Posts Tagged With: Communist state

This and that from re Thai r ment, by 3Th. 5 Pops 0007. (August 20, 2018)

 

TODAY FROM AMERICA:

 
POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN THE ENCHANTED FOREST:

 

The weekend passed by quickly — mostly waiting for the biopsy on Tuesday. Not having an automobile (it is in the shop having its crumpled fender and other maladies attended too), cuts down on my activities. I had to turn down an assignment from the Scooter gang over the weekend. So, I read and went on walks through the Enchanted Forest. I get all the angst and despair I can handle from social media and television news.

Well, well, — I went for my biopsy yesterday and for the third time during my age of physical deterioration, the doctor, in this case wielding his sonogram, could find no reason for a biopsy. In other words, he could not find a mass in which a malicious deranged cell would hide. I do not know whether or not to be embarrassed after spending a month or so in gloomy speculation and endlessly disclosing my fears to all who would listen — I guess at my age I should not be embarrassed by anything I do anymore. Anyway, I know it is, at best, only a temporary reprieve.

Onward and upward as Terry always advises. Lack of a car limits my mobility and the awful air pollution from the fires restrict my walks and swimming. So, I sit at home, watch Naida work on her memoir, read as much junk as I can, and nap a lot. So goes the winter of my life. It’s not too bad. I could still be sitting around wondering about the results of my medical tests.

This evening was spent watching Janette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy movies. The last movie ended with the Canadian Mountie and the Opera star in an embrace and singing:

You belong to me
I belong to you.

We then rolled up the stairs to bed singing, one with a professionally trained voice and the other with a throat ruined by radiation therapy:

When I’m calling you, ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh ooh
If you answer too, ooh , etc.

That means that I offer my love to you
To be your own
If you refuse me, I will be blue
And waiting all alone

But, if when you hear
My love call, ringing clear, ooh, etc.
And I hear you’re
Answering a call so dear, ooh, etc.

Then I will know
That our love will be true

What could be better than that?

The next day I swam in the Nepenthe pool. It is my first time swimming in over a month. It felt good. While sitting by the pool a woman got out of her car and started banging on the gate demanding to get into the pool area. Eventually, she somehow got in. She was hugely pregnant. She took off her shoes, then jumped, fully clothed, into the pool, swam its length, got out, picked up her shoes, returned to her car and drove away. I did not realize it was that hot out. Life is wonderfully surprising even when you are doing nothing but staring at the leaves of some trees.

Today I spent the morning watching Doris Day — Gordon MacRae movies. Listening to them sing “Tea for Two” is an experience I rank somewhere between being drowned in a vat of medicinal cannabis or smothered in meringue.

Later I went to the pool and fell asleep in the shade only to be awakened by the sound of ten-year-olds doing flips into the water. I did my laps while trying to determine if I was in a good mood or bad. Gave up and went home.

My sister Maryann and her husband George dropped by on their way back to Mendocino from Nevada City where they were making arrangements for the wedding of their son Brendan to Ashley his intended. A few weeks ago, I discovered that a friend of mine from my childhood who I haven’t seen in almost seventy years, Snookie Salerno, now lives in Nevada City. I have been told he never returns calls from his old friends (Would you return a call to someone who called you Snookie?). He did not return my calls. So I left him a message inviting him to the wedding.

Anyway, I took Mary and George on a walk around the Enchanted Forest and along the banks of the river. Mary seems well recovered from her bout with breast cancer. I am well recovered from my bout of hypochondria.

I did not watch movies of any sort this evening. Instead, I went to bed at 8PM. Tomorrow the automobile comes out of the shop. I am relieved. I now can drive aimlessly about. I like that better than “tea for two.” Check that, it depends on whom I am having tea with and what kind of tea.

Picked up the car. Have not yet driven it aimlessly but have driven it between the shop and the house with great determination to avoid another crushed fender.

The days pass on — driving the scooter gang around, walking through the Enchanted Forest, swimming in the pools, singing show tunes, drinking margaritas, eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, petting the dog, crying over Aretha Franklin, watching old movies, laughing at old jokes — the wheel turns on. And then there is this:

“For the past 2,700 years we have been evolving through the ascending Kali Yuga, and this Yuga is coming to an end in 2025. The end of the Yuga will inevitably be followed by cataclysmic earth changes and civilization collapses,…”
Bibhu Dev Misra

This morning when I left the house I ran into one of the TURKEY GANGS right beyond the front door. Yes, the Enchanted Forest is plagued by several TURKEY GANGS. They lounge along the pathways, mumbling threatening sounds and forcing residents to walk around them. They litter the sidewalks and don’t clean up after they leave. They terrorize small children and small dogs. They are huge, hulking, ugly creatures often four feet tall or more. Something needs to be done about them by the HOA. Perhaps once a year say in November we could have a community Thanksgiving Party and eat a few. They are so large they could each feed several families.

Speaking of Thanksgiving, isn’t that the celebration of a group of immigrants saved by the citizens of the area who in turn demonstrated their gratitude by slaughtering their rescuers and taking their land? Instead of Thanksgivings Day shouldn’t the day be called something like Ingratitude Day?
On Saturday morning, we attended then weekly Saturday Morning Coffee put on by the Nepenthe HOA in the Enchanted Forest. The usual group had assembled. I had a lively discussion with the 93-year-old architect about our various maladies. Later the woman that seems to run these things announced she was not going to run the “Sock Hop” in September (don’t ask — I think it is some attempt at replication of an ancient mating ritual that everyone believes existed and they experienced but it didn’t and they only imagined it. Ask yourself, “Did you ever attend a ‘sock Hop?’” And if you did, did you think the experience was such that you would want to replicate it in your old age?). This set off a flurry of whispers. Later I learned that there is a conflict between the Nepenthe HOA and the nine other HOAs over the running of the social events. I did not understand the politics involved but agreed with Naida who leaned over and said to me sotto voce, “It seems pretty silly to argue over who gets the right to volunteer.”

There are three Age of Declines:

The first Age of Decline is now. It is the first time in history that a majority of a generation lived to old age together, declined together and ultimately will die together. As usual for the past 80 years or so, we have, for better or worse, been the pacesetters.

The second type of Age of Decline is the end of an era. In our case, the end of the greatest Golden Age the world has ever seen.

The third version of an Age of Decline is experienced by all of us that live beyond 75 or so years. Not only do our bodies begin to undergo the inevitable physical and mental failures faced by all biologic creatures who have exceeded their use by date, but also our functions in society at large begin to dissipate. Oh yes, some of us keep on working and striving — and good for those of us who do. Others of us can sometimes pass through a brief period where we are consulted (not very seriously) or honored (weekly or monthly visits) by younger relatives or friends. But really for most of us, we ultimately gather in homes for the elderly or periodically meet with other elderly friends where we attempt to create a small replica of the society that we strode through in our past life — much like the members of the Nepenthe morning coffee, complete with its politics, petty annoyances, and amusements. Lucky are those of us who instead fall in love and experience a decline no less painful but much more blissful.

For the second time in a little over a month, I have been attacked by a Russian Bot. Three critical comments from the same person appeared on my Blog, Trenz Pruca’s Journal — https://trenzpruca.wordpress.com/. This is unusual because almost no one ever comments on my blog. Two of the comments were general criticisms of my writing competence in two of my blog posts. A criticism I believe fully justified. In the third comment, this time on my blog about Vladimir Putin (https://trenzpruca.wordpress.com/2018/08/07/petrillos-commentary-who-is-vladimir-putin-and-why-is-he-an-enemy-of-the-united-states/. Also, reproduced below.),

He not only objects to my writing style but included an example of how it could be improved by changing my criticism to a justification of Putin’s behavior. I am so proud to have been noticed.

 

 

 

PETRILLO’S COMMENTARY:

 
WHO IS VLADIMIR PUTIN AND WHY IS HE AN ENEMY OF THE UNITED STATES:
It is important to explore the motivations of Vladimir Putin in order to understand much of the actions and policies of the Kremlin in the past few years.

First, as is true with most revolutions, the inevitable reaction reinstitute the structures of the old regime but with new titles (but often the same slogans). In Russia, the new oligarchs, like the Soviet Commissars before them, have decorated their dachas and palaces like the Tsars from whom they have taken them. The old prisons have been reopened and refilled with the enemies of the state. The so-called secret services have been restored and given new names.

The Tsar’s rentier aristocracy was replaced by the industrial Commissars. The Commissars have now been replaced by a financial/commercial oligarchy. True, the Commissars were governmental employees at the time they acquired their wealth and power and the oligarchs are not, but like the landed aristocrats they still owe their wealth to the Tsar in the Kremlin and they cross him at their peril.

Second, Putin is not only the head of the Russian government but the chief and undoubtedly the largest oligarch of them all.

Third, Putin is a Russian, a child of the Rodina, and as such the humiliation of Soviet Russia by the American commercial and military empire is a stain on its honor that any patriot would work tirelessly to remove.

Fourth, he was a low-level bureaucrat in the Soviet secret service (KGB) trained in espionage. As such, one would assume he is more comfortable with the strategies of subversion that those of military conquest.

Finally, he is extremely popular in Russia (and in many other areas of the world). Ninety-six percent of Russians approved of his military initiatives in Ukraine; ninety-five percent believed that America was goading Kiev to persecute ethnic Russians in that country. Ninety-two percent believed the same situation existed in Russian enclaves in the Caucasus, Moldova, Estonia, Lithuania, and Latvia.

In brief, we have in Vladimir Putin an exceedingly popular, short (he is a tiny but exceptionally athletic man), greedy, subversive nationalist with a special antipathy for the United States.

 

 

 

MOPEY JOE’S MEMORIES:

 

‘’ When the long nights would come long ago, the people of this and another village would gather together every night sitting beside the fire or wherever they could find room in the house. Many a device they would resort to shorten the night. The man who had a long tale, or the man who had the shorter tales (eachtraithe), used to be telling them. At that time people used to go earning their pay working in County Limerick, County Tipperary and County Cork, and many a tale they had when they would return, everyone with his own story so that you would not notice the night passing. Often the cock would crow before you would think of going home.”
Leabhar Sheáin Í Chonaill (1948)

 

MEMORIES OF BLASKET ISLAND, IRELAND.

FieldSchoolImage2

 
40 years or so ago, I traveled to Great Blasket Island off the Western Coast of Ireland. This bleak and barren island located off the tip of the Dingle Peninsula housed between 100 to 150 souls until the 1940s when the Irish Government in a fit of uncharacteristic responsibility removed the remaining twenty-two of them and resettled them in other parts of the country. As far as I know, none of the islanders objected to the relocation nor made any attempt to return.

I ferried there from mainland Ireland in one of those tar-covered little leather boats that used to be common in the western part of the country.
IMG_20141020_192600_608
Drying the boats. The village is in the background.

 

I met the ferry-man in the pub that stands on the bluff overlooking Blasket and the Atlantic Ocean beyond. For a few dollars, I persuaded him to row me there. There was no regular motor ferry to the island then but there is now.

Although the passage from the mainland to the islands is no more than a couple of miles, during much of the year when the Island was inhabited, it was too stormy and impassable for the small traditional row boats available at the time to make the crossing. As a result, the residents of Blasket were often marooned and had to live exclusively on what they could glean there on the island.

Even though the sea was relatively calm during my trip, the waves and currents in the straight threw the little boat around quite a bit causing the oarsman to strain at the oars and me to question the rationale for my visit.
Scan0008-31
A traditional leather covered boat (a type of coracle) approaching Blasket Island. I took a boat like this on my trip.

 

We landed on a tiny bit of dressed stone surrounded on three sides by large rocks making an anchorage about ten feet or so wide. We tied up to a rusty and corroded iron ring.

I left the ferry-man there with a promise to return in an hour and a half.

In the only habitable place on the lee of the island lay a tiny village in ruins and deserted. I climbed through the ruins and into the abandoned cottage — Peig’s cottage. It was my reason for the trip — to pay homage Peig Sayers.

Peig was an old woman and seanchai (storyteller) who when approached by a representative of the Irish Folklore Commission and asked to write the story of her life on that forlorn island, did so. Much to the surprise of all, it became perhaps the greatest work of Gaelic prose literature.

The Book opens with the words:

I am an old woman now, with one foot in the grave and the other on its edge. I have experienced much ease and much hardship from the day I was born until this very day. Had I known in advance half, or even one-third, of what the future had in store for me, my heart wouldn’t have been as gay or as courageous it was in the beginning of my days.

 

In the evenings the people on the Island would gather in Peig’s cottage to listen to her stories. Seosamh Ó Dálaigh wrote the following about these sessions:

‘I wish I had the ability to describe the scene in Peig Sayers’s home in Dunquin on a winter’s night when the stage was set for the seanchaí’ ‘When the visitors arrived (for all gathered to the Sayers house when Peig was there to listen to her from supper-time till midnight) the chairs were moved back and the circle increased. News was swapped, and the news often gave the lead for the night’s subject, death, fairies, weather, crops.’ All was grist to the mill, the sayings of the dead and the doings of the living, and Peig, as she warmed to her subject, would illustrate it richly from her repertoire of verse, proverb and story…

Great artist and wise woman that she was, Peig would at once switch from gravity to gaiety, for she was a light-hearted woman, and her changes of mood and face were like the changes of running water. As she talked her hands would be working too; a little clap of the palms to cap a phrase, a flash of the thumb over the shoulder to mark a mystery, a hand hushed to mouth for mischief or whispered secrecy. ‘When the fun is at its height it is time to go,’ runs the Irish proverb; and when visitors went each night Peig would draw the ashes over the peat-embers to preserve the fire till morning, reciting her customary prayer: ‘I preserve the fire as Christ preserves all. Brigid at the two ends of the house, and Mary in the centre. The three angels and the three apostles who are highest in the Kingdom of Grace, guiding this house and its contents until day.’

 

Her home there on Blasket was now little more than rocks piled on one another for walls with more rocks added to make the roof (I understand it has been made into lodging for a small hostel now). Peig’s home contained a single room in which she spent most of her life.
IMG_20141020_192528_725
Peig in her cottage.

 

Beyond the village, exposed to the fierce winds off the Atlantic, the island was covered in a thick mat of furze, Irish gorse, and heather, with peat (or bog or turf) beneath. When walking on it, although it supported my weight, it felt as though I was walking on a springy mattress.

There were no trees or bushes to be seen anywhere. I climbed part way down a steep incline towards the cliffs on the island’s north side where the residents would scramble down to pilfer the eggs of the shorebirds that nested there. I did not go further than perhaps 10 feet or so because the cliff quickly became much steeper. It was on those steep cliffs according to Peig that Blasket’s citizens often met their death trying to secure enough food to carry them through the winter storms.
blasket-island_1383770-fc009ff8
The North side of Blasket Island and the cliffs.

 

As hard as life was on Blasket, during the Irish persecutions and famines several mainland families settled on the island, “Because life was better there.”
Scan0011-21
A Better Life?

 

Perhaps the most astounding thing about Blasket was that Peig was not the only one from there who authored a Gaelic literary classic. Two others, Twenty Years a Growing and The Islandman, were written by Blasket natives also.

How hard was life on Blasket? Tomas O’Crohan in The Islandman wrote the following about his children:

“Ten children were born to us, but they had no good fortune, God help us! The very first of them that we christened was only seven or eight years old when he fell over the cliff and was killed. From that time on they went as quickly as they came. Two died of measles, and every epidemic that came carried off one or other of them. Donal was drowned trying to save the lady off the White Strand. I had another fine lad helping me. Before long I lost him, too.”

the_great_blasket
Blasket Island Today.

 

 

 

 

DAILY FACTOIDS:

 

 

In his fascinating book In the Shadows of the American Century: The Rise and Decline of US Global Power, Alfred McCoy relates some facts about the collapse of the American education system that should give every American concern about what sort of a society we a leaving to our children.

In 2012, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) tested 510,000 fifteen-year-olds in thirty-four developed nations, finding those in Shanghai came first in math, science, and reading, while those in Massachusetts, “A strong-performing U.S. state,” placed seventeenth in reading, twentieth in science, and twenty-seventh in math. The OECD also found that American students “have particular weaknesses in performing mathematics tasks with higher cognitive demands, such as … interpreting mathematical aspects in real-world problems.” Secretary of Education Arne Duncan rued these results as “a picture of educational stagnation.” The National Intelligence Council noted that the country’s educational advantage “has been cut in half in the past 30 years,” meaning that without major investments in schools Americans “will increasingly bring only mediocre skills to the workplace.”

McCoy, Alfred W.. In the Shadows of the American Century: The Rise and Decline of US Global Power (Dispatch Books) (Kindle Locations 4973-4975). Haymarket Books.
After leading the world for decades in twenty-five-to thirty-four-year-olds with university degrees, the United States sank to twelfth place in 2012. That same year, the World Economic Forum ranked the United States at a mediocre forty-seventh among 144 nations in the quality of its university math and science instruction. Two years later, its position slid to fifty-first.

McCoy, Alfred W.. In the Shadows of the American Century: The Rise and Decline of US Global Power (Dispatch Books) (Kindle Locations 4978-4981). Haymarket Books.

A survey of some 150 major American universities in 2010 found that more than half of all graduate students in the sciences were foreigners: 70 percent in electrical engineering, 63 percent in computer science, and 52 percent in materials engineering.

McCoy, Alfred W.. In the Shadows of the American Century: The Rise and Decline of US Global Power (Dispatch Books) (Kindle Locations 4982-4984).

 

 

 

 

 

PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

 
A. Lou Bronico on Top:

Something I received from my cousin Lou:

Letter to My Boss:

I have enjoyed working here these past several years. You have paid me very well and given me benefits beyond belief. Have 3-4 months off per year and a pension plan that will pay my salary till the day I die and then pay my estate one year salary death bonus and then continue to pay my spouse my salary with increases until he (or she) dies and a health plan that most people can only dream of having i.e. no deductible whatsoever.

Despite this, I plan to take the next 12-18 months to find a new position. During this time I will show up for work when it is convenient for me. In addition, I fully expect to draw my full salary and all the other perks associated with my current job.

Oh yes, if my search for this new job proves fruitless, I will be coming back with no loss in pay or status. Before you say anything, remember that you have no choice in this matter. I can, and I will do this.

Sincerely,

Every Senator or Congressman running for re-election

Are we stupid or what?

 
B. Trenz Pruca’s Observations:

 

History: A few truths surrounded by a lot of little lies and one or two big ones.

 

 

 

 

TODAY’S QUOTE:

 

“If there is one person a fanatic is predisposed to hate, it’s a moderate who is almost but not completely aligned with their program.”

Stross, Charles. Dark State: A Novel of the Merchant Princes Multiverse (Empire Games) (p. 343). Tom Doherty Associates.

 

 

 

 

 

 

TODAY’S CHART:
FT_17.08.01_debt_interest_420px

 

Two interesting aspects of this chart:

1. In general, it shows that since the Reagan Administration, interest payments on the national debt as a percentage of GDP have generally risen during Republican administrations, while under the Democrats, it has usually fallen.

2. Trump has already sharply increased that percentage from what it was in the last few years of the Obama administration.
The relationship between interest payments on the federal debt and the nations GDP is perhaps the most critical relationship in the debate regarding the appropriate size of the Federal Debt. If the interest payments get too high then a nation generally has to raise taxes, reduce expenditures or modestly inflate the economy (usually by keeping interest rates low during a rising economy ) in order to retain its credit rating.

Raising taxes is problematical because those whose taxes should be raised are the same people who fund the election of those who would vote on the action.

Cutting expenditures has its problems also. There are really only three sources of governmental expenditures large enough to make a difference if cut, defense, social security, and Medicare. Cutting defense is problematical because defense funding also provides much of the income for those paying for the elections of those who would vote on the cuts while cutting the latter two would be unconscionable to anyone but elected Republicans.

Finally, moderate inflation by keeping interest rates low thereby reducing the value of the dollar also runs up against the opposition of those who fund the elections of those who would vote on any such approach. In this case, the creditor community, the banks, etc., who would oppose any approach that would make their loans less valuable in the future.

Until we find an alternative to the media-entertainment-financial control of the political system, the solution to the Republican policy of increasing the debt-payment problem while choosing the worst of the remedies will remain elusive.

 

 

 

 

 

TODAY’S PHOTOGRAPH:

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Exodus #6 a Wall Sculpture by Bruce West.

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This and that from re Thai r ment, by 3Th. 1 Shadow 0001 (June 20, 2012)

 

TODAY FROM THAILAND:

A. POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN THAILAND:

Hayden is off to Koh Samui with SWAC and a “friend.” I do not know if Joey is still in BKK. LM and I plan to spend a few days next week at “Paradise by the Sea, one mile from the Outskirts of Hell.” In the meantime, I feel myself slowly slipping into one of my periodic bouts of gloom and boredom. Perhaps watching the Thai soaps will cheer me up.

Speaking of Thai soaps, the one starring the scenery chewing Master Slapper Stepmother alas, has come to an end. Finally, all the young women slapped around by her; the men and older women she beat over the head with logs; ex-husbands (one rich and one poor) she betrayed and those others she had kidnapped or beaten (including one of her own daughters) got together and told each other what they already knew. They still refused to do anything except agree to tell her that they talked to each other and that her rich husband was very angry.

When she learned this the Master Slapper went off the deep end, became hysterical, ripped the iv out of her arm and fled, the hospital she was in for some reason; but not before slapping her two daughters silly. She was not upset so much because she feared everyone else would somehow punish her but because she was embarrassed that they all talked to each other about her.

She ran off into the darkness and was promptly hit by a truck and died. When everyone heard about this the two beaten daughters cried a little but cheered up as they paired off with the men of their choice; the insipid daughter with the poor but nice boy and the daughter from the poor husband with the rich but stupid soldier. The multi-beaten ingenue step-daughter who the father (the rich husband) following DNA testing finally acknowledged as his daughter, making her rich also, finally was united with the other rich but clueless hero. Ingenue and clueless planned to marry immediately. I do not know the reason for the rush but suspect in had something to do with the show ending.

Unbeknownst to them all the Evil Stepmother did not die. Instead, some completely random woman for no reason had run into the street in front of the Great Slapper and was killed by the truck. The Evil Stepmother than changed clothes with the dead woman and ran off again into the night swearing to kill everyone who shamed her. She promptly was set upon by a thug who tried to rape her. She eventually beat him off by smashing his head in with a log, but not before he had managed to disfigure her with a piece of broken glass.

She then set off on her revenge by killing a few of the poor people and minor characters. She showed up at the wedding between ingenue and clueless and strangled the poor young maid who had done nothing but serve the Slapper during her various rampages. When the wedding guests found the dead girl, everyone ran out into the yard and confronted Mom. No one seemed to want to get too close to her. So they all shouted at her from a distance. It seemed that everyone in the neighborhood began showing up and standing around also.

Finally the “poor” ex-husband rushed forward and grabbed her arm thereby allowing her to reach into his pants and grab the gun he had hidden there. Everyone started shouting again and the poor husband retreated. She shot him in the shoulder. The daughter of the poor ex husband and the Slapper jumped in front of her father offering up her life instead. After a lengthy (from one advertising break to the next) discussion she was persuaded to step aside and Mom promptly pumped the poor bastard body with five more bullets and ran off into the street while the by now 100s of onlookers stood by.

Mom ran into someone, I no longer remember who, who tried to stop her, and she shot him or her also and was out of bullets at which point the police arrived and took Mom into custody.

Everyone went back to the wedding and the series ended like “The Lord of the Rings” with each main character’s interminable separate farewell. In this case each of the lovers telling each other how lucky they were things ended up like this and each of the parents telling their maids how relieved they were that their kids were finally growing up.

After this, having enough of Thai murder and mayhem, I turned on a comedy soap.

The Little Masseuse has been quite sad recently. She said that she was unhappy because she was old and ugly and people, mostly men, do not use her massage services anymore. “I used to massage 3 or 4 hours every day,” she explained. “Now, I only massage for one hour or so a week. The rest of the time I fold towels, play the games on my mobile phone and nap when no one is looking.”

I responded to her distress by mentioning that I believed that business is off everywhere and competition for masseuses’ has grown more fierce in BKK. “Besides,” I added. “I suspect the real reason the men in the health club use the male masseurs had less to do with your age or beauty than with your gender.”

She then told me that a few weeks previous, the woman behind the Health Club check-in desk asked LM to give her a free massage. When LM declined saying that she was hired by the Hotel to give massages to paying guests only, the clerk shouted at her, “You are old and ugly and no one will ever love you.”

B. NEWS STRAIGHT OR SLIGHTLY BENT:

1. Oh my!!

2. What can I say?

PETRILLO’S COMMENTARY:

Meet the man the Republican Party wants to run your Country:


Sheldon Adelson

This is the man the modern Republican Party proposes to run your country. I guess a rich casino owning mob guy from Vegas who implied his primary loyalty is to a foreign country is who they have been looking for all along.

He also is the type of patriot modern Republican’s seem to like. For example Adelson said, he regrets his own service in American uniform.

For all those American’s who proudly wore the uniform and fought for our nation and our freedom the Republican party has sold you to someone who thinks you are all jerks.

He also claims that he would prefer that his children serve in the Israeli army to the American one, and “All we care about is being good citizens of Israel.”

Under normal circumstances someone who claims allegiance to another country might be considered a traitor, but not if he is a wealthy contributor to the modern Republican Party.

In an interview in Forbes magazine he said he was,“against very wealthy ­people attempting to or influencing elections. But as long as it’s doable I’m going to do it.” How’s that as an example of someone who stands by his beliefs. If he said something like, “I am against stealing, but as long as it is doable I am going to do it,” would it really be much different. Oh yes, stealing is illegal, “Well then I am going to put my money to work making sure the stealing I want to do is legal. Everyone is doing it, why shouldn’t I?”

He originally was a Democrat but became a Republican as his wealth grew. “Why is it fair that I should be paying a higher percentage of taxes than anyone else?” There’s a good example of situational ethics for you. Once you’re rich forget where you came from. (By the way he was educated at public expense.)

Oh, he is willing to give his money to support a foreign country, but is opposed to paying additional taxes to support the country of which he is allegedly a citizen.

Finally he makes most of his money in China, a Communist country, yet he fears socialism and unions here. He has not pledged $100 million to defeat Chinese Communism. Why not?

MOPEY JOE’S MEMORIES:

Louis in Taos:

Louie (stage name, “James Oliver”) left New York City and Tuckahoe for LA. On March 8, 1964, I wrote in my diary:

“Lou did not get married. Susan, his girlfriend decided to go back to California the day before the wedding. Lou was distraught. He decided to return to California also. Not to follow her he says, but because New York has suddenly become lifeless for him. He said he needed a new life.”

And so he left a week or two later and that was the last I ever saw of him. Years later he ended up living as an artist in Taos. A reporter for the local Taos newspaper recently wrote of him:

“James Louie Oliver is one of the most fascinating people you might ever meet. He’s an artist, a former stage and screen actor, builder of model airplanes and one helluva storyteller. You’ll see what we mean when Oliver makes an appearance Friday (March 30), 7 p.m., at Bareiss Gallery, 15 State Road 150, north of El Prado.

Oliver will read from his writings, ‘Howie’s Chair’ and ‘Marilyn Monroe and the Shoeshine Boy,’ and he will also display his intricately detailed assemblages and handcrafted model airplanes.

Oliver was born Dec. 17, 1937, in a cold-water flat on the Bronx-Mount Vernon border in New York. Growing up, he says one of his first jobs was as a shoeshine boy, something he told us about in a story we did on him in April of 2011. He also worked in his grandfather’s barbershop, sweeping up hair and doing anything that was needed. His face goes dark, though, when he talks about the abuse he suffered as a child, but he doesn’t dwell on it.

‘I grew up old, but I’m younger now,’ he says with a touch of humor.

He studied for and did quite a bit of stage work in New York. This also led to film work in Hollywood.

‘My first movie was ‘Hells Angels on Wheels’ (1967) and I played a guy named ‘Gypsy.’ And Adam Roarke was in it, he passed away, and Jack Nicholson too. It’s an underground film. Then I did a TV show where I met Johnny Barrymore. We became very good friends before he passed away. That was another motorcycle TV thing that starred Ben Gazzara called ‘Run for Your Life.’’ ”


Louie with one of his handcrafted model airplanes.

TODAY’S FACTOIDS:

A. June 14, 1942:

Ann Frank receives a diary on her thirteenth birthday.

This is one of the most poignant factoids I have ever posted. June 14 should be declared a public holiday to honor the human sprit.

B. For those who long for the “Good old Days,” here is what life was like in 18th Century NYC:

1702 – Yellow fever epidemic kills more than 500 people.
1776, September 21 – Approximately 1000 houses, a quarter of the city, are destroyed in a fire a week after British troops captured the city during the American Revolution. Arson is speculated (with George Washington and the British being among those blamed) and, during a round-up of suspicious persons by British forces, Nathan Hale is arrested.
1778, August 3 – Fire near Cruger’s Wharf destroys 64 homes.
1794 – Minor yellow fever epidemic leads to creation of Bellevue Hospital.
1795 – Yellow fever epidemic kills 732 between July 19 and October 12, from a total population of about 50,000.
1796, December 9 – The “Coffee House Slip Fire” burns from the foot of Wall Street and East River to Maiden Lane.
1798 – The “great epidemic,” a major yellow fever epidemic, kills 2086 people from late July to November. Epidemics occur in several other years, but this was the worst of them all.

The over 2000 deaths in the yellow fever epidemic of 1798 amounted to almost 5% of the City’s population.

PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

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

This chart gives one a good idea about how one segment of the“parasite” community’s fee based economy works. The chart describes a typical secured loan, like mortgages and a lot of corporate debt. The people with “money” in the game, the borrowers and investors, pay fees to a host of parasites (lender, insurer, issuer, trustee and on and on).

The chart does not include the lawyers and lobbyists and the like, all of whom take their cuts. Although These latter do not appear on the chart their costs are included somewhere in the expense side of the balance sheets of every entity identified in the chart. These reams of parasites appear even though the regulatory and legal burdens they claim justifies their fees has not changed substantially for 40 years and in fact in many cases has eased.

If things go wrong, the investors and borrowers take the loss, all the others walk off with their fees intact. Each one of the parasites seek to increase their fees or sell additional services. It does not matter to them if the deal fails. They all argue that they perform beneficial services. They all have a conflict of interest.

So why is this happening? One reason is size. As the size of the entities and the deals increase, as with any bureaucracy, the individual bureaucrats involved seek to enhance their own security and to avoid personal responsibility. So they retain parasites upon whom they can lay off some of the responsibility for making the decision to finance the deal. Among the downsides for the parasite community is that as the entities and the deals get larger, there are fewer of them so they must either raise prices, increase services or die.

This system is not “economic” in nature, but “biologic,” and therefore probably more readily explainable by biological formula and analysis than those currently relied upon by economists.

B. Colbert Wisdom:

Actually Colbert is wrong. It is not just young people, liberals generally behave like this.

TODAY’S QUOTE:

When the Democratic Party was the “Red Neck” party:

“Let no man delude himself into the belief that the success of Samuel J. Tilden (Democratic Party candidate for US President 1876) as the leader of the Democracy does not mean Southern supremacy. I was born in the South, and have spent my whole life, nearly three quarters of a century, among the Southern Democratic leaders, and I know that I understand them. I speak forth the words of truth and soberness when I say that they intend to accomplish through the ballot box what they failed to achieve on the bloody field.”
EX US-SENATOR BROWNLOW in a letter to the Tribune, sometime during the 1876 election, warning the nation of the danger to the country from the “solid South.”

TODAY’S CHART:

Although this chart raises the question of why is it that Japan and the UK are not yet failed states (too much public and private debt) and shows that the US debt situation is relatively benign, it sends an additional message. What this chart seems to indicate is that, in most cases we do not have a “public” debt crisis but we do have a “private” debt crisis (e.g., Spain).

It is interesting to note that in Greece where it is arguable that the government spent too much money (not on so-called costly social programs but on economic development [infrastructure] programs) the German bankers demanded governmental austerity requiring slashing social programs, that were not responsible for much of the debt on the first place, in order to pay off mostly German bond holders. In Spain’s case where the problem is clearly not “public” expenditure but failures of the private banking system, caused in part by governmental negligence in adequately regulating them, the German bankers recently shoveled money to Spain to disburse to the private banks with no requirements that the banks clean up their act or that the government increase their oversight.
Why is it that Bankers believe that the discipline of the private market wherein private entities that bet wrong fail, applies only to the rest of us and not to them?

TODAY’S CARTOON:

Dude, if they paid us enough so that we could afford to fly off in one of their flying saucers and do to another world what is being done to ours, why would we care? It wouldn’t be the first time we soiled our nest and moved on.

TODAY’S PHOTOGRAPH:

 

Image unavailable at this time
“Rochester Panorama” – Rochester, New York – Neil Kremer

(I’ve been to Rochester. It looks nothing like this, ever.)

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

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