. Also because I preferred to spend my time reading, I appeared arrogant often correcting things the others would say. In other words, I was a bit of an asshole. (To be continued.)

JOEY’S MYSTERY NOVEL:

RED STAR

Chapter: Something about the fan and feces (cont.)

She grimaced and pulled the purse closer to her as though she feared that Vince would pick it up and play with it.

“Damn it Isabella, did you expect me to stand idly by and do nothing?” he said.

No,” she responded curtly, “but I expected you would think about the others you may have put in danger'”

That silenced him. He really hadn’t thought of anyone else. Now he wondered if Ike or Fat Al were at risk; or anyone else. Still he was not convinced that this was much more than government security paranoia.

Nevertheless, he blurted out, “I apologize, I did not think about that. It was inconceivable to me that my office would be bugged.”

“What else didn’t you think of,” she said sarcastically?

“I did not think I would find myself as attracted to you as I am,” he let slip and immediately regretted it.

Her eyes widened and she gazed at him until the door to the kitchen opened disgorging a waiter pushing a small food cart and her eyes slid over to study him.

PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

a. Strange Apocalypses:

GEOMAGNETIC REVERSAL

The Earth’s magnetic field provides a shield against harmful radiation from our sun that could rip through DNA and overload the world’s electrical systems. Every so often, Earth’s north and south poles switch positions and, during the transition, the magnetic field will weaken or disappear for many years. The last known transition happened almost 780,000 years ago and it is likely to happen again.

Danger sign: Electronics stop working.

b. Profiles in Presidential courage:
“A few years after World War II, a child who was born into poverty had a slightly better than 50-50 chance of becoming middle class as an adult. By 1980, that chance fell to around 40%. And if the trend of rising inequality over the last few decades continues, it’s estimated that a child born today will only have a 1 in 3 chance of making it to the middle class.

It’s heartbreaking enough that there are millions of working families in this country who are now forced to take their children to food banks for a decent meal. But the idea that those children might not have a chance to climb out of that situation and back into the middle class, no matter how hard they work? That’s inexcusable. It’s wrong. It flies in the face of everything we stand for…”
Barack Obama in Ossawatomie, Kansas.

Recently someone told me that Obama doesn’t really believe this but is just saying it to get votes and that when he proposes laws and programs to address poverty, unemployment and inequality he is also doing it to be re-elected. Hmmm, I think I can live with that kind of hypocrisy, don’t you?

c. Excerpts from Bill Moyer’s speech to Citizens United:

“But if you want to see the story pulled together in one compelling narrative, read this — perhaps the best book on politics of the last two years: Winner Take All Politics: How Washington Made the Rich Richer and Turned Its Back on the Middle Class. Two accomplished political scientists wrote it: Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson – the Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson of political science, who wanted to know how America had turned into a society starkly divided into winners and losers.

Mystified by what happened to the notion of “shared prosperity” that marked the years after World War II; puzzled that over the last generation more and more wealth has gone to the rich and superrich, while middle-class and working people are left barely hanging on; vexed that hedge-fund managers pulling down billions can pay a lower tax rate than their pedicurists, manicurists, cleaning ladies and chauffeurs; curious as to why politicians keep slashing taxes on the very rich even as they grow richer, and how corporations keep being handed huge tax breaks and subsidies even as they fire hundreds of thousands of workers; troubled that the heart of the American Dream – upward mobility — seems to have stopped beating; astounded that the United States now leads in the competition for the gold medal for inequality; and dumbfounded that all this could happen in a democracy whose politicians are supposed to serve the greatest good for the greatest number, and must regularly face the judgment of citizens at the polls if they haven’t done so;

Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson wanted to find out “how our economy stopped working to provide prosperity and security for the broad middle class.” They wanted to know: “Who dunnit?”

They found the culprit: “It’s the politics, stupid!” Tracing the clues back to that, “unseen revolution” of the 1970s — the revolt triggered by Lewis Powell, fired up by William Simon, and fueled by rich corporations and wealthy individuals — they found that, ‘Step by step and debate by debate America’s public officials have rewritten the rules of American politics and the American economy in ways that have benefitted the few at the expense of the many.”

There you have it: they bought off the gatekeepers, got inside, and gamed the system. And when the fix was in, they let loose the animal spirits, turning our economy into a feast for predators. And they won — as the rich and powerful got richer and more powerful — they not only bought the government, they “saddled Americans with greater debt, tore new holes in the safety net, and imposed broad financial risks on workers, investors, and taxpayers.” Until – write Hacker and Pierson – “The United States is looking more and more like the capitalist oligarchies of Brazil, Mexico, and Russia where most of the wealth is concentrated at the top while the bottom grows larger and larger with everyone in between just barely getting by.”

d. How To Talk Like A Republican (the new American Lexicon):

I assume we all remember how effectively, “the right to choose” was used during the debate on Obamacare. I also assume those of us who used that phrase thought we used it because it was factually accurate and not cynical political manipulation. But then, I guess both sides resorted to “cynical political manipulation.” They did didn’t they, or does someone cynically want us to believe that?

e. The difference between Americans and Europeans :

Americans are more likely to believe in unilateral military intervention.

f. Department of abasement, apology and correction:
“This and that…” is written for my own enjoyment. I send it on hoping that those of you who actually read it enjoy it also. If not you are free to erase or avoid reading those sections that you find objectionable.

Not too long ago, one of you objected that a graphic sex scene in my mystery novel since might be read by the teenagers who are on my mailing list and requested that if I could not refrain from that in the future, I at least warn her so she can do whatever she thinks appropriate on her end. I am ok with that and will try to honor the request. (By the way, in the next few chapters of the so called Mystery Novel, there will be a considerable amount of gratuitous violence, obscene language and a little kinky sex. You may want to be prepared.)

More recently, in response to my increased coverage of Republicans during their debates and the news coming out of the Occupy protest, I find myself accused of a one sided hatred of Republicans. I am embarrassed that I actually responded to that. I am even more ashamed that I unknowingly had been subjected to what I call “Faux News Think,” and fell into the trap.

“Faux News Think,” as I should have realized, is a method of political discourse that anyone who had taken Rhetoric 101 would recognize. It is a gussied up version of school yard debate techniques, that demands that one side explain themselves while the other never has to do so. The genius of it is that Faux News and those that developed it, whether knowingly or unknowingly, managed to inculcate it into enough of the population that some believe they thought it up themselves and it is reasonable and natural.

I am thinking of writing an article about it. In my next Post I will explain what it is in some detail.

TODAY’S CHART:


TODAY’S CARTOON:

Categories: October 2011 through December 2011 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

POOKIE FOR PRESIDENT:

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

1. Theodore Roosevelt, Populist Republican President:

“The essence of any struggle for healthy liberty has always been, and must always be, to take from some one man or class of men the right to enjoy power, or wealth, or position, or immunity, which has not been earned by service to his or their fellows. That is what you fought for in the Civil War, and that is what we strive for now.”

2. David Frum, Republican political strategist attempting to save the party from itself.

“This past summer, the GOP nearly forced America to the verge of default just to score a point in a budget debate. In the throes of the worst economic crisis since the Depression, Republican politicians demand massive budget cuts and shrug off the concerns of the unemployed. In the face of evidence of dwindling upward mobility and long-stagnating middle-class wages, my party’s economic ideas sometimes seem to have shrunk to just one: more tax cuts for the very highest earners.”

3. Ruth Porat, executive vice president and chief executive officer of Morgan Stanley, a member of the 1% urges and a Republican:

“The wealthiest can afford to pay more in taxes. That’s a part of the deal. That makes sense. I don’t know anyone that doesn’t agree with that. The wealth disparity between the lowest and the highest continues to expand, and that’s inappropriate.We cannot cut our way to greatness.”


TODAY’S FACTOIDS:

1. September 2011:,

According to a Reuters/Ipsos poll, more Americans than last year believe the world is warming and the change is likely influenced by the Republican presidential debates. The percentage of Americans who believe the Earth has been warming rose to 83 percent from 75 percent last year in the poll conducted Sept 8-12.

Now a new Pew poll provides further support for that finding. From 2009 to 2011, the percentage of moderate or liberal Republicans who say there is “solid evidence” the earth is warming jumped 22 percentage points, from 41% to 63% — 15 percentage points just since last year (from 48 to 63).

See, who said Republicans can’t learn? They simply might, however, be just a bit slow. Unfortunately, their elected officials seem a lot slower than their base.

2. Education matters:

Careers that require at least mid level skills or higher will grow faster.

3. China has 64 million empty apartments.


TODAY’S NEWS FROM THAILAND AND AMERICA:

1. Thailand, Flood Aftermath:

As the flood water recedes and the clean-up gets under-weigh, proposals for dealing with future flooding abound. Almost all, if not all, imply continued development of the flood plain, which the King warned against two decades ago. Each of these proposals seek to handle future water flow from storms similar to those recently experienced. Without getting into the impacts of climate change or the ongoing debate over whether the recent floods were 100 year or 1000 year floods and whether it is cost effective to size your infrastructure to handle something that only occurs every century, no proposal that I have seen so far accounts for future development of the flood plain, but instead ignores what it makes more possible.

For example, the channels, canals, drainage structures and retaining basins are all proposed to be sized to handle future flooding. But they also allow even more development in the flood plain that would overtime increase the amount of water the infrastructure must handle, undoubtedly overwhelming them. Developers are proposing projects in which cement walls built to a hight of a certain level of flooding (significantly less than that recently experienced) surround the homes. Since these would be built in the flood plain, the result would be higher and more sever flooding because the water would have less area to spread out into.

The only way to avoid this is either to prohibit future building in the flood plain, which is impossible, or require all structures be built, as they have been traditionally, on stilts leaving the ground level free for water flow and drainage. Any impervious surface necessary would have to be compensated for with something like a drainage ditch of equal size as that covered by the impervious layer and dug down to a depth of one or two meters and filled with permeable material so that future flood water can be held and drained into the subsoil. This won’t happen either.

2. Thailand, petrol:

Thailand has ordered the use of petrol (for cooking primarily) phased out in one year and  replaced by ethanol produced from sugar plants. The petrol companies support the move, so do the sugar growers.

3. Thailand, pardons:

In honor of the his birthday The King has pardoned 26,000 inmates, but not Thaksin the Terrible who nevertheless remains at large.

4. Thailand, cuisine:

The number of Mr Donut stores in Thailand are expected to double in five years.

5. America:

According to Felix Salmon, without the Fed and the Treasury, the shareholders of every single money-center bank and shadow bank in the United States would have gone bust. He adds that he does not understand why officials from the Fed and the Treasury keep telling him that the US couldn’t or shouldn’t have profited immensely from its TARP and other loans to banks. Somebody owns that equity value right now. It’s not the government. But when the chips were down it was the government that bore the risk. That’s what a lender of last resort does. That’s why Bagehot’s rule is to lend freely but at a penalty rate. The bankers should not profit from the fact that they were over leveraged, and compelled the government to act as a lender of last resort.

6. American weather disasters:

America suffered a record 12 weather disasters this year that each caused at least $1 billion in damage.

POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN THAILAND:

Today December 5 is the Birthday of The King of Thailand, King Bhumibol. It is the end of the seventh 12 year cycle of his life which makes it special. It is also poignant for many Thais because the precarious nature of The King‘s health may mean it is possibly his last birthday celebration.

Although the celebration lasts for about a week, on his birthday itself a grand festival was held near the palace with 100s of thousands of people attending, fireworks throughout the city, interminable speeches by politicians and endless chanting by 100s of monks. Also there was a short speech by the obviously very ill monarch where he asked everyone to behave themselves.

As Kings go, Bhumibol in my opinion, is one of the best. Not that Kingship is one of the better systems of governance. It is not, being essentially a reward to the original biker gang-leader who slaughtered and raped his way to the top to allow his mostly inept descendants to have a free ride while participating in elaborate ceremonies, eating things too rich to be good for them, dressing uncomfortably and every now and then putting someone they did not like to death in very horrible ways. As in everything, experience and expectation to the contrary, every now and then the system throws up an exemplary individual. King Bhumibol is one.

During most of Bhumibol‘s reign, major political power in the country was exercised by some of the strangest dictators known to history (One dictator even had the improbable name of “Weird”). Nevertheless, Bhumibol carved out an exemplary niche for himself. Rarely, if ever, during his reign have the other political powers in the country concerned themselves with anything other than the welfare of the small group that exercised control over the military and commercial resources of the country who resided primarily in the nation’s capitol, largest city and commercial center, Bangkok. Until recently Bhumibol was not only the spiritual leader of the country, but its conservationist, environmentalist, cultural preservationist, water policy czar and rural development maven. He established and managed the nations national park system, developed and promoted the nations folk art, designed its water and flood protection systems, instituted a means of promoting village products throughout the country and the world and much much more.

He appears to be a most humble man. Most Kingships and nobility systems depend upon a system of religious deification, preservation of dignity, elaborate rituals and cultivation of support from the most powerful and conservative institutions in the nation. Bhumibol understood this but maintained only the slightest interest it, only as much as necessary. On formal occasions the rituals or prostration and the like were observed and noted. During his visits around the country pursuing his interests such rituals disappeared. For example, when reviewing a flood control site he often would roll out his maps and plans on the hood or the nearest vehicle oblivious to the usual pomp that surrounds royal excursions.

He is a scientist and inventor with many patents to his name (mostly for water projects), musician and composer, sportsman (won a gold medal in sailing in the Asian Games on December 12th which has become National Sports Day in Thailand) and much more.

Nice going big guy. Happy Birthday.

JOEY’S MYSTERY NOVEL:

Again I regret the post has gotten too long and as usual, the saga of Vince and Isabella loses out.

PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

a. Strange apocalypses:

MEGA TSUNAMI

Geologists worry that a future volcanic eruption at La Palma in the Canary Islands might dislodge a chunk of rock twice the volume of the Isle of Man into the Atlantic Ocean, triggering waves a kilometer high that would move at the speed of a jumbo jet with catastrophic effects for the shores of the US, Europe, South America and Africa.

Danger sign: Half the world’s major cities are under water. All at once.

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

1.To end the lie that Americans are overtaxed.

The above chart suggests that those that believe US taxes are too high may wish to move somewhere else. Clearly they would be very unhappy in Denmark, Sweden, Italy or a number of other countries, but perhaps they would enjoy moving to Mexico. America, love it and support it by paying your taxes, or leave it. Haven’t I heard something like that before? [By the way, I do not pay taxes any more, so I left]

2. To end theft of our tax dollars and erosion of our military strength by defense contractors.
“In the 1980s, there were legislative efforts to make contractors keep data on any should cost [Alternative to grossly more expensive ‘did cost’ pricing for military hardware] they did and make it available to the DoD, but those standards, especially Military Standard 1567A were finally vaporized by 1995 [during Clinton administration] with the historical cost advocates winning full control of the pricing in the DoD… this has lead to paying more for less and less weapons — more bucks for less bang.”
Dina Razor

c. Excerpts from Bill Moyer’s speech to Citizens United:

“No wonder the US Chamber of Commerce feels right as home with the landmark designation of its headquarters. 1615 H Street now masterminds the laundering of multi-millions of dollars raised from captains of industry and private wealth to finance — secretly — the political mercenaries who fight the class war in their behalf.

Even as the Chamber was doubling its membership and tripling its budget in response to Lewis Powell’s manifesto, the coalition got another powerful jolt of adrenalin from the wealthy right-winger who had served as Nixon’s secretary of the treasury, William Simon. His polemic entitled A Time for Truth argued that, “funds generated by business” must “rush by multimillions” into conservative causes to uproot the institutions and “the heretical strategy” [his term] of the New Deal. He called on “men of action in the capitalist world” to mount “a veritable crusade” against progressive America. Business Week magazine somberly explained that ,“…it will be a bitter pill for many Americans to swallow the idea of doing with less so that big business can have move.”

I’m not making this up.

And so it came to pass; came to pass despite your heroic efforts and those of other kindred citizens; came to pass because those “men of action in the capitalist world” were not content with their wealth just to buy more homes, more cars, more planes, more vacations and more gizmos than anyone else. They were determined to buy more democracy than anyone else. And they succeeded beyond their own expectations. After their 40-year “veritable crusade” against our institutions, laws and regulations — against the ideas, norms and beliefs that helped to create America’s iconic middle class — the Gilded Age is back with a vengeance.”

d. How To Talk Like A Republican (the new American Lexicon):

e. The differences between Europeans and Americans:

f. Testosterone Chronicles:
1.

In an effort to be fair to both sides of the political divide I thought I would share this publicity photograph of my favorite political commentator.

Some of Apple Annie’s most endearing and courageous quotes:

“… just remember the lesson from my book: it just took a few shootings at Kent State to shut that down for good.”

“This is the first time they got bullets back… and that put an end to the protests pretty quickly.”

“I don’t really like to think of it as a murder. It was terminating Tiller in the 203rd trimester.”
(Dr Tiller was the head of an abortion clinic assassinated two decades ago by anti-abortion activists)

“I am personally opposed to shooting abortionists, but I don’t want to impose my moral values on others.”

Sounds a lot like man talk

2. Also to read about a real “Bad Ass” go to:
http://www.badassoftheweek.com/shrestha.html
TODAY’S QUOTE:

TODAY’S CHART:


“Extreme weather like the droughts in Russia, China and Brazil and the flooding in Pakistan and Australia [in 2010] have contributed to a level of food price volatility we haven’t seen since the oil crisis of 40 years ago. Unfortunately, this could be just a taste of things to come because in the next few decades the build-up of greenhouse gases already in the atmosphere could greatly increase the risk of droughts, flooding, pest infestation and water scarcity for agriculture systems already under tremendous stress.” — John Beddington, UK Government Chief Scientific Adviser (March 2011)


TODAY’S CARTOON:


TODAY’S PHOTOGRAPH:

Because we will always have Paris.

TODAY’S POSTER:

Categories: October 2011 through December 2011 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

This and that from re Thai r ment, by 3Th. December 5, 2011

POOKIE FOR PRESIDENT:

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

1. How deep are your political beliefs mommy?

Republicans could be hurting their general election chances by calling for mass deportations of undocumented immigrants and vowing not to reform the system until the border is secured, a pollster and a Republican strategist said on Tuesday and advised them to abandon those proposals.

2. Recent twitter post from “The Onion”:

Rumors Of Extramarital Affair End Campaign Of Presidential Candidate Who Didn’t Know China Has Nuclear Weapons.

3. Buddy Roemer, Populist Republican Candidate for President:

According to Roemer, The Dodd-Frank financial reform law is “a disgrace” because it formalizes the concept that mega banks like Citigroup and Goldman Sachs are “too big to fail,” regardless of whether they pursue reckless or unscrupulous practices. “The taxpayers will not support any more bailouts,” he says. “That’s [the view of] Occupy Wall Street. That’s the Tea Party. That’s Buddy Roemer. It’s America, and if the bank is too big to fail, then the bank ought to be disbanded.”

TODAY’S FACTOIDS:

1. 2011:

According to the WMO in its annual report on climate trends and extreme weather events, unveiled at UN climate talks in Durban, South Africa, this year caps a decade that ties the record as the hottest ever measured.

“Our science is solid and it proves unequivocally that the world is warming and that this warming is due to human activities,” WMO Secretary-General Michel Jarraud said in a statement, adding that policy-makers should take note of the findings.

“Concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere have reached new highs and are very rapidly approaching levels consistent with a 2 to 2.4 Celsius rise in average global temperatures.”

Scientists believe that any rise above the 2.0 threshold could trigger far-reaching and irreversible changes on Earth over land and in the seas.

The 2002-2011 period equals 2001-2010 as the warmest decade since 1850, the report said.

2. November 30, 1941:

Einsatzgruppen shoots 10,000 Jews from Riga in the Rumbola Forest.

Lest we forget

3. How to live longer, get a cat.

Researchers at the University of Minnesota’s Stroke Institute in Minneapolis found that cats, by nature, alleviate stress and anxiety, potentially reducing the risk of heart attack in humans by 30%. It’s not just the felines’ unconditional love that helps cat owners stave off stress-related cardiovascular diseases. A cat’s purr actually produces vibrations at frequencies that have been known to help with pain relief, bone and muscle growth, and wound healing.

TODAY’S NEWS FROM THAILAND AND AMERICA:

1. America: a public dialogue.

“You don’t own me. I pay your salary. I work for the private sector and you work for the taxpayer.”
Historian Dr. Douglas Brinkley to Representative Don Young (R. Alaska) at a congressional committee hearing in response to Congressman Young telling Brinkley, “I’ll call you anything I want to call you when you sit in that chair… You just be quiet,” when Brinkley attempted to correct the honorable Congressman’s pronunciation of his name: ”

2. America: From the HP Psychometer (Bat-shit Crazy).


Every year we hope it’ll be the last we hear of Black Friday shoppers trampling one another to death over cheap electronics, but sadly 2011 was no different from previous years. Not only did Target shoppers haphazardly step over a 61-year-old man who had collapsed and later died, but one Wal-Mart shopper thought it appropriate to pepper spray nearly 20 people in the face, while another group of shoppers fought like animals over $2 waffle makers and yet another group stampeded an Urban Outfitters. We’re sure there are more we could share, but our faith in humanity is already at dangerous new lows.

3. Thailand and Yingluck’s boots:

After failure of a no confidence motion for her government’s handling of the flooding in Thailand and the release of a poll showing that Prime Minister Young and Lucky‘s popularity actually increased, the press has begun to suggest that the mud does not cling to her boots. Like Ronald Reagan she seems to be another Teflon political leader whose popularity rises no matter what happens in their countries or what mistakes their administrations make.

4. Parking in Thailand:

“He parked in my driveway,”
Statement by a retired Thai Army Major General explaining why he shot, kicked and stomped on a Bangkok Post news photographer.

POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN THAILAND:

The epic floods are slowly dissipating and all over the country cadres of people are out with brooms signaling the beginning the massive cleanup. Business leaders are busy telling everyone how optimistic they are about making money from the reconstruction. The Travel industry has rushed to market the concept that the floods never happened. Various so-called visionaries have proposed a host of generally impractical remedies for minimizing future flooding while the construction and engineering industry and a few large landowners are pushing several super public works projects including a 200 mile long canal along the eastern part of Bangkok to divert water around the city and into the Gulf. Meanwhile the politicians have begun squabbling over fault.

Two things have struck me when I consider the floods and their aftermath. Well, many things actually, but two I feel like mentioning.

The first is that at the beginning or the monsoon season, I mentioned in these posts that while watching the evening weather shows here in Thailand I noticed a series of stationary low pressure areas remaining motionless north of the Mekong River. I assumed at the time that the stationary lows were a normal pattern of the monsoons season since they obviously sucked the warm moist air from the high pressure ridges in the Indian ocean. This warm moist air would pass over the highlands of South and Southeast Asia where, as it rose above the mountains, it would lose its ability to hold as much moisture which would then fall as rain eventually ending as run off in the Mekong River or in the tributaries to the Chao Phraya.

After the first two or so storms, I noticed that the line of lows had, in South East Asia at least, moved south of the Mekong and now sat right on top of the highlands. I did not think much about it at the time, but after reading about the blame game, I realized that Thailand has two major drainages, the Mekong draining toward the Pacific ocean and the Chao Phraya drainage through Bangkok to the Gulf of Thailand. Once the lows moved south that ment that instead of being carried away by two drainages, now the entire rainfall from the remaining 3 or 4 major monsoon storms had to drain through central Thailand. I would think someone should have noticed that at the time and warned the authorities.

The second thing of note is that the King, who for all extent and purpose is the primary water policy expert in Thailand, in the 1990s warned the country that the lowlands around eastern Bangkok was the essential flood plain and had to be kept clear so that flood waters could flow to the sea without damaging the existing built up areas. Ignoring the King’s warning the business and political establishment saw eastern Bangkok as a growth area and proceeded to eliminate the flood plain with massive industrial estates and the new international airport. As a result the water denied free movement through the flood plain spread out into the City.

Now they want to tax the people of Thailand to build a massive canal so that even more of the flood plain can be developed. And you know what? Thailand may not have a choice, as usual.

MOPEY JOE’S MEMOIRS:

There was a time, twenty years or so ago that I frequently found myself in New Orleans. I often attended conferences there or otherwise occupied myself on things coastal; consulting and so forth. I liked the City and southern Louisiana a lot and would often extend my stay or return for vacations alone or with my family. I was particularly fond of the misty romantic bayou area in Cajun Country; the Bayou Teche of James Lee Burke and the “Evangeline” area. I used to wander around the Bayous, staring at the water and the Spanish moss encrusted trees and watching the alligators stalk the nutrias. Sometimes I would stop in a local restaurants and devour cajun cuisine or search for places to listen to the music, Zydeco and Jazz.

In New Orleans, through our mutual involvement in environmental issues, I became friends with a someone who lived in a large deteriorating mansion in the Garden District. He was a descendant of a man who, just prior to the Civil War, “cornered” the cotton market for two days and thereby made enough money so that at least 5 generations of his heirs could avoid real work. I do not know what cornering a market actually means, but it appeared to be the “hedge fund” equivalent of the time. I do know that like the derivatives of our time, cornering a market has little if any socially redeeming purpose. In this case it produced no jobs, no products and no wealth for anyone but him and his descendants and can probably be considered just slightly above outright theft on almost any moral scale. Anyway, my friend shared with me a capsule history, from the point of view of each generation’s education, of his family and most of the anglos descended from those that inhabited the district before the Civil War.

The initial settlers in the Garden District were generally uneducated but had become wealthy the good old fashion American way, they stole from someone else. They sent their children to Oxford and Cambridge. They in turn sent their children to Harvard and Yale. The third generation went to Tulane and the fourth to LSU. As the trust funds ran out, the most recent generation, if they attended any institution of higher learning at all, attended New Orleans Junior College.

My friend’s tale got me to thinking about whether other American groups experienced a similar progression through the generations as did the citizens of New Orleans Garden District.

It immediately struck me that the American experience was truly unique in the world and it usually cycled more or less over three generations.

The first generation were most often immigrants who usually migrated from poverty into very slightly less poverty. By poverty I mean the deadly combination of the absence of material resources and constant fear due to the precariousness of their existence. These immigrants were rarely educated, but, sometimes as a result of hard work, luck or simple persistence, some became wealthy, a few fabulously so while others managed to make do and provide their families with an upper lower class or middle class living that they could not aspire to in their previous homeland. Others, perhaps even the majority failed miserably and passed on their poverty to their children.

The children of this first generation who had succeeded in moving out of meanest poverty, often sought to enter the artistic or mandarin class, doctors, lawyers, accountants business managers, investment advisers, academics, teachers, government workers.

By the third generation some found themselves comfortable simply maintaining their middle class status while others unfortunately seemed to fall back into the ranks of the poor but with a difference; a marked reduction in fear and helplessness. By this time they are acclimated to their society and so have become more confident in their survival as well as their acceptance. These latter descended to lower paid positions, such as in social service and the arts. Finally a few simply became, well bums and by bums I mean those who accept the meanest absence of resources while also remaining free of the fear and desperation that marks true poverty.

Now of course, the reason for the above tortured analysis was to lead back to me and my own story or worse, to a rationalization of some of the circumstances in my life.

My grandfather Joe was the archetype for the first generation. Leaving the dire poverty of the mountains above Naples, he found in America a precarious existence admittedly better to some degree than what he left behind. Through, hard work, luck, a bit of thuggery and a lot sharp dealing he achieved great wealth, beyond his wildest dreams. Alas, all that came crashing down when he lost everything in the Great Depression.

My father, during my grandfathers years of prosperity, hoped to enter the Mandarin class as an attorney until the economic hard times threw him back into the lowest class where he spent his life as an untrained laborer as though he not his father were the immigrant. His children in turn now became the second generation desiring careers in the arts (my sister and brother) or the Mandarin class (me). But if truth be known, I always secretly yearned to represent my grandfathers third generation and revert to living fearlessly poor, to become a bum. I have achieved that blessed state twice in my life. First when I relocated from the East Coast to SF and became a committed hippy and now, living a poor but happy life in Thailand.

There, aren’t you glad you read through all this, including the questionable analysis, and blatant self-indulgence and finally arrived here at the end. I am.
JOEY’S MYSTERY NOVEL:

RED STAR

Chapter: Something about fans and fecal matter (cont.):

Vince’s smile evaporated. “What do you mean?” he responded, beginning to feel the anger rising within him from her challenge as well as the almost certain knowledge that he knew the answer?

“Agreeing to talk to the US Attorney for one thing.”

“Why should that bother you? They’re your people and both you and Russell know I do not know anything significant.”

“Don’t be coy,” she responded moving her eyes from his and toward the waiter approaching the table. “You wanted to stir things up.”

“You do not know what you’re doing,” she added just before the waiter arrived and asked her if she would like something to drink.
.
She declined. He asked if they were ready to order. She stared at him for a surprisingly long time before answering him and responding for both of them that they were not. She continued staring at his back as he receded into the kitchen then turned back to Vince and continued, “And if I know about it, so does everyone else.”

“Ha,” he exclaimed smugly, “you think there is a leak in the US Attorney’s Office?”

She shook her head, “No in yours.”

Bullshit, unless they were listening in on my telephone call there couldn’t be. Not about this. I don’t think Ike would say anything.”

“There is little that goes on in your office that we do not know about, and if we do then someone else can also. Your office has been bugged and not only by the US government at least not the agencies that we are aware of. Now let’s look at our menu and order before the waiter get’s even more nervous than he is already, shall we?”

“You bugged my office? What right do you have to do that,” he demanded as he glanced through the menu of only two pages with limited expensive options descried more like one would describe a piece of art rather than food?

“Someone else did too? How do you know,” he asked trying not to plead?

“More than one we guess,” she responded putting down the Menu.

The waiter suddenly appeared at the table. Vince wondered for a moment how he knew so quickly they were ready to order .

They ordered. She asked for some sparkling mineral water to accompany her meal. He chose a glass of Kendal-Jackson Cabernet that he always liked that he noticed they were serving by the glass. As the waiter turned to return to the kitchen with their order Isabella noted her place setting was missing her salad fork and asked him to bring her a replacement.

After he left, Vince feeling uncomfortable with how the conversation was going decided to lighten things up and asked, “If you are my body guard where is your gun? You look great, but it doesn’t look like you can hide a gun somewhere under that outfit and the purse looks to small.”

“The purse is a gun,” she responded glancing down at it shimmering on the table by he right hand.

“Oh, a James Bond thing,” he tried to joke. It sounded lame even to him. (to be continued)

PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

a. Strange Apocalypses:

END of TIME

What if time itself somehow came to a finish because of the laws of physics? In 2007, Spanish scientists proposed an alternative explanation for the mysterious dark energy that accounts for 75% of the mass of the universe and acts as a sort of anti-gravity, pushing galaxies apart. They proposed that the effects we observe are due to time slowing down as it leaked away from our universe.

Danger sign: It could be happening right now. We would never know.

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

1. A society that cares for the well being of their children.

2. End government redistribution of national income growth to the wealthiest few families.

c. Excerpts from Bill Moyer’s speech to Citizens United:

“By then his document (Lewis Powell’s memorandum to the corporate elites mentioned in my previous post in which he called upon them to mount a campaign to distort the national economic consensus in order to benefit themselves) had circulated widely in corporate suites. Within two years the board of the US Chamber of Commerce formed a task force of 40 business executives — from US Steel, GE, GM, Phillips Petroleum, 3M, Amway, and ABC and CBS (two media companies, we should note). Their assignment was to coordinate the crusade, put Powell’s recommendations into effect, and push the corporate agenda. Powell had set in motion a revolt of the rich. As the historian Kim Phillips-Fein subsequently wrote, “Many who read the memo cited it afterward as inspiration for their political choices.”

Those choices came soon. The National Association of Manufacturers announced it was moving its main offices from New York to Washington. In 1971, only 175 firms had registered lobbyists in the capital; by 1982, nearly twenty-five hundred did. Corporate PACs increased from under 300 in 1976 to over twelve hundred by the middle of the l980s. From Powell’s impetus came the Business Roundtable, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), the Heritage Foundation, the Cato Institute, the Manhattan Institute, Citizens for a Sound Economy (precursor to what we now know as Americans for Prosperity) and other organizations united in pushing back against political equality and shared prosperity.* They triggered an economic transformation that would in time touch every aspect of our lives.

Powell’s memo was delivered to the US Chamber of Commerce at its headquarters across from the White House on land that was formerly the home of Daniel Webster. That couldn’t have been more appropriate. History was coming full circle at 1615 H Street. Webster is remembered largely as the most eloquent orator in America during his years as Senator from Massachusetts and Secretary of State under three presidents in the years leading up to the Civil War. He was also the leading spokesman for banking and industry nabobs who funded his extravagant tastes in wine, boats, and mistresses. Some of them came to his relief when he couldn’t cover his debts wholly from bribes or the sale of diplomatic posts for personal gain. Webster apparently regarded the merchants and bankers of Boston’s State Street Corporation – one of the country’s first financial holding companies — very much as George W. Bush regarded the high rollers he called “my base.” The great orator even sent a famous letter to financiers requesting retainers from them that he might better serve them. The historian Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. wondered how the American people could follow Webster “through hell or high water when he would not lead unless someone made up a purse for him.”

d. How To Talk Like A Republican (the new American Lexicon):

From Frank Luntz Republican Party consultant in a memorandum to Party leaders and regulars:

Luntz is now advising Republicans to refrain from using the word “Capitalism” because it is in bad repute. For more of his advice to Republicans on how to mislead the populace about what they are really up to see:http://thinkprogress.org/romm/2011/12/01/380121/luntz-gop-occupy-wall-street-capitalism-is-immoral/

TODAY’S QUOTE:

“This book is about the second half of that story, the demarche, and the political ideas—variously called conservative, reactionary, revanchist, counterrevolutionary—that grow out of and give rise to it. These ideas, which occupy the right side of the political spectrum, are forged in battle. They always have been, at least since they first emerged as formal ideologies during the French Revolution, battles between social groups rather than nations; roughly speaking, between those with more power and those with less…”
–Corey Robin, The Reactionary Mind : Conservatism from Edmund Burke to Sarah Palin

TODAY’S CHART:

TODAY’S CARTOON:


TODAY’S PHOTOGRAPH:


Remember, Goldman Sachs and these guys not only brought you the economic crisis they profited from it. Now they have been chosen to get us out of it, and I guess make a profit off it, whether or not they succeed. Trusting these guys with the economy is like trusting Tony Soprano with your wallet.

Categories: October 2011 through December 2011 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

Historically, Populism like most mass movements scours up both the worst and the best in a society as it scrapes across its depths. It is prompted by a deep mistrust of a community’s most powerful individuals and institutions who, its adherents believe, have misused and mishandled the trust they had been granted, violated the social contract if you will. As the indefatigable realist Machiavelli pointed out; on the broad areas of public policy the general populace is almost always more reliable than the élite.
Trenz Pruca

POOKIE FOR PRESIDENT:

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

1.


2. Ann Coulter to a gathering of gay conservatives:

“Marriage is not a civil right — you’re not black.”

1. is written by Borowitz to mock Gingrich’s post Clintonian* morality, 2. is not a joke.

*Shouldn’t we be thankful to Bill Clinton for his successful efforts to liberate adulterous politicians so that they are now free to come out of the closet and unashamedly run for political office?

TODAY’S FACTOID:

1. First Century AD:

a. Early terrorists, known as Sicarii or “dagger-men” were an extremist group that opposed Roman leadership over the Jews and wanted to take back Jerusalem. The Sicarii were famous for using small daggers and stealth tactics to murder their enemies in crowded places before slipping away.

b. Most men and women in Ancient Rome wore a basic undergarment called a tunic, which they belted at the waist. The length and design of the tunic distinguished the wearer’s social status. Elite Romans wore longer tunics with stripes, whereas slaves and manual laborers generally wore tunics that came above the knee and allowed freer movement. Only male citizens were allowed to wear the togas. These draped over the body on top of the tunic.

c. Only about 75% of babies in the first century AD survived their first year; half of all children died before the age of 10. It was also up to the father to decide whether or not the family would keep a newborn baby. If the baby was deformed or the family could not afford to keep it, the baby would be abandoned in the street where someone might take it in as a slave or servant.

2. September 1986 (Who is our enemy?):

James Atwood, an American with strong CIA links and Gerhard Mertins, a former senior Nazi officer and arms trader company executive, supplied weapons to the Nicaraguan Contras as part of the Iran-Contra affair. Iran-Contra was the highly controversial and illegal arrangement whereby the US sold weapons to Iran – then run by the hard-line Islāmic regime of Ayatollah Khomeini and subject to a global arms embargo — and used the proceeds to fund right-wing Nicaraguan rebels who were fighting to overthrow the left-wing Sandinista government.

Ah, the wonders of outsourcing; do we really want to privatize National Defense?

3. Japan Inc. How they do it:

A 92-year-old japanese blue chip company falsified financial statements for two decades, possibly with  cooperation from auditors, to hide over $1 billion in losses, which weren’t uncovered until the company’s first-ever foreign CEO took a second look at the accounting.

Is that how it is done on Wall Street too?

4. Einsatzgruppen Operational Situation Reports #156:
“A major Jewish action took place on November 23, 1941, after the Jewish population, on the previous day, had been requested by means of posters to assemble. In all, 1,538 Jews were shot. Their clothing was handed over to the mayor of Poltava who gave special priority to ethnic Germans when distributing it.”

TODAY’S NEWS FROM THAILAND AND AMERICA:

1. To pee or not to pee:

The Nation, the tabloid option of the two main english language newspapers in Thailand noted that during Prime Minister Princess Lucky Girl’s absence due to an attack of food poisoning, a cabinet meeting was held chaired by the First Deputy Prime Minister. When the First Deputy Prime Minister stepped out to take a pee (as reported), he handed the gavel over to Cheeky Chalerm until his return. Since Cheeky Chalerm is the Third Deputy Prime Minister, the Thai and English language media erupted with rumor and speculation as to why the First Deputy Prime Minister did not pass the gavel to the Second Deputy Prime Minister who also attended the Cabinet meeting. The weight of opinion is that it signifies Cheeky Chalerm‘s move against his competitors (and no I do not know how many deputy prime ministers there are in the Thai Government).

I have it on good authority that Obama does not allow pee breaks during Cabinet meetings, thereby pissing [so to speak] everyone off and shortening the meetings considerably.

2. A hero by any other name:

The media in Thailand has tried to focus attention on some of the many heroes who acted with valor during the recent crisis. Recently they zeroed in on a policeman who had waded through the rising waters pushing a small boat containing a matronly woman until it reached a place that allowed the woman to step out on to dry land. When the woman offered a gratuity to the policeman he refused. Even when she tried to leave the money behind in the boat the policeman surreptitiously slipped the tip back into the woman’s purse.

Now I applaud the cop who did his duty and undoubtedly deserves commendation as do many others who behaved selflessly during this crisis. However I simply wish to note that it appears the press in this case may be implying that in Thailand a policeman refusing a gratuity truly is a newsworthy event. It would be as newsworthy as a Wall Street investment banker refusing his fee because the investors in the instruments he was peddling lost their money.

3. Good US economic news for a change:

ADP JOBS REPORT SMASHES EXPECTATIONS AT 206K: Analysts were expecting 130K new jobs, but instead ADP just reported that there were 206K new private payrolls added in November. Also the previous month was revised up from 110K to 130K. Combine that with the big global coördinated intervention among the world’s central banks, and you’ve got the brew for a gigantic rally today. S&P futures are up 2.7%…

POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN THAILAND:

Having finally shook the effects of jet lag, one day, I set out to accomplish a number of things. Due to my absence from the country, I had forgotten the rule that in Thailand a westerner can accomplish no more than one significant thing per day (if that much). I had planned to visit the Italian consulate to obtain the visa application forms for the Little Masseuse, do some banking at the Bangkok Bank branch near the health club on Sukhumvit Soi 11 and have a long lunch with a very attractive young woman.

Actually the attractive young lady is my most recent wife of five tears or so. Although we had not seen each other for well over a year, we have spoken over the phone now and then. Before leaving on my most recent trip to the US, she called to croon about her affection for me and how much she wanted to get together with me again and asked me to bring her back a bottle of DKNY perfume. Now you need to understand that when I first met her she was a beautiful 18-year-old and when I last saw her 10 years or so later she was a beautiful 28-year-old woman. 10 years or so ago, I was a relatively vigorous old man with some financial resources. Now a decade later, I am a very old man, virtually penniless and well I guess you could call it, performance deficient.

So I thought why would this still attractive woman want to get back with me again? This is Thailand after all, my age and physical capabilities are irrelevant but my absence of financial resources and prospects are an insurmountable obstacle. So what is she after? Being a muslim married to an infidel and burdened with an illegitimate child, I assume her remarriage prospects among men of her faith is nil. It could be she wants to use her marriage to me as a way to emigrate to the US, but that seems far-fetched. She has several times these past two years suggested we meet but whenever we agree to do so, at the last-minute she cancels or doesn’t show up.

Nevertheless when two days ago she telephoned and asked to meet, curiosity, as always, got the better of good sense and so I agreed to have lunch with her.

Before setting out for the bank, I called to confirm. She said she was too ill.

When I got to the bank I found it did not open until 11AM so I waited. It took about an hour to transact my simple business resulting in me being unable to get to the consulate before it closed for the day. So, satisfied at having accomplished my one thing for the day, I headed back to my apartment for a nap.

PAPA JOES TALES AND FABLES:

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

JOEY’S MYSTERY NOVEL:

Editor’s note: Now I know you are wondering what has Isabella’s shorts all in a knot and eager to know if Vince scores, but I am afraid this edition of “This and that…” has gotten too long so you will just have to wait a few days.

PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

a. Differences between Americans and Western Europeans (according to the Pew Global Attitudes Project (via Patrick.net))

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

1.

Image unavailable at this time.

2. See c. below.

3. The Occupy protestors are forcibly suppressed while:

Banks have illegally foreclosed on nearly 5,000 military members according to the US Comptroller of the Currency.

I get it, the Bankers have jobs while the protestors supposedly do not.–No? Then because the Bankers wears suits? Cologne? Are true American Patriots?

c. Excerpts from Bill Moyer’s (America’s last true patriot) speech to Citizens United:

“…on August 23, 1971, a corporate lawyer named Lewis Powell – a board member of the death-dealing tobacco giant Philip Morris and a future Justice of the United States Supreme Court – sent a confidential memorandum to his friends at the U. S. Chamber of Commerce. We look back on it now as a call to arms for class war waged from the top down. ”

Let’s recall the context: [By 1971 as a result of citizen activism and resulting legislation by both parties] Big Business was being forced to clean up its act. It was bad enough to corporate interests that Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal had sustained its momentum through Harry Truman, Dwight Eisenhower, John Kennedy, and Lyndon Johnson. Suddenly this young lawyer named Ralph Nader arrived on the scene, arousing consumers with articles, speeches, and above all, an expose of the automobile industry, Unsafe at Any Speed. Young activists flocked to work with him on health, environmental, and economic concerns. Congress was moved to act. Even Republicans signed on. In l970 President Richard Nixon put his signature on the National Environmental Policy Act and named a White House Council to promote environmental quality. A few months later millions of Americans turned out for Earth Day. Nixon then agreed to the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency. Congress acted swiftly to pass tough new amendments to the Clean Air Act and the EPA announced the first air pollution standards. There were new regulations directed at lead paint and pesticides. Corporations were no longer getting away with murder.

And Lewis Powell was shocked — shocked! — at what he called “an attack on the American free enterprise system.” Not just from a few “extremists of the left,” he said, but also from “perfectly respectable elements of society,” including the media, politicians, and leading intellectuals. Fight back, and fight back hard, he urged his compatriots. Build a movement. Set speakers loose across the country. Take on prominent institutions of public opinion — especially the universities, the media, and the courts. Keep television programs under “constant surveillance.” And above all, recognize that political power must be “assiduously (sic) cultivated; and that when necessary, it must be used aggressively and with determination” and “without embarrassment.”

Powell imagined the US Chamber of Commerce as a council of war. Since business executives had “little stomach for hard-nose contest with their critics” and “little skill in effective intellectual and philosophical debate,” they should create new think tanks, legal foundations, and front groups of every stripe. It would take years, but these groups could, he said, be aligned into a united front (that) would only come about through “careful long-range planning and implementation, in consistency of action over an indefinite period of years, in the scale of financing available only through joint effort, and in the political power available only through united action and united organizations.”

You have to admit it was a brilliant strategy. Although Powell may not have seen it at the time, he was pointing America toward plutocracy, where political power is derived from the wealthy and controlled by the wealthy to protect their wealth. As the only countervailing power to private greed and power, democracy could no longer be tolerated.

While Nader’s recruitment of citizens to champion democracy was open for all to see — depended, in fact, on public participation – Powell’s memo was for certain eyes only, those with the means and will to answer his call to arms. The public wouldn’t learn of the memo until after Nixon appointed Powell to the Supreme Court and the enterprising reporter Jack Anderson obtained a copy, writing that it may have been the reason for Powell’s appointment.”

d. How To Talk Like A Republican (the new American Lexicon):

From Frank Luntz Republican Party consultant in a memorandum to Party leaders and regulars:

Although all lawyers have a lot to apologize for, from my experience the ordinary citizen has far more to fear from the “Corporate Lawyer” than the “Personal Injury Lawyer,” but then Corporate Lawyers probably on the whole vote and contribute much more to the Republican Party than to the Democrats.

e. Strange Apocalypses:

STRANGELETS

Quantum mechanics contains lots of frightening possibilities. Among them is a particle called a strangelet that can transform any other particle into a copy of itself. In just a few hours, a small chunk of these could turn a planet into a featureless mass of strangelets. Everything that planet was would be no more.

Danger sign: Everything around you starts cooking, releasing heat.

f. Department of abasement, apology and correction:

I have mentioned that at times I have received criticisms of some things I may have posted here. I also mentioned that I receive many, many emails containing things I do not agree with and even find their content objectionable (but not the porn – that’s a man thing). I would like to make clear that I am not signaling in any way those posts should stop. God no, I enjoy each one. I also find that they encourage me and provide me with content. In addition, I find, as anyone should, that criticism is sometimes beneficial, . While I may not agree with the comments they often highlight gaps or seeming bias in my thinking. So please keep them coming.

g. Testosterone Chronicles:

Sex adds years to your life. Researchers at Queens University in Belfast followed about 1,000 middle-aged men over 10 years and found that males with a high frequency of orgasms lived twice as long as those who did not experience pleasure.

I love science.

TODAY’S QUOTE:

“we want a virgin to do a hooker’s job.”
Lori Klein, an Arizona State Senator and Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain’s Arizona state chairman defending her candidate.

TODAY’S CHART:

Is it because the continuation of the Payroll Tax Cut benefits the rich so little that the GOP opposes it, or is it just because Obama supports it? Oh, in case some believe that the GOP opposition to continuing the tax cut is because of its budgetary implications, forget it. Continuation of the Bush Tax cut for those in the highest income bracket (the very wealthy) has a much greater impact on the budget deficit.

TODAY’S MAP:


TODAY’S PHOTOGRAPH:


TODAY’S POSTER:

TODAY’S CARTOON:

Categories: October 2011 through December 2011 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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