Posts Tagged With: Democrats

This and that from re Thai r ment, by 3Th. 26 Pops 0001 (September 10, 2012)

“The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.”
–W. B. Yeats

TODAY FROM AMERICA:

A. POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN EL DORADO HILLS:

SWAC has thrown her back out and now walks about like an arthritic octogenarian. Hayden has come down with some form of stomach flu and Dick is in LA chasing earthquakes. As a result, I have been pressed into the role of part-time nurse to supplement my ongoing role of part-time nanny.

Last Saturday while visiting with Bill and Naida, after noticing the butterfly net Hayden had brought with him to fish for crawdads, Bill told me about his youthful adventures as an accomplished Lepidopterist. For almost an hour I listened, fascinated, to stories about butterfly hunting in Northern California 60 years ago. When he and his friends, the Crocker brothers, were about 10 years old they persuaded the State Parks Department to allow them to replenish the deteriorating collections at several of the parks. I learned all about how to get the wings spread properly when mounting the specimens and the many varieties of swallowtail fluttering around in the Sierra’s.

On Thursday I took the train from Sacramento to San José. I looked forward to dinner that night with Bill Gates and Jerry Smith. I had not seen Jerry in over a decade. For those unfamiliar with Jerry Smith, he was the State Senator who was the principle author of the California Coastal Act of 1976. He was later appointed to the Appellate Court by Jerry Brown at the end of Brown’s first turn as Governor of California over 30 years ago. After retiring Smith spent some time as an international consultant advising countries recently freed from soviet dictatorship on how to set up Anglo-American type judicial systems. Well after the time most people retire, he returned to school to study fine arts. He now is an accomplished sculptor.

We are perhaps the first generation in history where many of us live long enough in good health that we can enjoy five or six distinct careers during our lives and where it is not so strange to embark on one or two more after we reach 70.

Upon arriving in San Jose,  Bill met me in his new shiny Ferrari racing red Jaguar. We had lunch at a local men only dining club where the food was pretty good. After lunch we smoked cigars and drank brandy and the like in the game room where we discussed politics and the coastal act with a few of the members. They were all local developers except one who owned a string of radio stations in Texas and Florida. They appeared to be the remnants of the Eisenhower wing of the Republican party. As usual my inclination to pontificate was in full flower and so I talked and talked.

We later travelled to Saratoga where we had dinner with Jerry Smith and talked some more about California Coastal protection program. Jerry was the legislator who carried the bill. Before dinner we drank some wine and watched Obama’s acceptance speech. Jerry had cooked a great ravioli dinner accompanied by local wines and olive oil. After dinner we toured his house to look at some of his sculptures including a fascinating cast bronze replica of tree branches and wonderful outdoor bamboo arrangement in bronze and copper.

On the way home we stopped off at Bill’s nightclub Myth in downtown Sacramento. It has become quite a popular venue. There were about 400 people there at the time we arrived. By then I was exhausted and on the down side of the alcohol euphoria induced by the copious quantities I had consumed earlier in the day. I could only barely acknowledge the noise and the crowding and the remarkably large breasts that seemed required to work as a waitress in the place.

B. NEWS STRAIGHT OR SLIGHTLY BENT:

1. Oh no, we cannot be the worst!

In a survey conducted in over 80 countries, 2,000 people were questioned on which countries have the world’s worst beer. The results listed the United States as #1, followed behind by China, the United Kingdom, Australia, France, and Italy. Budweiser was ranked as the #1 worst brand in beer by the takers of the survey.

2. Oh no again!

durex-sexual-wellbeing-global-survey-2

(Blame it on the beer.)

C. THAI OBSERVATIONS

The Bangkok Post Reported on August 28, 2012:

“Thais top infidelity chart.”

Thai men are ranked on top and their women are ranked second as the world’s most unfaithul [sic] lovers, with well over half of them admitting to frequent infidelity, according to a survey conducted by Durex, a condom producer.

Women from Thailand are ranked the world’s second most unfaithul [sic] lovers, according to the survey report.

The survey of 29,000 women in 36 countries names the women of Ghana the world’s most unfaithful, with 62 per cent of the women questioned there admitting they often cheat on their boyfriends and husbands.

Thai women were just a little more faithful, with 59 per cent admitting to infidelity, followed by Malaysia with 39 per cent.

In fourth and fifth place were Russia (33 per cent) and Singapore (19 per cent).

As for men admitting to extramarital affairs, Thailand came out on top (54 per cent) followed by South Korea (34 per cent) and then Malaysia (33 per cent).

(But they still don’t do it as often as Greeks.)

PETRILLO’S COMMENTARY:

Pookie on Adultery:

I believe adultery violates God’s commandments, unless it is with a slave or concubine as the Bible permits. We should have uniform federal laws outlawing adultery, abortion and homosexuality unless you can afford it, or are a Republican candidate or are a priest, minister or Rabbi (Muslim clerics or rich people who profess Islam however are not excepted because to do so would be to condone sharia law. Also, they are not real Americans and they support terrorists.)

Adultery is a criminal offense in 23 states, with punishments ranging from a $10 fine in Maryland to life imprisonment in Michigan (at least according to one judge). It’s also prohibited by the Uniform Code of Military Justice. That means, for example, that Newt Gingrich may have violated the law in some of those 23 states. Where does he stand on the issue of criminals running for office? What is the religious right and the Catholic Church’s stand on adultery? Is it such a sufficiently lesser sin than supporting a woman’s right to choose that it does not disqualify one from running for office? Is it a lesser sin than Homosexuality? If Newt were gay could he become president? Does the Religious Right have any morals what-so-ever? Does the Newtster? Why would anyone name their child after a lizard?

In fairness to the Newtster, I have searched but found no evidence that either Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, or Harry Reid committed illegal adultery in one of the jurisdictions in which it is illegal. On the other hand it is probably safe to assume Bill Clinton did, but he did not divorce his wife although the weight of opinion, I believe, felt she should have divorced him. Ah well, they remain happily married and living separately so I guess every thing is ok.

I have it on good authority that neither Mitt Romney nor Paul Ryan have had heterosexual sex in over a decade. On the other hand it is a known fact that the muslim Barack Obama has been shtupping a black woman, but that does not count.

TODAY’S FACTOIDS:

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

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

[Beware of people from Michigan!]

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

[Beware of Spiderman!]

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

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

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

[Beware of anyone who knows this!]
Today: 75 percent of Japanese women own vibrators. The global average is only 47 percent.

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

[Beware of Japanese women! They are just not that into you.])
PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

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

1. It is about time to really deal with the deficit.
original
2. The Perceptive Republican:

Mike Lofgren served 16 years on the Republican staff of the House and Senate Budget Committees. He has an article in The American Conservative entitled, “Revolt of the Rich – Our financial elites are the new secessionists.” I largely agree with it. He states:

“Our plutocracy now lives like the British in colonial India: in the place and ruling it, but not of it. If one can afford private security, public safety is of no concern; if one owns a Gulfstream jet, crumbling bridges cause less apprehension — and viable public transportation doesn’t even show up on the radar screen. With private doctors on call and a chartered plane to get to the Mayo Clinic, why worry about Medicare?”

B. Electioneering:

1. Use of words in political discourse, conservative style:

“The Right’s also better than us (liberals) at taking new phrases and using them to inject their terrible ideas into the public discourse. “Boning poor people” sounds awful and almost no one would support that, but call it “welfare reform” and people can really get behind it. Everyone likes the idea of eliminating supposed abuses, after all. “Privatization” sounds way less terrible than “giving away public assets for pennies on the dollar” or “taking Social Security and putting it all on black.” Creationism in public schools bothers a lot of people, but “teaching the controversy” about “intelligent design” sounds way more palatable. Fortunately for America, though, the public at large didn’t fall for this.”
Stumbling Through the Halls of Power

2. A voice from the crypt
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(Is Carville still alive or have I just forgotten that he always looked like a cadaver? I suppose the reason that Carville is usually the only Democrat commentator regularly invited to appear on Faux News is that he has been dead for the past five years.)

3. Which Group hates Obama most:

According to a recent Quinnipiac poll, Obama’s support among white males without college degree fell to 29%, which is the lowest of any Democrat in recent history.

C. Testosterone Chronicles: Penis file.

Researchers in Vietnam studying the marine life of the Mekong delta have identified a new species of the Phallostethidae family named Phallostethus cuulong . These are small fish found in rivers in South East Asia, easily distinguishable because of one bizarre anatomical feature – their penises are on their heads!

(On the other hand, dickheads are very common among humans.)

D. BOKONONISM: Sayings of Bokonon (Vonnegut)

On man’s power to control:
Any man can call time out, but no man can say how long the time out will be.

Also on man’s power to control:
It is not possible to make a mistake.
[ It is described as a “customary greeting given by all Bokononists when meeting a shy person.” ]

On history:
History! Read it and weep!

On religion:
Of course it’s trash!

On man’s destiny:
Today I will be a Bulgarian Minister of Education. Tomorrow I will be Helen of Troy.
We do, doodley do, doodley do, doodley do,
What we must, muddily must, muddily must, muddily must;
Muddily do, muddily do, muddily do, muddily do,
Until we bust, bodily bust, bodily bust, bodily bust.

On the ignorance of learned men:
Beware of the man who works hard to learn something, learns it, and finds himself no wiser than before. He is full of murderous resentment of people who are ignorant without having come by their ignorance the hard way.

On “the heartbreaking necessity of lying about reality, and the heartbreaking impossibility of lying about it:
Midget, midget, midget, how he struts and winks,
For he knows a man’s as big as what he hopes and thinks!
TODAY’S QUOTE:
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TODAY’S CHART:
chart751

TODAY’S CARTOON:
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Categories: July through September 2012 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

This and that from re Thai r ment, by 3Th. 19 Pops 0001 (September 3, 2012)

TODAY FROM AMERICA:

A. POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN CALIFORNIA:

I arrived back in Sacramento only to discover that my East coast-Italy travel plans have been hopelessly screwed-up because the only date available for me to travel from NY to Italy with Nikki at a discount would be on the 12th of September. That would be too early for me to accomplish what I want on the East-coast. I am now considering the possibility of a separate East-coast trip after the 15th of September and returning to Thailand at the end of the month or in early October through LA.

The hearing on our motion to dismiss in the custody case was held yesterday. The judged scheduled a hearing date for the 28th of September to allow for the filings of the various responsive pleadings. The plaintiff has ten days to respond to our motion so I will not leave for the East-coast until after we receive his response and file our reply. In the meantime I plan a visit to the Bay Area next week for visits with my son and various grandchildren, my sister and her progeny and Peter, Jerry Smith and Gates.

I recently, and I expect briefly, have settled into the pleasantly mindless life of chauffeuring Hayden to school and Taekwondo lessons and reading with him before bedtime.

On Sunday Dick, Hayden and I travelled to “Apple Hill,” a tourist area near Placerville manufactured by a few apple growers and wineries as a family vacation destination. I would not recommend it to would be tourists with or without families. We then went to Coloma (where gold was first discovered in California) to pan for gold (bucket list item).
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Dick and Hayden looking for color

We found none and went home.

The following day Hayden and I visited Bill and Naida at their ranch on the Cosumnes River. Bill appears to be recovering nicely from his recent brushes with death. Naida has returned from a trip to market her historical trilogy about the settlement of central California during the 19th Century. I consider the books some of the finest historical novels ever written.

Hayden, Bill and I went fishing for crawdads in the canal that runs along the river (bucket list?) and then with Naida went black berry picking before heading home.
DSCN0265
Bill and Haden hunting crawdads

B. NEWS STRAIGHT OR SLIGHTLY BENT:

1. Liberals are “unnatural”.

According to Psychology Today, liberalism is evolutionarily novel. Humans (like other species) are evolutionarily designed to be altruistic toward their genetic kin, their friends and allies, and members of their deme (a group of intermarrying individuals) or ethnic group. They are not designed to be altruistic toward an indefinite number of complete strangers whom they are not likely ever to meet or interact with. This is largely because our ancestors lived in a small band of 50-150 genetically related individuals, and large cities and nations with thousands and millions of people are themselves evolutionarily novel.

Examination of the 10-volume compendium The Encyclopedia of World Cultures, which describes all human cultures known to anthropology (more than 1,500) in great detail, as well as extensive primary ethnographies of traditional societies, reveals that liberalism is absent in these traditional cultures. While sharing of resources, especially food, is quite common and often mandatory among hunter-gatherer tribes, and while trade with neighboring tribes often takes place, there is no evidence that people in contemporary hunter-gatherer bands freely share resources with members of other tribes.

My first reaction to the above is to note that it is mostly bullshit.

It fails to account for the common (mostly male) urge to have others in his community support him or his cabal by claiming that they have some superior abilities over the rest of them; an open channel to god, cleverness, strength or ruthlessness. All of these claims sooner of later demand creation of a threat from the “other” in order to be maintained.

On the other hand, if we assume the observations of the researchers are accurate and their conclusions relatively true, then it could be concluded that much of history has been characterized by the creation of ever larger cultural groupings within which the individuals are persuaded they are different from those not in the group. Usually this conversion occurs because it is to somebody’s advantage to have everyone else believe so.

Characterization of the perceived difference in outlook between “liberal” and “conservative” is misleading. If the distinction were as they describe it, then those businessmen pushing for free trade could be seen as Liberals and those leftist concerned about its deleterious effects on the health and livelihood of those in their own country considered Conservatives.

2. So are conservatives.

a. A Lake Park Florida man “obsessed with Fox News and the Republican party” is in jail today after he allegedly said that he felt he was going to have to kill his girlfriend because she was a “liberal.”

(As I pointed out that this election may be the last hurrah of the white male in America. They know it and may be willing to kill to prevent women and “others” from taking over what they believe is theirs by right.)

b. Also from Florida. “After 2007, all the work here disappeared,” Mike a construction worker told a reporter. “Now, if there’s work in town, they only hire Mexicans, and they pay ’em eight bucks an hour,” or about 30 cents more than the state’s minimum wage of $7.67. “I refuse to work for $8 an hour. I’ve been doing construction for 20 years, and I won’t take being paid nothing.”

I feel for Mike. He represents the quandary faced by the poorly educated white male in America today. He will probably vote for Romney. If Romney wins, the minimum wage may drop (to encourage growth of the economy) and Mexicans and other “immigrants” discouraged from “taking” American jobs. Unfortunately for Mike, he still will refuse to work for minimum wage and will remain out of work.)

C. THAI OBSERVATIONS

Although it hasn’t been called Bangkok for around 200 years, the city’s day to day name is actually Krung Thep (pronounced Grung Cape), and is referred to as such throughout Thailand. Only we ignorant foreigners call it Bangkok. Krung Thep means ‘City of Angels’ (the same as Los Angeles) and is an abbreviation of the full name, which is possibly the longest place-name in the world. The full official name is ‘Krungthep Mahanakhon Amorn Rattanakosin Mahintara Yudthaya Mahadilok Pohp Noparat Rajathanee Bureerom Udomrajniwes Mahasatarn Amorn Pimarn Avaltarnsatit Sakatattiya Visanukram Prasit’.

In Thai, this is written as a single word of 152 letters. It translates roughly as ‘Great City of Angels the supreme repository of divine jewels, the great land unconquerable, the grand and prominent realm, the royal and delightful capital city full of nine noble gems, the highest royal dwelling and grand palace, the divine shelter and living space of reincarnated spirits’.

In fact it is none of those.

MOPEY JOE’S MEMORIES:

On the Edge: Stories about the Creation and Early Years of California’s Monumental Coastal Protection Program.

Detritus 35 years later (PART II):

POINT CABRILLO LIGHT HOUSE (continued)
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Through sleight of hand including a land trade, the Coastal Conservancy and Peter Grenell managed to arrange a transfer of the 300+ acres of the headland including the lighthouse and several other buildings that housed the light keeper and other personnel from the US Coast Guard to the California Department of Parks and Recreation.

At about the same time as the land transfer was being arranged, the Conservancy arranged for a non-profit to come in and operate the hostels and provided funds to begin conversion of the structures to visitor serving (not remodeling or significantly altering them, but simply maintenance repairs and painting and things like adding bathrooms where necessary). The result has been the creation of a marvelous place to stay and experience the California coast.

Unfortunately, there appears to have been limited follow-up by the Conservancy. Despite the multiple bond acts containing hundreds of millions or dollars available to them they appear to have not provided any additional funds to complete rehabilitation of the units. I suspect that once the jurisdiction changed, in true bureaucratic fashion, they assumed it was the Department of Parks and Recreations problem.

Also it seems that operation of the facility as a hostel has been transferred from the original non-profit to another entity that may be a for profit entity with the result that although the main house is well run and still not too expensive (about $400 per night for 4 to 5 bedrooms), the less costly more hostel type units appear to be languishing.

Nevertheless, for those interested in getting away from it all and vacationing on the beautiful Mendocino Coast, it is a bargain.

TODAY’S FACTOID:

France 1785:

“The enormous mass of the French citizenry were illiterate day laborers, beggars, mass unskilled people scraping for a tiny wage, all heavily taxed, leaving barely enough to purchase a daily loaf of bread…well, half bread, half plaster filler. Of course, with no food quality regulation there was no guarantee that your bread wasn’t infested with ergot fungus or other microbes. On occasion, whole villages would go mad and commit mindless sexual violence or kill themselves. The life expectancy was about 40. For girls, that meant they had to be “plugged and planted” as soon as the first pubescent signs appeared. There was no birth control. A family had to have at least eight children in hopes that the good Lord would let two of them actually survive childhood.”
Audreybeardsley Diary, Daily KOS.

For those eager to return to the “good old days,” please note; they were not so good. In case one thinks despite the privations it was a society that encouraged the enlightenment:

“For someone like Voltaire to escape grinding poverty and be independent enough to write, he had to practice insider trading on a lottery and support piracy, commit trading fraud, and engage in usurious loans, move to Switzerland, and finally have the freedom to express himself.”

On the other hand, I guess one could argue that Voltaire and the others like him were simply the Wall Street traders of their day and like Soros and Buffet became traitors to their class.

PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

A. Pookie’s puerile epigrams:

Who the hell invented the concept of honor, and more importantly why would anyone invent something that cannot be explained and probably does not exist and then encourage others (mostly young men) to die for it?

(Note, perhaps this explains it:

THE CREATION OF THE WORLDS FIRST MAN OF HONOR

To me, humanity’s predisposition to warfare is explained not by simply whether they were originally predator or prey but by the fact that when they first dropped from the protective trees and trembling stood upright so that they were able see above the grasses of the veldt, they looked warily about for four things; predators, prey, sex and someone to do the dirty work or to take the fall.

Imagine, if you will, a small band of proto-humans are set upon by a ravenous saber-toothed tiger. One of the men guarding the tribe turns to the one next to him and says, “Quick Smith run over there and punch that thing in the nose.”

Smith in his manly exuberance does so.

“Oh-oh” says the first man. “Too bad for Smith, brave of him though. Well, lets push on while the cat is busy with him.” He turns to the rest of the tribe as they prepare to run away and shouts, “We shall remember Smith’s sacrifice for all eternity.”
B. What “Occupy” is all about and what it really wants:
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Another example of liberal bias. Obviously a CEO is more important to our society’s well-being than the soldier who defends our liberties, the teacher who instructs our children, the police and firemen who protect our homes or the emergency room nurses who treat us when we are injured (especially if they belong to a union). We would not pay him so much if he were not. I am sure that the CEO would not work so hard for the benefit of everyone else should he make only 250 times more per hour than the median wage worker instead of the 280 times he now does,

C. Electioneering:

1. Democrat’s exaggerate, Republicans lie dept.
Obama-spending-e1337904626667
You see if Romney were a Democrat he instead would have said something like:

“Since President Obama assumed office three years ago. federal spending has accelerated at a pace that if it continues could bring on the end of the world as we know it.”

Hmm.. I am sure he said that too, but being a Republican he couldn’t leave it at that and had to lie as well.)

2. Is God Republican or a Democrat?

“Heaven sent a hurricane to hold off Gov. Romney’s coronation, so today we’re urging pro-life GOP delegates to abstain from any voting on Romney’s nomination until all GOP financial support for Todd Akin is reinstated and details of Romney’s income tax returns in connection with Bain’s Stericycle investment have been mad public,”
Operation Rescue President Troy Newman.

D. Nevertheless they remain God’s elect:

A study by the Chronicle of Philanthropy, released recently, indicates that the middle class is much more charitable than the wealthy. According to the study, households earning between fifty-thousand and seventy-five thousand dollars annually gave 7.6% of their net income to charity on average, while households earning over a hundred thousand gave only 4.2%. When income broke two hundred thousand, the percentage given to charity dropped to a measly 2.8%.

Mathematically this means that a person making seventy-five thousand dollars per year gave $1700 more per year to charity that the average person making two-hundred thousand.

A political note: Although Mitt Romney’s only released tax return shows that he claimed about seven million dollars as charitable contributions out of a total Adjusted Gross Income of somewhere between twenty-one and forty-million dollars; a somewhat higher average rate of giving than most in his income class. However almost three million dollars of that amount represented his tithing to the Mormon Church much of which goes into church business investments and not social welfare, leaving four million in traditional charitable contributions, still perhaps a little higher than the average of even the middle class giving. Good for Mitt.

Unfortunately, he (Mitt) also bragged that he contributed more to charity [including to the Mormon Church] than he paid in taxes.

TODAY’S QUOTE:

” I just can’t go anywhere without bumping into someone who has been inside me.”
Sex and the Shameless.

TODAY’S CHART:
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TODAY’S CARTOON:

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TODAY’S PHOTOGRAPH:
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Saturn

Categories: July through September 2012 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

This and that from re Thai r ment, by 3Th. 15 Joe 0001 (July 31, 2012)

TODAY FROM THAILAND:

A. POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN THAILAND:

Instead of my usual daily schedule of Health club, food consumption, playing with my computer, watching Thai soaps, eating and sleeping, my schedule these last few days has gotten frantic.

I am in the middle of preparing for my trip including obtaining re-entry permits and airline tickets; acquiring and packing the under $2 gifts for my family and closest friends consisting of fake watches, cheap jewelry, and inexpensive scarves that will rarely be worn but that I am sure the recipients of such largess will treasure for ever.

Before I depart, I need to find places to stay and to arrange for lunches and the like during my travels around the US.

In addition, I am trying to finish up the annoyingly delayed draft business plan my sister and I have been working on these last few months.

I am also in the throes of the administrative details of my first paid blogging assignment and trying to get a draft of the article completed before I leave.

The custody battle has heated up too. I am working with the attorney to defend against the claim. The law is simple, no matter who the father may be or how unsuitable the mother may appear, if she was married to someone else at the time the child was born, the putative father has no rights except perhaps the right to the obligation to pay child support. However, since everyone is in such a tizzy (how long has it been since someone has used that word in a sentence) over the putative fathers allegations about the mothers lifestyle and child rearing skills, I have to spend hours on the phone (international calls no less) trying to get everyone focused on what really needs to be done.

All this, and the GOOD/BAD David returns to town tomorrow from Qatar. Not that I view enjoying a lunch or dinner with the genial gentleman from South Dakota as an additional distraction, but I fear my preoccupation with these other things may stunt our scintillating conversations about puerile sex in all its manifestations.

David and I may consider spending a day at the Oval Table in the Outskirts of Hell with Ray who may still be around.

Alas, since I have written the previous two paragraphs, it has become clear that David is delayed somewhere on the sands of the Arabian Peninsula and we will not make our visit to the oval table with Sinbad the Tentmaker.

Thai Soap Opera update:

It has been a while since I updated the status of the several soaps I watch while eating dinner in my apartment.

One of my favorites ended a few weeks ago. It concerned a young man who wore a cowboy hat and covered his face with a scarf when he would be up and about beating up other people for some reason. His nemesis was also a young man who could pass for the masked man’s twin. They would periodically battle because each thought the other was the bad guy. After many weeks of this, the real bad guy turned out to be the guy with the mustache who not only had a gang but had magic powers as well. Mustache could defeat each of the young men alone. So the two young men joined forces for the ultimate showdown with him.

Now unlike US melodrama where such confrontations are resolved in a blaze of gunfire, explosions and car chases, the low-budget Thai soaps are limited to climatic battles with hands, feet, at times swords and very bad special effects . After two full episodes where the young men are fairly well trashed by the mustache, they manage to combine their much weaker magic powers and destroy the source of the mustache’s magic powers and thoroughly beat him up. They were unable to kill him however, so they staked him out in the middle of a field so that the vultures could eat him alive; which they did in living color while I was eating my dinner.

In the following final episode the masked man put his cowboy hat and scarf into a trunk and with the girl who had on and off rejected him, stood somewhere in the country-side with his counterpart and his counterpart’s often imperiled girl friend and they all smiled at each other for a long time.

B. NEWS STRAIGHT OR SLIGHTLY BENT:

1. The essence of politics in Thailand:

It has now become abundantly clear that the only issue in Thai politics is whether deposed, exiled, fugitive ex-Prime Minister and brother of the current Prime Minister Princess LuckyGirl, Thaksin the Terrible will be allowed to return to Thailand without facing arrest. Prime Minister Princess LuckyGirl‘s administration appears capable of passing any legislation it wants as long as it does not make it easier for the ex-prime minister to return.

2. Did he or did he not dodge:

Ex-Prime Minister Abhsit the Unready, is under investigation by civil authorities for dodging the draft way back when. The chief of the armed forces says that such an investigation is unnecessary since the armed forces had already cleared him in an inquiry into the matter while he was serving as Prime Minister.

In response, Abhsit the Unready has sued someone for defamation.

3. Defamation as free speech.

Under Thailand’s defamation law, truth is not an absolute defense.

C. THAI OBSERVATIONS:

In Thailand, like in most tropical countries, unless you live above the fifth floor of a modern condominium building, you soon become desensitized to tiny creatures crawling about your body, especially at nighttime.

PETRILLO’S COMMENTARY:

The top five recipients of federal corporate tax breaks—Chevron Corp, Bank of America, Exxon Mobil, General Electric, and Boeing—gave $78.7 million to state political campaigns and another $45.3 million to federal campaigns from 1999 through 2010.This number does not include the untold millions these same corporations have spent on public relations, lobbying and consultants to manipulate public policy for their own benefit.

Bill De Blasio, of the New York City Public Advocates office, pointed out that these same five corporations benefited from $3.7 billion in corporate tax breaks in 2009, paid $0 in 2009 federal taxes, and in 2010 enjoyed a combined profit of $77.16 billion. Slightly more than $8.9 million went to political party committees, favoring Republicans 3–to–1 ($6.6 million compared to $2.3 million given to Democrats).

In other words you and I are paying these corporations our tax dollars to enable them to accumulate even more of our tax dollars. Makes you want to go out in the streets and protest doesn’t it?

Think about this; these same corporations mostly through the Republican Party but also with the support of a number of Democrats want you to believe that the source of all America’s fiscal problems is caused by a few Mexicans swimming across the Rio Grande, some black unwed mothers, teachers unions, health insurance reform and a women’s rights to choose. What is most appalling is the number of emails floating through the internet gleefully passed on, as though it was revealed truth, parroting this misdirection that are often created by those funded by the same corporate institutions so eagerly ripping us off.

(A lot of this was written by someone other than me, but I have forgotten who.)

TODAY’S FACTOID:

Don’t confuse me with the facts, I have a war to fight:

1917: David Lloyd George, who was the British prime minister during the WWI Passchendaele campaign, wrote in his memoirs:

“[Before the battle of Passchendaele] the Tanks Corps Staff prepared maps to show how a bombardment which obliterated the drainage would inevitably lead to a series of pools, and they located the exact spots where the waters would gather. The only reply was a peremptory order that they were to ‘Send no more of these ridiculous maps.’ Maps must conform to plans and not plans to maps. Facts that interfered with plans were impertinencies.”
Chris Hedges

PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

A. Pookie’s puerile epigrams:

Tomorrow is what one hopes will be better than yesterday. If it is not, then it is today.

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

1. Why not deal with the budget deficit sensibly?

376494_10150951961736275_1803773560_n

(It is not as though we are faced by an armed and dangerous Soviet Union spending itself into bankruptcy in a futile attempt to match us militarily. Do we need to spend ourselves into bankruptcy also in order to defend ourselves from a few ill equipped terrorist? How about if we just spend as much as all the other countries combined? I would think that would still keep us safe from armed invasion while also having the benefit of paying off the national debt.)

2. Why not deal with the budget deficit sensibly?
gop-reid-taxplans

One must keep in mind that both plans maintain the existing middle class tax cuts. The Democratic Plan would allow the rates on the wealthiest Americans to return to what they were during the Clinton era when we last had a budget surplus.

The first thing to note however is that the Republican tax plan would remove the Obama stimulus tax cut for the middle class and effectively apply it to the wealthy. Therefor the middle class actually will experience a rise in their taxes.

The second, is that since the first about $5 million in value of an estate is already exempt from taxation, the Republican plan adds additional tax relief for the very wealthy that is not available to anyone else.

The Republican tax plan not only maintains the tax relief for the wealthy that had a lot to do with turning a budget surplus from the Clinton years into a deficit, but it actually increases tax relief for the wealthy while reducing it for the middle class.

By providing so much tax relief to the wealthiest Americans, the Republican plan increases the national debt so substantially that governmental expenditures cuts cannot balance it without eliminating almost all current governmental programs including national defense or by engaging in massive inflation of the economy.

The Republican proposal is premised exclusively on the belief that those who are most benefited by their plan will invest and spend in America the money they save from paying taxes thereby boosting the economy and raising tax revenues. This has not worked in the past.

As usual, those who publicly support the Republican plan and who are not generally included in the class that are rewarded by it, are nevertheless most often those who receive financial benefit from those actually directly advantaged by the plan.

C. 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:
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TODAY’S CHART:

America-is-violent-graph
This chart shows violence in America (basically assault) relative to other countries. While it reached rates as much as 5 times more than the most violent of other countries, the divergence is decreasing. To put this in perspective between 1975 to 1990 Americans were killing more of their own citizens per year than there were annual deaths of combatants in any war during that time. Since that time, Americans still kill more Americans per year than Americans die in all its wars and all acts of terrorism against Americans combined.

Interestingly, the decreasing rate of violent assaults in the US directly matches increasing rates of abortion availability. On the other hand the original rise in the rate of violent crimes exactly matches the entry of the baby boom generation into adulthood and falls as the pass on into middle age. So what does this all mean? The soldiers returning from WW II should have had better access to birth control and abortion. If they had the world would be in a much better place than it is now. History will probably consider the baby boom generation as the greatest calamity to infect earth since it coalesced out of cosmic dust.

Another point to ponder regarding the violent behavior of the modern American; during the past two decades Americans have killed more non-Americans than any and all other countries in the world have killed non-nationals. Admittedly some countries are as good as we are at killing their own citizens, such as in the Sudan, Rwanda, the Congo and now in Syria. But none are as effective as us in killing each other in random violence or by public execution.

TODAY’S CARTOON:
524147_326788694072139_1006975306_n

TODAY’S PHOTOGRAPH:

XmaTq

Categories: July through September 2012 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

This and that from re Thai r ment, by 3Th. Joe 26 0003 (August 11, 2014)

“Somebody has to do something, and it’s just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us.”
~ J. Garcia

Happy Birthday Stevie Dall
TODAY FROM AMERICA:

A. AFTER MONET: The Bayou as seen through Cataracts
xl_american_odyssey_276-277 - Version 3

B. POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN El DORADO HILLS:

A few days ago I had an out-patient medical procedure that required me to be under heavy sedation. That evening I had hallucinations the likes of which I have not experienced since the heyday of psychedelics in the early 1970’s. Their episodes were interspersed with dreams of a gambling-prostitution house in another universe replete with Chinese gangsters, strange aliens, murder plots, double crosses and cinematic explosions and destructions. I was exhausted the next day and spent the morning vomiting into the toilet (mescaline or peyote?). The following night it all repeated again in a slightly subdued manner. On the third night I slept.
*********************************************

One weekend recently, we went to Denio’s Flea Market in Roseville where I bought a hat that I have been eyeing for almost a year now but was too embarrassed to buy. Here I am in my new hat:
IMG_20140802_110758_575

Am I cool or what? If they are going to stop me at immigration as a potential illegal alien, I might as well give them reason to. Do you think this should be my new Facebook photo?

Now that I look more closely at the photograph, I realize I could be considered an attractive old man. Sort of like a broken mirror in a garbage dump.
***********************************************

Sometime in the last couple of weeks HRM decided that he now wants to be a WWE wrestler when he grows up. He built a practice ring in the basement out of old quilts and blankets on which he practices throwing himself on to the mat. He even has an old folding chair to beat his opponents with when he tosses them out of the ring.

When he heard that the Good/Bad David’s cousin is Brock Lesnar (WWE Heavyweight Champion, UFC heavyweight Champion and NCAA Div. I Heavyweight Champion) he was ecstatic and begged me to have David arrange a meeting with him so that he could body slam him on to the mat.

Why couldn’t he have found a violin in a garbage can somewhere, shown me a photograph of Itzhak Perlman and demanded I fly him to Carnegie Hall for a Perlman recital? Why couldn’t he construct a concert hall in the basement?

My son knows the lead singer of Metallica. Why couldn’t HRM scream with delight when he found that out? (Is there a difference between Metallica and WWE?)

Is there a WWE phase in the childhood of all young boys?

Should I worry? First he wants to be God’s friend and now this. Are they connected?
***************************************************
PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

A. Who Created America? (Snark alert)

Many consider the American Revolutionary War, The Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution as the foundations upon which The United States of America was built. I suspect, however, that the wellspring from which the American culture and society emerged existed long before that.

It sprang into being that day when that hardy band of dour, close-minded, out of work migrants illegally slammed their Doc Martins down upon Plymouth Rock, claimed the land for themselves, evicted the existing residents and ruled supreme for the next 100 years. It is no wonder we fear immigrants so.

We honor their successful takeover at Thanksgiving and learn about it in our schools.

With their arrival, the systematic slaughter of the native Americans began in what was to become the US. Many say that this ethnic cleansing was even greater and more brutal than that visited upon the natives by the Spanish in their area of conquest – at least there many survived, subjugated and brutalized but alive. So, does anyone know why, since they both were harbingers of genocide, Columbus is vilified and the Pilgrims exalted?

Someone whose pen name is MugWumpBlues wrote a blog describing the society and morality these people brought to our shores from which emerged a significant portion of the American culture we experience today.

“Forced to flee England during the reign of Bloody Mary (according to the Protestant version), one Puritan group fled to Switzerland. There, they published the Geneva Bible in 1560. Many of this group then migrated to Plymouth, Massachusetts.

Plymouth banned Christmas, gambling, Maypoles, and works of drama. Drinking alcohol was allowed in moderation; selling alcohol to natives encouraged; sex outside marriage forbidden.

Martial sex was encouraged. In fact, couples were disciplined for not performing their marital duties. Woman were allowed divorce for good cause. One of every six divorce petitions alleged male impotence, many for some man named Limbaugh.

Like all true believers, Puritans disdained other religious sects, particularly hating Christian Quakers. In 1660, four Quakers were hung for entering Boston. In 1664, Massachusetts enacted an Act of Uniformity, which established worship rules.

England got involved. In 1672, King Charles II finessed the Act by granting indulgences. Indulgences had been made famous by Martin Luther, who protested about the Catholic Church selling them.”

In other words, hypocrisy, violent intolerance, hatred of dissenters, and systematic racism were among their gifts to us, along with Boston of course.

B. Testosterone Chronicles, Female Version – “When Your Boss has a Vagina”:

Hillary Winston wrote an essay in Playboy. The book was titled “When Your Boss has a Vagina.” From that essay a new television series is being fashioned. You can be sure its name will not be the same as the essay. In that essay Winston observed:

“As an employee, I had good and bad bosses of both sexes. They could teach you how to give a blow job or they could ask for one. So I should say gender isn’t a factor at all in bossing. But now, as a boss, I think it is a factor. It absolutely matters whether your boss has a penis or a vagina, because gender affects everything. Now, as a lady boss, I can be bad in all the ways any boss can. I’ll have a fight with my fiancé on the way to work and take it out on you. I’ll make you work on the weekend and tell you Friday night. I’ll stock the break room with snacks only I like. I’ll notice when your car isn’t there right at nine. I’ll doubt you’re really sick. I’ll resent your car trouble, out-of-town weddings and dentist appointments. And yet I’ll leave early just to beat traffic—while you’re still at work.

But the real difference between having a male boss and a female boss is social customs. No matter what our roles are, we’re tied to ones that have existed since way before anyone noticed the glass ceiling. You hold the door for me because I’m a woman, not because I’m your boss. You look at my ass because you’re a man, not my subordinate. And I wear V-necks because I’m a woman and I have nice tits.”

Now some of my readers might refer to Winston as a “Feminist.” A few of my male readers and commenters may use that term pejoratively because they fear vaginas, believe they should be beaten into submission and useful only in the bedroom and sometimes in the kitchen. Some others idolize that term because they are convinced God is a vagina. I on the other hand happen to be certain God is a Uterus.

C. From Eric Spang (Leonard Cohen, “A Thousand Kisses”):

I saw there were no oceans left
For scavengers like me

A thousand kisses deep

I’m turning tricks, I’m getting fixed
I’m back on boogie street

TODAY’S QUOTE:

“We’re going to close the unproductive tax loopholes that have allowed some of the truly wealthy to avoid paying their fair share. In theory, some of those loopholes were understandable, but in practice they sometimes made it possible for millionaires to pay nothing, while a bus driver was paying ten percent of his salary, and that’s crazy. […] Do you think the millionaire ought to pay more in taxes than the bus driver, or less?”

“The result is that workers sometimes find themselves paying higher taxes than the giant corporations they work for, and hardworking families have to struggle under a growing tax burden while the special interests get a free ride. Now, we’re not against big corporations—they provide many of the jobs, goods, and services that keep America strong. It’s the system that’s unfair, and that’s what we’re going to change.”
Ronald Reagan

Alas, another Republican who probably could not get his Party’s nomination today. He could, however, conceivably garner the Democrat’s. Remember, Ronnie was a Democrat until Nancy clipped off his famously wandering willie. Wandering willies and a truck load of bullshit, as we all know, has been a prerequisite for several Democrats seeking the highest office in the land.
TODAY’S CHART:

lethal-doses-chemicals

TODAY’S PHOTOGRAPH:
xl_american_odyssey_030-031
HRM says the best part of the above photograph is the top third. I think he may be right.

Categories: July through September 2014 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

This and that from re Thai r ment, by3Th. May 28, 2011

TODAY‘S FACTOID:

2011: Here are some points we’ve passed and haven’t looked back (approximate dates):

1979: Peak per-capita gross energy production
1986: Peak grain per capita
1989-1995: Peak wild fish catch
1990: Peak net energy production
2000: Peak fresh water availability
2005: Peak conventional oil production
2011-14: Peak all-liquids (conventional+unconventional oil) production

It’s possible to overshoot a resource base – civilizations have done it time and again – but only temporarily.

The list above is a small subset of what we’ve depleted or are depleting, and many of the critical ones – oil, for instance – have no real substitutes.

TODAY’S NEWS FROM (THAILAND) AMERICA:

A study, conducted by the National Foundation for American Policy, found that 70 percent of the finalists in the 2011 Intel Science Talent Search competition — also known as the “Junior Nobel Prize” — were the children of immigrants even though only 12 percent of the U.S. population is foreign-born.

According to the report, children of immigrant parents have been increasingly dominant in the fields of math and science. In 2004, for example, researchers found that 60 percent of the top science students in the U.S. and 65 percent of the top math students were born to immigrant families. Findings were based upon data from the Intel Science Talent Search and the 2004 U.S. Math Olympiad.

We need additional restrictions on immigration before we get too smart. I bet these kids believe in evolution. The next thing you know they will be voting for Democrats when they grow up.

POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN (THAILAND) CALIFORNIA:

The past few days i have stayed close to my room, not because I am unable to travel, but because, i think, i am still feeling sorry for myself.

Anyway, on my daughter Jessica’s birthday recently we were talking on the phone and she reminded me that the time she had performed at the Latin dance club that I wrote about a few days ago was not the only time in her unconventional childhood, that she engaged in an impromptu performance in a bar.

It seems that when she was about 8 years old she was staying with me and a number of friends for a week somewhere in the Sierras. One night we were returning from dinner and many of the roads were flooded from spring run off. The driver of the car, against the loud objections of his wife, drove into  part of the road covered with water and promptly got stuck in the middle in water that covered the tops of the tires and was still climbing. We we scrambled out of the car, waded through the water and retreated to a dingy road house to dry off, warm up and wait for other friends to rescue us.

The bar had a live band playing and my daughter decided to entertain us while we were waiting (and I am sure to distract my friend’s wife who had not yet given up on her verbal assaults on her embarrassed husband). She climbed on to the table and danced for about an hour.

Now I tell you all this now, not simply because I wish to relate a cute tale of my progeny, but because I always thought children grew out of their unself-conscious public performance stage when they were about 5 years old.
PAPA JOES TALES AND FABLES:

THE PARABLE OF THE JUST SOCIETY

There once was a country that viewed itself as a fair and just society. They even called themselves the “Fair and Just Society”. Like most societies they could be divided into three groups of people. One-third of the people had the least amount of the income and wealth of that society, let us say only about 20% of the income and wealth. The second or middle one-third had about what would be the average of that societies wealth and income distributed among them, say 30%. The last group, the wealthiest one-third, had about 50% of the wealth and income of that society.

Let us also assume that at some point the members of the Fair and Just Society agreed among themselves that there are certain things that they all need and should be paid for collectively, like, for example, the common defense, roads, education of the Fair and Just Society’s children and so on. And let us further assume that the members of this Fair and Just Society agreed that these collective expenses should be paid for by each section of society according to their means. The lowest one-third agrees to pay 20%, the middle 30% and the top one-third 50% because they all agreed that would be fair and just.

Now let us assume that all things have worked out reasonably well for our Fair and Just Society and that even the poorest one-third had enough to eat, clothe and shelter themselves and everyone was pretty happy. Then one day, for whatever reason, good cost control, a sudden jump in productivity, the discovery of oil or gold or whatever, the Fair and Just Society finds that they have collected more funds than are needed for their common expenditures (Defense, education, etc.) and decide to ask the people what they should do with it.

Upon hearing this everyone was happy, no one more so than the upper third and their agent who was sent to speak to the representatives of the Fair and Just Society. He told them that because his employers were the upper third in income and wealth they knew more about money than anyone else and that it was very complicated and because of that he recommended that the money be returned to the people in the form of tax relief because then each individual will be able to choose what it wished to spend it on and so they will each benefit individually and the economy would benefit in general by this infusion of money.

Some of the representatives upon hearing this could not fully comprehend why giving to each person to spend as he wishes was better than all the people deciding together on spending it on something that would benefit them all the most. After all they argued, the money still gets back into circulation and the Fair and Just Society gains an asset owned by all the people. And some even thought at least some of it should be held for a “rainy day” when it might be needed. But most of the other representatives agreed that giving the money back to the individuals seemed reasonable and fair. So they asked the representative of the upper third how he suggested that it be done.

“Well,” he says, “I was hoping that you would ask that. Over lunch I prepared this chart.” And he whips out a chart. “What this chart shows” he says, “is that you should give all this money to the upper third because, not only do they know more about money than anyone else, they, having so much of it after all, but also since they do not have to spend in on necessities like food and stuff they will have this excess cash that they will invest in new factories and the like, you know, to make shoes and canned soup.” “And” he continued “they can even take some of that money and, oh say, pay for research or start-ups and increase productivity and things like that.”

When the agent of the upper third finished speaking, the representatives of the Good and Just Society all looked at one another for a moment then broke out laughing. “You cannot be serious,” the chairman said, “no one in their right mind could possibly be so stupid as to believe what you just said. Nevertheless, as a fair and just society we do think that it is fair and just to return it equally to all in accordance with their contributions to the common good, a 10% reduction to the bottom third on their 20% contribution, a 10% reduction to the middle third on their 30% contribution and a 10% reduction to the upper third based upon their contribution.” And with that they all got up and left, still chortling and shaking their heads.

Now because this is a parable, we will assume that in fact an across the board 10% reduction in taxes is fair and just.

Of course we all know that for many reasons an across the board reduction in taxes was not fair and just at all. For example, the lowest one-third would most likely spend it on consumable necessities like food, clothing and shelter since their 10% would not be that much money. Or, as was overheard the agent of the upper one-third telling some of the representatives of the Good and Just Society outside the hearing room. “They will probably just spend it on dope and booze and taking a few days off work.”

The upper one-third on the other hand probably would also spend some of it on dope and booze, but they would still have a lot of money left over. So they will call in their advisors and direct them to take this excess cash and use it to make more. After the advisors leave, the upper third would probably take a puff of their joints, a sip of their Mai Tais and brood about the workers in their factories that did not show up for work that day. Eventually they decide that they would have their secretaries draft letters to the Representatives of the Fair and Just Society complaining about the morals of the lower one-third and a lot of the middle one-third and that in the future any tax cuts should all come to them. That done, they will leave on vacation, using some of the money they received from the Fair and Just Society, because they believed they earned it.

The representatives of the upper third then meet to plan how they will turn this cash into more cash for the upper third and along the way turn themselves into members of the upper one-third.

They reasoned that after all that money spent on dope and booze there would not be enough cash left among the lower two-thirds for the upper third to invest their money to acquire it from the lower two-thirds. Nevertheless, there would be some and so they decide to increase their marketing budgets to persuade the lower two-thirds to spend whatever money they have left on products produced in the factories owned by the upper third. But still the upper third had a lot of money left over from the gift the Fair and Just Society had given them.

“Let’s use that money to buy the assets of the lower two-thirds,” suggests one.

“But the lower third has no assets,” complains another.

“Yes, they do,” states another. “We can buy their future and their freedom. We can give them some of our money to buy more dope and booze and tell them that they can pay us back from their future wages with a sizable profit to the upper third of course, and substantial commissions for us. And then we will tell them that since we have given them so much money and we know all about economic things, we being so rich and so smart, they can trust us to keep them in dope and booze forever. And in return they will agree to vote in the elections for the representatives to the Fair and Just Society as we the agents of the upper third tell them to.”

“As for the middle one-third,” he continued. “Many of them have worked hard and amassed some assets like their houses and their small business, so we will point out to them that because of all their hard work and our knowledge of finance, their assets have appreciated and they would be wasting that value unless they put it to work. Then we will loan them some money in return for the owning their assets if they do not pay us back.”

And they all agreed that was a good plan and they put it into practice.

Now it came to pass that this worked so wonderfully well for a while that the lower two-thirds, although actually poorer, appeared to be living so much better than they had been. As a result, they thought the agents of the upper one-third were much smarter than they were. And also, so much money was flowing into the hands of the agents that they soon began to replace some of the upper one-third.

Then one day there was, of course, not enough things for the upper third to buy because almost all the assets had been purchased and almost all of the futures mortgaged and on top of it they had even more money now with nothing to do. So the agents of the upper third went to the members of the upper third and showed them how instead of making things or buying more assets they could simply gamble all this money on the economy because everything was so good and the agents were so smart things would keep getting better and better and except for a few corrections now and again they would make even more money.

Then a funny thing happened, soon there were fewer members of the upper third who actually made things, they had been replaced by the agents who really did not make anything at all.

Then of course there was what is known as a “correction,” the lower two-thirds had mortgaged all their futures and no longer had the money to buy things. So as the factories closed down the lower two-thirds began to lose their jobs and their homes and businesses.

Some of these people turned to the Representatives of the Fair and Just Society and asked them to do something about it. Unfortunately for the lower two-thirds, the Representatives of the Fair and Just Society had by now all been replaced by the employees of the upper one-third. Nevertheless they agreed to look into their concerns.

“No problem,” they said, “we can make everything better by cutting those things we have been paying for up until now and lowering taxes on the upper one-third so they can invest even more. We can pay for whatever essential community services are left (like protecting the assets of the upper one third) by borrowing from the upper one-third and it all will work out just like it was described in that chart.”

Now we all know that that’s what really happened, but since this is a parable we will assume that everyone actually did believe that the distribution of the money was fair and just and that no one could have possibly foreseen what actually did happen.

So, the representatives of the Fair and Just Society a few months or so after making the fair and just present to the people were surprised to find, that while the income and wealth of the upper one-third grew exponentially, the lower two-thirds barely held their own and their debts to the upper third increased even more rapidly than the upper third’s income.

This being a Fair and Just Society and their representatives, not yet being replaced by the employees of the upper third, understood what that meant for the future of the Fair and Just Society. So, they convened a meeting and called in the upper third and their agents and told them, “We all made a mistake and in order to avoid an economic catastrophe and to preserve the Fair and Just Society, you are all just going to have to give all the money back.”

OK, I will admit maybe that this a fantasy and not a parable. But still…

MORAL:

1. No society, if it hopes to survive, can surrender to an individual, institution or groups of individuals or institutions unbridled and uncontrolled dominance over its economic and political well-being, no matter how apparently beneficial it appears at the time.
2. We are better off as a society to agree to what we want our society look like and act to make it so than to just hope for the best or trust to our individual efforts alone.
3. A fair and just society never ever follows the advice of those with the most to gain financially.
4. A fair and just society resists giving collective funds or advantage to those with the resources to compete for them on their own.
5. There is no magic wand, invisible hand, or strong and brilliant leader that can save us from our folly. If we believe that, then Pogo was right when he said so long ago, “We have met the enemy and he is us“.
________________

JOEY’S MYSTERY NOVEL:

My apologies to fans of this series, but this post has simply gotten to long. I promise to include the next chapter in my next post.

PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

a. Chart of the Day:

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

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

c. From god’s mouth to your ears:

What was actually written on Moses’ tablets–The real 10 Commandments:

1) Thou shalt worship no other God.
2) Thou shalt make thee no molten gods.
3) The feast of unleavened bread shalt thou keep.
4) Six days thou shalt work, but on the seventh day thou shalt rest.
5) Thou shalt observe the feast of weeks.
6) Thrice in the year shall all your men children appear before the Lord God.
7) Thou shalt not offer the blood of my sacrifice with leaven.
8) Neither shall the sacrifice of the feast of the passover be left until the morning.
9) The first of the first fruits of thy land shalt thou bring unto the house of the Lord thy God.
10) Thou shalt not seethe a kid in his mother’s milk.
Exodus 34:14-26

Now I really could support these posted of the grounds of the nation’s courthouses. Remember, avoid bathing your goat in its mother’s milk.
Note: Thank you Cort for this item.

TODAY’S QUOTE:

“Some people are alive only because it is illegal to kill them.”
—Unknown

Categories: April 2011 through June 2011 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

This and that from re Thai r ment. April 25, 2010

I have lost almost 20 pounds since I left the US. That means either I am eating a lot less or I am exercising more or I have come down with some horrible wasting sickness. I hope to lose about 10 more pounds before beginning a more vigorous exercise regime than my 10 to 20 minutes swimming a day. Maybe I will start lifting weights and try to replace my 70-year-old gut with a 70-year-old six-pack, then again maybe not.

Yesterday I published my first piece in a political blog. I was very excited. The blog is the one that Bill O’Rielly called the most evil in the nation. He seems to believe the contributors to the blog are those same people who used to attend demonstrations criticizing and ridiculing the President. Of course that only made it the blog I would attempt to write for first.

Actually it is all quite simple you just sign up and write away. Nevertheless despite the simplicity, I found trying to write the first piece daunting, fearing that whatever I submitted would be ridiculed by somebody thereby destroying my confidence and rendering me incapable of gong out in the daytime. After writing and erasing a number of attempts at composing the miserable little three or four paragraph comment, I gave up. To divert myself from my frustration, I started rummaging through the few documents that I had brought with me from the US after disposing of everything else I own. In addition to two diaries from the 1960s containing some horrid poetry and the musings of an evil, self-absorbed pissant, I came across something entitled “The Fred Harris Campaign Handbook,” perhaps the last copy in existence. For those who are too young or who may have missed it, Fred was very briefly, a candidate for the presidency of the United States on the Democratic ticket during the 1972 and 1976 presidential campaigns. Fred campaigned as the populist candidate on behalf of the little people of America.

I was his issues chairman for the California primary, and as such prepared the Handbook. It was organized by issue, containing Fred’s writings or speeches on each topic so that campaign workers could respond in the candidate’s own words to inquiries about where Fred stood on an issue. As it turned out the Handbook was never needed because Fred never made it to the California primary in 1976 where we were convinced that he would clinch the nomination and I would be up for an appointment as Secretary of State, Attorney General or a nomination to the Supreme Court or at least an indictment. No, Fred lost big time in the New Hampshire primary and was forced to drop out of the race for lack of money. When asked by the press what happened Fred responded, “Well I guess the little people were too short to reach the lever by my name”. (For those of you too young to know, before the invention of fire voting machines required a voter to pull down a little lever by the candidate’s name in order to record the vote)

Anyway, I thought since I was not confident in my own words, I would use Fred’s and add my own witty comments and insights to elucidate and relate Fred’s thoughts to the current political situation. That worked quite well and I submitted the piece and was quite pleased to see it published.

I was even more pleased when the next day, there were a number of positive comments on my submission and nary a negative. One articulate gentlemen’s comment contained only the word “awesome”.

Almost immediately my pleasure passed when I realized that I had to write a follow-up and that just had become much more difficult. It was like when I was much younger and did a little bit of acting on the stage, if the audience liked my performance, I could not go on the following night unless I was pushed onto the stage because I was paralyzed with fear that I would not be able to repeat the previous night’s success.

Anyway, what ever happened to Fred? Well, he dutifully campaigned for Jimmy Carter in California. Fred and his wife La donna spent election night at my house in San Francisco and when Carter accepted Ford’s concession I looked at Fred and could see that the light had gone out of his eyes in despair over the ending of his political ambitions. Either that or he was dead drunk and about to pass out. Come to think of it, it was probably the latter since I seem to recall that thhttps://josephpetrillo.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post-new.php?post_type=post#titledive next morning we found Fred asleep in my back yard.

History is great isn’t it? They should start teaching it again in High School.

Ciao

____________________________________________

EXCERPTS FROM DIARY PRIOR TO POST:

WEDNESDAY APRIL 21, 2010 11PN

Again I cannot get to sleep and so I turn back to writing this diary. Before going into my trip to Chiang Mai and its aftermath I thought it would be a good idea to to paste here some of my more interesting correspondence of the last four days.

First is a response to an email from Irwin,

“Yesterday I learned a few things.

First fat women should not wear Brazilian thong bikinis.”

Second, the dammed water festival goes on until tomorrow.

Thinking the madness was over and feeling a bit bored before my trip to CM, I decided to make the one mile or so down the road to Hell (Pattaya) for dinner and to see the action. So I dressed in pressed pants and shirt and set out in an unprotected songtheuw for an evening in Hell. Within the first 50 yards we ran into the revelers and by the time I arrived at the outskirts of Hell I was drenched as though I had dove into the condo pool and very pissed. I found a falafel shop and sat near the spit to try to dry off while I ate. Still damp, I set off on a walk around Hell.

In Hell you can buy anything you want from whatever sexual perversion fit your tastes, food of all cuisines, various medical treatments, goods services and so on. And it is all exhibited on the streets and alleys for examination and sampling. Although Hell was fashioned by American soldiers during the Viet Nan war from a sleepy Thai fishing village,there are now many ethnic sections in Hell. The Muslim section has good food and Hookahs (the kind you smoke, not the kind that smoke you although there are plenty of them also). The Russian section, which appears to be a new phenomena, seems to specialize  talking loudly and huge white bodies.

The Main Street in Hell is called the Walking Street. It runs along the shore and automobiles are prohibited. Each side of the street is lined with food and flesh establishments that draw to it the underbelly of the world. All the establishments are open to the street, one even has a Thai boxing ring  set up where you can watch professional Thai boxing matches while drinking beer with one hand and exploring the pleasure available under the waitresses costume with the other.

Hell reminds me of the Island of Lost boys that Strombolli takes Pinocchio and his friends to smoke cigars, play pool and engage in other manly pursuits like that. Of course in the end they all turn into donkeys. But, is that any worse than being swallowed by a whale and turned into a living boy to enjoy the miseries of life.

After a while I stopped at one of the bars, ordered a beer and watched the doings on the street. One of the bartendys (What Thais call female bartenders) caught my eye and so I asked her how much she charges to spend the night pleasuring me. The quoted price was a little under $30. Having been away from Hell for so long, I no longer knew if that is a good price or not, so I got her number and promised to call back. 

I then left the bar and went to the Shark Club a so called Go-Go bar where one of my former employees was a featured dancer. In the Shark Club  totally naked women, except for a  small ruffle around the waist that did not quite reach the pubic area and which sported a number by which you can order up that particular lady for the night, danced around some poles on the top of the bar.. Lek my friend’s number was 1. They also had a hot tub where the ladies removed their belt, lathered themselves up and danced on the edges of the tub.

This club was strictly look and pay to take out and not one of the clubs offering ladies smoking cigarettes, shooting darts into balloons or ping-pong balls off the walls or drawing out strings of razor blades all from their very well trained vaginas. (The legendary fucking a donkey on stage only happens in Tiajuanna if at all I am afraid). Another type of bar that is quite popular is one in which you can sit at the bar drinking a beer and talking to a buddy about football or whatever and a window opens in the bar in front of you and a woman sticks her head out and gives you a blow job.

Anyway my friend Lek is the star at Shark’s. When she worked at my bar, although she always had a great tiny body her face was marred with acne scars and was too moon shaped to be successfully bought out very often. But she went to Hell, had the scars removed and the shape of the face adjusted and now is a ravishing beauty. Anyway after watching her dance on the hot tub for me and arranging for dinner after my return from Chiang Mai, I left to return to paradise.

I piled into a songtheuw with a lot of Russians and their big bodies sheltered me from the worst of the attacks of the water fiends.

And today is another day and I have to figure out how to get to the bus station this evening without getting drenched.

Ciao”

The second is my follow up “This and that…” post

 “I am writing this from the overnight bus to Chiang Mai. I am heading back to my suburban paradise to pick up some of the things I left there when I moved to Jomtien Beach Paradise, which is located about a mile down the road from Pattaya, a city clearly on the outskirts of Hell.

Last night feeling a bit bored, I decided to travel the road to Hell for dinner and to look around. I dressed for my night out in freshly pressed pants and shirt only to discover that the Songkran festival was still going on and would continue through today. In any event, by the time I arrived at the outskirts to Hell I may as well have jumped fully clothed into the pool. I found a falafel shop and huddled near the spit to dry off, with little success. After eating, I walked around OOL (OUTSKIRTS OF HELL) . Although OOL was created out of a little Thai fishing village to provide RR for American service men during the Viet Nam War, it has developed a number of ethnic areas such as a Muslim section containing good food and water pipes to smoke and the new Russian tourist area that appears to specialize only in loud talking and giant white bodies.

Just about anything you could possibly want and a lot that you would not can be obtained in OOL for a price and it is all exhibited right there in front of you. The main street of OLL is called the Walking Street, it runs along the waterfront and all the establishments open on to the street so that, like the Plaka in Athens. You sit in front of the bars drinking your Retsina (in this case Beer) and watch the doings.

I strolled around for a while, stopped by a Go-Go bar called “Sharks” to visit a friend who used to work as a bartender in my bar in BKK and now is a featured dancer and  then returned home.

This morning I awoke and realized that the suitcase I was going to bring with me to CM in which to pack my things was too small to carry everything I needed. Also after I left to go to the Bus station, I discovered that the Songkran festival was not only continuing but that this was to be the “big day”.  As I set off to purchase an adequately sized  suitcase and go to the bus station I found that the road was so jammed with partiers that it was impassable and no covered conveyance was available.  So, I had to walked the mile or so distance to the turn from the beach road onto the street that would take me into Pattaya where I could buy some cheap luggage, do some banking and hopefully get to the bus station on time all the while praying that I could avoid getting too wet. I arrived at the junction depressed that my dry run of two days ago seemed a complete failure and pleased with the rationalization that probably without the dry run things could have been much worse. Although I avoided most of the water, I was drenched in sweat anyway. (Today’s photos show a bit of the madness).

Unfortunately, the intersection had the inflammatory situation of being the locus of a collection of gay, transgender and straight bars, hysteria and costumes and everything was…well, rampant. Also large water trucks, not the pickup trucks with barrels of water in the back but real tankers were parked in the middle of the intersection with their operators gleefully spraying the overheated revelers with hoses.

Anyway, although I  worked my way through the intersection mostly successfully, about 300 yards further along the road I came upon a particularly nasty knot of bleached white caucasians and a few Thais gleefully wetting down anything that moved.  I gingerly made my way through the crowd shouting “no water, no water”. The Thais complied. As I explained previously, when you signaled to a Thai that you did not want to be drenched they would desist or politely ask you to let them anoint you for the sake of the festival and if you  agree they gently throw a few drops of water on you. Not so with the european contingent who seemed to determined to use the festival either as an occasion to practice for total war or an opportunity to demonstrate their racial dominance.

So just as I was about to pass beyond this particular group I was struck violently in the back by a jet of water from one of those plunger operated water cannons I described in my previous email. I turned and saw a rather large male with his faux penis erect and dripping and pointed directly at me. He stared at me in triumph looking a lot like a water buffalo in heat. I wagged my finger at him. He clearly interpreted it as a challenge and sprayed me again with his cannon this time drenching my front. Well, I immediately saw that this was going to become an epic challenge for leadership of the herd and so I strode back to him and pored much of the cola drink I was carrying over his head. He retaliated by spraying me again, so I threw the remainder of the drink into his face. That’s when I learned he was Australian because he could not say ‘fuck’ properly, pronouncing it something like ‘fawrk’ and he threw more water on me and thats when I bitch slapped him  up-side his head as they say (In a later post I will explain why a bitch slap is often better than a closed fist punch). Anyway that elicited a number of ‘fawrks’ from him and the others. Satisfied with my manly response to the challenge, I turned  began to walk away fairly confident there would be minimal retaliation because men everywhere are usually dumb as stones  when challenged. Suddenly a woman (the brighter and quicker of the sexes) yelled “Are you going to let him get away with that” and I was pelted on my rapidly receding but now heroic back with a few more bursts of water and a lot more ‘fawrks’.

Flushed with pleasure from the adrenaline high and happy with that pleasure generally experienced the  males of the species whenever they are able to beat their chests and roar over doing something stupid and worthless, I jumped on the next songtheuw, got even more thoroughly drenched, bought my cheep one trip luggage ($20), did my banking and purchased a change of clothes, a pair of pants too big in the waist and too short in leg and a polo shirt from a company appropriately named “Geek” .

(as an aside I must mention one of Joe’s rules:

“Doing something incredibly stupid and getting away with it can make your whole week.”

So Joe’s advice is do something stupid at least once a week, it’s better than Prozac)

I arrived at the bus station in plenty of time to change. I got on the bus and am ready to sleep pleased in the knowledge that had I been a little smarter and had a little more foresight, I would have missed the events of the day and had no story to tell. G’night.

Ciao”

I did not sleep well on the bus and when I arrived in CM I was very tired and exhausted from the day before. I noticed that several times during the events related in the above emails, I was so exhausted that I could not hold a drink in my hand without the hand shaking uncontrollably.

I had my usual arguments with the taxi drivers over the fare (they wanted 300 baht for the two mile drive from the bis station to the subdivision while the 5 or six hundred mile bus fare cost only about 200 baht meal included). Anyway, I dragged my new luggage over to a songtheuw and took it to the Central shopping center (20 baht) and switched to another for the ride down the CM-Hangdong highway to the entrance to the subdivision (Actually we went a bit past the entrance before I realized in when we passed the pottery village mega-pot and I got off and walked back). I walked to the school and visited briefly with Choti who was very busy. As I walked to the house I met the missionaries on their motor bikes talking Micah to school. We talked about the Hayden situation and they volunteered to take him in if N. would let her. Then as we separated she gave me a hug saying this is how we do it in Georgia. Her husband gave her a strange look.

I then walked to the house. Pi Newan opened the gate and I went directly upstairs and began packing. I took a pillow from the master bed and some bedding along with my things. There was more than would fit in the new suitcase and my travel brief case so I packed the rest in plastic bags. After dumping a bunch of q-tips into the toilet and taking a cold shower, I changed out of my travel clothes and wrestled the luggage down the stairs. Pi Newan appeared surprised I was leaving. She showed me the electric bills that N wanted me to pay.

I left everything in front of the door and walked to Jerry’s house where I found him sitting in his usual chair reading. I gave him the computer games and audio books for the school and we talked for a while mostly about the Hayden. We then agreed to go to lunch at the buffet he had recommended to me several times.

We went on his motorcycle to the school to pick up the car. We stopped in to see Choti. She was sitting in her office with one of her teachers discussing Hayden. We spoke for a while and the missionary’s wife came in. As I described the Hayden situation, I noticed tears flowing down my cheek. I was embarrassed. Jerry and I left and went to the Buffet which was quite good.

On the way back we stopped at the airport to get my return ticket and then went to the immigration office to talk to the immigration officer that Choiti suggested. It was unhelpful. We then went to Lexus-Tesco to buy a small piece of luggage in which to put the my things that I packed in plastic bags. By then Cordt called and agreed to pick me up at the house and drive me to the airport. Jerry dropped me off and I went upstairs to lie down while waiting for Cordt. While I was resting the electricity was turned off presumably for non payment.

Cordt arrived. I went down stairs and loaded my luggage into his car and then wen back to Pi Newan, gave her 1000 baht said good-by and gave her a hug and left.

We decided to stop at the coffee shop before going to the airport. Cordt explained that he wanted my advice for his sister who was an in house labor attorney for Pfizer and had been laid off. We then started discussing Hayden and I could not stop crying. He said that the always believed N. was crazy and had a split personality disorder.

I got on the plane, after paying a 600 baht charge for excess baggage weight, I dozed o the plane.

When I arrived at Don Muang, I found that I did not have enough money for a taxi to Jomtien Beach and that there was no bus from the airport to Pattaya. I took a taxi to the bus station rather than taking me to the Erkamai bus station the driver took me to Mo chit station that he said had buses to P. and was a less expensive taxi ride. I did not trust him and so did not tip him. To my chagrin, he was right and I was wrong.

Paid 130 baht for the ticke to Pattaya and wrestled my three pieces of very heavy luggage onto the bus platform and left for Pattaya.

When I arrived, I again had my usual argument with the songtheuw driver. I tried to get onto the vehicle. He said “where are you going?” I knowing that he wanted to charge me farang rated responded that I wanted to go wherever the vehicle was going and make my way from there. This infuriated him and her tried to charge me an additional amount for my luggage. I walked off and found a driver who would take me to my door. Although is still is a lot (more than the bus fare from BKK) by now I know the expected prices and after all it was all the way to my door,

I got to my condo and began unpacking. I received a call from Tai. I asked her why she was calling and why did she do what she did to me. She refused to answer then said that she still loved me but that the baby cost 20,000 baht per month and she had to work although she was not working now. I asked who pays it now and she said that it was the father. I pointed out that I could not see her problem, she could live with me as planned and if she wanted to work I would care for the baby. She said the baby should have a nanny. I responded that we would have enough money for that. She said that I did not understand. I finally I got fed up and terminated the conversation. I called her back after a few moments and told her that I would rather she not call me until she was willing to speak truthfully, hung up and went to bed.

Today I woke up exhausted. The maid came to clean the condo and someone came to fix the sliding glass door. I spent most of the day dozing. This evening before beginning this I read one of my diaries from 1962. More about that later.

THURSDAY APRIL 22 2010 1 PM

I am in the lobby waiting for someone either very attractive with large knockers and butt and quite feminine with something extra or a tall, ordinary looking prostitute. Exciting isn’t it?

3:30 PM

She was the former but the extra was not fully functional. She has the usual story.
Plan to meet Gates tonight.
Lek called, OK dinner Sunday.

10:30 PM

Returned from night in Pattaya with Gates and his Persian night club owning client. Stopped in bar for a beer then went to Persian Restaurant for dinner (Just OK). Then to Something Witch Go-Go bar. Threw ping pong balls at dancers, had a few come and sit with us, joked with the waitress drank beer and Coca -Cola. Persian paid. Got bored and left. They went to a soapy massage place and I went home.

FRIDAY APRIL 23, 2010 12 NOON

Need to resolve visa issues. Anxiety attack. Need to calm down.

11:30 PM

Went out to Bank and then to Pattaya to meet up with Gates, Roy the San Jose persian night club owner, Mike the stiff and Gary the weight lifter. Mike and Gary accumulated some wealth in their careers and held on to it. They now live in Pattaya. We met at a pub called Queen Victoria located on soi 6 road 2 in central Pattaya. Gary arranged for someone to meet me on Monday to assist me with my immigration problems. After dinner we walked up and down soi 6. Soi 6 is not near the main tourist districts of Pattaya but is lined with girlie bars on both sides of the street just like along the Walking Street. According to Mike and Gary, the women here are much less expensive than those working the bars along the Walking Street.

We went into one whose name I cannot recall, Miss Saigon I believe. Immediately one of the bar girls came up to me and began rubbing my cock. I decided to take her upstairs for a bang. Mike and Roy decided to take girls upstairs also.

We undressed, showered then lay on the bed where she began to blow me. After awhile it was clear to me at least and I suspect to her also that I was not cumming, so she put a rubber on me then climbed on me sort of reverse cowboy style in that Thai crouch and pumped up and down until came. (Cost for drinks, bar fine, girl and tips 1450 baht)

Later we decided to go to Super-girls and see Lek perform. When we got there we found out that Lek had been bought out. I was getting tired and so I left them there and took the songtheuw home.

SATURDAY APRIL 24 2010 9 PM

Did little today. Stayed close to home. Had breakfast at Cafe Le Mar. The man who eats breakfast there at the same time that I do and reads the Bangkok Post while I work on my computer told me a new road in Pattaya collapsed because of the recent rains.

I returned to my building and completed the “Fred Harris” diary for Kos and sent it off. I was pleased no end in seeing it published on the blog. Emailed missionaries name of Limoncello Restaurant, Called Gates told him I was sticking close to home today but would try to see him tomorrow when I take Lek to dinner. Wrote emails to Nikki, Jessica and Cordt. Responded to Ruth’s email regarding resigning bishops. Took a brief swim. Began the second Fred Harris diary. Took a shower and am now ready for bed.

Categories: April 2010 through June 2010 | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

“The only difference between the Democrats and the Republicans is that the Democrats allow the poor to be corrupt, too.”
~Oscar Levant

TODAY’S FACTOID:

February 26, 1564, Christopher Marlowe was born in Canterbury England to Catherine Marlowe and John Marlowe, a shoemaker. He attended Cambridge University, lived a life of high adventure as a spy, wrote some of the greatest plays and poetry in the english language and died in a barroom brawl before he was 30.

(Don’t forget to celebrate.)

TODAY’S NEWS FROM THAILAND:

Same old, same old.

There is a Palm Oil crisis in Thailand. Palm Oil is used by the majority of Thai’s for cooking. The price of Palm Oil is rising as is the price for food, natural resources and precious metals. Food prices are under somewhat greater pressure than the other two because climate change and extreme weather has begun to affect harvests. To add to the pressure, the so-called investment community (the rich and their advisors), fearing inflation, are moving money out of some financial instruments and into commodities as a hedge.

Because Palm Oil is essential to most Thais, the government initially acted to raise short-term supplies by removing some of the limits on the importation of the oil. This met with opposition from those in the financial community and some of the palm oil producers that would benefit most from the rise in prices. In addition to the usual political pressure articles suddenly started appearing in the press written by so-called experts that Thai producers and workers will be adversely affected. Also the producers simply warehoused the additional supply in hopes of increased future prices. The Government then effectively terminated the trade liberalization to the benefit of the producers and financial interests. Nevertheless, the government recognizing the dependence of the average Thai on the oil and the imminence of national elections, limited the retail price of the oil. While this had a lesser effect on the financial speculators, the producers see their profits squeezed down from obscene to normal and have reacted with fury. Stay tuned. One way or another, despite the best efforts of some in the government, the average Thai citizen is in for another screwing.

On a completely different matter the Thai newspapers contained a comment by Moammar Gaddafi on the demonstrations in Libya:

“This is my country, my country.”

Indeed…

POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN THAILAND:

This morning I dropped Hayden off at school and proceeded along Soi 4 to Sukhumvit. Some of the shops and bars were just opening for the day’s business. The Restaurants and cafes serving breakfast were in full swing with bleary eyed farangs trying to down their first coffee of the day. A few of the ladies of the night were still out on the streets. Whether they were out trying to get an early start on the day’s business or just hoping for one last score on their way home to sleep away the sunshine hours after last nights commerce, I do not know.

I stopped at a Starbuck’s at the corner of Sukhumvit and Nana for a Cafe Latte and to read the newspaper and then proceeded to the barber shop. The barber shop I use is located in the Arab quarter because we of the olive skin race, (bordering the Mediterranean and extending into the mountains of Persia and Afghanistan), tend to be generally more hirsute than the races from the north, south and east of our homeland.

I ordered a shave and a deep ear cleaning. Now, for those unfamiliar with the it, deep ear cleaning is a process that would probably be banned in North America or Europe. The barber inserts a series of long sharp instruments into ones ear and scrapes, swabs and otherwise digs out what ever he or she finds in there. In my case it must have been a lot since when I left the shop, the insistent noise of Bangkok appeared louder than when I went in.

From the barber shop, I walked through the back alleys of Arab town with their shops and cafes and travel agencies and the like catering to the mostly Muslim population of the area. The air smelled of spices, shawarma and falafel reminding me of my love of the cuisine.

I come out of the alley in front of Gulliver’s, a large barn like club. Inside there are several circular bars around which in the evenings young women sit in hopes of being hit on by preferably older and wealthier farangs.

I walk past Food Land Market. It houses a counter inside serving some of the least expensive good food, western and other, in BKK.

I enter a tunnel that runs between Soi’s. It is dark and filled on both sides with tiny bars, food stalls and shops. The tunnel exits next to an establishment named The Beer Garden. It is basically a downscale version of Gulliver’s and is referred to by some as “The Chicken Farm.” I cross the street and pass through the driveway alongside the Amari Hotel that ends in a large parking lot that skirts the abandoned lobby of what I guess is another hotel, on the doors of which are sculpted a magnificent brace of swans.

The parking lot ends at Soi 11 adjacent to the Rain Tree Spa and across from my destination, the Ambassador Hotel, containing the health club and pool I use for my morning exercises.

Following my workout, I walk along Sukhumvit to Soi 4 to go back my apartment. I often stop in the Landmark Hotel and visit the Asia Books store located in the lobby to see if there and any new releases I want to read.

As I walk along, every now and then a rat would poke its head out through a crack in the sidewalk, I guess for a glimpse of sunlight and perhaps safety from the dangers of the dark subterranean canals that lie just below the pavement, their fetid waters home to rats, snakes and god knows what else. When Bangkok enclosed most of their canals to provide the motorways for the modern city, it created a miasmatic swamp just below the city’s streets. Who knows what is breeding down there. The sewers of Paris are palaces compared to these. Novels have been written of escapes through the sewer systems of many cities, even New York. But if you’re trapped in Bangkok’s I doubt the possibility of survival. I sometimes wonder if in a hundred years or so some new creature or creatures would rise from those mephitic waters, a plague perhaps, or something larger than minuscule disease bearing organisms. Something looking like the Naga’s of Thai myths, multi-headed serpents ascending from those hidden waterways and careening down the then flooded streets pursuing the few remaining inhabitants of the city.

Arriving home, I usually grab my computer and go to the small restaurant across Soi 4 from my apartment, really not much more substantial than a sidewalk cart where I have lunch. It has the benefit of free wi-fi access, so I play with the internet, check on the 49rs and write things like this until it is time to pick Hayden up from school.

JOEY’S MYSTERY NOVEL:

A few weeks ago (or maybe not so long ago), I opined that the fiction novel is dying and soon to be replaced by Twitter and Facebook fiction. Well, today an article appeared in the paper that reporter that young bloggers are abandoning blogs for Twitter and Facebook essentially because blogs are more passive and less immediate while Twitter and Facebook seems to be more in your face kind of communication. So I guess were I to write Chapter 10 in Twitter is would go something like this:

Isabella, looking hot enters the bar where Vince is sitting and tells him that he may be at the fall guy for the Brethren and Red Star. She leaves when David Kitchen arrives.

(Maybe that’s how Elmore Leonard learned to write.)

Chapter 10.

Vince entered the noisy restaurant. To his left was a large slightly raised platform containing a long bar and several small cocktail tables. To his right was a doorway leading to the eating area guarded by the unsmiling wannabe model hostess.

The Bar was lined with the usual young professionals looking to hook up one way or another that night. He took a seat at one of the cocktail tables facing the door and ordered a ginger ale from the waitress that appeared promptly at his side.

At precisely six-thirty the door opened and Isabella Yeung walked in. She seemed to like making grand entrances thought Vince. At least she likes being on time.

She was dressed in what he could only describe as high-end hooker. Her full black hair fell in glistening ringlets to her shoulders. Overly large hoop earrings peeked our from under her coiffure. She had on shimmering metallic top, clinched around the neck leaving her shoulders bare and split into a fringe above her navel and falling to just touch the top of her black micro-skirt. Her feet were encased in black multi-strapped four-inch heels. Over her bare shoulders was a long-sleeved black see through net vest, ruffled at the edges.

Her eyes locked of his and she strode directly over to his table and, as he now realized was her way, immediately sat down.

“Would you like a drink,” he asked?

“The same as you are having, ginger ale.”

He grunted, beckoned over the waitress and placed the order.

“Ok, so you are a private investigator showing me you have done your homework on me by knowing that I generally drink ginger ale. I hope you have been able to learn more than that.”

“Oh, a lot more.”

“There is a lot to know,” he responded. “Much more than there seems to be about you.”

“You probably have not looked in the right places.” She countered, that same placid stare did not for wander from his face even for a moment.

He was getting quite annoyed and frustrated by her arrogant self-assurance and if he could admit it to himself, a bit desperate. She was a very attractive woman and he appeared to be getting nowhere with her.

“Do you know agents Kittrel and Gonzales?” he asked hoping the sudden change in topic would throw her off her game and reveal something.

“No should I?”

Her ginger ale arrived. “How about a Mr. Jessel?”

For the first time her eyes left his face as she reached down, picked up the drink, took a sip and said, “I do not think so. Why?”

“All three appeared at my office this afternoon to ask me about ‘Red Star’ one of the things you chose to warn me about earlier. So, if you are not working with the Feds and will not tell me who you represent, why are you here? Is this game only to play with me because I find you attractive or is there something else on your mind?”

The hint of a smile appeared on her face that did not reach her eyes.

“This is not game,” she said. “I have been investigating the Brethren for some time now and it has led me to ‘Red Star’. I was making some headway and now you show up. You are an arrogant, self-important fool, just the tool to be used by those cleverer than you so that you become the fall guy and derail everything that has been done so far.”

Vince was stunned to silence. Then he heard a voice say, “Well well, if it is not the seductive Ms Yeung and my managing partner. Enjoying a little private discussion?I hope I am not disturbing you?”

It was David Kitchen. He had arrived early for our meeting.

“No you did not disturb anything at all, Mr. Kitchen, I was just leaving.” and with that she got up and without further comment to either Vince of David strolled out of the Restaurant with the same aplomb with which she walked in taking the longing glances of most of the males at the bar along with her.

“I trust you are not being taken in by her?” said Kitchen as he slid into the recently vacated seat.

“I have no idea what that was all about,” he replied. “Obviously you know more than I. All I know is that she is one good-looking piece of merchandise, but probably nuts.”

“A few weeks ago she showed up in my office asking questions about ‘Red Star.’ I directed her to address any questions to our firm attorney.” David added. “You would be well advised to do the same. I have reason to believe she is working for one of the suppliers to ‘Red Star’ looking for anything that would give them a preference in a possible bankruptcy.”

“She does not appear very professional about it.” Vince opined.

“There is more there then meets the eye, I think. But there sure is a lot to meet the eye as well.”

PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

a. Book World from Jasper Fforde and Thursday Next or one the thereafter:

The continuing tale of Thursday’s invitation to three characters to take refuge in her home:

“He turned to the third Russian.
‘Tell me, Pyotr Petrovich Luzhin: who precisely is Marfa Petronova Svidrigailova?’
‘I’m sorry,’ said the third Russian who had been staring at her shoes absently, ‘but I think there has been some kind of mistake. I’m not Pyotr Petrovich Luzhin, but Alyona Ivanova.’
Razumikhin turned to Raskolnikov and lowered his voice.
‘Is that your landlady’s servant, the one who decides to marry down to secure her fortune or the one who turns to prostitution in order to stop her family descending into penury?’
Raskolnikov shrugged.
‘Listen’ he said, ‘I’ve been in this book for over one hundred and thirty years, and even I can’t figure that out'”
(To be continued.)

b. Today’s cognitive bias:

Reminiscence bump — the effect that people tend to recall more personal events from adolescence and early adulthood than from other lifetime periods.

TODAY’S QUOTE:

“As soon as the land of any country has all become private property, the landlords, like all other men, love to reap where they never sowed, and demand a rent even for its natural produce. ”
~Adam Smith, Wealth of Nations

(So much for the invisible hand.)

Categories: January 2011 through March 2011 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

This and that from re Thai r ment, by 3Th. (Frbruary 2, 2012) 17 Mopey 0001

TODAY FROM CALIFORNIA:

POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN CALIFORNIA:

Thanks to the generosity and quick thinking of Stevie and Norbert Dall (may they live long and prosper), I found a place to stay the night after arriving in Sacramento at about midnight. The next morning they picked me up and we drove to El Dorado Hills where we had lunch in a lakeside restaurant located in a vast shopping center designed to look like a traditional french village with parking.

After lunch they dropped me off at the house that I would be staying at to await Hayden’s return from school. SWAC arrived before he did and explained that instead of coming home, Hayden was spending the weekend at the apartment of SWAC’s friend Joey who the last time I was here she was furious with for calling her, in effect, a tart. He would return on Sunday morning at about the same time she leaves for the airport in San Francisco on her way to Thailand to remain there for about a month. Joey will drive her to the airport and then go on to Fresno to visit his family for a week leaving Hayden with me until he returned. Hayden then would resume living with him until SWAC’s reemergence. Although Dick, SWAC’s husband in whose house she lives (Dick lives at his mother’s home in Roseville), could have minded the boy for the week, he unfortunately had to go out of town for business and so the job fell to the default nanny, me.

Anyway, on Saturday we went to Joey’s house. Both Joey and Natalie were going off on separate errands and I was importuned to watch over Hayden and Joey’s two adopted boys for a few hours. The boys had constructed a rough treehouse in a gnarled chestnut tree located behind the apartments. I spent my time enjoyably watching the boys running back and forth from the tree to the apartment’s refuse bin, rooting out treasures to carry back and boost into the treehouse to enhance that mysterious ambience coveted by small boys.

Hayden decided he did not want to spend the night at Joey’s and returned with SWAC and me to Dick’s house where both Dick and SWAC spent an inordinate amount of time instructing me on my duties even though I had done them all innumerable times during my previous visits.

Hayden, himself, seemed to have advanced from the wounded neediness of the insecure child to the dreamy independence of the seven year old to whom the vagaries his life had become normal reality.

That night while trying to get to sleep, my mind drifted here and there as I tried to gain, if not understanding of things, the comfort of post hoc rationalization. I realized that since stopping my psychopharmacological drugs (happy pills), my tolerance for accepting circumstances that I find objectionable has diminished to at least what it was prior to beginning the medication regime. It is time for me to get on with things.

The following day, after SWAC left for the airport, Hayden, Dick and I visited with Bill and Naida at their ranch. Hayden rode one of the horses for a while. We then all went for a wonderful walk along the Cosumnes River to a rocky area downstream containing 19 or more grinding holes that Naida believes were made by the ancient predecessors to the indians featured in Naida’s novels that settled about a mile up river. Bill, who is still recovering from open heart surgery, heroically accompanied us. We stopped at the golf course club house for lunch and to give Bill the opportunity to rest and recover from the exertions of the hike.

MOPEY JOE’S MEMORIES:

On the Edge: Stories about the Creation and Early Years of California’s Monumental Coastal Protection Program.

In the Beginning: an oft told story (continued).

The litigation:

Before coming to California, I had practiced law in both New York and Italy. In New York I amassed one of the longest streaks of consecutive victories in jury trials in the history of the state until that time. In Italy, I practiced International tax law, a subject I knew nothing about.

I had given up the practice of the law in favor of hippiedom when I migrated to California and, therefore, at that time was not a member of the bar. For that reason, with regard to any litigation affecting Jughandle Creek, I could only operate, more or less, as a volunteer clerk or unofficial paralegal. I worked with two distinguished and very good attorneys; an older man named, if I remember correctly, Ferguson and a young attorney, Dick Gutting (or Cutting, I no longer remember which). Ferguson was a well known volunteer of his time and efforts on behalf of environmental causes, while Gutting, although at that time an associate in a distinguished law firm, had set his sights on a career in the emerging field of environmental law.

Like I said they were very good attorney’s while I, even with my enviable record that might mark me as a successful advocate, was at best a mediocre attorney. Almost immediately disagreements arose as I prepared the first draft of the briefs to challenge the Environmental Impact Report on the proposed motel development at Jughandle Creek.

Before addressing the disagreements, a little background on the issues. A few years previously the California legislature passed a law requiring that prior to taking an action governmental entities prepare a study of environmental impacts that may flow from that action. The law was more or less modeled on a similar Federal law enacted at the urging of then President Nixon. At the time it was assumed that the requirement applied, like the Federal law, only to governmental projects. In California however a court subsequently had held that it applied to private projects requiring governmental authorization also. The Jughandle Creek litigation would be one of the first that addressed the issue as to what if anything was demanded of the governmental entity should the report indicate that substantial adverse environmental impacts could be caused by the project.

The law suit was dismissed at the trial court and was now on appeal.

The disagreement between those working on the brief was over, not only my ability to frame the legal agreement itself (which for this discussion we will skip over), but also the nature of advocacy itself.

You see during my career as a trial lawyer, I discovered that no matter how polished and convincing my presentation or how devastating my cross examination of opposing witnesses, whenever I questioned the jury following a verdict as to what it was I said or did that convinced them, they would say, “nothing” and insist that the facts themselves were overwhelmingly in my clients favor.

Confused, I demanded that my firm give me only those cases the other lawyers did not wish to try because they believed them to be losers. I still won and the juries still gave the same explanation for their decision.

I deduced from this many things, most of which are quite obvious. The most significant insight was that no-one likes to admit his or her actions were based upon the urging of others. I had stumbled on to this truism inadvertently and had conducted my advocacy accordingly. For example, I rarely cross-examined my opponents witness in an effort to damage his credibility since it risked juror dissatisfaction with the domineering lawyer putting words into the witnesses mouth. Rather, I would try to lead him into expanding his story so as to stretch the bounds of credulity.

The legal argument we were, in part, trying to make was over the technical and often arcane issue of divining legislative intent. You see, without some prior legislative authorization to do so, a governmental body is never obligated to act, even in the face of obvious substantial adverse impacts (with the exception of gross human rights violation). To do so whenever an adverse impact is perceived invites chaos. This is one of the fundamental tenants of the rule of law. Even the human rights exception relies upon the fiction that somehow these rights are fundamental and exist even if not written down and adopted by a legislature.

In the EIR statute no specific language existed that in anyway directed the local government to do anything once they had accepted the document.

I argued that the brief had to strongly highlight the significance of the damage (not really an issue in the litigation other than it was so) and that the legislature specifically provided a mechanism for uncovering that impact and failure to act on the information would render the legislative action futile (not really a legal argument) and then lay out the various legal arguments by which the appellate court could find a legislative intent to justify what I hoped appealed to the judges sense of equity.

Ultimately we agreed on some form of the above approach, the briefs submitted, the case argued and the judgement rendered in our favor. Alas, I was not there to savor the victory, my six year old son Jason, Jeanne and I had departed on a several month tour of Europe when the decision was announced. (To be continued.)

THE NAKED MOLE RAT CHRONICLES:

Chronicles:

The more I struggle with my attempts to fashion stories and tales fitting an imagined evolution of NMR’s unique society, the more frustrated I become. It is not simply some “Watership Down,” imagining a recognizable human culture reduced to fit little furry creatures that live in burrows. Nor is it like some fantasy author postulating some spacefaring Panthera Leo community. NMR society is alien to almost all recognizable mammalian cultures. I searched through hundreds of tales and stories hoping I could find one or more to adapt. None that I found was adaptable to NMR society. How does one write a tale if the sex and survival instincts are unrecognizable? Only the NMR queen seems to fit our archetypes. Yet, the other individuals in the NMR community lacking either sex drive, or competitive urgings, nevertheless seem to live relatively self directed social lives lacking among insectoid species.

Any suggestions??

JOEY’S MYSTERY NOVEL:

RED STAR: Chapter, Rachel (continued).

Without thought, Rachel threw herself into the car diving across the transmission hump separating the front seats seeking whatever protection from impending doom the automobile offered and hoping the hulking stranger’s self preservation instincts were somewhat higher then hers at this moment. He slid in behind her, miraculously inserted the key into the ignition without fumbling, started the motor and plunged directly ahead as two more bullets bit into her car and shattering the front window.

The automobiles tires struck the curb and the car lurched across the sidewalk, traversed the plaza, careened off a parking meter and sped off down the Embarcadero. He squealed around the first corner he could heading west throwing her body against the dashboard. He did not seem to notice. Then he zigzagged back and forth from street to street apparently believing it would somehow put off pursuit or make him difficult to find. They continued like this until arriving near the intersection of Van Ness and Mission Streets by the hulking Goodwill Industries store where he pulled over by an unoccupied meter. He placed his head on the steering wheel, breathing deeply, hands shaking.

Rachel silent until now said, her voice deep and cracking slightly, “City Hall’s a few blocks away. The police are there.”

He turned toward her as though just noticing her. His round face shiny with sweat. Blue eyes wide with fright. He dug into his pocket pulled out a business card and handed it to her. Said, “Here call me I will pay any damage.”

She almost screamed, “Are you nuts? We have been shot at, almost killed. You highjack my car kidnap me and you give me your business card and offer to pay for damage to my car. I want the fucking cops.” She realized she was beginning to lose it. Whatever hormonal cocktail her body had mixed to carry her this far was evaporating.

Her outburst, on the other hand, seemed to shake him from wherever he was at. His eyes cleared and what appeared to be the beginnings of smile played with his lips.

“You’re right. I am sorry. You saved my life. I cannot ever pay you enough.”

“I did not save your life. You attacked and kidnapped me and you are right you can never pay me enough.”


“Listen before we bring in the cops, let me try to explain what happened,”
he pleaded.

Although clearly the large hulking man sitting across from her seemed at the end of his rope, she nevertheless was unsure, whether from fear or curiosity, to open the door and run to the police or to stay and listen. Curiosity got the better of her and she said, “Ok go ahead, but make it quick.”
(to be continued)

PAPA JOES TALES AND FABLES:

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

TODAY’S FACTOID:

2012: Child poverty in the US:

Child poverty is absolutely exploding all over America. According to the National Center for Children in Poverty, 36.4% of all children that live in Philadelphia are living in poverty, 40.1% of all children that live in Atlanta are living in poverty, 52.6% of all children that live in Cleveland are living in poverty and 53.6% of all children that live in Detroit are living in poverty.

2012: Net worth:

According to an analysis of Census Bureau data done by the Pew Research Center, the median net worth for households led by someone 65 years of age or older is 47 times greater than the median net worth for households led by someone under the age of 35.

If you can believe it, 37 percent of all US households that are led by someone under the age of 35 have a net worth of zero or less than zero.

2012: National Efficiency.

The US uses about 221 tons of oil equivalent to produce every million dollars of GDP, while the comparable number for Britain is 141, for France 170 and for Germany 164.

PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

B. : You might be a conservative if (by Bruce Lindner) [continued]:

8: You believe in putting American jobs first, except when president Obama rescued 1.5 million GM and Chrysler autoworkers, because that was socialism.

9: It angers you that you can’t communicate with the Mexican busboy at your local Olive Garden, but when you took a vacation to San Francisco’s Chinatown, you thought it’s quaint that so many Chinese-Americans are holding fast to their traditional language. Because that’s America!

10: You deny that the lunatic who tried to murder Gaby Giffords was a conservative, even though he targeted a Jewish, pro-choice, pro gay rights, Democratic Congresswoman.

11: You thought it was perfectly normal that every president in history had an untethered right to raise the debt ceiling when warranted, but when Obama asked the GOP held congress to do it, you thought it only natural that it be tied to cutting Social Security and Medicare.

12: When the new 112th Congress was sworn in, you swooned as they promised to focus on “Jobs, jobs, jobs.” But when they pivoted, and went after NPR, Planned Parenthood and gay rights, you cheered.

13: You accuse president Obama of raising your taxes to the highest point ever, even though they’re lower today than at any time since 1950.

14: You believe the wealthiest Americans are “job creators,” and they are — but it doesn’t bother you that all the workers in those positions are in India, China and Malaysia, and they’re doing the jobs that our fathers once did.

15: You believe gays are anti-American, because their lifestyle is a threat to the children… unless they’re married to Tea Party-backed presidential candidates from Minnesota.

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


“POOKIE FOR PRESIDENT”

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

The insufferable ignorance of the right:

My right wing correspondents are at it again. If you recall these are the same persons who among other things floods me with emails containing what no rational person one could possibly deny are racist images of the First Lady or the President and then when challenged deny, in high dudgeon, any racist intent insisting they were forwarding them because of its substantive and humorous intent.

A few days ago, I received a video of the very right wing Congressman King, calling for President Obama and Nancy Pelosi to leave the United States. Now not only would my correspondents probably shake with indignation (and probably did) at calls for W’s impeachment or for war crimes trials of members of his administration, but they go on to maintain that those who object to King’s statement are left wing racists because King is black. They forget that only 3 years ago, they nag their cohorts were apoplectic regarding the then candidate’s black pastor’s sermon that Blacks have had little benefit from the Constitution. They claimed their outrage was not racist in nature but indignation at the insult to America.

I mention it here, not because I am surprised or shocked, but to further indicate the level to which any sensible political discourse has fallen due to the pervasive nature of Faux Think and ditto-heads.

To again quote David Frum who remains a life-long committed Republican and thoughtful consultant to conservative causes:

“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.”

“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.”

King subsequently recanted his outburst. I guess that proves he must be a racist also.

TODAY’S QUOTE:

“We have now, it seems a National Bible Society, to propagate King James Bible, through all Nations. Would it not be better, to apply these pious Subscriptions, to purify Christendom from the corruptions of Christianity; than to propagate those Corruptions in Europe, Asia, Africa and America! “
John Adams letter to Thomas Jefferson.

Thomas Jefferson’s response:
“These Incendiaries, finding that the days of fire and faggot are over in the Atlantic hemispheres, are now preparing to put the torch to the Asiatic regions. What would they say were the Pope to send annually to this country, colonies of Jesuit priests with cargoes of their Missal and translations of their Vulgate, to be put gratis into the hands of every one who would accept them? and to act thus nationally on us as a nation?”

TODAY’S CHART:

TODAY’S CARTOON”

TODAY’S PHOTOGRAPH:

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

This and That from re Thai r ment, by 3Th. (16 Joseph 0001) January 4, 2012

THE NAKED MOLE RAT CHRONICLES:

More about the Naked Mole Rat (NMR):

As you know I have postulated that NMR are most likely our evolutionary successors. I believe that we, humanity, should get to know our heirs better and I propose the creation of the NMR Appreciation Society. I have attached below a recent photograph of the handsome fellow (He looks a lot like some of the farangs I see sitting at the bars in Bangkok).

Recently Peter G, (not related to Kenny G.), a sometime faithful reader of these posts, sent me what I believe is the clearest, most thoughtful and insightful analysis of our beloved successor.

“Known among bureaucrats as NMRs, the [dare I say it?] NMR does indeed have a bright future. As the depredations of the Corporate Humans, southern white male radicals, Newts, and other assorted dimwits and brigands dismantle the fragile remnants of civilization and hasten the total environmental breakdown from global warming, the NMR will thrive. How and why?

 This little critter barely breathes oxygen and its metabolism is the opposite of ADD. So, as carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere increase exponentially with global warming, the NMR will kick back in salubrious delight and thrive in its subterranean burrows while the humanoids tear each other apart and gasp for breath. The real rats and the cockroaches and mosquitos won’t bother with the NMR’s underworld; they’ll have enough to feast on above.

The warming will only benefit the NMR, which, to avoid overheating in this post-petroleum fumed world, will change its bundling habit when it’s cold (no longer necessary) and expand its habitat range. NMR burrows will increase in extent by orders of magnitude, so more room will be available and overheating will not be a problem.

Now, sharper teeth and endurance will be needed to extend the burrow network of the NMR. The NMR will adapt — after all, what’s evolution all about? — and thus be able to enhance its tuber intake, becoming bigger and stronger and eventually enabling its burrow network to underlie all of eastern Africa. Then the fun will begin, as the NMR expands its domain Out Of Africa, learning Danish in the process and having its queen becoming the toughest bitch in the hood. Oxfam, whose few workers in the region will be the last surviving humanoid remnant before oblivion, will document this NMR evolution, which is how all of this is known. Remember that the cycle continues after the Age of Kali, and the data will have reposed in the Cloud for some time already, available to those who have access.

The NMR will also evolve spiritually, it’s becoming the superior mammal simply ineluctable. The NMR eats its own feces, which aids digestion of its main source of sustenance, the tough tubers (not to be confused with The Tough Tubers who used to open for the Rolling Stones). Here’s the key: a former Indian Finance Minister routinely drank his own urine as part of his whole spiritual discipline and enhancement. The evolving NMR will obtain similar benefits from recycling its own waste matter. As its habitat range expands, so, too, will the spiritual and physical dominance of the NMR become manifest.

And so, Naked Mole Rat über alles, with a super queen whose name is Alice, ubiquitous but without malice, looking like a tooth-ed phallus. NMR Zindabad!

I invite any and all of the readers of these posts to share with me your thoughts about this formidable, yet beloved, rodent. Together we can raise world-wide awareness of NMR and its destined role in evolutionary development.

TODAY’S FACTOIDS:

     1. 2012 Climate Change:

Departure of precipitation from average for 2011, as of December 6, 2011. Remarkably, more than half of the country (56%) experienced either a top-ten driest or top-ten wettest year, a new record. Image credit: NOAA/HPC.

Note: Although the above map is consistent with most climate change models, one cannot and should not refer to statistics for any single year or any region as proof of the process exists or does not exist. However, this map describes precipitation in 2011 as it relates to a ten-year or more period and may be more indicative of long-range trends.

In a post about a year ago, I predicted the general outlines of the information displayed on this map would develop as some of the potential long-term impacts expected from carbon induced climate change trends; escalating dryness in south and southwest US and wetness along the northern portions of each coast. What I did not expect is the level of precipitation in the north-western Rocky Mountains and in the upper eastern Midwest. Nor did I foresee the significant drying trend along the California and Oregon coasts and the US southeast coast.

The increased moisture northwest of the Appalachian Mountains are easily explained by the prevailing northwest winds in northern North America carrying the enhanced moisture leaden air against their western flanks and dropping that moisture as rain or snow as the air rises over the mountain crests. I am not sure about the cause of the greater precipitation along the eastern Rockies or the lack of it along the western Sierra’s although in the latter case the map seems to merely indicate normal year precipitation patterns over the decade.

As for the extreme coastal dryness in the two areas mentioned, some drying was expected in both areas as one progressed southward. Again in California’s case and much of the Colorado River drainage, it appears 2011 was simply an average year.

The real news, however, is not whether or not these trends are continuing and long-term, but the rapidity at which they are occurring. Most information I have seen indicates that the climate induced weather changes, whatever they may ultimately be, are quickening. If that is the case, then grappling with solutions may be less appropriate than personal and societal preparation for the inevitable impacts.

Nevertheless, we should all become aware that, 300 million years ago when, due mostly to vulcanism, the earths climate changed by between 10 and 16 degrees Fahrenheit, over about 20,000 years. During that period more than 75% of all life on the planet disappeared. Currently even the most avid climate change deniers agree that in less than a century the worlds average temperature will probably increase by at least 3.6 degrees. Most scientific peer-reviewed analyses, on the other hand see that increase to be somewhere between 6 and 7 degrees.

The current debate between these who have the most to lose now from actions taken to try to halt or delay these trends and those who have little to gain from them is over whether we are merely entering a period demanding greater AC availability or whether we should begin re-arranging the deck chairs. That debate resolves itself into an argument between those that maintain we should do nothing because something always turns up and those who believe that nothing turns up unless you do something.

     2. 2012, Climate Change Debate: ! ! Regarding the so-called climate change debate I discovered the following in my review of “Climate Progress” website:

“97 out of 100 climate experts agree humans are causing global warming.

Several independent surveys find 97% of climate scientists who are actively publishing peer-reviewed climate research agree that humans are causing global warming. On top of this overwhelming consensus, National Academies of Science from all over the world also endorse the consensus view of human caused global warming, as expressed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

However, movements that deny a scientific consensus have always sought to cast doubt on the fact that a consensus exists. One technique is the use of fake experts, citing scientists who have little to no expertise in the particular field of science.

 For example, the OISM Petition Project claims 31,000 scientists disagree with the scientific consensus on global warming.  However, around 99.9% of the scientists listed in the Petition Project are not climate scientists. The petition is open to anyone with a Bachelor of Science or higher and includes medical doctors, mechanical engineers and computer scientists.”

     3. The most dangerous drug in the world:

Members of the Independent Scientific Committee on Drugs, including two invited specialists, met in a 1-day interactive workshop to score 20 drugs on 16 criteria: nine related to the harms that a drug produces in the individual and seven to the harms to others. Drugs were scored out of 100 points, and the criteria were weighted to indicate their relative importance.

MCDA modeling showed that heroin, crack cocaine, and met-amphetamine were the most harmful drugs to individuals (part scores 34, 37, and 32, respectively), whereas alcohol, heroin, and crack cocaine were the most harmful to others (46, 21, and 17, respectively).

Overall, alcohol was the most harmful drug (overall harm score 72), with heroin (55) and crack cocaine (54) in second and third places.!

POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN THAILAND:

Since my New Year’s Eve adventure, I have been lying low, swimming, napping and enjoying my massages.

The Little Masseuse seems to be losing her hair. I had an image of an aging Sinead OʼConnor as my masseuse. Recently she hinted about getting a wig, a red one. That did not surprise me as much as that, for some reason, I began to fancy one for myself. Not that I am losing my hair. Far from it. Although I now keep it short, we Petrillos are genetically incapable of losing our hair. Nevertheless, I could not understand my obsession. It was not because I was going completely grey, there are still some strands of black yet. No, I dreamt of sporting a bright red wig beneath my yellow Panama hat. If I were then to dye my neck wattle red then with my red coxcomb I would resemble a rooster wearing a straw hat. Life is strange, weird really. I think someone once said, “Dying is easy Life is hard,” or was it that boozy clown W. C. Fields who said, “Dying is easy, comedy is hard.” Whatever. Actually, if you think about it, life is interesting, death is a bore, thereʼs nothing to do anymore.

PETRILLOʼS COMMENTARY:

In 1950, finance and insurance in the United States accounted for 2.8% of GDP, according to US Department of Commerce estimates. By 1960, that share had grown to 3.8% of GDP, and reached 6% of GDP in 1990. Today, it is 8.4% of GDP, and it is not shrinking.

The problem raised by this statistic is that if the finance industry were doing what it and its captured economists tell us, that their activities were necessary to provide the financial resources to grow the economy, their percentage share in GDP should have remained the same or even decreased. Instead their share of GDP increased at a greater rate than any other sector of the economy, even greater than government, whose share of GDP actually decreased during most of this time.

What this tells me is that the financial industry rather than contributing to the growth of the economy, is focused instead on its own growth at the expense of the economy. So who needs it?

PAPA JOES TALES AND FABLES:

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

JOEY’S MYSTERY NOVEL:

     RED STAR. Chapter: Escape (cont.):

Realizing that escape through the lobby might put innocent people at risk, Isabella chose the door to the alley. Pushing on the pressure lock with her back she swung into a crouch as she followed the door into the alley. She saw no one. Motioning for Vince to follow, she began to run toward the street. She had only gone a few feet when a car screeched to a halt blocking their way. Isabella dropped to one knee, gun outstretched prepared to fire. Vince trying to stop slipped and fell onto his already damp backside uttering the unnecessary and redundant expletive “shit.”

Before Isabella could fire the vehicle’s window descended revealing a smiling face waving at them.

“Ray,” exclaimed Isabella. She stood up and reached down to pull Vince to his feet. They ran to the car. She opened the rear door, pushed Vince in and followed.

Ray, carefully avoiding bringing additional attention to them by screeching the tires in a cinematic escape, drove carefully toward Market Street.

“Where to? Everyone OK? How you doing boss?” he asked in quick succession.

Vince, seething with resentment from his embarrassment and Isabella’s manhandling, just glared.

“Were ok. Drive to my place. I have security there. Thereʼs probably none at Vince’s apartment,” Isabella

“I need to change,” Vince interjected. “I’m sure you can do it at my place and it is safer there.”

They could hear the police sirens as they converged at the hotel. It reminded Vince of the law firm shooting at the high rise nearby. He had lost several friends there. It also took the cops a long time to get there then he thought bleakly.

They arrived at the plush high-rise condo hotel in which Isabella lived.

“Hold on to me as we cross the lobby, as though we are a little drunk,” Isabella directed. “It will help disguise why we look the way we do,” she added while wiping as much of the blood off her face with the tissues Ray handed to he when they entered the car.

Vince remained sullenly silent, but has he got out of the vehicle he, hesitated turned to Ray and said with the hint of a smile, “How come I seem to run into you everywhere?” (to be continued) !

PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

1.You may be smarter than you think you are:
Business Insider reports that an online survey of 895 Web users and experts found more than three-quarters believe the Internet will make people smarter in the next 10 years, according to results released on Friday. !! But 21 percent said the Internet would have the opposite effect and could even lower the IQs of some who use it a lot. !! Time will tell, but most experts believe the internet benefits intelligence.

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

“POOKIE FOR PRESIDENT”:

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

     1. Why are they devouring each other?

“George Will was wrong: Newt Gingrich is a Marxist Two weeks ago, George Will wrote a column in which he said Newt Gingrich “would have made a marvelous Marxist.” At the time, it seemed a little over the top, but Gingrich managed to prove Will right yesterday when he leveled this attack Mitt Romney:

 Romney and Gingrich, from bad to worse I would just say that if Gov. Romney would like to give back all of the money he’s earned from bankrupting companies and laying off employees over his years at Bain, that I would be glad to listen to him.’

These are not the words of a conservative who believes in the free market system. This is the world view of a socialist bent on redistributing wealth.

Conn Carroll Senior Editorial Writer at the very conservative Washington Examiner calling Newt a “Marxist”.

     2. P.J. O’Rourke, author and conservative political commentator discusses the differences between the parties:

“The Democrats are the party that says government will make you smarter, taller, richer, and remove the crabgrass on your lawn. The Republicans are the party that says government doesnʼt work and then get elected and prove it.”

TODAY’S QUOTE:

“Just as I was instrumental in exposing the bribery of the Clintons by China during their administration, concerned citizens need to be hard at work uncovering the bribery of Obama by the Iranians. I for one am investigating this likelihood. Bill Clinton and his criminal wife, Hillary, were the “Manchurian Candidates,” but Obama and Hillary are now the “Islamic Iranian Candidates,” an analogy the movie that depicted how Chinese communists infiltrated the highest reaches of our government. The primary explanation for Obama and Clinton rolling over for the Iranian Islamist mullahs is that they

were paid off, that is, bribed. This occurred during the Clinton years with communist China, so it is not farfetched that it is happening now. Obama and Clinton need the campaign cash to win the next elections, just as Bill and Hill needed it in 1996 to defeat Republican presidential candidate Bob Dole.”

Larry Klayman, the founder of Judicial Watch and the current head of Freedom Watch and major supporter of the so-called Christian Right.

(Wow! Aren’t you glad you have someone like Larry watching over our Democracy?)

TODAY’S CHART:

TODAY’S CARTOON”

TODAY’S PHOTOGRAPH:


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THE INHERITOR — THE NAKED MOLE RAT — IT IS OUR FUTURE

Now some of you may not consider Heterocephalus Glaber here as the epitome of beauty, but we must remember, during the Pleistocene, when our first ancestors swung down from the trees onto the veldt, to those sitting atop the food chain they must have appeared unprepossessing in the extreme. In a land populated by sleek, magnificently fanged felines, lithe and graceful gazelles, handsome dire wolves and muscular and gloriously horned ruminants these scrawny creatures must have been met with disdain and revulsion. Instead of the magnificent dentition of the predators of that age, their teeth were repulsively tiny and virtually worthless. They ambulated unsteadily on two legs like diseased creatures. Neither claws nor shiny hooves graced their extremities. Instead of a lustrous pelt they were virtually naked with hair sprouting in tufts seemingly at random about their bodies. And, the face, squashed in like it had been stepped on by a Mastodon. These creatures, our ancestors, were down right ugly and revolting.

So look again at H. Glaber of the future. Imagine this magnificent creature striding across its world, the master of all it surveys.

Categories: January 2012 through March 2012, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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